Speed Playing. Part 2

author: Joe310707 date: 06/03/2009 category: guitar techniques
rating: 9.5 / votes: 20 
In Speed Playing 2 were going to look at some more advanced speed playing techniques to expand your skills and help you shred till your fingers bleed. As before there will be plenty of excersises and tips to help you along the way. This lesson will be split into 4 sections: 1. Neo-Classical Playing 2. Sweep Picking 3. String Skipping 4. Using these techniques musically

Neo-Classical Playing

Ok so maybe you've heard of this, neo-classical basically means new-classical, as neo in latin meand new. Yngwie Malmsteen uses this style a lot, this style focus on fast paced playing, highly technical phrases and repeat(pedal) licks. Before we start lets just look at 2 scales which neo-classical players use frequently. Harmonic Minor A B C D E F G# - 1 2 3 4 5 6 #7 As you can see this simply is an A minor scale with a raised 7th. Melodic Minor A B C D E F# G# - 1 2 3 4 5 #6 #7 This is the same A minor scale with a raised 6th and 7th. The harmonic minor is quite simple, yet the melodic minor is a strange scale because you play it normal ascending, but lower the 6th descending, so it convertes back to the harmonic minor. As you can see in the example below:
E|------------------------------5----------------------------------------
B|--------------------------6-9---9-6------------------------------------
G|--------------------5-7-9-----------9-7-5------------------------------
D|--------------6-7-9-----------------------9-7-6------------------------
A|--------5-7-8-----------------------------------8-7-5------------------
E|--5-7-8-----------------------------------------------8-7-5------------
This is simply the A harmonic minor scale, as you can see its just a copy of the minor scale with a raised 7th.
E|------------------------------5----------------------------------------
B|--------------------------7-9---9-6------------------------------------
G|--------------------5-7-9-----------9-7-5------------------------------
D|--------------6-7-9-----------------------9-7-6------------------------
A|--------5-7-9-----------------------------------8-7-5------------------
E|--5-7-8-----------------------------------------------8-7-5------------
This the A Melodic minor scale, it has a raised 6th and 7th descending and then only a raised 6th descending, or in other words it changes to the harmonic minor scale. Here are a couple of pedal licks, they seem quite simple but most players play them very fast:
E|--12-11-8----8-11-12-11-8----8-11-12-11-8----8-11-12-11-8--------------
B|----------11--------------11--------------11--------------11-----------
G|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
E|-----13-15-13----13-17-13----13-17-13----13-17-13----13-17-13----------
B|--14----------14----------14----------14----------14----------14-------
G|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
E|--17----------------17----------------19----------------19-------------
B|-----17-19-20-19-17----17-19-20-19-17----19-20-22-20-19----19-20-22----
G|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
As you can see, these licks sound quite classical and played at high speeds can sound great in solos. That last one will be quite tricky as its so high on the neck ,if you're struggling try it an octave lower. Lets look at a couple of examples from other songs so you can get an idea of what neo-classical licks can sound like: Michael Angelo Batio - No Boundaries:
E|--------12----13-12-------------15----12-------------------------------
B|-----13----13-------15-13-12-15----15----15-13h15p13p12-------13----15-
G|--14----------------------------------------------------14-12----14----
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

E|-----------------------------12----------------------------------------
B|--13-12h13p12-------------12----15-13h15p13p12-------------------------
G|--------------14-13----13----------------------------------------------
D|--------------------14-------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Steve Vai - Eugenes trick bag

E-----------------------------17-15-13------------|
B-----13-17-13----15-17-15-13----------17-15-13---|
G--14----------16-------------------------------16|play this
D-------------------------------------------------|part twice
A-------------------------------------------------|
E-------------------------------------------------|

E--------------17-15-13----------19-17-15---------|
B-----14-17-14----------17-14-15----------18-17-15|
G--14---------------------------------------------|
D-------------------------------------------------|
A-------------------------------------------------|
E-------------------------------------------------|

E-----------------------------17-15---------------|
B--------15----18-17-15-------------18-17-15------|
G-----16----16----------16-17----------------17-16|
D--17---------------------------------------------|
A-------------------------------------------------|
E-------------------------------------------------|

