May 6, 2008

Melodic Guitar Exercise No. 1

Melodic Guitar Exercise No. 1

We're going to take a break from the mundane, or "average" sounding speed developing, picking pattern and go for something that I think you will thoroughly enjoy.

I'm going to give you a real good one. I play this over and over again, when I feel like relaxing.

The first thing that you should know about this next exercise, is that it is melodically constructed. Its an original, like many of the exercises to come. Just picking can be boring and exercises don't have to be boring at all.

You will notice, right away, that this guitar exercise does wonderful things for the picking hand.

1. The 1st pattern is a standard 4 stroke pattern.

2. The 2nd pattern is a standard 4 stroke pattern, with a minute change in the fretting hand.

3. The 3rd pattern is a standard 4 stroke pattern, except that it shifts, so that it is descending rather than ascending, causing your picking hand to accomodate the fretting hand.

4. The 4th pattern returns to the standard 4 stroke approach.

5. The 5th pattern is standard but requires your fretting hand to make an accurate, whole tone leap (2 fret step-down), at the same time causing your ring finger to make
an interesting adjustment.

6. The 6th pattern is a standard 4 stroke, but makes an even greater leap to F(3rd fret).

7. The 7th pattern is standard 4 stroke, however it includes D, which is an open string, and this creates a noticeable difference in how the picking hand responds.

8. The 8th and last pattern is completely different. It comes straight down across three strings, and in order to make the fluid round, requires that your picking hand skip the the middle string. So, we're bringing string skipping in as well, which is an excellent strategy.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Notes: Play it slow and don't cheat. Make sure that when
a pattern changes, the change itself is in timing.
Again, use a metronome - we have them for a reason.
The most important thing about this exercise, is
that it is like a passage from a song. To you, this
means, that it will sound pleasant to the ears, even
if played slowly. You won't care if you're playing
it really slow, because it'll sound good. This will
encourage you, especially if you are a new guitarist,
to work your way up to the proper speed. This is
the best gift that I can give to you, and I will
be giving you many, many more gifts like this :)

Have fun!

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