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Thread: Songs for Picking

  1. #1
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    Songs for Picking

    I have been working on my right hand alot lately. The thing is, I am getting a little bored working on short exercises and patterns with the met. I was wondering if anyone could recommend some good songs, etudes, or pieces for extended alternate picking that I could incorporate into my practice time? Thanks alot guys!!!

  2. #2
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    The Steve Morse alternate picking etude, available in Powertab from Ultimate-guitar.com It's a very nice little e minor cross picking exercise, and it's very useful and isn't too long or short.

  3. #3
    Registered User Zombre's Avatar
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    yeah "Tumeni notes" Is quite cool... by Steve Morse, or heck, why not learn "Cliffs Of Dover" By Eric Johnson? or "Far beyond The Sun" By Yngwie Malmsteen? Lotsa stuff out there for sure...

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    I have to disagree about Far beyond the sun as it's just simple linear scalar phrygian dominant and harmonic minor runs or diminished swept arpeggios. It's also quite tough for a beginner-intermediate guitarist because malmsteen is so rhythmically imperfect. With Morse, Petrucci, Johnson, etc. everything is very steady rhythmically, so you can just focus on the picking (although I struggled for weeks counting the tumeni notes rhythm for the arpeggio themes as it has the 3 over 4 feel which is really hard to accent properly in the middle of an alt. picked arpeggio).

    Good luck

    Chris

  5. #5
    Registered User Zombre's Avatar
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    lol Kind of a contradiction don't you think?

    "it's just simple linear scalar phrygian dominant and harmonic minor runs or diminished swept arpeggios. "

    And Yet;

    "It's also quite tough for a beginner-intermediate guitarist because malmsteen is so rhythmically imperfect."

    hahahaha So it's too simple or too tough?


    I think that the main themes are pretty straightforward in that tune; A lot of basic picking issues could be conquered if you could play that one even at half speed, but one man's trash is another's treasure.

    In my mind, Petrucci, Morse, and Johnson's stuff is more complex than Malmsteen's but hey whatever it's all good. Just making some suggestions, that's all.
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    Right, I agree, but malmsteen doesn't pick it the same ever . I think that the picking itself is pretty linear/not a lot of string skipping, but some of the parts of that song are in really odd rhythms, which malmsteen DEFINITELY doesn't do live, and who really wants to learn 80% of a song to find they can't do part X because someone didn't tell them it's a PITA to play. I just think that a simpler, steady rhythm will always be easier than the really awkward stuff. Unless you have a background in tabla playing, at which point you'd be laughing at us mere mortals for being unable to count something as simple as 5 notes over 2 beats.

    Very good suggestion though for cliffs of dover, i haven't really listened to EJ in forever. Thanks for reminding me,

    Chris

  7. #7
    Registered User Zombre's Avatar
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    You're right; Malmsteen makes it up as he goes and pretty much plays it differently each time, but I think you may be over-analyzing it; Really, he's just trying to stuff as many notes as possible into each beat. Eric's got a lot of odd-meter licks and groupings too, particularly in regards to the intro of Cliffs of Dover, Steve Morse as well, depending on the Tune. I think Tumeni's a great place to start but it's ugly to get up to tempo!


    heh Anyways, a good discuss... hehehe
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    Lol. I think the best part of 'Dover' would be alternate picking the hybrid picked intro part. Thats a great cross picking exercise. Tumeni is great, although getting the triplet feel was tough for me at first. The F major arpeggio part of the first section was hard to count at first.

    Also, I agree that malmsteen is just cramming, but some of the sections sound wrong to me without that rhythm, even with similar note choice (hence my dislike of malmsteen live). I mean, in composed music like rock and classical, you want that familiarity. For a cool fusion tune like Water on the Brain pt2 by holdsworth, I can ignore the fact that he's not duplicating something on record...

    Very nice discussion, no nihilism today, I remembered to drink my green tea this morning LOL.

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    I would probably recommend trying some Paul Gilbert stuff. Just finished watching his Get Out Of My Yard DVD. It`s great how he`s able to pick very quickly while also varying the tone he get`s out of some of the notes.

    Try something like his Technical Difficulties piece. It`s all alternate picking with some cross-string and rythmic stuff. It`s quite easy to break the main piece down into much smaller sections. The tab should be available on Ultimate Guitar`s website.

    Or maybe some older Vinnie Moore if you can get it. He was very big on alternate picking. (Some would say too much like Al Di Meola, who is also an incredible alternate picker).

    Hope this helps.

    Have Fun.

  10. #10
    Registered User Zombre's Avatar
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    oooo Vinnie Moore and Paul Gilbert are awesome! Great suggestions!
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  11. #11
    Since 1988 Carvinite's Avatar
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    looks like all the heavy weights have been covered. But how about Eugene's Trick Bag?

    I know alot of folks that play those opening arps with alternate picking, I prefer sweeping, but alternate can be done if thats the way you choose.

    then there is that paganini inspired 'solo'(if you want to call it that)

    that was one of the peices that really helped my picking hand.

  12. #12
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    Tony McAlpine is a really good alternate picker also. You might check him out.

  13. #13
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    2 books that will help you immensely, although you need standard notation ability:

    Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin

    Charlie Parker Omnibook Key of C

    The Bach is great for alternate picking practice, especially the one in A minor (or is it C major? It starts on a ii chord, that's all I can remember right now). The omnibook will make you rethink positional playing and just a better overall musician.

    Rememeber: Standard Notation only.

    Chris

  14. #14
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    I do believe that Morse used to practice Bachs Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin in his youth, and I seem to remember that he said that working on those was one of the main reasons why he worked so hard on his picking... he switched over from a more legato-based style to his alternate picking in order to play those pieces...
    Eric

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    Yeah, but I stole those from Govan in his Creative Guitar series about 3 years ago before I could really read music.
    The Parker stuff helps you achieve SUCH a modern sound, it's not funny, and the Bach really helps with getting out of positional cliches and the like. But sax music in the vein of coltrane is better...
    Back on topic, that back, and maybe an arrangement of the bass clef of Chopin's Fanasy Impromptu would be about the best alternate picking stuff you could try to play. Anything with lots of string crossing is great.

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