E-------------------------------------------------|
B--------------18-17-15----------18---------------|
G-----14-17-14----------17----16----19-17---------|
D--15----------------------18-------------19------|
A-------------------------------------------------|
E-------------------------------------------------|
As you can see from these 2 licks, there played very fast and high up the neck, usually grouped together but the using the same kind of minor progression. One last thing were going to look at in neo-classical playing is diminished arpeggios.These are simply a triad but with a minor second and minor (diminished) third. So a C diminished chord would be C, Eb, Gb. These small 3 string arpeggios are a shape which can be repeated on the neck so for example:
E|-----------13h16p13----------------13h16p13----------------10h13p10----
B|--------15----------15----------15----------15----------12----------12-
G|--13h16----------------13h16p13----------------13/10h13----------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

E|--------------10h13p10--------------7h10p7------------7h10p7-----------
B|-----------12----------12---------9--------9--------9--------9-------4-
G|--10h13p10----------------10/7h10------------7h10p7------------7/2h5---
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

E|--2h5p2-----------2h5p2------------------------------------------------
B|--------4-------4-------4----------------------------------------------
G|----------2h5p2-----------5p2------------------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
These can be tricky arpeggios, the intial hammer on is quite off putting but you don't have to play them too fast. Diminished can sound good in neo-classical playing but use them sparingly, the occasional one or 2 together with minor or major arpeggios can sound good, but a whole series of them wont.

Sweep Picking

A technique everyone loves, there's so many lessons on UG about this so I'll just break it down into a few small vital tips: 1. The main focus of sweep picking is synchronisation. Sometimes your fretting hand will move to fast and sometimes your picking hand will move too fast. Remember to play very slowly and follow both hands equally, it's much better to play slow accurate arpeggios than fast sloppy ones. 2. Muting. One of the most annoying things when you but some distortion on sweep picking is unwanted noise. Your fretting hands needs to fret the note exactly as you play it and leave as soon as the note is heard. Your picking hand can aslo slighlty drag down gently on the bridge to mute as you go. Don't mute heavily ,just a slight mute especailly on the lower strings. 3. Emphasing the lowest and highest note. Especially with 5 string and minor arpeggios, making sure the lowest and highest note is heard clearly will make your arpeggios sound nicer. Focus on hearing that first downstroked note and hit that pull off loud and clean, this gives your arpeggio a rich, noticable sound which stands out. Major Arpeggios Ok we know an arpeggio consists of the notes of a traid, so a C major will have the notes C, E, G. So how do we find arpeggios quickly on the fret board and use them. Heres how:
E|--------12h15p12----------12h15p12-------------------------------------
B|-----13----------13----13----------13----------------------------------
G|--12----------------12----------------12-------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
This is a C major, we have a G, then a C, then an E followed by a G. This exact shape can be played anywhere. How do you find the arpeggio? Find the root note on the B string. So heres:
D major
E|--------14h17p14----------14h17p14-------------------------------------
B|-----15----------15----15----------------------------------------------
G|--14----------------14-------------------------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

A major
E|-------9h12p9---------9h12p9-------------------------------------------
B|----10--------10---10--------------------------------------------------
G|--9--------------9-----------------------------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

E major
E|--------16h19p16----------16h19p16-------------------------------------
B|-----17----------17----17----------------------------------------------
G|--16----------------16-------------------------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
This simply shape works perfectly anywhere. What about minor arepggios? They are a bit more tricky but not too far off this style:
A minor
E|--------12h17p12----------12h17p12-------------------------------------
B|-----13----------13----13----------------------------------------------
G|--14----------------14-------------------------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
As you can see, the root will be on the G string this time now, but the end note will be the same as the root:
C minor
E|-------15h20p15----------15h20p15--------------------------------------
B|----16----------16----16----------16-----------------------------------
G|-17----------------17----------------17--------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

D minor
E|--------17h22p17----------17h22p17-------------------------------------
B|-----18----------18----18----------18----------------------------------
G|--19----------------19----------------19-------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

