#1
Hey everyone.
I just thought I'd share some exercises I thought up which have helped me a lot.

So, I was sitting down practicing drums. Drumming requires precision, dexterity and speed (amongst other things), much like guitar. A common way to develop such techniques and skills on drums is to complete rudiments, or exercises, which can be ultimately simulated on the guitar.

On drums, (let's use the letter "L" for left hand, and "R" for right hand), players, instead of playing just R, L, R, L, R, L, R, play stuff like R, L, R, R, R, L, R, R. This mixes things up and forces the player to accommodate for a new rhythmic pattern.

After playing these exercises on the drums, I tried to play them on guitar. On a single string, instead of U, D, U, D, U, D, I picked U, D, U, U, U, D, U, U etc. This may feel weird and uncomfortable, however if it doesn't, mix it up. Instead, play U, U, U, D, U, U, U, D and the like. Subsequent to this, you may wish to play it on different strings (much like playing them on different drums). You could play something like this, for example:
||
||-------------1-1----------------||
||-----1-1---------------------||
||-1-1-----1-1--------------------||   repeat
   D U U U U D D D

This can be, of course, mixed up multiple times.


That was for the picking hand, however can also be put into practice with the fretting hand. Tap your first finger three times, and then your second finger once. Mix it up again, using all different fingers and variations.

Hopefully I was clear enough in my explanation. I'm sorry if these are known exercises; I just thought I'd try and help out the UG community.
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USA Fender Stratocaster | Roland Cube 60 | VOX ToneLab LE
Last edited by Iriathz at Sep 25, 2009,
#2
I don't think that picking idea would be particularly helpful. The only times you should really find yourself deviating from Down, up, down, up ect. picking motions are for rhythmic patterns such as galloping or if you're doing something like sweep picking. I actually think doing the things you suggested would teach your right hand to perform incorrectly and mess you up.

It would be far more useful if you were to form patterns of picking in which you pick different strings rather than using different strokes.
e.g. maintaining a down, up, down, up motion and playing:

E||--------2-------------3-
B||-----------------------------
G||------------4--1--3------
D||-------------------------
A||-------------------------
E||-1--3-------------------


As for finger exercises, there are spider exercises that essentially make you move your fingers in different patterns to assist you in gaining left hand dexterity.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
Last edited by Aleksi at Sep 25, 2009,
#3
Quote by Aleksi
I don't think that picking idea would be particularly helpful. The only times you should really find yourself deviating from Down, up, down, up ect. picking motions are for rhythmic patterns such as galloping or if you're doing something like sweep picking. I actually think doing the things you suggested would teach your right hand to perform incorrectly and mess you up.

I don't necessarily agree, though I do see where you're coming from. I don't see how expanding your "picking vocabulary" could hurt; I would have thought it would just ensure your picking is more accurate and able if ever needed.
My Last.fm
USA Fender Stratocaster | Roland Cube 60 | VOX ToneLab LE
#4
Quote by Iriathz
I don't necessarily agree, though I do see where you're coming from. I don't see how expanding your "picking vocabulary" could hurt; I would have thought it would just ensure your picking is more accurate and able if ever needed.

But the question you should ask yourself is: What situation on guitar would require me to play (just as an example) 3 downstrokes followed by 3 upstrokes?
I can't think of anything, if you were going to do that you may as well do 6 downstrokes or 6 upstrokes, it would make very little difference.
Similarly you could use straight down, up, down, up picking for such a riff and there's simply no need to mix things up with odd numbers of upstrokes and downstrokes.

As I said, you may need to deviate if you want to create a rhythm but that would involve combining downstrokes with alternate picking.

You should only really be teaching your hands to do what they will need to do. Doing otherwise would be like someone spending all their time learning to play the harmonica when they want to be an olympic runner and don't even enjoy harmonica music.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#5
Quote by Aleksi
But the question you should ask yourself is: What situation on guitar would require me to play (just as an example) 3 downstrokes followed by 3 upstrokes?
I can't think of anything, if you were going to do that you may as well do 6 downstrokes or 6 upstrokes, it would make very little difference.
Similarly you could use straight down, up, down, up picking for such a riff and there's simply no need to mix things up with odd numbers of upstrokes and downstrokes.

As I said, you may need to deviate if you want to create a rhythm but that would involve combining downstrokes with alternate picking.

You should only really be teaching your hands to do what they will need to do. Doing otherwise would be like someone spending all their time learning to play the harmonica when they want to be an olympic runner and don't even enjoy harmonica music.

Whatever man, I just wanted to help out. I think it's good to have some flexibility in your playing. The reason I included those exercises was not because you would play it in a song, but rather to increase your picking hand's overall accuracy and ease over the strings. I think it's good to master the technique so much that you can play virtually anything.
My Last.fm
USA Fender Stratocaster | Roland Cube 60 | VOX ToneLab LE
Last edited by Iriathz at Sep 26, 2009,
#6
Quote by Iriathz
Whatever man, I just wanted to help out. I think it's good to have some flexibility in your playing. The reason I included those exercises was not because you would play it in a song, but rather to increase your picking hand's overall accuracy and ease over the strings. I think it's good to master the technique so much that you can play virtually anything.

I know you're trying to help and that's good. But I just don't really see the need for exercising in that fashion. It is good to master a technique but it's better to master the technique by actually performing that technique, i.e. if you want to work on your alternate picking: alternate pick, if you want to work on your upstrokes: do some upstrokes.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#7
I think applying drum rudiments to guitar would work out well for strumming patterns not necessarily individually picked notes.
#8
Quote by Nalakram
I think applying drum rudiments to guitar would work out well for strumming patterns not necessarily individually picked notes.

Yeah, that could work out nicely.
My Last.fm
USA Fender Stratocaster | Roland Cube 60 | VOX ToneLab LE