Sort Out Your Pick­ing Al­ter­nate Pick­ing

Still promis­ing your­self a bet­ter pick­ing tech­nique? Stop dream­ing and make it a re­al­ity with our new three-part se­ries! In this first in­stal­ment, Phil Capone shows you how to quickly de­velop a fast and ef­fi­cient al­ter­nate pick­ing tech­nique.

Guitar Techniques - - PL&AY: PICKING -

Play­ing fast is fun and can add ex­tra ex­cite­ment and cli­matic po­ten­tial to your so­los. no sur­prise, then, that it’s top of most gui­tarists’ tech­nique wish list. Un­for­tu­nately, many play­ers fail to achieve their dream be­cause they ap­proach the prob­lem from the wrong per­spec­tive; play­ing fast is not just about fast pick­ing, it’s about the co­or­di­na­tion be­tween your fret­ting fin­gers and your pick. So it’s vi­tally im­por­tant to en­sure that your fret­ting hand is work­ing as ef­fi­ciently as pos­si­ble too. the ex­er­cises in this ar­ti­cle are de­signed to help you build a slick fret­ting hand tech­nique (with good fin­ger in­de­pen­dence) as well as im­prov­ing your al­ter­nate pick­ing speed. the best news is that you don’t have to spend hours prac­tis­ing; use these ex­er­cises as part of your daily warm-up rou­tine and you should see im­prove­ments in your al­ter­nate pick­ing (whether slow or fast) in no time.

it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that vir­tu­oso mu­si­cians al­ways play rhyth­mi­cally, even when play­ing fast; sub­di­vid­ing the beat pre­cisely and ac­cu­rately. let’s for­get about rock’n’roll and the elec­tric guitar for a minute and delve into the world of jazz. Char­lie Parker pi­o­neered be­bop ‘dou­ble time’ phras­ing by play­ing light­ning flur­ries of 16th notes with the same con­sid­ered note con­tent and rhyth­mic ac­cu­racy as his eighth-note licks. His pi­o­neer­ing tech­nique re­mains a cru­cial part of jazz im­pro­vi­sa­tion to this day. so think like Bird: the best way to ap­proach fast licks is to al­ways be aware of the sub­di­vi­sion you are play­ing, be it triplets, 16ths or sex­tu­plets. With­out the im­por­tant el­e­ment of rhythm, your fast lines will just sound like a ran­dom note gen­er­a­tor on acid!

You may find some of the work­outs here quite tricky; don’t worry if you do, they are de­signed to chal­lenge as­pect of your tech­nique. the best way to start is by grab­bing your metronome (and you should

prac­tise with a metronome!) and slow down the tempo by 10 or 20 bpm, or to what­ever tempo you can com­fort­ably play the ex­am­ple you’re work­ing on. Build speed grad­u­ally (and be pa­tient as this may take a while for the faster ex­er­cises) un­til you can play along with the back­ing tracks. By start­ing slowly in this way you will also be able to mon­i­tor your hands more care­fully, en­sur­ing that you are cor­rect­ing any weak­nesses and build­ing a strong and ac­cu­rate tech­nique. Ex­er­cises 1-4 fo­cus on one-string pick­ing, al­low­ing you to de­velop your pick­ing hand tech­nique. Ex­er­cises 5-8 fo­cus on two-string ex­er­cises, ad­dress­ing the prob­lems en­coun­tered when cross­ing from one string to another. Ex­er­cises 9-12 ex­pand this chal­lenge across three strings. Ex­er­cises 13-18 ad­dress the is­sue of skip­ping be­tween non­ad­ja­cent strings, while ex­er­cise 19 is a fi­nal work­out that com­bines sin­gle-string and mul­ti­ple string pick­ing chal­lenges.

you don’t need to play all the ex­er­cises in one ses­sion; in fact, it’s bet­ter to pick one or two from each sec­tion and spend just five min­utes on each. What’s most im­por­tant is that you prac­tise these on a daily ba­sis as part of your warm-up rou­tine.

I had strug­gled with al­ter­nate pick­ing for a very long time. I never thought I could do it. Paul Gil­bert

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.