This Is Why You Suck At Guitar: Weekend Wankshop With Ben Eller

March 25, 2015

Hello there, lords and lasses! Uncle Ben Eller here, better known to most of you as the "This is Why You Suck at Guitar" guy. I'm known to many more of you as the "16 and Pregnant" guy, but that's neither here nor there.

In addition to my semi-regular TiWYSaG lesson videos, I'll be giving you all a weekly dose of healthy goodness with my new series, Weekend Wankshop. Every Friday, I'll be serving up a tasty lick of my choosing (some from my own diabolical imagination, some from well-known artists or solos), along with some helpful light theory knowledge to inspire your own ideas, creativity, and understanding of the board. It's pointless to learn licks without any ideas about what context you can use them, kids, so Uncle Ben here is always gonna let you know a little about the concepts going on behind these delectable morsels of musical meat.

First up we have the debut episode of the series, which features a scorching legato lick in the style of John Petrucci. You might have heard of him... Huge arms, epic beard, plays for a little band called Dream Theater? No? Well maybe if he was on an episode of "16 and Pregnant" you would have heard of him. Anyway, this lick is in the key of E minor, and is very similar to the run John plays at the end of the classic "Pull Me Under" guitar solo (from the phenomenal Dream Theater album "Images and Words"... Go buy it, kids). You'll be slip-sliding around the board as you tear through a heap of hammer-ons and a pile of pull-offs. Serve over a warm E minor chord with a sprig of parsley.

And here we have episode 2, which contains within a forbidden and diabolical B minor pentatonic lick with a ton of tasty tapping. It's really important to understand a scale beyond a simple scale pattern (like the familiar minor pentatonic box), because once you do, you can start spicing up those bland licks by (literally!) playing outside of the box. The string-skipping tapping technique used in this lick is similar to what we've heard Steve Vai play in songs like "Juice" (from the "Alien Love Secrets" record... so awesome). It is a really tricky technique to get down, so be sure to pay close attention to the technical details i cover towards the end of the video.

Thanks for watching, and stay tuned for more coming at you every week!

About the Author:
By Ben Eller.
Every week, I make a tab for these licks and upload them to my Instagram page, and invite you, loyal Suckamaniac, to learn the licks and upload a video of yourself strutting your newfound stuff. Be sure to hashtag it #weekendwankshop so that Uncle Ben here can see it and swell with pride!

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