Super Simple Sixteenth Note Shredding

The topic today is guitar – specifically the kind that plug in. Why? Because it's my birthday and that's what I want to blab about.

So anyway, here’s an easy lick that enables even intermediate level guitar players to readily throw some ripping scale runs into their improv playing. It goes through 24 notes just to ascend a single octave, so it’s a great way to add a bar of shred while relocating to a new position on the fretboard for the next part of your solo.

It also sounds pretty damn slick.

But what’s really nice about this riff is that it only uses the first and second strings and the exact same frets are used on both strings. That makes it easy to remember and easy to execute.

We’re in everyone’s favorite shredding key, E minor, which is spelled E, F#, G, A, B, C, D. Begin on the E note located at the fifth fret of the B string and then ascend the scale in six-note stairs.

I’ve tabbed it out in the example above as a legato riff, which really makes this lick haul ass. To play it this way, pick only the first note in each triplet, then hammer-on the next two notes. The result is a fast, fluid run of notes that also looks cool as you play it.

This pattern also makes a terrific alternate picking lick. Start with a down stroke and use an “outside” picking style by alternating up-down-up-down all the way through.

Once you’re comfortable with all four positions, start adding some spice by mixing them up all over the place. The results can be pretty cool. I uploaded a full sheet of tablature examples with this post to help get you started. Yay! FREE TABS!

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About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
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9 Responses to Super Simple Sixteenth Note Shredding

  1. Lurkertype says:

    happy b-day!what does this sound like (other than awesome)?

  2. arbed says:

    Birthday, you say? Happy Birthday!!

  3. Kirk says:

    Thanks, everyone! :DHonestly, 43 doesn't feel the smallest bit different than 42. It's all sort of a dull ache at this point. 😛

  4. Kirk says:

    "what does this sound like (other than awesome)?" I'm trying to work out a way to record something worth uploading. Considering I just learned the mic that came with or Wii version of Rock Band 2 is better than the one I have for recording music, I might just end up using the video camera and hoping for the best.Plus, as long as I intersperse it with clips of DG, people will keep watching. Heh, heh.If only I could figure out where I left all that spare time I had too much of a while back…

  5. Lurkertype says:

    That's all we really need. I don't need a stereo studio version, just a crappy home tape recording is fine.Doesn't even need a video of Deej — just run it over a super-cute still and we'll be happy!

  6. Laurie says:

    Happy Belated Birthday!
    There were many words in this post that made not one whit of sense to me, since I know next to nothing about music. I'd love to hear what this sounds like, too.

  7. DJ says:

    Kirk. That is fucking cool. Now I have to plug in my electric again. Hope it still works…Can't believe I missed this post, but I was wrapped up in poetry land during the time of this post. Oh well. I see it now! Woot! Exclamation!

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