Am Pentatonic 2 String Speed Builder Exercise

Hey guys. This is a Zakk Wylde style 2 string lick. It's just a basic speed building exercise working across all 5 branches of the pentatonic.

Am Pentatonic 2 String Speed Builder Exercise
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I've always found it's easier to improve picking speed with pentatonic patterns (2 notes per string) or chromatic patterns (4 notes per string) as they have an even number of strokes per string. You'll notice that when you change strings, you'll always be starting each new string with the same directional stroke. This is in the key of A minor and works through the 5 branches of the pentatonic.
This is something I would recommend to people who've hit a wall with their shredding. The 2 string concept is even and works very nicely in solo writing or improvising when the speed is at a good pace. Have fun with it guys! Download tab here.

By Chris Zoupa

19 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Voodooman79
    Cool lesson. Good exercise to get the right hand moving. Good work, sir. One small qualm though, as played they are not triplets as the tab suggests - you're playing them as 8th notes in 3/4 (1 and 2 and 3 and) in my count - a very fast 3/4, mind you! Either way, great lesson - just a small discrepancy - maybe mod the lesson to show how to get that triplet feel across two strings and also how to play them straight?
    steven seagull
    Pentatonic scales are defined by the notes they contain, not the "shapes", as are chromatics which are simply sequential half steps. As far as patterns go you can have as many notes per string as you like, there's nothing preventing you from playing 3 not per string patterns of either.
    shungushredda
    it can be viewed either way. 4/4 triplets is the same as 8th notes in 3/4. It depends on the backing. If your playing it on a 4/4 rythm its triplets.
    jamstation
    "4/4 triplets is the same as 8th notes in 3/4" Sorry, but that's just plain wrong.
    K33nbl4d3
    The way he's playing it is 8th notes in 3/4 - there's a significant difference in the sound from where he accentuates the notes. The tab says it's in triplets. Since he doesn't have a backing the rhythm he's playing is heard only via which notes he accentuates, in this case there's pairs of two (to put it in excessively basic terms DOdoDOdoDOdo etc.), however for the notes to be triplets the accent should be on every third notes (that is, DOdodoDOdodoDOdodo etc.). If you listen to the way Zakk Wylde plays this sort of lick, he always plays it in triplets.
    daylightdies370
    There is not enough lessons on here that do not use the pentatonic scale. It's like they think every beginner guitarist only plays blues.
    wiggedy
    I need a close up of your picking hand and some manicuring tips are you using your thumb nail or second finger nail?
    DaFjory
    This sort of lick has always bugged me a bit, even though it's a bunch of fun to play. Both slow and fast, on this video and when Zakk plays it (e.g. Fire In The Sky), I'm hearing 8th notes. Not triplets. For some reason, the note arrangement of this pattern doesn't lend itself to making triplets sound distinct from 8ths. So my ears somehow register it as "One-two-one-two-one-two" rather than "One-two-three-one-two-three".
    Agent51
    Same here. Seeing triplets in the tab but then hearing him play in the video, it threw me off. I heard it the same way, "1-2 1-2 1-2" instead of "123 123 123".
    DaFjory
    OK, on further listening I've learned that Zakk does indeed play them as triplets. At slow speed I can do it too, but it's all about how the first note of each group is accented. If there's no attempt at accenting they end up merging together like 8ths, in the same way as triplets or sextuplets can sound like 16ths if the grouping isn't accented right.
    Arrogant Owl
    I've come to find this lesson a tremendous workout for the ring and middle fingers when applicable.