Shred Guitar Lesson 02

author: JacobReedShred date: 02/04/2013 category: guitar techniques
rating: 8 / votes: 11 
Shred Guitar Lesson 02
In this lesson we will cover alternate picking. You should already have some kind of practice from the first lesson and you should also be pretty warmed up. We are going to look at some 3 note per string scales like the E minor. We will also look at a couple sequences within the scale and get some alternate picking exercises in there. So, let's get down to business. Alternate picking is when you play a note with either an up-stroke or a down-stroke then the opposite type of stroke, so you should go Up-Down-Up-Down or Down-Up-Down-Up. The first exercise will be a simple 4 note repeating pattern within the E minor scale. Here it is:
e|------------|
B|------------|
G|------------|
D|12-14-16-14-|
A|------------|
E|------------|
You should play this pattern using fingers 1-2-4 and 1-3-4 in order to create a nice stretch in between your fingers for later lessons. This will also help build dexterity and pinkie strength. The next exercise goes across two strings. It is in the key of E minor and uses the same notes as the last exercise. It goes like this:
e|------------|
B|------------|
G|---------12-|
D|12-14-16----|
A|------------|
E|------------|
The note on the G string should be played with an up-stroke if you start on a down-stroke. The stroke you start on doesn't really matter, but it is only a matter of personal preference. If you start on a down-stroke you should be aware that you have to skip over the string when you go to play the G-string note. That is what makes this a difficult technique to learn. You should start out slowly and play these exercises until you can get them perfect and clean, because when you turn on the distortion you will not want notes to ring out. As before, use both combinations of fingers and repeat the pattern. This next exercise will be the E minor scale. It starts on the 12th fret of the E-string and goes all the way up to the 17th fret on the high e-string. Here is the scale:
e|---------------------------------------------14-15-17-17-15-14----------|
B|------------------------------------13-15-17-------------------17-15-13-|
G|---------------------------12-14-16-------------------------------------|
D|------------------12-14-16----------------------------------------------|
A|---------12-14-15-------------------------------------------------------|
E|12-14-15----------------------------------------------------------------|

e|------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------|
G|16-14-12----------------------------|
D|---------16-14-12-------------------|
A|------------------15-14-12----------|
E|---------------------------15-14-12-|
You should be able to play this scale cleanly and without error. The top note in the scale repeats and you go back down the scale ending on the root note. Remember to play it slowly at first and use very strict alternate picking. The next thing we will look at are some sequences in the scale in order to spice things up and give you some ideas of what to do within the scale. Here's the first sequence:
e|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------------------13-15-17-|
G|---------------------------------------------12-14-16-12-14-16----------|
D|---------------------------12-14-16-12-14-16----------------------------|
A|---------12-14-15-12-14-15----------------------------------------------|
E|12-14-15----------------------------------------------------------------|

e|---------14-15-17-17-15-14----------------------------------------------|
B|13-15-17-------------------17-15-13-17-15-13----------------------------|
G|---------------------------------------------16-14-12-16-14-12----------|
D|---------------------------------------------------------------16-14-12-|
A|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------------------------------|

e|------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------|
G|------------------------------------|
D|16-14-12----------------------------|
A|---------15-14-12-15-14-12----------|
E|---------------------------15-14-12-|
In this sequence all you're doing is playing the notes on the A, D, G, and B strings twice. It's not that difficult to do, but it's really fun. The next sequence is one of my favorites. The pattern is like this:
e|---------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------|
G|---------------------------------------------------|
D|---------------------------------------------12-14-|
A|---------12-------12-14----12-14-15-12-14-15-------|
E|12-14-15----14-15-------15-------------------------|
You start out on the root note, then play four notes in the scale. Next, you start on the second note in the scale then go up four notes. Then, start on the third note of the scale. The pattern repeats until you hit the 14th fret on the D-string which is an E. It is also the root note of our E minor scale. It is very important to note where the root notes are in the key you are playing in. This will help give you a road map of how to improvise. More on that in another lesson. You should play all these exercises until they are perfectly clean. Play them slowly. Be careful of hitting a wrong note when switching strings. Alternate picking is one of the most useful and important techniques when it comes to shredding on the guitar. In the next lesson we will discuss the technique of legato and we will also learn another scale shape in the key of E minor. As Always do the warm-up from lesson one and practice your alternate picking. When you can play these exercises without error you can move on to Lesson 3.
More JacobReedShred lessons:
+ Building Speed 02. Legato and Tapping Guitar Techniques 07/23/2013
+ Shred Guitar Lesson 10. Eight Finger Tapping Guitar Techniques 07/10/2013
+ Building Speed 01. Alternate Picking Guitar Techniques 06/21/2013
+ Shred Guitar Lesson 09. Computer Tapping Guitar Techniques 06/11/2013
+ Creative Shred Ideas 03. Putting It All Together Guitar Techniques 06/07/2013
+ Creative Shred Ideas 02. Arpeggios Guitar Techniques 05/10/2013
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