F minor
E|-------8h13p8--------8h13p8--------------------------------------------
B|-----10-------10---10-------10-----------------------------------------
G|--10------------10------------10---------------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
As you can see, a slight different shape but finding it now should be easy. 5 string sweeps and sweep taps: The 5 string versions of these aren't too difficult and the way to find them is just as easy:
C major
E|--------------12h15p12----------------------12h15p12-------------------
B|-----------13----------13----------------13----------------------------
G|--------12----------------12----------12-------------------------------
D|-----14----------------------14----14----------------------------------
A|--15----------------------------15-------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
This time the root is not only on the B string but the initial A string note, here are some more:
D major
E|--------------14h17p14----------------------14h17p14-------------------
B|-----------15----------15----------------15----------------------------
G|--------14----------------14----------14-------------------------------
D|-----16----------------------16----16----------------------------------
A|--17----------------------------17-------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

E major
E|--------------16h19p16-----------------------16h19p16------------------
B|-----------17----------17-----------------17---------------------------
G|--------16-----------------16----------16------------------------------
D|-----18-----------------------18----18---------------------------------
A|--19-----------------------------19------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

A major
E|-------------9h12p9--------------------9h12p9--------------------------
B|----------10--------10--------------10---------------------------------
G|--------9--------------9----------9------------------------------------
D|-----11------------------11----11--------------------------------------
A|--12------------------------12-----------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Now for the minor shapes, the same applies with the 3 string versions, the initial note will be the root:
C minor
E|-----------------15h20p15----------------------------15h20p15----------
B|--------------16----------16----------------------16-------------------
G|-----------17----------------17----------------17----------------------
D|--------17----------------------17----------17-------------------------
A|--15h18----------------------------15h18p15----------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

D minor
E|-----------------17h22p17----------------------------17h22p17----------
B|--------------18----------18----------------------18-------------------
G|-----------19----------------19----------------19----------------------
D|--------19----------------------19----------19-------------------------
A|--17h20----------------------------17h20p17----------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

F minor
E|----------------8h13p8--------------------------8h13p8-----------------
B|-------------10--------10--------------------10------------------------
G|----------10--------------10--------------10---------------------------
D|-------10--------------------10--------10------------------------------
A|--8h12--------------------------8h12p8---------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
That last one will be especailly tricky, the finger rollling is tricky, using your 3rd finger will be the best option. You'l need to place the very tip of your finger on the D string as you sweep, then roll your finger down so the flesh of your finger gradualy spreads down the 3 strings. As for the sweep tapping, the main key is to ready your middle finger and move your picking hand slightly closer to your fretting hand. Then as you hammer-on the E string note, move your hand over and tap the string.
C major
E|--------------12h15h20p15p12-------------------------------------------
B|-----------13----------------13----------------------------------------
G|--------12----------------------12-------------------------------------
D|-----14----------------------------14----------------------------------
A|--15----------------------------------15-------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
                       T
E major
E|--------------16h19h24p19p16-------------------------------------------
B|-----------17----------------17----------------------------------------
G|--------16----------------------16-------------------------------------
D|-----18----------------------------18----------------------------------
A|--19----------------------------------19-------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
                       T
As you can see, the tapped note is always the root note. One of the main issues here will be getting your picking hand ready to sweep up the strings again, but if you just focus on getting the downward sweep and tap nailed slowly, youl be fine.

String Skipping

String skipping basically means playing a sequence on a string, then changing to a new one thats 2 strings away, so your skipping a string. Players like paul Giblert use licks like these a lot. Here are a few scale string skips:
A minor
E|------------------------------------------5h9p5-----5h9----------------
B|--------------------------6h8-----6h8----------------------------------
G|------5h7p5-----5h7p5-----------------7h9-------7h9--------------------
D|----------------------7h9-----7h9--------------------------------------
A|--5h7-------5h7--------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

C Phrygian
E|------------------------------------------8h11p8-----------------------
B|------------10h11p10----------------10h11------------------------------
G|-------8h10--------------------------------------10p8------------------
D|---------------------10p8------8h10------------------------------------
A|--8h10------------------------------------------------8h10p8-----------
E|--------------------------9h11-----------------------------------------

