3 Cool Licks

This video lesson has a few cool guitar riffs that you can use. I always find it fun to learn new riffs, but sometimes you come across a particular riff on a song somewhere that you absolutely love. Ever try figuring out those riffs? It can be tricky.

Using a tool such as RiffMaster Pro can really help, because it lets you slow down the song while keeping the pitch constant. So even if the guy is shredding away like a wood chipper, you can still hear each note slowly and clearly with this software. If you're into figuring out cover songs, this one is probably worth checking out. Additionally, once you get the hang of how to play the riff, there's nothing like practicing it over some jam tracks to really lock it in.

Leave a comment below video and tell me which riff you liked best, and I'll have more for you next time!

Video Problems? Watch it on YouTube

For More Riffs Like This One, Click Here

If you liked the style and difficulty level of these guitar riffs, you might like to check out my short course that contains a bunch more guitar riffs in G major.

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58 Responses to “3 Cool Licks”

  1. Dave Leroux November 17, 2009 at 6:29 am #

    I enjoyed these riffs. I am out of work and study all I can find on the internet being that I cannot afford lessons.

  2. Mike Merritt November 22, 2009 at 5:40 pm #

    I have been playing for a number of years but still want to learn. Your tips are quite helpful and I salute you. By the way I haven't seen a Hagstrom like that one in a long time. Nice axe.

    • Jonathan November 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

      Thanks Mike!!

      A cool thing I found out about that guitar is that it is made out of wood that was reclaimed from Hayward Lake, which is close to where I live, in fact - I go canoeing there quite a bit. Kind of a neat connection. Plus I love that thing... tone, how it plays, looks - the works 😉

  3. roger daniel January 2, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    another great lesson i travel a lot so i must cram these lessons into a long day of painful practice.. my fingers are almost bleeding !!!! haha but never the less this is good stuff once again !!!!!! as soon as i get over the x-mas financial setback i will definatly order your entire lesson plan. ive played country music for a lot of years, and its taking me a little bit to block that force of habit we will call it to convert to the blues. even though i can see where the two could go hand in hand.???? im also working on the slide at the same time on a different site im anxious to see how all of this comes into play!!

  4. carl February 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    great riffs cant wait for more

  5. ChaliQ March 7, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    I think I like the 2nd lick the best, then the 3rd & finally the first. The 2nd I think because I find little bass type riffs easier for me to follow maybe because it follows the scale more the 3rd because of the nice stretchs then the 1st because it doesn't seem to follow the scale like #2 & #3, but I really like the way you say play the chords & then through in a part or all of the riff it seems to become more of a song to me. I used to write all the time & take a basic chord & through in some lifts & tags which changed them to some other chord but I just always said lift here tag there but had no idea that the chord would be a 7th or diminished or anything else.
    I really enjoy your videos & will support them in the future but I've just been put on a fixed income due to a disability.

  6. Walt March 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    Thank you -- Thats what I like Direct and to the Point.....

    WAl of the`RAPIDS`-`CEDAR`that is..............

  7. Dorothy Masseburg March 31, 2010 at 5:52 am #

    how can I see the string closer

  8. Jonathan March 31, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    Hi Dorothy - try viewing the video in full screen, that should help. The little box in the bottom right of the video will let you do that.

  9. jack April 3, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    I licked the last one better
    Jack

  10. jack April 3, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    I learn better I tab

    Jack

  11. David April 5, 2010 at 4:59 am #

    Hi Jonathan, If I could see a little more closely how you are doing that it would help. I have a hard time following where you are at when you change positions from one fingering to another. I got the last one pretty good and I love it. You make it look so easy, lol but it's not. 🙂 Thanks so much for the tips! They are appreciated greatly.

    • Jonathan April 5, 2010 at 8:33 am #

      Hi David - any suggestions on how I can make it more clear? Different camera angle perhaps? In some of the upcoming lessons you'll be getting I think the angle has improved. You can also make the video fullscreen which might help.. just click the button in the bottom right of the video.

  12. David April 5, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    Hey Jonathan,
    I guess there are all kinds of angles for the camera but imagine yourself being a foot shorter and the camera at the same height it is at now. I would be looking more at your fingertips than at the tops of your knuckles and I could see exactly which string you are placing your fingers on. Does that make any sense? I'm not saying that you aren't doing a good job with the camera. I'm just making a suggestion. The camera clarity is Great and after I opened it up it was even better. Thanks for listening to what I had to say and getting back to me.

