View Full Version : Picking Sequence Exercises

08-06-2002, 12:29 AM
Descending E Minor Harmonic Triplets Ascending
Using octave type pattern for scale

08-06-2002, 12:31 AM
Alernating Descending and Ascending E Minor Harmonic Quintuplets Descending
Using octave type patterns.

12-18-2002, 01:21 PM
It seems like this thread should have generated some questions or comments, it had no replys the first time around. Trying again.
There are two Ideas going on here. One is to show the concept of generating mathematical sequences, th other is the use of octave type scales and the complexity of the picking that it creates.

12-18-2002, 09:45 PM
Interesting, but most people don't like 4 notes on one string! It's so much easier to switch strings than to switch hand positions.

The first pattern is fairly common in 80's rock. The second pattern of using 5 note groupings is much more interesting. It fools the ear into thinking that something more complex is happening.

Van Halen uses that type of 5 note grouping (but usually pentatonic based note selection) in many of his masterpieces, including Eruption.

12-19-2002, 06:03 AM
I don't switch had positions on these, I just stretch my index down and my pinky up. Also do you see the symmetry of these fingerings?
Can you give some examples of where you heard the first pattern before?

12-19-2002, 10:46 AM
Well I like 4 notes per string patterns(sometimes even more notes per string).

I like these ideas alot szulc,very cool ! Thanks for posting them.

I'll put these to good use as I'm a Harmonic minor fan.

Do you have any unusual ideas for diminished 7th arpeggio sequences ?


12-19-2002, 12:36 PM
Oh yes!

12-19-2002, 05:58 PM
:D ...thought you might

12-20-2002, 03:43 AM
James, unfortunately I can't remember where I heard the first pattern. I seem to think it's either Warren DeMartini or Jake E Lee that played something like that. It was also one of my main exercises when I was a teenager! That pattern takes a lot of effort to play cleanly and quickly, especially with the patterns that I use. I typically use diatonic or pentatonic ideas with that pattern, and it sounds good (to me) at warp speed.

I see the symmetry of those fingerings, but I must have a mental block with 4 notes per string. I can practice it fine, but it never comes out in my improv work.

Have you tried applying those ideas to a pure diminished scale? My ear wants to hear me play both: the C-B-C combination, and then also a Db-C-Db combination.

12-20-2002, 04:57 AM
Dim 7th Sequences

12-20-2002, 04:59 AM
I have heard the pattern done using pentatonics but I haven't heard many example in a diatonic context.

12-20-2002, 05:00 AM
More Dim7 Sequences
16th notes Ascending
This is using 1-1 slides.
The fingering is 1 4 2 1(s)1 2 4 1.

12-20-2002, 05:01 AM
Dim7 16ths ascending again.
This is using 4-4 slides.
The fingering is 4 2 1 4(s)4 1 2 4.

12-20-2002, 05:02 AM
Dim7 Quintuplets Ascending.
This is using 4-4 and 1-1 slides.
The fingering is 1 4 2 1 4(S)4 1 2 4 1(S).

12-20-2002, 05:03 AM
Dim7 Quintuplets Descending.
is is using 4-4 and 1-1 slides.
The fingering is 4 1 2 4 1(S)1 4 2 1 4(S).

12-20-2002, 05:53 AM
Alright,very famialiar looking shape.I typically use this shape.Very easy to grasp this sequence.I can handle this one (cool).

Thanks for letting me know and thankyou for putting up the example.

Did you receive my pm, I wasn't sure how to send a reply?


12-20-2002, 06:01 AM
Infact I pretty much do this but the way you layed it out will make a good exercise !

12-20-2002, 07:40 AM
You posted a whole sh*/load of examples.OMG I totally overlooked these somehow...

Aiye aiye aiye...my phone was ringing off the hook and funked me all up.

Thankyou szulc for posting all of those...between this post and the other one speaking in tongues I've got my work cut out for me and plenty to study.I'll look all this stuff over and try out these examples.Again,thankyou!!


12-20-2002, 01:23 PM
I guess I should have posted my picking strokes here also.

In general when I do these I am sweeping. They are also supposed to be played very cleanly, but as fast as you can subdivide into 5. I could write a bunch on how to do this pattern as sextuplets or as 16ths but using the quintuplet pattern. (Accent Displacement)

12-22-2002, 03:40 AM
Hmmm... I was just thinking about James' reply:

I have heard the pattern done using pentatonics but I haven't heard many example in a diatonic context.

With most of the exercises and licks posted, I generally pick up on the phrasing and patterns of the idea. I then automatically translate it into sounds and scales I like to hear or play.

For example, an exercise might demonstrate a harmonic minor arpeggio sequence in 5/4 time. I rarely play harmonic minor anymore, so I extract the 5/4 phrasing and pattern information and think about how I'd use it myself.

If I dig way back into my past, I think that the Paul Gilbert Intense Rock video must have first brought this methodology into my world. He demonstrated a bunch of 3 note per string type licks using diatonic stuff, and then he applied it to pentatonic and blues scales. That video was playing in my house every day when I was in high school! (yeah, I also had PG posters on my wall:D I can't deny it!) Now it's just permanently etched into my brain...

