Learn Awesome Lead Guitar Licks From The Hirajoshi Scale
Want your lead guitar solos and runs to sound impressive to anyone listening?
The Hirajoshi scale is an incredible tool for this.
What exactly is this scale?
It’s a pentatonic scale (translation: it only contains five notes) that came from Asia.
No, this is not really the same as some other pentatonic scales you may know, such as the pentatonic major or minor scales. Don’t worry, it’s really simple and fun to learn.
But not like the usual pentatonic scale — it has a very unique sound you don’t hear very often.
This means, when you start using it — you’ll get an influx of new ideas to spice up your guitar licks and phrases.
To start, take a look at the video below to see & hear the Hirajoshi scale shapes in action
Since you know the essentials, here are the greatest ways to combine the Hirajoshi scale into your guitar playing:
Hirajoshi Scale Tip # 1: Connect the Shapes
In the video tutorial, I showed you five patterns of the Hirajoshi scale. These patterns snap together like gears in a machine to create ONE SCALE that envelops the whole entire guitar neck.
Here is your task:
Practice the 5 shapes until you can play them one after the other without thinking.
This is essential to soloing all over the guitar without getting lost.
Check out this video to get more advice on how to learn any scale across the guitar:
Hirajoshi Scale Tip # 2: Take Advantage Of Rubato
One of my personal lead guitar pet peeves is lack of rhythmic variety.
Translation: guitar licks that only use strict divisions of the beat (8th notes, 16th notes, or quarter notes) and never work with rubato.
What is rubato technique?
Rubato means suddenly speeding up (or slowing down) your playing and not being in strict time.
Note: there is a MAJOR difference between playing rubato (intentionally changing the rhythm) and playing out of time due to lack of skill.
Check out this video to see and hear many rubato examples and start using this technique in your guitar playing (rubato sounds particularly great with the Hirajoshi scale and its solos):.
Hirajoshi Scale Tip # 3: Master Expressive String Bending Technique
You can make any guitar lick more colorful by milking it with string bends.
How do you do that?
The secret resides in the release of the bend.
This video shows how to add more feeling into any guitar run, simply by releasing basic string bends in creative ways:.
Use this advice as you play the Hirajoshi scale and you’ll enjoy the sound that comes out of your amplifier.
Hirajoshi Scale Tip # 4: End Your Guitar Licks With Dramatic Vibrato
Vibrato, in my opinion, is the one essential lead guitar technique.
I often tell my guitar students: “if you don’t do anything else but improve your vibrato, your entire guitar playing will sound awesome … even if you never play much faster or cleaner than you are able to at this moment”.
The secret to playing a wide and controlled vibrato is … your fretting hand thumb.
Right after you get your vibrato technique dialed in, the next action is keeping you vibrato in tune. (This awesome vibrato guitar technique lesson shows you exactly how.).
The next step to making your guitar solos sound creative is to quickly increase your guitar picking speed. I show you how in my new free eBook: “Learn How To Get Fast Guitar Picking Speed”. Get it today and uncover speed picking secrets most guitarists never know.
About The Author:
Tom Hess is a professional guitarist, composer, and an online guitar teacher. He is a trainer and mentor to guitar players from around the world in his guitar lessons online. Follow Tom Hess on Twitter for free guitar playing tips, guitar playing resources and more guitar playing articles.