(27 Apr 02)
Steve Morse - Tech Tip No.2 (10-10-1998)
A left hand-exercise...
Let´s try a left hand exercise that will improve your strength and melodic options. To keep the notes easy to describe, I´ll describe an exercise in G
major, but obviously, it can be anywhere in any key.
L.H. first finger on the 8th fret of the 2nd string is the beginning note (G) 3rd finger on the 10th fret of the same string is next (A). Now bend that note up a whole step (Two frets worth- to a B) without picking the string again. Don´t let up until you play the next note (C) First finger on the 8th fret of the 1st string next (C), you can release the bend on the 2nd string, or keep it ringing for a country steel effect. 3rd finger (or 4th) on the 10th fret is (D).
Now, come back down the scale to (C) but pre bend the A to a B before you strike the 2nd string. You´ll pick the bent B but just release the bend to make the A note instead of using the pick. Strike the beginning note to finish.
The idea is to make the bend exactly in time so that you reach the target when you would normally strike the note with a pick. But instead of hearing a normal
picked note, you have a note smoothly rising (or descending, on the way down the pattern) which gives a nice soulful, human quality.