Increase Your Technique

In this lesson, I will be teaching you some basics on becoming a technically more proficient guitarist.

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In this lesson, I will be teaching you some basics on becoming a technically more proficient guitarist, with some techniques such as sweep arpeggios, string skipping, and picking technique. Materials: one guitar, a plectrum (I suggest Dunlop Jazz III, and so does Sir Michael Angelo Batio), a metronome. 1. Proper picking technique. Economy picking and alternate picking: you should know what alternate picking is, and use it, but if not, you can find other lessons on the internet. Economy picking is what I will be teaching you now. Economy Picking Is basically using the least amount ofmovement in your picking hand. You do this by using a sweep like technique.
ex.  Instead of     Economy picking is
 
         v n            n n
       I---5-I        I---5-I
       I-6---I        I-6---I      
       I-----I        I-----I
       I-----I        I-----I
       I-----I        I-----I
       I-----I        I-----I

n= Down stroke
v= Up stroke
Essentially sweeping the strings, which is a technique we will learn later on, economy picking will increase your speed and accuracy. Remember don't ever forget to use alternate picking, as it is also good to use sometimes.
Exercise:
  n n v n v n v v               
I---5-6-8-6-5-----I
I-6-----------6---I
I---------------7-I
I-----------------I
I-----------------I
I-----------------I
2. Practicing - always use a metronome! First off you should learn a few basic scales such as major, minor, pentatonics, harmonic minor, and look at my preceding lessons on modes for a list of them, which you should also memorize. After you have learned them, you should play them at a steady tempo (using a metronome) in different patterns - be creative.
Ex. A Phrygian 
I--------------------------------------------I
I--------------------------------------------I
I--------------------------------------------I
I----------------------------------5-7-8-7-5-I
I-------5-7-8-7-5-----------5-7-8------------I
I-5-6-8-----------8-6-5-6-8------------------I

I--------------------------------------I
I----------------------5---------------I
I------------------5-7---7-5-------5-7-I
I-----------5-7-8------------8-7-8-----I
I-8-7-5-7-8----------------------------I
I--------------------------------------I

I-------5-----------5-6-8-17~-I
I-5-6-8---8-6-5-6-8-----------I
I-----------------------------I
I-----------------------------I
I-----------------------------I
I-----------------------------I
After you make your own patterns, and played them over and over to a metronome, you can start trying to improvise licks with them. Legato: is using hammer-ons and pull offs, and is sometimes used when shredding.
Ex. 
Am
      nh h  nh h  nh  nh h  nh h  nh h                                    
    I-----------------------------5-7-8-I
    I-----------------------5-6-7-------I
    I-----------------4-5-7-------------I
    I-------------5-7-------------------I
    I-------5-7-8-----------------------I
    I-5-7-8-----------------------------I

n= Down stroke
H=hammer-on
You can do the same thing descending. To improve your legato, just use all hammer-ons and pull offs with various scales. 3. Chord Formation/Sweep Picking - proper technique, and how they blend. Chord construction. Say you need to make a minor chord. For this example, we will use D minor. Use the formula of the minor scale, and fit the notes D-C into it. Figure 1 -------- W H W W H W W < minor scale formula D E F G A Bb C < notes d-c, with accidentals to fit the formula You take the notes d e f g a b c, and alter them to fit the series of whole steps and half steps that we call a scale formula. So now with this, we can take the first, the third and the fifth (triad), to make a D minor chord.
Dm      
  
