Technique Rules - February 2001
Now it's time to warm up the fingers!
I will give you some "classic" runs for practice (Exercise 1)
using the scale shapes I have previously spoken of (see
Nov. 2000). It's a very basic exercise for "alternate
picking" but also the one that I find most effective. Apart from
developing your right hand picking technique at the same time you are
covering a diatonic scale (C- major) all across the neck.
I explained the "right hand movement" in the previous
column (Jan 2001) so
check it out first before you start the Exercise 1! Remember, it's
"alternate picking" so it's going to be "up &
down" movement all the time with your right hand. I would advice
you to make sure you start with a "down stroke" and that you
don't lose the "up & down" pace when you switch from one
position to another (on the 1st and 6th E strings). Start slow and make
sure that your picking is correct and speed up gradually latter on. Try
to do this exercise at least 20 min. every day. I played the example up
to the 19th fret (from the "first" shape to its octave-up
"replica" and back) but you can go further if you want…The
exercise is also meant to be played "perpetually" so you don't
have to stop where I have but instead continue.
The second exercise (Exercise 2) is about playing long arpeggio lines
across all 6 strings all over the neck. I took an A-major arpeggio as an
example. The technique used is sweep picking (utilized by many great
players). The "idea" is to make only "across 6 strings
up/down movement" with your picking hand without (almost) ANY
alternate picking involved. Check out the "transitions" when I
shift from one position to another, on the way back from the 2nd string
to the 1st (and also while going from 5th string to the 6th). I am
"skipping" one note there and that makes it easier (and sounds
more interesting) to play and "turn around".
Practice all this slow to make sure that you are playing everything
right before you speed up. Do warm up before starting to practice (at
least 5 minutes) and stop practicing (for the day) if you feel any pain
in your fingers, hands or arms.
Enjoy these beautiful exercises!
Tab For Technique Rules, Feb 2001
Note: Links to MP3's for each
are available form their respective page!