Rethink your approach to pentatonic shapes by pushing the limits of your picking.

Chops: Advanced
Theory: Beginner
Lesson Overview:
• Visualize different string groupings for pentatonic scales.
• Understand the basics of economy picking.
• Learn how to create lines in the style of Eric Johnson, Shawn Lane, and Joe Bonamassa. Click here to download a printable PDF of this lesson's notation.

When I first heard about economy picking, the simplicity intrigued me. The concept is relatively straightforward: After a downstroke, if you’re moving to a higher string, you make another downstroke. If you travel to a lower string, that requires an upstroke. Many beginners often intuitively do this. It wasn’t until a bit later that I adopted a regimen of strict alternate picking for scales and sweep picking for arpeggios. But the idea of economy picking echoed in my mind. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have one picking style that could fluidly transition from arpeggios to scales? As time went on, I explored players like Django Reinhardt, Frank Gambale, and George Bellas, and economy picking naturally found its way into more of my technique.

I want to preface this lesson by saying this picking option may be a useful addition to what you do, but not necessarily replace your picking style.

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