good evening gentlemen, my entire enquiry is about the way of playing this particular kind of neoclassical lick which is quite common :


so, how the hell should I play it?

As far as I know there is two ways :
- shred the entire lick
- Use hammer-on and pull-of on the triple notes

I'm mainly struggling with speed. HOPO give me more cleaness but is more slow and with shred, well, it's mostly marmalade....

This lick appears everywhere in neoclassical metal song but I never understood what was the correct way to do it. I know that there is as many ways as guitarists but some tactics are more likely to work.
What songs/guitarists are we talking? Yngwie's known for favouring the pick-pretty-much-everything option.
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there is no correct way just the way that works for the song. just saying here is the notes doesn't tell us all that much. do you want to play it slow, fast etc. you can pick every note or do hamer-ons and pull offs. the effect will be different so again which method would best suite the piece. of course making sure you are set up for the next section plays a part as well. you could combine techniqes as well. guess i'm trying to figure out exactly what you don't get.
1) Use a metronome

2) Maintain a barre the 10th fret

3) Keep your hand relaxed

As for whether it's played legato or alt picked, listen to the recording. For your own benefit, though, I'd say practice it both ways.
It is best to be able to do both picking and hammer on/pull off.
Developing speed is another separate issue. But I guess accomplished neoclassical guitar player are able to do both and having the options is actually a freedom you want to have to be able to fully express yourself as a guitarist.
For now you choose which one sounding best to your preference, then practice that particular way, whether it is picked or hammer on/pull on.
Hope it helps.

Best Regards

I'd suggest practicing it by alternate picking. This will help improve both your picking and fretting hand speed. Then if you want to play it legato (providing your legato technique is already good) you'll find it a piece of cake.

If you decide you want to play it legato - concentrate on making sure that every note is heard clearly. Too many guitarists concentrate only on speed and end up missing or playing inaudible notes.

Also remember that these pieces were originally written for violin so adding vibrato really adds to it.

Hope that helps
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It's entirely about how you want it to sound - legato will sound smoother, picking it will have more attack. Try with both and see what you prefer the sound of. If you're going to try picking, try always accenting the first note (in this case the note on the high E string) as that will give you a clearer sense of rhythm and also helps keep things organised when playing faster. If you want to make it easier, try starting with an up-stroke as that means all the string changes involve "outside picking" which most people find easier (as an aside, I would recommend practising both outside and inside picking as you can't always rely on being able to outside pick everything).

In terms of fretting it, I saw someone suggest that you barre it. I highly recommend that you don't do that - for one, if you barre the 10th fret then the D (the 10th fret on the high E) will ring out constantly while you're playing the other notes. You'll also find that barring makes it more difficult for your other fingers to move quickly and independently. Barring and doing stuff with your other fingers at the same time is great for some thing such as embellishing chords but for this kind of thing, it will ultimately prove more of a hinderance. So in terms of fretting, fret the 10th fret on the high E string, then as you're fretting the 11 on the B string with your middle finger, allow your index finger to relax off the 10th fret on the high E string, that way it's ready for when you fret the 10th fret on the B string. Etc. Etc.
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the answer is both - legato provides a smoother sound with the picked notes being the accents while picking every note will give a more staccato effect ( percussive). You can also pick some of the notes and use legato for others in just about any combination.

A lick like that doesn't need to be barred - but it doesn't hurt to use a partial bar sometimes. I would suggest practicing it both ways.
Well thanks for all those quicks and precises answers.

I wasn't really trying to get "the song's tone" but I will try both legato and alternate picking just for practicing ( never lost ).

Begining with an upstrike is more easy but I still have trouble with having precision and clear note whene reaching a certain speed (practice practice.... )

I'm always astonished and upset how easy it looks like for neoclassical metal guitarist to do it as if it was played with a clean amp rather than a full disto fuzzy amp. ( they always have a face like "oh yhea that's soooo smooth". )

Thnaks again
Generally you want to use downstrokes on downbeats when you're alt picking. Use the upstroke on weak beats. Coordinating your alt picking direction with the pulse makes accents and dynamics more natural.
Last edited by cdgraves at Nov 5, 2015,
Quote by cdgraves
Generally you want to use downstrokes on downbeats when you're alt picking. Use the upstroke on weak beats. Coordinating your alt picking direction with the pulse makes accents and dynamics more natural.

That's entirely up to the player, and it's good to practice with both as there may be situations where you're forced to start a run with an up stroke. Plus there's nothing saying that up strokes can't be just as powerful as down strokes it's just that people tend to mostly use down strokes when they start and end up with more powerful down strokes as a consequence. I've found that its very useful to be able to get powerful up strokes - and they also tend to produce a nice snap sound if you do them a certain way, which is harder to acheive with a down stroke.
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Well, "generally". The stroke direction isn't about power, but consistency. Alt picking is just a way of bringing consistency to the technique so you're never caught unawares or fumbling. I think hardly anybody actually plays with strict alt picking, it's just a good way to do exercises and develop a foundation of technique.

And economy picking obviously disregards the rhythm/direction correlation.

I do strict alt picking when I'm doing scales and arps for warm up, but when I play stuff like jazz, strict alt picking goes out the window because so many phrases start on the upbeat and there's a lot of legato.

But again the important thing is consistency, which helps make techniques automatic.
Last edited by cdgraves at Nov 7, 2015,