  13. Jonathan April 5, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    Hi David,

    So you're saying to put the camera higher, looking downwards, right? That's a good idea - I'll give that a shot next time I'm recording. Thanks much!

  14. Dave B April 5, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Hi Jonathan
    Thanks for the riffs,i already had been playing the second one but could not find where to fit it in,so when you played it between chords it all fell into place.So now i will be using that as much as i can.Sounds good.Thanks again.You are a great teacher..

    • Jonathan April 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

      Hey Dave, glad to hear it 'clicked' for you! Cheers.

  15. Patrick April 14, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    Hey J. Cool stuff, Love the Second lick the most but all three are great. Wonder if when you video the riffs that you give us could you PDF the TAB (or the music)just to make us work.
    Great stuff. Keep it up.
    Patrick

  16. jimmy April 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    hello J,
    U rock bro. I studied music many years ago. Went to college and gained some theory knowledge but then got side tracked away from music. The great thing is that the love and fascination of music only got stronger over the years. Now I'm back at it and learning guitar and keyboard. Mostly teaching myself and taking advantage of what people like you have to teach.I have a completely different mindset now about learning music.I enjoy the process in a whole different way. I seem to be grasping ideas and concepts at a much more satisfying level and making progress alot faster than i did when i was in college.There isn't anyone aspect that i enjoy more than another. Love it all. I feel very fortunate that this time around I have the internet and that there are amazing people out there such as yourself to learn from and be inspired by. When the time is right I will kick the money to take your course. Looking forward to it and also to help support you and the great work you do by taking the course. Thanks again and best wishes.

  17. Don April 28, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    Hi Jonathan,
    I liked the third riff the best, I've been playing for a long time and I have played riffs like thes before but it never hurts to revisit.
    Don

  18. Jose Lopez April 30, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    Hey Jonathon,
    Just writing a few line to let you know that I'm really glad to have found your website. It has given me a lot to use and a lot to think about in my quest to really learn to play my guitar.
    Again, Thanks

  19. Bob Shannon May 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    Hey Jonathan....These guitar tips are fabulous! Could find a way to isolate your left hand with a camera close up? This will allow me to see your finger positioning more clearly. I am learning a great deal from your guitar tips. My playing is improving at a faster rate. Once again....thanks

  20. John Hutchinson June 23, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    Hey Jonathon, I loved this Video. It's great to see a little riff thrown in amongst some chords (Riff 2) but I love Riff 3, you could easily write a hundred Blues songs around that riff and make them all sound cool.

    Many Many Thanks

    Johnno from Oz.

  21. David Tuson July 11, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    Hi Jonathon
    I am pleased that I found you on the web! I have been playing for over 55 years mainly rhythm and over the past six years coping Hank Marvin of which I can play most of his music but I never really knew what I was doing I play by ear and have always had a desire to play blues and understand what I am suposed to play but never really understood how to your lessons have really started to give me the lead that I require
    By the way I have purchased Riff Master and would recommend it to anyone who has difficulty in getting to grips with certain musical parts
    I tried for over one year to work out the ending to one song without success but with Riff Master I soon had it figured out
    Mant thanks once again
    Best wishes for your continued excellent work
    David

    • Jonathan July 12, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

      Thanks David! Yeah, Riff Master is a great piece of software...

  22. nick July 25, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    Im probably the weird one here i actually take guitar lessons but they are only once a week and since i am on summer break i need some other stuff to play with during the week and this helps. By the way i like the first lick best i love bends.

  23. Ron Towle August 11, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    I liked the 2nd one best. Oh yes-I learned the Last dance wth Mary Jane,a nice one,not too difficult to learn

  24. Dave W November 6, 2010 at 6:28 am #

    Sure wish you furnish the tabs.

  25. gster November 12, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    Thx Jonathan Good lesson. I'm beginning to see why its important to know your scales.Its easier to play when you don't have to think.

    • Jonathan November 13, 2010 at 10:27 am #

      Right you are my friend... it's pretty hard to play football when you're always thinking hard about how to run.

