Tech Tip:Tips for Steady Progress

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Peter Hastings; Phoenix, AR


Q: Three weeks into your course and I'm making awesome progress (well, I think so anyway). I have some questions that I think will help me progress even faster!


1.On the triplet pentatonic lead pattern the notes are grouped in threes and when using alternate picking, the picking pattern flip-flops down-up-down, up-down-up. Should I use alternate picking in a sequence like this? Should the pick direction on the start of the 2nd measure be up or down?

2.Having a mental block going from open chord Am minor to D... not smooth at all ...Any tips?

All my musician friends say that I'll never be fast cause I'm too old (40) but that I could be good. The hell with them, I'm shooting for both!!


A: You should be practicing the triplets using alternate picking which is a bit tricky with this pattern but very effective as an exercise. As you play this pattern, every other measure will be opposite picking, down-up-down, up-down-up. And as you do the second measure you are changing strings which makes it even harder to master.


Keep practicing this over and over until you memorize the picking and pattern. This will effectively help you progress. By getting yourself familiar with these picking patterns you will be ready to play any song or lead more effectively.


Changing from the Am to the D is a tough coordination challenge. The finger that needs to work hardest is the second finger. Concentrate on getting that finger to move quickly and you will make the transition easier.


Age has absolutely nothing to do with playing guitar fast. I think the best thing you can do is become a shred master and see who has the last laugh!!!



Hope this helps,
Yours in Music
John McCarthy
Rock House