Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Guitar Picking Techniques Pentatonic Scale Sequence

I like the alternate picking exercise you cover in your Pentatonic Scale DVD that you do in groups of 3 notes.

My question is how would you approach the same exercise but in groups of 4 notes (i.e. sixteenth notes)? Would you maintain alternate picking starting on a downstroke ascending, then starting on an upstroke descending as you did on the DVD?

Playing around using a four-note pattern instead of three, I found it more difficult to make it flow smoothly with alternate picking.

My books and DVDs focus more on the topic of guitar theory, but I'll try to address this guitar picking techniques question anyway.

Picking the pentatonic scale in sequences of four notes is definitely more difficult than the three note sequence I usually start guitar players with. Not only is it more work for your picking hand, but the fingers you fret with have to scramble to grab all the notes. It's a bit like playing twister on the fretboard. You'll have to change the way you finger the pattern.

You still should continuously alternate your pick, without skipping or repeating any strokes. I recommend you start with the downstroke at first regardless of whether you're playing up or down the pattern. Once you master the picking sequence, you can starting each way on an upstroke. Again,continuously alternate your pick, without skipping or repeating any strokes.

The purpose of practicing picking by starting with both down and up strokes is to prepare you for whatever situation may come up while playing melodies, riffs, and solos. However you start off, you should be able to continue with alternating your pick.

Play Until Yer Fingers Bleed!
Desi Serna (Google me!)
Scales, Chords, Progressions, and More

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