picking

Intermediate

Beginner

  • Develop a better sense of articulation.
  • Learn how to combine sweep picking, alternate picking, legato, and economy picking.
  • Create phrases that better align with the emotional expression of the music you’re playing.
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I remember seeing John Petrucci’s Rock Discipline DVD when I was a teenager and his advice on practicing really stuck with me. Now, I don’t remember any of the specific exercises from that video, but his method for splitting up your allotted practice time was really interesting. According to John, he would divide his time up equally between areas like alternate picking, sweep picking, legato, and tapping. It’s a straightforward idea, and it obviously worked for him, but I want to propose a different approach. I’d like to try to change the way you might think about technique and your technique practice.

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Just take your musical vitamins!

Intermediate

Beginner

•Create a goal-oriented warm-up routine.
• Learn to outline all 12 major scales in a single position.
• Develop an understanding of tremolo picking, quintuplets, and the chromatic scale.

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Warm-ups aren’t just about limbering up your fingers. Warming up helps with focus and confidence. It’s difficult to go into a performance cold. Whether it’s a Broadway show, a Carnegie Hall performance, a bar gig, or any formal or informal setting, you need a warm-up routine. Like a runner who needs to stretch before a competition, a musician needs to get their mind and body ready before a performance. Though there is a flood of method books on the market along with YouTube tricks and tips, there is no standard canon of technical exercises available for electric guitar. As a professional guitarist over the years, I’ve seen the need for an effective, comprehensive, yet quick warm-up routine.

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It doesn’t have to be all cowboy boots and yee-haws!

Intermediate

Beginner

• Learn how to comp using hybrid picking.
• Add nuance to your playing by combining pick and finger string attacks.
• Add speed and fluidity to your lead playing.

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The first thing most guitarists think of when they hear the phrase “hybrid picking” is undoubtedly twangy Telecasters. While that may be the most common use of hybrid picking, it is far from the only application. Diving into hybrid picking opens a whole new world of control, timbre possibilities, ideas, speed, and more.

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