Conquer the pentatonic lick and develop your technique with Phil X's guitar lesson

(Image credit: Kevin Mazur / Getty)

Guitar skills (opens in new tab): “I had this thing called ‘conquer the lick’ where I would try to come up with really crazy, abnormal licks that my fingers weren’t accustomed to and I wouldn’t put down the guitar until I had nailed it" says Bon Jovi guitarist Phil X , "and that not only helped me gather my vocabulary of personal favourites of my own licks but it also developed my technique.

“It got my fingers doing stuff that they couldn’t do prior: left hand, right hand, talking to each other, and the communication between left and right hand is almost like an art that is lost to some players. Like, you can see them picking and you can see them fingering with the left hand but you can see that they are not joined.

“You can see that they are not talking to each other, and that’s where sloppiness comes from… I don’t think a lot of people put enough effort into that.”

It's a great idea for an exercise and our lesson below will get you started.

(Image credit: Future)

Hone your technique here with this pentatonic position shifting and alternate picking exercise. Play to a click and start slowly, working your way up to speedier playing over time.

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