Monday, January 16, 2012

Intermediate - Advanced: String Skipping Excercise

  Here it is guys, short and sweet, but an essential excercise for both the left and right hands, moreso the right, but the left is getting it's fair share of work too. You only play one note during the whole hard can it be...;) You'll never think the same way about E again!!

 -Start slow! Try 80-90bpm before warming up to 120bpm and beyond! -Palm mute that E string! (Palm muting the E on the D string is optional - try alternating each time)

 -Try Alternating between accenting the E played on the D string, and playing the high-E, observe the tonal differences.

-Play to a click! (PLEASE) -Don't be intimidated by the single then double string skip, keep a close eye on your picking hand - make sure the tip of your pick isn't moving beyond what is necessary to pick from the low E, to the D(string), to the high E -Use strict alternate picking throughout

   -->>> And here's the "advanced" part of the lesson, probably the most useful / important part I think Economy of Motion This phrase 'economy of motion' will be mentioned and leaned up heavily through this series of lessons found anywhere on my blog. It represents a certain finesse, in other words, using the least possible amount of motion and energy (with precision) to attain the notes you are trying to play. (*A guitar is a musical instrument, essentially a device carved from wood with some electric components popped in for some simple purpose. Music? Yes obviously, but more importantly the guitar is a tonal sound reproduction device. It is simply a tool to produce sounds waves. I guess what I'm saying is a capable guitar (and they aren't as few and far between as one would think) in the right hands could sound jaw-droppingly amazing being played fluidly and correctly, and in someone else's hands, that same guitar could be played in a fashion that didn't leave good impressions (for the guitar AND the player - i'm sure we've all witnessed this in a sense..)

   Enough rambling - The pictures below demonstrate economy of motion applied to this excercise, the points where the grey line (pick) crosses the black line (the string) are when the pick hits the string. Simple enough? The whole point of these silly little .jpgs are to demonstrate how you should visualize WHERE THE TIP OF YOUR PICK IS AT ALL TIMES (bar legato)...scrutinize your picking hand and nitpick every unnecessary motion or movement or whatever - just remember be as comfortable as possible when picking...don't grasp the pick too tight - nor should you hold too much tension in your picking (or fretting) hand. Simple points, picking moving too far beyond given string = more time to get to the next desired string = fractions of a second 'latency' or 'lag time' before you hit that next note, a.k.a. BAD TIMING, and yes, to a developed ear, timing discrepancy from 60 milliseconds down to 20, 15, maybe even 10 and below can be detected - and your sound will reflect it mercilessly. Enough rambling part 2 - Here are the pics Rectangles Containing 6 Lines, representing the strings of a 6 string guitar, regarding the MOTION OF THE TIP OF YOUR GUITAR PICK... From top to bottom, E,B,G,D,A,E, and from bottom to Top, E,A,D,G,B,E...i'm sure you already know this. But for those who don't......
 This image demonstrates (obviously exaggerated) an un-economical economy of motion (
  The above image depicts an approximation of the ideal 'economy' you should be aiming for. -Bonus points if you practice this to a click ON CLEAN CHANNEL This could have easily been three different posts, you're welcome :) **Note** I did not mention dynamics and how EoM (Economy of Motion) applies/negates dynamics in certain instances, so I had to throw that in there for those of you (who might not even read this) would shoot me down like a (bird that gets shot down alot) ... ... Enjoy! **DoubleNote PostPostScriptThing** I AM NEW TO BLOGGING!! Please download or enlarge the pictures I have provided for you! I couldn't make them bigger than they were ! :( :( :( If someone has any suggestions on how to do that...please let me know! *edit* ... The Economy of motion pictures ( Grey / Red Line) show FOUR SETS OF NOTES PER STRING I did not intend to do this, feel free to practice this way, but my point is still being made about EoM. Sorry!


  1. Formatting is absolutely terrible, i'll fix it tomorrow - i'm tired and it's 6 am

  2. Edit.. 2 EoM Pictures (red / grey lines) depict 4 notes per string, where the exercise clearly shows two - feel free to practice either way, the point is still being made, 4 note groups might be easier than 2 for some.

    Sorry about the confusion i'm a new blogger.

  3. ^ Dont worry about it! Still a great read :D

  4. following this post you should make a thread about improving alternate picking "inside" and "outside" the box, i know many people struggle with this problem, youre welcome :)

  5. Excellent's very in-depth. I appreciate the diagrams outlining the movement of the pick - nothing here is vague! This is how a lesson should be! Now all we're missing is seeing you play it :P