30 Outside the Box Rock Licks

Genre and Style Guitar Course from Mark Kroos

Been jamming for a while and looking to spice up your rock playing? Mark Kroos invites you to get these 30 show-stopping rock licks under your fingers! He'll guide you through a host of useful techniques and tools to help enhance your playing over an army of scales and arpeggios that perhaps you've never played before to help create a more versatile and complete rocker!

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

Mark will take you through a variety of different licks that are based mostly in the Dorian and Mixolydian modes utilizing bends and hammer-ons. We'll then move on to incorporate some new techniques such as tapping, cascading, and touch harmonics to enhance our skills in the rock genre. Let's grab our guitars and start rocking!



Mark introduces us to '30 Outside the Box Rock Licks'!

3:54 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Melodic Minor Lick

For our first lick, Mark uses the Melodic Minor scale.

3:07 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Lydian Dominant

This lick encompasses the Lydian Dominant scale which is very similar to the Mixolydian Mode.

3:06 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Whole Tone Pattern

For this lick, we will be using the whole tone scale which will use a repeated figure throughout the lick.

4:53 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Diminished Scale Riff

We move on to the diminished scale for this next lick which will be played over a C7 chord.

4:37 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Quirky Descending Triad Riff

This lick will use augmented triads and diatonic triads to create tension and resolution throughout the riff.

5:51 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Diminished Scale Triplet Run

For this lick, Mark will incorporate some triplets in the Diminished Scale.

4:39 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Upward Muted Sweep

Mark shows us a technique that has us muting the strings with our right hand as we sweep with our picking hand.

4:50 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Single String Triplet Chuck

Using the last two lessons as a foundation, Mark helps us build our skills by incorporating triplets, muting, and sweeping in this lick.

4:23 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Octave Lines with Triplets

For this lick, Mark shows how to use a somewhat sloppy fretting technique to acquire the sound we are looking for.

4:37 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Alternating Em and D Arpeggio Ascending

We use triad shapes for this lick, incorporating arpeggios throughout the piece!

6:43 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Alternating A and G Arpeggios

We continue to use arpeggios in this lick but this time on alternating major chords, Mark also incorporates hybrid picking.

6:19 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Juicy Bm9 Riff, wide range

This lick has a couple of different moving parts to break down, it's centered around an A minor 9 arpeggio and uses a bit of the pentatonic scale as well.

5:34 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Tiny Tap

We explore a few different voicings and a tiny tap technique in this lick, giving it a unique sound!

5:16 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Diminished Arpeggio! And it Moves!

For this fast-paced lick, we use a fully diminished 7th arpeggio that will be a moveable shape.

5:20 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Ascending Sweeps

For this lick, we will alternate between G minor sweeps and C major sweeps that will generate a C9 chord sound.

5:30 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


C#m and G#m Sweeps

Let's add some more sweeps to our toolbox! This time we will alternate C#m arpeggios and G#m arpeggios.

5:07 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Descending Dorian Double Stops

For this lick, we use double stops on the Dorian mode.

4:25 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Ascending 6ths and 7ths

This lick has a powerful melody comprised of 6ths and 7ths that can be used in a lot of real-world playing minor scenarios.

4:49 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


A7 Double Stop Riff

We move on to a lick that is based around an A7 chord as well as the Mixolydian mode.

5:28 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Minor Descending Thirds

Let's pick up the pace with this next double stop lick that uses the Dorian mode.

4:23 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Half Step Harmonized Bends

Mark helps us add another tool to our musical toolbox by walking us through some harmonized bends within this lick.

5:40 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


E Minor Tap Riff

For this lick, we incorporate some tapping techniques along with a technique called cascading.

5:48 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Tap Bends

This lick will have us building on our tapping skills as well as adding some bending into the mix!

4:24 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Alternating Tap Arpeggios

Ready for some more tapping? For this lick, Mark guides us on how to tap arpeggios on a single string.

5:02 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Hold a Bend, Tap an Arpeggio

Now that we have the foundation for bending and tapping, let's build on that in this next lick where we will hold a bend and tap arpeggios!

3:44 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Highly Legato Tap Melody

For this lick, Mark walks us through a tapping a legato which is a flowing connected melody.

4:54 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Minor Cascade

Mark helps us build upon our cascading technique in this lick!

5:09 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Tapped Diminished Arpeggio

This lick will have us playing a fully diminished 7th Arpeggio over a dominant 7th chord as we add tapping throughout!

4:48 Runtime

4.5 Difficulty


Touch Harmonics

As we near the end of our course, Mark adds another tool to our repertoire with touch harmonics!

4:24 Runtime

4.5 Difficulty


Harp Harmonics and Bending

For our last lick we put all of the skills together we have acquired over this course along with incorporating one last technique called harp harmonics.

5:41 Runtime

4.5 Difficulty

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Mark Kroos

  • Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Playing since 1998
  • 132 lessons at JamPlay
Mark Kroos plays 2 guitar necks at the same time. Originally from Lansing, MI but currently based in Williamsburg, VA he is one of the only people in the world touring his trade.

Mark Kroos plays 2 guitar necks at the same time. Originally from Lansing, MI but currently based in Williamsburg, VA he is one of the only people in the world touring his trade. His primarily instrumental style is characterized by open harmonies, polyphonic textures, incredible tapping technique, and is as entertaining to watch as it is to listen to. Live performances burst with energy and magnetism not typical of solo guitar music. Drawing influence from folk, Celtic, indie, and even punk rock artists as well as other great guitarists such as Michael Hedges, Phil Keaggy, Tommy Emmanuel and Leo Kottke, Mark Kroos has developed his own edge to the acoustic guitar.
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