Picking 20

Animated Picking 20 tab by ActionTab on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This exercise comes from the Core Skills section on Picking.

Scales are great finger practice, but can become monotonous after a while. Even though we make tunes out of them, they aren't very tuneful just by themselves. Here's a great scale practice technique for making scales more fun to practice. There are a few different names for this technique, but step pattern is what we shall call it - because that's what it is!

In the last exercise we learned the E pentatonic minor scale. Here we play the same scale - but we apply a step pattern. Last time we just played through each note in the sequence order they appear in the scale: E G A B D E etc

A step pattern alters the order in which we play the notes. We apply a simple repeating pattern. In this example we play up the scale in patterns of 3's - and repeat the pattern starting from the next note along in the scale:

E Pentatonic Minor Scale: E G A B D E G A B D E (through 2 registers)

3 Step pattern (what we play in this exercise):

E G A
- G A B
- - A B D
- - - B D E
- - - - D E G
- - - - - E G A
- - - - - - G A B
- - - - - - - A B D
- - - - - - - - B D E

Listen to the 3-step pattern. The normal speed audio (found under Tools in the menu bar) lets you hear the step pattern played fast - this is to show you the effect of a step pattern, and give you something to aim towards with getting speedy at alternate picking.

You can apply this step pattern to any scale you wish. and really get creative by making your own patterns. You can step along in 4's or play in 5's and start from 2 notes along in the scale, there are many fun variations to explore. This technique is a great way of familiarising yourself with scales, and with enough practice you should find your alternate picking becoming more automatic. You'll also learn some sweet guitar shreds!

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