91 - 93 Advanced Guitar Techniques

Advanced Guitar Techniques

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A Mix Of Scales Using Various Picking Techniques

Fun with various scales this week, using more advanced picking techniques. What is an advanced picking technique? I believe that if you think of any technique as being 'advanced', it could well hold you up in your development. Focus on the notes you are playing and listen to the sound you are producing and the technique will take care of itself.

The Technique Will Take Care Of Itself!?!

OK, so that last statement sounded a bit Zen and makes it sound like some mystical method of practising your guitar. So what am I talking about?

I often find that my students will focus on the micro elements of developing technique and forget the big picture; does what you are playing actually sound good?

Although thinking about the most efficient hand movements to execute various 'advanced' picking techniques is important, listening to the notes and how they sound often gets overlooked. By listening to the sound of each note - if the tone is good, if the notes are ringing for the correct length, the volume at which each note is being played, etc., the technique will usually improve on its own.

Give it a try. The next time you are working on some intricate and difficult musical passage, try practising with your ears rather than your brain and let the sound dictate what changes your body needs to make to achieve the targeted goal.

My free, no-strings-attached weekly guitar lick analysis is a great resource that will help you understand what you are playing. Did I mention it is totally free?

Blues Scale Sweep And Alternate Picking

This lick uses a combination of sweep picking and alternate picking to create a smooth-sounding, speed lick.

When sweep picking (economy picking) pentatonic and blues scales, I will often play 3 notes on a string. The left-hand fingering is usually a stretch, although it allows the pick to glide over the strings nicely.

When sweep picking, think of the right hand performing a controlled strum. The left hand provides note separation.

Harmonic Minor Scale 9 Note Sequence

This lick requires accurate alternate picking. You could add some economy picking into the mix, although even if you become a great sweep-picking guitarist, you still need to have a solid alternate picking technique.

Melodic Minor Triads Over A7

The melodic minor scale has so many great melodic possibilities and I love the sound it creates.

If you know the diatonic triads and seventh arpeggios contained within the melodic minor scale, some inventive ideas can be generated.

This lick uses two major triads blended together to create an interesting ascending phrase.

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