8 December 2010

Guitar Picking Exercises Part 4 – Alternate Across The Fretboard

How are your guitar picking skills coming along? If you’ve been working on the exercises in the first three parts of this series I hope you’re noticing some improvements in accuracy, and maybe even picking up a little speed. I know I am.


In this exercise we’re going to practice traversing the fret board, from the low strings to the high strings and back again.


Movement like this occurs a lot in scales and arpeggio patterns. It’s also useful when you play licks so you can rapidly climb from a low to a high note, or descend in the other direction.


The exercise comes in three parts, let’s take a look at the first one.

Guitar Picking Pattern

Remember to alternate down and up as you pick through the notes. The challenge here is to cleanly move from one string to the next as you alternate. Watch out for those double string jumps every fourth note.


The second part of this exercise is similar to the first, but we’re going to jump two strings per note.


When you’ve got those two patterns down it’s time to move on to the third exercise. This one takes the previous two and combines them into one exercise.


The trick here is to maintain a regular tempo as you move from one pattern to the next.


As you practice all these patterns you can easily create some simple variations to give your picking a harder workout.

  • Start the first note on an up stroke
  • Reverse the pattern by starting on the high strings


If you enjoyed this post you might also like:

Guitar Picking Exercises Part 3 – String Skipping

Guitar Picking Exercises Part 2 – Adjacent Strings

Guitar Picking Exercises Part 1 - Alternate Picking

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