Category Archives: licks

Videos for the Lion Rock distortion pedal

I recently recorded 3 short demo pieces to demonstrate the amazing Lion Rock distortion pedal from the Hong Kong based company, Scream Pro Audio. Here are all 3 of them! Enjoy.

If you want to check out the pedal, go here:


Thumb position

“The classical approach is that your thumb should always be in the middle of the back of the neck.  This means that there should be a clear space between the neck and the palm of your hand, and that your wrist will be slightly bent so that your fingers will rest comfortably on the strings.  Your thumb then act as a fulcrum, allowing you to deliver just the right amount of pressure to your fingertips in order to fret the notes clearly.  Many chord progressions are difficult unless your thumb is providing pressure from the back of the neck.  This position will give you maximum precision, flexibility and speed”

“In some modern styles, the thumb is hooked over the top of the neck to fret notes on the bottom E (6th) string.  This may be done either when extending a barre chord or when playing separate melody and bass lines.  Although condemned by classical guitarists, the technique does open up other fingering posibilities.  It is also useful for getting extra leverage for bending strings.”

(The Guitar Handbook, by Ralph Denyer)

“All along the watchtower” intro


Great piece to furnish the basic bending skills for beginners.  Check muting and pitch when bending and make sure you play with a rhythmic sense.

About SongX’ercises

This little short exercise comes from my “SongX’ercises” collection. Songs are your best teachers! Feel free to message me with your own videos of this exercise if you have any questions .  I will try to help.  If you want a tailored video response, it is available in an affordable price. Message me (johnnyonguitar at or Facebook : johnny on guitar hong kong) for more details.  Thank you and have fun.

Bluesy rock guitar lick using thirds and sixths intervals

Check out this two-bar bluesy rock lick based on the use of thirds and sixths intervals.  As shown in the video, it works well as a fill-in to a rock riff! 



Breaking it down

The lick is in A Dorian scale (A B C D E F# G).  It starts with two nice sounding “minor thirds” intervals (E,G and F#,A in beat 1 to 3 of first bar) played back and forth. I like to highlight the beauty of the Dorian scale this way, which is the major sixth (F# in this case). 

Then it moves up the neck playing a series of sixths along the scale (from beat 4 of first bar till the end) .  Sixth is another cool interval that fits the blues rock context very well.  

Rhythm-wise, the lick is based on 16th notes but in “group of three” arrangement .  It is helpful to strictly follow alternate picking (down strokes on main beats, I.e. “1 and 2 and..”, up stroke on off beats I.e. “e” and “a”) to be rhythmic sound.

Gears: Quite a heavy distorted tone using AMT bulava pedal on an HnK amp!