How cool would it be to be able to play fast phrases in your solos? It would be fantastic! Right?
Well, in this lesson I’ll show you how to power up your alternate picking technique with some simple exercises.
Don’t forget to Get Your Free ‘Alternate Picking Workout Guide’ Featuring Full TAB For This Lesson!
Alternate Picking Guitar Lesson and Workout
0:14 Hear me demonstrate the alternate picking workout I’m going to teach you in this guitar lesson. It looks complicated but is super quick and easy to learn and will help you develop your picking technique and speed up your guitar playing!
1:15 Super important principles you need to know about alternate picking! Your picking hand, elbow, wrist and arm need to be relaxed and free from tension. This will fight you and lead to poor tone, rhythm and control. Also use just the tip of the plectrum or pick. Keep your picking hand very close to the guitar strings and develop the ability to pick with small, controlled and even up and down picks. This might not happen instantly – but regular picking practice on your guitar WILL pay off!
2:22 Many people focus exclusively on their picking hand when working out on their alternate picking but remember your fretboard hand has to be able to keep up! Keep your fingers near to the finger board and the guitar strings so their isn’t lots of extra movement. This will slow down your picking and affect your picking fluency.
3:40 Alternate picking exercise and workout. I’ll take you through it in stages as the exercise can basically be broken into 3 parts. It’s very chromatic in nature and not particularly musical sounding but it will help you develop good alternate picking.
3:56 Here you learn the first part of the picking workout. Make sure you’re following the strict alternate picking pattern of continuous down and up picks! This pattern uses all 4 fingers of your fretting hand too and will help you with your finger independence and fretboard accuracy.
6:26 Here you learn the second phrase in the alternate picking workout. Simlar to the first phrase but on the B string and top E string.
8:07 I’ll demonstrate the first 2 phrases put together here at a moderate tempo.
8:45 Here’s the final part of the alternate picking exercise. It’s all on the high E string and ascends and descends the string chromatically.
10:30 Summary of important points for your fretting hand and picking hand. The benefits of being able to use all 4 fretboard fingers.
11:08 Hear the whole picking workout played at a slow to moderate tempo.
12:13 Action plan for building your picking speed and making your picking rhythmic. This methods works for learning to play any lick or exercise faster. Use this in your practice routine and you’ll see great progress! You’ll probably see an increase in your playing speed in just a couple of minutes. To start with break up the picking exercise into each of the 3 phrases it uses. Find your cruising speed – this is the speed at which you can comfortably loop the lick or exercise around. Play the first part of the exercise once at this speed. Then play it twice, and when you’re ready play it 3 times. When you’ve got it try looping it round and round at this speed. Gradually increase the speed of your metronome ove your practice sessions. A good target speed for sixteenth notes 160 bpm (beats per minute) on your metronome.
15:06 How to make sure your playing is totally in time. This is a super important guitar tip so check it out!
16:00 Summary of how to practice the workout to boost your alternate picking.