  26. Gordon November 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    I think I like the 2nd one the most. Followed by the 3rd. I enjoy watching videos that show HOW you can incorporate that riff between power chords and other riffs.

  27. Helen Hultman December 8, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Dear Jonathan:

    Your riffs are GREAT! I wish I had the finger/hand strength to employ them as I actually play a folk and classical guitar. However, I still enjoy your read-outs and your videos and maybe someday I shall be buying an acoustical guitar. Thank you.

    Sincerely, Helen

  28. bruce January 31, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    l liked the 3rd one the best , just a more unique sound , How about showing us that riff in cuts like a knife . That is an exotic sounding riff also.

  29. Nash Fakalupe February 1, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    yes i like the 3 riff

  30. Craig February 22, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    Great lessons for the guitar...do you play the ukulele?

    • Jonathan February 23, 2011 at 8:42 am #

      No... I don't play ukulele, though I wouldn't mind learning it, along with the mandolin.

  31. don March 2, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    hi i like the jam tracks that slow blues number i nailed it at leased i thought i did thank you so much i wish the figers of the chords was plainer each book i have shows a differate pattern i like to do it like its shown on the video

  32. joey Rayhart March 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Cool beans dude.I dont know exactally when it started inproving, great learning wt m playing has become more personally satisfying since I started peacticing the scales and riffs youve been showing me. As I havent got a job at the time

  33. Bill March 19, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    thanks very nice

  34. Nola Darling April 18, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Greetings J;

    My problem with you and most internet YouTube instructors is this.... You all try to instruct the student before you play the song. That is very, very frustrating!!!!! First play the tune! That way the student knows what the song sounds like. Then you proceed with the instruction. It’s as simple as that. In my school choir. The teacher would always play the new piece of music first, that way all of us new what was expected. Then we got excited and couldn’t wait to learn our individual parts. Bass, tenor, alto and so on. Ok John. Do this and watch your sales increase.

    Nola

    • Jonathan April 18, 2011 at 9:34 am #

      Hi Nola... I'm not actually teaching a song in this particular video.. I'm simply teaching a few riffs/licks...

  35. billy April 27, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    Hi Jon.I like the favorit one is #3. I would like to know
    what kind of guitar is that you are playing in the video I
    like it
    Billy

    • Jonathan April 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

      Hi Billy, that's a Hagstrom Super Swede... great guitars.

  36. David Deam May 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    loved the riffs there great for practice

  37. russell barrett May 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    those bends were a little much to handle

  38. jayanth July 7, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    I learnt something special from this tip.Thank you dear sir.

  39. California Jack July 31, 2011 at 4:37 am #

    I looked at an older Blues Jam Track you emailed and saw
    you with a guitar strap with Big Music Notes on it.
    Well at least you have one interesting one, but it could have been from a music store. Is it good leather? Hope so.
    You still need more for those other fine guitars you have.
    I have one for each and make them custom for friends.

    Thanks Mr. I IV V
    Hope we'll be speaking soon.

    Jack

    • Jonathan August 1, 2011 at 8:30 am #

      Hey, yeah that strap is good leather - but you're right, it's from a music store.

  40. geoff August 3, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    hi Jonathan i loved the pentatonic video your fingers look like a spider crawling all over the fret board great and thanks

  41. Glenn August 30, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    Awesome riffs. Wonderin' if you might think of a course on the "Caged" system sometime. Would buy it immediately!!!
    Thanks Jonathan.

  42. dwayne oxner December 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    I didnt really have any favorets i really liked all three thought they were really cool. thanks

  43. ron Towle March 18, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    Nice tips J,I find I can do them but awkward-obviously need much practice to play them smoothly- Thanks!

  44. Florin Manoliu August 4, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    Super nice  ,salutari din Romania  .
    Florin

  45. Michaelabarno September 1, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    great,I appreciate good tips, keep it up!

  46. Phil January 18, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    sounds good, keep them coming!

  47. jim May 20, 2013 at 4:28 am #

    great lesson jon, but I wished you would put tabs with your lessons. just a thought

  48. [email protected] chi April 18, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    A very good lesson,thanks

  49. Tommy July 18, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

    Why no tabs for these licks Jonathan? Its hard to see you fingers full screen or small. That makes if difficult to really be able to see or repeat what you are actually doing in these riffs.

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