1 December 2010

Guitar Picking Exercises Part 2 - Adjacent Strings

I'm developing this series of guitar picking exercises to help me improve my picking skills as I play lead lines and improvise. When I noticed I made a lot of mistakes due to missed strings I decided to do something about it.

The result is this series of picking exercises to give my picking skills a thorough work out. I'm spending a few minutes on them each time I practice guitar to eliminate those troublesome string misses.

In the first part of the series I shared some simple alternating picking exercises I use.

In this second set of exercises things get a little more complex. I continue with alternating picking but add more string movement.

Adjacent String Skipping Exercise

Use alternate picking for this exercise but pick the notes on adjacent strings.

E E E E  E E E E  E E E E  E E E E  E E E E  E E E E  E E E E  E E E E  E E E E  E E  E E
|---------------------------------------0---0--0---0----------------------------------------|
|------------------------------0---0--0---0------0---0--0---0-------------------------------|
|---------------------0---0--0---0------------------------0---0--0---0----------------------|
|------------0---0--0---0------------------------------------------0---0--0---0-------------|
|---0---0--0---0------------------------------------------------------------0---0--0----0---|
|-0---0------------------------------------------------------------------------------0----0-|

Start with a down stroke on the sixth string, up stroke on the fifth string, down stroke on the fifth string, up stroke on the sixth string.

After the fourth up stroke on the fifth string play the next down stroke on the fifth string and follow with an up stroke on the fourth string.

Continue alternating on these two strings, then move down to the fourth and third string, third and second, second and first.

After you finish the last up stroke on the first string, follow it with a down stroke on the first string, then up stroke on the second string.

Continue with down strokes on the lower of the pair of strings and up strokes on the string above as you work your way back up to the sixth string.

Triplet Note Variation

When you've finished the above exercise here's a triplets variation. Pay careful attention to ensure correct up and down alternation of the pick strokes.

|-3-| |-3-| |-3-| |-3-| |-3-| |-3-| |-3-| |-3-| |-3-| |-3-|
  E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E
|---------------------------0---0---0------------------------------|
|---------------------0---0---0---0---0---0------------------------|
|---------------0---0---0---------------0---0---0------------------|
|---------0---0---0---------------------------0---0---0------------|
|---0---0---0---------------------------------------0---0---0------|
|-0---0---------------------------------------------------0---0----|

In the next part of the series we're going to develop these exercises to make some more variations and add some more picking styles. Click here to sign up for free and be notified by email when more lessons are published.

Update: Now you can read and try these other parts of the series...

Guitar Picking Exercises Part 4 – Alternate Across The Fretboard
Guitar Picking Exercises Part 3 – String Skipping
Guitar Picking Exercises Part 1 - Alternate Picking

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