 Chord | Notes
 ------|-------
I-----I|    
I-----I|
I-----I| 
I--7--I| A (fifth)
I--8--I| F (third)
I--10-I| D (root)
If you wanted you could repeat the notes, and make another octave. There are also many other formations for each chord, experiment with the triad. Now we have our chord. You can make more chords using scales, or use triad formulas. Some basic triad formulas:
Major (R, 3, 5)
Minor (R, b3, 5)
Augmented (R, 3, #5)
Diminished (R, b3, b5)
Sweep Arpeggios. Sweep picking is playing arpeggiated notes in a sequence, whilst technically sweeping the strings, playing each note at a time, with no blending of the notes. Always follow the strict economy picking when you are sweeping. An arpeggio is a chord, which is a triad, so you now know how to make arpeggios. So, using our previous example, we will construct a D minor Arpeggio.
Ex.
D Minor Arpeggio

n= Down stroke
v= Up stroke

     n  n  n   n h p   v   v  v                                  
E||-----------10-13-10-----------|
B||--------10----------10--------|
G||-----10----------------10-----|
D||--12----------------------12--|
A||------------------------------|
E||------------------------------|
This particular sweep pattern has 3 strings with the same fret (10) which would be difficult, so you need to use the technique of rolling. Rolling is where you virtually "roll" your finger across the fret, on each string. We do this, so that the notes aren't blurred together, like they would be if you just barred the notes. Rolling is a very useful technique when it comes to shredding. Here are some exercises you can do to improve your rolling and you're picking technique.
Left hand rolling:
I-------------------------I
I-----5-7---------5-7-----I
I---5-----7-----5-----7---I
I-5---------7-5---------7-I
I-------------------------I
I-------------------------I

Right hand picking:
I---------------------------------------4-1-------I
I-----------------------4-1-----------3-----2-----I
I-------4-1-----------3-----2-------2---------3---I
I-----3-----2-------2---------3---1-------------4-I
I---2---------3---1-------------4-----------------I
I-1-------------4---------------------------------I

Here are some examples.
     Am7 
I-----------5-8-5-----------I
I---------8-------8---------I
I-------5-----------5-------I
I-----7---------------7-----I
I---7-------------------7---I
I-5-----------------------5-I

         E Major

5 string
I---------4-7-4---------I
I-------5-------5-------I
I-----4-----------4-----I
I---6---------------6---I
I-7-------------------7-I
I-----------------------I

4 string
I----------12-16-12----------I
I-------12----------12-------I
I----13----------------13----I
I-14----------------------14-I
I----------------------------I
I----------------------------I

3 string
I------7-12-7-----I
I----9--------9---I
I--9------------9-I
I-----------------I
I-----------------I
I-----------------I
  
        E Phrygian

5 string
I---------3-7-3---------I
I-------5-------5-------I
I-----4-----------4-----I
I---5---------------5---I
I-7-------------------7-I
I-----------------------I

4 string
I-------------15-------------I
I----------17----17----------I
I----12-16----------16-12----I
I-14----------------------14-I
I----------------------------I
I----------------------------I

3 string
I-----7-12-7-----I
I---8--------8---I
I-9------------9-I
I----------------I
I----------------I
I----------------I
Tap sweeping: Tap sweeping is an added challenge to sweeping. Sweep the first half up to the E string, and then tap the higher notes on the E string with your picking hand.
                h   T     T    p              
    I----------6-10-15-10-11-10-6-------------I
    I--------8--------------------8-----------I
    I------7------------------------7-/-5-----I
    I----8--------------------------------7---I
    I-10------------------------------------8-I
    I-----------------------------------------I
4. String skipping - it will improve your accuracy and speed. String skipping is well, string skipping. The best way to explain is to show an example.
Ex. 
 
Am
                                        
I---------------------------------I
I---------------------------------I
I---------------------------------I
I-------5-7-9-7-5-----------5-7-9-I
I---------------------------------I
I-5-7-8-----------8-7-5-7-8-------I
In this example we are "skipping" (not picking) any notes on the D string.

