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Artful Picking

Introduction and picking exercises

We have to make sure we continue to progress and keep our playing in shape. In this lesson I will show you some examples to get your picking hand in shape, and also excerpts from my latest cd "The New". I put together some examples that, in a musical way, will help you to synchronize both hands, increase your speed and give you ideas to make up your own. OK, grab your metronome or drum machine...

Ex.1 This is a G major scale 4 note per string pattern on one string. This example is played using 16th notes. Make sure you accent the first note of every beat and both hands should be in sync. This way of playing will help you get to know your neck better and increase your speed. Try this in all scales on all strings. Also make sure you follow the fingerings I gave you.

Ex.2 Is a two-string idea in D major (D,E,F#,G,A,B,C#) Basically this is a repeated phrase on the E string and we jump down to the B string changing the lower notes. This one sounds particularly cool at high speeds. Make sure your hands are in sync.

Ex.3 Another 2 string idea, this one is in C major using sextuplets, 6 notes per beat. We are just moving the same pattern in the Key of C. A good way to make these type of patterns musical is to move them around the neck in key. Also mix up the patterns, so it is not so predictable.

Ex.4 Is one of my favorite types of patterns. Picking between 3 strings, this makes a great workout for your right hand. Basically, we are picking 7th arpeggios in D major, moving up the key from the root to the 7th. I like the sound of this picking every note as a pose to sweeping. I mean make sure you can do both ways. Use other arpeggios and note combinations and make sure you accent.

Ex.5 A String skipping example ascending up the neck in G major. Accent the 4th note of every phrase. This phrase is harmonized in 3rds. Harmonizing these types of lines adds a cool effect. It is important to have the timing real tight when you are harmonizing lines - both parts should be locked together.

Ex.6 Is a long sextuplet pattern in C Major that runs across the neck very quickly. This one is also harmonized. It is based off a 6 note scale pattern in 3 octaves. Basically you go up 12 notes then go back one string up another 12 notes etc. Make sure you follow the fingerings.

Examples from the new album

In the next part of this lesson, I want to show you some excerpts from "The New" cd. These excerpts can make great picking examples and hopefully will inspire you to write your own ideas. I have always had a love for writing and applying new ideas to my music. I feel it is important to create something of your own rather than copy someone else. Okay, let me show you some of my ideas.

Our first example is a Guitar and Bass unison line from "The New" Cd, from the 2nd track, "All Or Nothing". This very fast unison line happens at 2:11. It is all 16th note triplets at 96 beats per minute.

The line is based in the B Harmonic minor scale (B,C#,D,E,F#,G,A#). If you have been practicing with your drum machine or metronome you should not have a problem with the timing. It may take some time to get this up to speed. Make sure you accent and be aware of the fingerings I supplied.

The next line from the same song "All Or Nothing" occurs a little bit after the first one I showed you (it is at 2:49). This one is a little slower, but can be tricky because of the timing. The first bar is in 5/4 and the 2nd is in 6/4, which can make things tricky in a band situation. After the 4th time through, basically the line is played up a 3rd. Also be aware of the fingerings.

In the song "Empty Space In My Heart" also from "The New" Cd (at about 3:25). I start this excerpt off in the higher octave, then the band kicks in on the lower octave. This one can be tricky because you are pedaling back to the G and F# on the low E string,skipping strings. This line is based out of the G Harmonic minor scale (G,A,Bb,C,D,Eb.F# ) and can make a great picking coordination exercise. Follow the fingerings supplied.

The final example is from a track called "Before A Storm". This tune has a lot of shredding in it. I will show you a string skipping passage that occurs at about 0:43 and repeats other places on the track. This one is based out of G Harmonic minor also. This line uses all 16th note triplets and it moves very quick. It is really important to have both hands in sync when playing this one.

These are just a few examples off "The New" cd, there are a lot more ideas on there that may interest you. I hope this lesson will help to inspire your own.

Be sure to check out my CDs and check out my new CD release, "The New". Visit mikecampese.com for more information.

This article can be read online at http://www.iBreatheMusic.com/article/174
GIT-graduate Mike Campese describes himself as an all-around music performer, session artist and teacher competent in many musical styles, electric, and acoustic. He released three CDs, "Total Freedom", "Full Circle" and "Vibe", played on the "Warmth in The Wilderness" album and released an instructional video for ChopsFromHell. Check out Mike's official website Mikecampese.com. You can listen to soundfiles of Mike's work, including clips of the songs from his newest album "Vibe".

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