30 Rock and Pop Licks You Must Know

Genre and Style Guitar Course from William Roberts

Rock, Pop and genres bent from it are punctuated by signature licks, riffs and rhythmic ideas. William Roberts dissects these sounds and ideas and parleys them into this vocabulary pack. Drop these licks and riffs directly into your lead playing, or use them as an inspirational platform on which to create your own.

31 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

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Full Course Breakdown

William Roberts breaks down 30 must know licks and riffs from the Rock and Pop genres.


30 Rock and Pop Licks You Must Know Introduction

Do you have a couple basic diatonic and pentatonic scales under your fingers but don't really know how to use them? This lick course is designed to take your scale knowledge and apply it practically to melodic lick and riff concepts. Join William Roberts as he breaks down 30 rock and pop licks designed to break you through scaler playing.

2:57 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Pentatonic Power

To start off, William offers up a minor pentatonic sounding lick in the Blues or Classic Rock genre.

4:10 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Color it Blue

This lick uses a descending scale sound and is based off of the lick you learned in the previous lesson.

5:07 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Chuck Slide

This is minor pentatonic meats Dorian sounding lick in the style of Chuck Berry.

5:17 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Angus Steps In

You're still using that Dorian sound from the previous lick, but now in the style of Angus Young.

5:28 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Stevie's Way

Lick 5 uses the pentatonic scales to groove on a Stevie Ray Vaughn inspired lick.

5:09 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The King's Line

In lick six you'll be using a major pentatonic sound in the BB King box.

5:47 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Move like Mayer

In lick seven, you'll take the ideas from the previous lick and modernize it a bit in the style of John Mayer.

5:31 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Jimi’s Double Stops

In this lick, you'll be moving into more of a rhythm and riff based sound, emulating double stops in the style of Jimi Hendrix.

6:52 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Lead Like Rhythm

We're still playing around with rhythm based riffs on this one. Using the guitar's upper register we create a lead like sound that is distinctively rhythmic.

6:48 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Minor Double Stops

Now let's take a look at double stop riffs in a minor tonality.

6:30 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Jackson Stops

Lick 11 has more double stops flying at you! This one has both a rhythm and melodic elements to simulate a lead part.

7:28 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Just Like A Slide

Let's switch things up for lick 12. In this one, you'll emulate the sound and feel of using a slide.

5:52 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Still Sliding

In this lick you'll remain in a major pentatonic modality in a slide type fashion.

8:59 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The New Nashville

Lick 14 is based in a major pentatonic sound that incorporates many of the techniques from the previous licks.

8:44 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Pop Country Steel

This lick is another country style lick that will emulate the pedal steel guitar.

6:04 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Stomping in E

This E minor lick is blues oriented and is based in the E minor Pentatonic tonality.

6:35 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


In the Garage

Lick 17 is in the style of modern garage rock bands like The White Stripes.

6:33 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Magic Interval

This lick is based around William Robert's favorite interval, the sixth.

5:54 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


A 6th of Whiskey

William is once again playing with sixths. This lick will extend the intervals to create a bit more movement.

6:14 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


A Classical Blues

This C minor lick has an ascending arpeggios with a descending scaler motion, in the style of Eric Johnson.

8:44 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Jimi's Octaves

Lick 21 uses octave shapes that re decidedly Jimi Hendrix-esque.

8:15 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Octave Lead Up

Using the octave ideas from the previous lick, William demonstrates how to modernize the sound.

5:49 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Caprice

Lick 23 is a scaler motion lick centered in the key of F minor.

7:07 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Eddie Tap

In this lick you'll learn a basic tapping pattern in the style of Eddie Van Halen.

6:17 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Tap Continues

Lick 25 will continue to work tapping into your repertoire. This one expands the pattern slightly.

7:09 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Modern Minor 9

This lick has a combination of runs and chords in the same passage.

6:49 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Double Trouble

Like the previous lick, you'll be playing through a series of chords. On this one you'll be adding some fills.

6:44 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Talking With Two Notes

Lick 28 continues the idea of playing through changes. This lick encompasses more melodic phrasing.

6:03 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Virtuoso

Lick 29 is designed to get you more comfortable with hammer-ons and pull-offs using the pentatonic pattern.

4:38 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The One String Wonder

For the last lick in this series, you'll use hammer-ons and pull-offs to blaze a lick on a single string.

5:32 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

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Diamond Empire Band

  • Denver, Colorado
  • Playing since 2009
  • 179 lessons at JamPlay

Reviews & Feedback 100/100 with 47 ratings


dave scott

good course and teacher


William has a goal for me to reach for this lesson and he is clear about it and he is clear about teaching it.