technique

One of modern rock’s most buzzed-about shredders shares his insights on an often-misunderstood topic.

Chops: Intermediate/Advanced
Theory: Intermediate
Lesson Overview:
• Develop proper sweep-picking technique.
• Learn how to move across two, three, and four strings.
• Create diatonic shapes that move up and down the entire fretboard.

Click here to download a printable PDF of this lesson's notation.

This lesson is about my bittersweet relationship with sweep picking. To be honest, sweep picking has always scared the ever-living crap out of me (and it still does). For whatever reason, it has taken years for me to find any use for it. It’s only recently I’ve found myself applying the technique here and there, kind of like a loose light bulb flickering on and off.

Well, I finally put on my big-boy pants and started tackling it, or rather, it started tackling me.

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Khruangbin, from left to right: guitarist Mark Speer, bassist Laura Lee Ochoa, and drummer Donald “DJ” Johnson Jr.

Photo by David Black

On the eclectic instrumental band’s newest, A LA SALA, the bassist pledges to “just play what sounds good and what feels good.”

“Bass playing is like humming to me,” says Khruangbin’s Laura Lee Ochoa. “I hum to myself all the time. It’s very in-your-body. It’s also one note, it can be as melodic as I want it to be, and it’s simple. It was something that just resonated with me.”

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Learning how to safely use a router is the key to this easy DIY project that you can do in an afternoon, yielding a different menu of tones.

The barrier between “I'll do it myself” and “my repair person will deal with this” often seems to lie at the point where power tools get involved—specifically one: the dreaded router. Since I enjoy encouraging those so inclined to challenge themselves, I believe that the router is a tool to be respected and not feared, and that, yes, you can actually do the pickup replacement we’re discussing here yourself.

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