Starting Speed Playing III

author: CPDmusic date: 09/23/2010 category: for beginners
rating: 8.6 / votes: 7 
Intro: Hello and welcome to part three of the four part Starting Speed Playing series. It is day six of CPDmusic's lesson writing marathon, and, as unimportant as it may be, this is the first of my lessons to be typed up on MS Word 2010. I'd just like to remind you that this is for people who have had absolutely no experience in speed playing. Anyways, let's get down to business! Economy Picking: Today, the technique we will be looking at is a technique called economy picking. What is economy picking? Well, the easiest way to explain it would be to call it a combination of both alternate picking and sweep picking, the two techniques you've learned in the previous lesson. Confused? Well, basically you would just alternate pick all the notes that are on one string, but when you switch strings, you would almost sweep pick. It will probably be easier to explain through example. Try simply alternate picking this little riff:
D  U  D  U  D  U  D  U
E||--------------------------||
B||--------------------------||
G||--------------------------||
D||-----------0--0--0--------||
A||--0--0--0-----------0--0--||
E||--------------------------||
Notice how you might stumble when switching strings, due to the stroke direction. It's kind of awkward to go up a string when up-picking and down a string when you're down-picking. Well, remember how in the sweep picking lesson, you would simply hit every string with either a down-stroke or an up-stroke, depending on the direction of the sweep? Well, to make the above riff easier, you would just implement that idea with alternate picking. Here is the exact same riff, except this time, it is written to be economy picked. Carefully examine the picking pattern above the tablature, and you should get the idea.
D  U  D  D  U  D  U  D
E||--------------------------||
B||--------------------------||
G||--------------------------||
D||-----------0--0--0--------||
A||--0--0--0-----------0--0--||
E||--------------------------||
Notice how it is no longer alternate picking, as there are two down-picks side by side. With closer examination, you would notice that this is the area where you go up a string. So, now you can probably understand better what I meant when I said it was a combination of alternate picking and sweep picking. Basically if you can just remember to alternate pick, but always start on a down-pick when going up a string, and an up-pick when going down a string, you should be able to get the idea of economy picking. But let's not get ahead of ourselves; it's time to look at some exercises to build up on our economy picking skills. Open String Economy Picking: Now, you might find economy picking to be awkward for a bit, so the best thing to do is to play exercises like the one above; just the open strings. For example, here is an exercise that has you play up and down every string, using economy picking:
D  U  D  D  U  D  D  U  D  D  U  D  D  U  D
E||--------------------------------------------------|
B||--------------------------------------0--0--0-----|
G||-----------------------------0--0--0--------------|
D||--------------------0--0--0-----------------------|
A||-----------0--0--0--------------------------------|
E||--0--0--0-----------------------------------------|
 
 D  U  D  U  D  U  U  D  U  U  D  U  U  D  U  U
--0--0--0-----------------------------------------||
-----------0--0--0--------------------------------||
--------------------0--0--0-----------------------||
-----------------------------0--0--0--------------||
--------------------------------------0--0--0-----||
-----------------------------------------------0--||
Once again, closely examine the picking direction for each note. Notice how when you're going up, the picking pattern on each string is D-U-D, while the pattern is U-D-U as you go down (picking out patterns helps me better understand things). Keep repeating the above pattern until you can play it fluently, at a moderately fast speed. Once you are comfortable with the open strings, it is time to add on some fingerings. Adding the Left Hand: Obviously, economy picking open strings gets pretty boring after a while. So, let's add some fingers. This is the exact same pattern as above, except we now add a 1-2-3 fingering pattern to it:
D  U  D  D  U  D  D  U  D  D  U  D  D  U  D
E||--------------------------------------------------|
B||--------------------------------------1--2--3-----|
G||-----------------------------1--2--3--------------|
D||--------------------1--2--3-----------------------|
A||-----------1--2--3--------------------------------|
E||--1--2--3-----------------------------------------|
 
D  U  D  U  D  U  U  D  U  U  D  U  U  D  U  U
--1--2--3-----------------------------------------||
-----------1--2--3--------------------------------||
--------------------1--2--3-----------------------||
-----------------------------1--2--3--------------||
--------------------------------------1--2--3-----||
-----------------------------------------------1--||
The same rules apply to this exercise as the one above; play it fluently while maintaining a good speed. Remember not to feel restrained by the above example; play those groups of three in any order you want! Outro: Well, that's all for part three of Starting Speed Playing. A pretty short lesson (it's short because it's basically just combining two things we already know), but still really important. We will wrap up this series tomorrow with part 4, so stay tuned! Support CPDmusic's Lesson Writing Marathon By Joining This Group
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