For this blog, I want to take a detour from the pedagogical material and show classroom guitar instructors a few licks that can be learned quickly and played while the students are strumming chords, or playing alternating bass, or even fingerpicking.
Written below, are four licks (short, catchy phrases) that will work with G and C chords. The best places to add the licks, or fills as they are sometimes called, is when there is a pause in the singing. If the students are playing exercises, rather than songs, the licks can be added anytime at random. Each lick takes one or two measures to play. In licks numbers 1 and 2, the top note can be played with the right-hand middle finger and the bottom note played with the thumb, or, the top note can be played with the right-hand middle finger and the bottom note played with a pick. The teacher can be playing the chords with the students and then add the licks as the students continue playing the chords. In licks 3 and 4, in the second measure, the note can be held for four beats, or the note can be played on beat one and then the chord strummed for three beats. Will these licks work with practically every tune that has G and/or C chords? Yes.
Adding these licks will spice up the music. The students will light up when they hear them, and the licks will add credibility to the teacher’s playing. The addition of these fills will also inspire the students to practice so they are able to play at a higher level.