2 Picking Exercises
(05 Jul 02)
OK, this picking-workout is a great tool to work on your alternate picking technique. I know cuz I taught it to some of my students, and it helped to improve quite a bit.
Some general performance-notes:
Steve likes to focus on little problems when they occur. That means, when he finds a problem while playing, he isolates it and works on it on its own. This whole "etude" will force you to do the same.
Because: you can use each bar on it´s own as a great exercise to work on different aspects of your picking-technique. Try it. Repeat each bar several times before you skip to the next one.
Once you are familiar with each segment, work your way through the whole etude slowly. The exercise is very difficult because it consists of many different parts, but it will bring results if you keep working on it. Here we go with the first two bars:
Start each bar with an upstroke and keep up constant alternate-picking. Notice what happens throughout bar 1... you´re picking the first note of the first triple note-figure with a downstroke, the first note of the second one with an upstroke etc. Get used to it, it´s really great. Most people tend to use downstrokes on all the downbeats, but the approach used here might help you to develop more accuracy and speed because you gotta keep up constant alternate picking.
Bar 2 consists of arpeggios played with alternate picking... that might feel unusual but is a good chopbuilder too and in my opinion, is rhythmically more accurate than sweep-picking.
Not much to mention about bars 3 ( which is a variation of bar 1 )& 4. Just make sure you make each note sound good. Once you get used to constant alternate picking, you might be able to stop focussing on it...
Bars 5 & 6 consists of arpeggios again.
The 3 string-arpeggios in bar 7 might feel unusual when played with strict alternate picking, but do so anyway
Here is the rest of the exercise:
Have a look at each bar on it´s own, play through each one several times. Each bar focusses on a specific problem of alternate picking. Get familiar with each one of them before you try to tackle the whole exercise.
Try to find what is most useful for you and include it into your practising- routine. This workout will surely help you to develop your alternate picking a bit more, so you can play lots of different kinds of licks with it.
Again: accuracy and a good sound is more important than the speed... make sure it sounds good and each note comes out clean before you speed up the whole exercise. Don´t forget to use a metronome !
"Arpeggio Workout" and "Picking Workout" written by Steve Morse. Used with permission. TAB / Notation and additional comments by Eric Vandenberg