Creating new licks and sequences using string skipping, barring, and hammer-ons from nowhere.
After covering various techniques
and approaches over
the past few columns, I figure it
might be fun to combine some
of these ideas to create new licks
and sequences. In the following
examples, I’ll combine string
skipping, barring, and hammer-ons
Fig. 1 involves the use of a diminished arpeggio sequence that merges all three of the above concepts. The combination of big interval jumps generated by string skipping and the hyper-speed possibilities provided by the barre, creates the potential for an insane-sounding result.
To play these examples, I recommend hybrid picking (plucking strings with one or more of the available picking-hand fingers in addition to the pick), as it makes it easier for you to execute these ideas and make them sound tighter.
Fig. 2 is a long melodic exercise that also combines barring and string skipping. In this example, we’re outlining a classic chord progression in the key of D major using major and minor triad arpeggios. This passage is designed with a triplet feel and alternates between two very distinctive 12-note sequences.
The arpeggiated F# minor triad involves a huge stretch between the 10th and 16th frets. If you find this physically impossible, simply change the F# (16th fret, 4th string) to E (14th fret, 4th string). It will no longer be a genuine arpeggio, but it will still sound great. The overall concept is much more important than the actual notes.
Combining these techniques yields many possibilities, so I recommend experimenting on your own. You may be surprised with what you discover.
Greg Howe has enjoyed a successful recording career since bursting onto the scene in 1988. His talents have been sought out by some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, including Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, and Enrique Iglesias.