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Technique Rules! - February 2001
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