Picking Exercise #1

I used to post guitar lessons on http://guitaringmoregoodly.blogspot.com, and when I moved to WordPress I promised to do some here. Then I got too busy with the film to actually do that. However, while practicing today, I came up with an exercise that I must share. It tackles many areas most guitarists suck at: alternate picking, inside picking, outside picking, quintuplets, septuplets, pinky strength, and finger stretching.

First, a quick note about triplets, quintuplets, and septuplets. For those of you honing your alternate picking skills, make sure your practice regimen includes a lot of these. This is because if you repeat a triplet, quint, or sept lick over and over, you play each note with an opposite stroke each time. For instance:

A-----7-
E-5-8---

Looping the above lick with strict alternate picking, you’d go DUD, UDU, DUD, UDU, etc. (D= Downstroke, U= Upstroke.)

The following exercise uses quintuplets. At the end I’ll show you a way of modifying it to use septuplets as well:

D-----------7-
A----7-9-10---
E-10----------

Play the above to a metronome, 5 notes per beat.

Here are some variations of the same lick concept to try as well:

D-----------7-
A----7-8-10---
E-10----------


D-----------6-
A----6-9-10---
E-10----------


D-----------6-
A----6-8-10---
E-10----------


D-----------5-
A----5-9-10---
E-10----------


D-----------5-
A----5-8-10---
E-10----------

You can also turn any of these licks into septuplet licks by repeating the 3rd and 4th notes, e.g.:

D----------------7-
A----7-9-10-9-10---
E-10---------------

Hope you enjoy the exercise! Also, any one of these exercises can be practiced backwards as well. Do so for added benefit.

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