Lick-in' Riff

Explore how to mix licks into your rhythm playing! Get that groovy Blues guitar sound to your playing.

View the full lesson at Lick-in' Riff | JustinGuitar


Does anyone have any good song recommendations to practice adding licks into your rhytm playing?
I was looking at Layla by CLapton, but it’s not quite as mixed as I was hoping for.
Is Jimi Hendrix too advanced?
Hoi Jonathan,
With the blues licks lessons there is a great backing track at the bottom of the reading text…I put them on regularly and it works really well with the blues licks…no idea if you mean exactly this,…but with many licks, at least this works well…
Welcome here and wish you lots of fun,
Greetings, Rogier

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What a great lesson for a beginner at this stuff. Really enjoyed this one. :+1:

Hi Jonathan and others
Now that this thread is floating to the surface … this is a very nice one to practice with and has quite a few variations in versions…

Boom Boom John Lee Hooker

But I practice these lessons from Justin almost daily… man man you can be busy and combine this for a long time :sunglasses:


Did this lesson yesterday and it’s great grade 3 stuff. Exactly the stuff I want to be learning.

2-3 new chords and the hardest 7 chord (B7)
Rhythm and riffs
Tricky thumb and finger rhythm with mutes
Sounds cool

Loving it. Will take a while to master though!

Well, Justin asked for some videos of people playing it in the lesson. So here’s me: Solo Blues set piece from Grade 3 - JK

I love this lesson!

Hi there, I have a super newbie question: I was practicing with the Guitar Pro file and just noticed the symbol at the end of the sheet. First time I see it. Can someone explain what it is?


Thank you

Looks like a fermata to me.

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I’ve loaded the file into Guitar Pro but as it’s locked I can’t adjust the tempo while learning. Any advice please?

Hi Billy, @billyb
Welcome here and I wish you a lot of fun with this :sunglasses:
It’s what I’m working on the most at the moment… I don’t have a guitar pro, but what helps me if it goes too fast is just lowering the tempo by clicking the setting button at the video and put on 0.75 or 0.5 playback speed… I hope this helps you enough until someone comes to help you with guitar pro,
Greetings Rogier

There are two places in Guitar Pro that you can adjust the tempo:

  • You can adjust the bpm for the piece
  • You can adjust the playback speed (as a % age of the piece’s bpm)

Because Justin’s files are protected, you can’t change the first one, but you can change the last one.

Any tips on how to get the timing right? I am trying at the moment with a metronome but struggling a bit with “feeling” the count while playing lead lines ,- just tell to play it then check if I finish on the right beat.

Does Guitar Pro help with this?

After I was able to get all the parts under my fingers, I played along with a shuffle-beat drum track that’s built into my looper pedal. I started at 60bpm and worked the speed up to full-speed (95 bpm, I believe).

I do not have Guitar Pro, so I can’t comment on that.

A metronome would have similar results, but it won’t give you that Bluesy shuffle feel like the drum track will.

Thanks, I’ve got a drum machine in my amp so will try that. Playing the rhythm with it is ok for me, just need to get the lead timing right.

Many thanks for the replies - both working. Hopefully I’ll be up to speed soon.

In my experience, yes.

The advantage with GP is it will play the song and you can play along to try to match the feel.

You can also slow it down to make it easier to learn.

It’s a great tool for learning.



Thanks. I decided to get Guitar Pro for Android - doesn’t cost much and I don’t need to use it to write at the moment. Finding it very useful to play along with, much easier than using just the metronome at the moment.

In the final outro lick Justin plays two open string notes. Open B string and open e string.
I’m finding it easier to play fretted notes for those. Does that matter? Is there a reason he’s playing those notes on open strings?