Does anyone else's mind work this way?

p.s. Now I have SRV artwork on my walls

12-22-2002, 03:55 AM
While we're on the subject... Here's a Nuno lick from some intro. I can't remember which song (Mutha?), but when I first learned this lick it was the only thing I played for about a month!

It's a diminished arpeggio idea, but not in groupings of 5...

Of course, He Man Woman Hater and Flight of the Bumblebee were the same way. I've only played them about a million times, maybe close to two million by now!

12-22-2002, 03:57 AM
Oops. I think Nuno actually starts on the 13th and 16th frets. It's been awhile...

12-22-2002, 04:13 AM
Some of this might be tough to do this way without some RH tapping , due to the large stretches (13,7,10) (7,1,4).
I have really big hands but Gimme a Break!

12-22-2002, 04:49 AM
Actually its not that big of a stretch... I tried to add the fingerings in powertab, and it's just index finger and pinky! The trick is in the position changes, which is where Nuno's genius really kicks in.

Play the note on the 13th fret with your pinky, then zip your index finger down to get the note on the 7th fret. Now you can grab the note on the 10th fret with your pinky.

I'm not sure if I'm explaining this very well... A picture would be more efficient (more than words, anyway) <- now that's just a horrible way to abuse the name of a hit song :p

12-22-2002, 03:14 PM
My Mistake. I see where you have annotated the fingers.
What you are really talking about is 4-1 shifts into a lower position.
I think this is made more clear by notating 'slide into' for each of these position shifts.
While this may not be technically correct it gives a better roadmap to follow. See .ptb.

The most effective position shifts I have seen or used are 1-4 and 4-1, so it doesn't surprise me that Nuno has capitalized on this. Nuno has some very fast string skipping licks in the break at the beginning of 'Do you wanna play'(From Beethoven Mall Scene in 'Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure'). I wonder if he had a good teacher or just read a lot?

12-22-2002, 05:22 PM
Hey Bizarro...

you´re talking about the intro of "(Mutha) Don´t Wanna Go To School Today" ?
Check out the Powertab. I think you´re referring to the lick in measure 14...


12-22-2002, 08:58 PM

That lick is very similar. I found the source for the lick that I posted, it was in a Guitar World lesson with Nuno and they showed pics and tab. Nuno said it was similar to the Intro to Mutha you posted.

When my band played Mutha, I only played the first 11 measures of the Intro...

I think Nuno is self taught. He was a big fan of Al DiMeola (sp?) and Yngwie, and has mentioned in various interviews that he learned everything by ear and used to emulate those to guys when he was a kid.

He has said in various interviews that he's not a fan of tab and so on. He's more of an 'ear' guy. The guys at Stephen's Guitars in Seattle (Stephen's Extended Cutaway on the Washbrun N4) said he was incredibly musical and could play virtually any style of music on guitar, or other instruments for that matter.

12-23-2002, 01:06 AM

Your tab file does make it a bit clearer. I'm fairly new to tab programs so I haven't figured out all the details yet.

During the '91 tour, Nuno played part of the solo of "Play with Me" with just legato technique, and Gary was standing next to him "judging" his playing (thumbs up/down type of stuff). This was obviously a planned part of the show, but it was still very cool.

Maybe Eric saw this too?

I don't suppose anyone has the tab for that middle solo in Play With Me???? I never did figure out the whole thing, I just had the beginning and very end parts.:(

12-23-2002, 02:04 AM
I found a tab for this on the web but is is not correct (the notes are mosly right but the fingering is not ) When I get a chance I'll fix the parts I know correctly. If you look at my 2 not diatonic forms article I show (What I believe to be) the correct fingering for the first mordent part.

12-23-2002, 03:40 AM
I don't have the recording of this anymore so I had to do this from memory. There are a couple of parts that I am unsure of, mostly the picked descending harmonics part. But I can execute this in the fashion I have tabbed.
Maybe Bizarro can tweak it since he saw NUNO do it up close.
I left the first section blank because Powertab doesn't make any sound when I delete it.

12-23-2002, 04:03 AM
Here is the file. I fixed a problem in it but I wouldn't upload the new file so I deleted it. Then I had to post again to get the attachment.

12-23-2002, 06:39 AM
That sounds a lot better than the version you found on the net.

In the live version, Nuno played it differently than the album. Measures 11-24 were all played with his left hand only, which is the little theatrical part I mentioned before. He did something completely different for the pinch harmonics part.

He picked everything from measures 25 and later, but I think he went into the "guitar solo" portion of the concert right after this part. It's been over 11 years so it's a bit fuzzy.

I think the first part with the open E string 16th notes has 3 open E's for every fretted note. It's too late for me to grab the CD and double check...

12-24-2002, 03:50 AM
Years ago when I tried to figure this out, what I posted is what I came up with. It sounded pretty close and it had the right tone, letting me know I had it in the right areas of the fingerboard and on the right strings. The hard part is the string skips, that is very difficult to pick fast, but on the studio album that is what it sounded like to me. In fact my two note per string diatonic forms article was inspired by this piece and the nutcracker suite.

08-08-2003, 01:49 AM
More Shred/ Neo-Classical Ideas dug up for your pleasure.