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Date this web site was last edited:  12/06/2015







"Super Lick" as Played & Transcribed by Julian Smith 
(And, BOY, does he play it!)   


Of all the wonderful "licks" that Chet Atkins created (or, borrowed) and used very effectively throughout his arrangements, the "super lick" is the one that brings the most "WOWs" from the listening audiences.  It is a two-beat rapid fire run of 7 or 8 notes up the scale - followed by and equally "quick" dissention back down the same scale.  Most notable, they can be heard in the endings of Foggy Mountain Top and Copper Kettle. However, they can be inserted in any peppy tune wherever the player would like to "wow" the crowd.  (Not THIS player - but, with some practice and several more years of it - I, too, may be able to at least :wow" ma'self.)

The "super lick" isn't for the faint hearted or beginner guitarist, nor does everybody that takes a whack at them play them very well.  All the really good players have a version of them, but none more clearly than our good friend and brilliant guitarist Julian Smith from Bowdon, Georgia.  They don't all play them the same way, but Julian makes it look so "easy" that I asked him if he would share his method with us... Our heartfelt thanks to JS for taking time to work up this tab.  (The numbers in parenthesis (n) are the left hand fingers he uses:)

           p……….……………………….…..>< p…………………………………………..<
1     ----------------------------------7(1)------12(4)------7(1)----------------------------------------------------------
2     ----------------------9(2bar)-----------------------------------9(2bar)-------------------------------------
3     ----------------------9(2bar)-----------------------------------9(2bar)-------------------------------------
6     --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

@5          7_____11  Hammer-on
@1          7_____12   Hammer-on
@1         12_____7     Pull-off
@5         11_____7     Pull-off

p  = thumb          >  down stroke      <  up stroke

Note:  The hammer-on’s and pull-off’s are done in conjunction with the sweeping motion of the thumb pick.  They are so fast that the pick actually contacts the string string at the same time the hammer-on’s and pull-off’s occur.   Position the thumb pick near the end of the fret board for the best tone.  The strings are softer at that position.