E Dorian
E|--------------------------0h2--------------------02p0------------------
B|----------2h3----------------3p2---------3p2---------------------------
G|----------------------2h4--------4p2---------2h4-----------------------
D|------0h4-----4p0------------------------------------------------------
A|------------------2h4----------------4p2-------------------------------
E|--0h2-------------------------------------------------0h2--------------
All I've done here is chosen a few notes at random from a few scales. Next we'll do a couple of arpeggios:
G major 7th
E|--------------10h14p10-------------------10h14p10----------------------
B|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
G|--------11h12----------12p11-------12p11----------12p11----------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|--10h14----------------------10h14----------------------10h14----------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

C major
E|-----------7h10p7--------------7h10p7----------------------------------
B|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
G|-------7h9--------9p7------7h9--------9p7------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|--7h10----------------7h10-----------------10p7------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

A minor
E|----------5h8p5-------------5h8p5--------------------------------------
B|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
G|------6h9-------9p6-----6h9-------9p6----------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|--5h9---------------5h9---------------5h9------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
This is a series of arpeggios played melodicaly, I used the same example in my tapping lesson, but the same can apply here. Like sweep picking, you must let go off the strings exactly after youve played them, you can also keep your picking hand's palm close to the bridge to mute those annoying lower strings that always ring out.

Using These Techniques Musically

Ok heres a few licks for you to try out. First a neo-classical lick:
E|--------------------------------12----12h15----------------17-15-13----
B|-----12-15-12----12-16-12----13----13-------13----12-14-16----------17-
G|--13----------13----------14-------------------11----------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

E|--------------------------------------------------19-17-15-------------
B|--15-13----------------16----------------19-17-15----------17-15-------
G|--------17-15-14----17----17-19-17----19------------------------10h13--
D|-----------------16----------------18----------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

E|-----10h13p10----------13-11-10-------------------13h19p13-------13-17-
B|--12----------12----------------13-11-10-------15-------------15-------
G|-----------------10h13-------------------13h16-------------16----------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Next is a sweep picking lick:

E|--------------16h19p16-------------------------10h14p10----------------
B|-----------17----------17-------------------12----------12-------------
G|--------16----------------16-------------11----------------11----------
D|-----18----------------------18-------12----------------------12-------
A|--19----------------------------19/14----------------------------14/17-
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

E|-----------14h17p14------------------------9h12p9----------------------
B|--------15----------15------------------10--------10-------------------
G|-----14----------------14-------------9--------------9-------------12--
D|--16----------------------16-------11------------------11-------14-----
A|-----------------------------17/12------------------------12/15--------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

E|-----12h15p12----------------------7h10p7----------------------14b(17)-
B|--13----------13-----------------8--------8-----------------15---------
G|-----------------12------------7------------7------------14------------
D|--------------------14-------9----------------9-------16---------------
A|-----------------------15/10--------------------10/17------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Now the two combined! :

E|-----------------10h15p10-------------------------------15h20p15-------
B|--------------11----------11-------------------------16----------16----
G|-----------12----------------12-------------------17----------------17-
D|--------12----------------------12-------------17----------------------
A|--10h13----------------------------10h13/15h18-------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

E|-------------------------8h13p8------------------------------13h17p13--
B|----------------------10--------10------------------------15-----------
G|-------------------10--------------10------------------15--------------
D|--17------------10--------------------10------------15-----------------
A|-----15h18/8h12--------------------------8h12/13h17--------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

E|----------------------------6h11p6------------------------11h15--------
B|--15----------------------8--------8-------------------12-------12-----
G|-----15-----------------8------------8--------------11-------------11--
D|--------15------------8----------------8---------12--------------------
A|-----------13h17/6h10--------------------6h10/13-----------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

E|-----12h15p-------------------------14h17h20p17p14---------------------
B|--12--------12-------------------15----------------15------------------
G|---------------13-------------14----------------------14-------------12
D|------------------14-------16----------------------------16-------14---
A|---------------------15/17----------------------------------17/15------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------

E|----12----------------13h19p13----13h16----------14b(17)--------------
B|-13----13----------15----------15-------15----15-----------------------
G|----------12/13h16-------------------------14--------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Hope this helps.
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