59 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    simonjw87
    Michael Angel Batio is one of the fastest guitarists in the world, he's amazing. Good beginners lesson mate
    *kill'emall*
    (I suggest Dunlop Jazz III, and so does Sir Michael Angelo Batio) who the f*** is Sir Michael Angel Batio? sounds gay also...
    my_last_hero wrote: Abyssal wrote: This doesnt really increase my technique, just wasted my time reading it. Haha, agreed...
    without wasting my time laughing at such a pitiful thing, i agree as well
    blink_your_eyes
    I've never been able to read all of this stuff. I just used Guitar Playing for dumbies and I've been learning as I go. I have no patcience for stuff like this. But, whatever...
    sing4am
    This is exactly what everyone needs to do to increase their technique. Very good. Like think about the up and down strokes, it makes you 50% faster. Which is what everyone wants right?
    my_last_hero
    Abyssal wrote: This doesnt really increase my technique, just wasted my time reading it.
    Haha, agreed...
    fingersofflame
    good effort, actually pretty useful to a beginner, it is also a little more..."user friendly" i guess you would say...the examples were pretty good, and while i don't think that it will help those who are already know how to sweep improve their sweeping technique, and i don't think that it will help someone learn how to sweep well, it is a step in the right direction, especially the part about the rolling...it doesn't seem like much to most that are advanced, but it is very useful to someone who has played for a year or two and starting the road to shredding...great lesson man! (sheesh that was a long comment...)
    MaAal_MaAan
    Batio is a ****ing loser compared 2 Jeremy Barnes, the Aussie dude. F*CKING FAST AS! his hands/fingers were a blur
    a0kalittlema0n
    dude ^ michael angelo could sight read that jeremy barnes solos and btw nice guide helped me a lil bit specially with the rolling fingee
    supersolus666
    man i think michael angelo batio is the most overrated guitarist he can play fast but his lessons on guitar world are so annoying he looks like he's gonna pop a hernia trying to play fast...and this is an ok lesson not the best though
    demondown666
    this stuff is true. and part of music theory so if you dont unstand it learn it. but yeah more of a teaching lesson than improving technique.
    ross.evans
    a lot of things to work on for me! VERY good lesson. Really enjoyed the rolling technique
    a0kalittlema0n
    i liked the building arppegios part that helped me but not too much on sweeping that i liked cept rolling most other was pretty good though
    auranos
    All the people hating on this lesson are the ones who don't understand it. This lesson is not for you. This is for advancing guitarists who are interested in playing cleanly and correctly.
    .:iloveyou:.
    Geez this was a great lesson. Like the above said it wdidn't really "improve" anything but it did "teach" me what some things are. BTW, most of these guys who posted negatively probably just didn't take the time to read it or are just stupid rednecks... it was great. =)
    Metal_Injection
    *kill'emall* wrote: (I suggest Dunlop Jazz III, and so does Sir Michael Angelo Batio) who the f*** is Sir Michael Angel Batio? sounds gay also... my_last_hero wrote: Abyssal wrote: This doesnt really increase my technique, just wasted my time reading it. Haha, agreed... without wasting my time laughing at such a pitiful thing, i agree as well
    u guys r losers, if it doesnt help u then obviously its not meant for you, next time you should use your brain before commenting Otherwise this is a very good lesson, it teaches the basics, which is good for alot of begginers, Valiant stuff brother
    pretaanluxis
    thanks for the lesson, really opened my eyes to what 5ths and 3rds are and how to make chords
    halfmike
    i acvtually liked it because the examples are pretty noce and ive gotten better good job
    thesmartguy50
    not to say that this one was bad, of course. it's actually quite interesting. Noobs should prosper
    thesmartguy50
    hmmm... well, just remember that the lesson helps not only those who read it, but the guy who wrote it, as well. A valiant effort, simply a rather confusing one. Please, keep writing lessons, and i promise, you'll get better at them.
    Freepower
    thats a pretty bad lesson - especially the string skipping example at the end. In case you havent noticed, you pick everything but the A string. Not the D string.
    U.F.O
    what this is the only lesson that helped me alot! thanx younhow ever you may be!
    Mr Fevpump
    Yea... um sry bro 2/5 stars alot of this stufff is pretty basic the most helpful part was the sweep tapping i believe but usually thats just normal tapping... well bro good effort and i'm sure it helped someone
    Shreddy
    This lesson is very similar to the Shredding. Part 2- Speed and Technique lesson that just came out.
    prowler
    although i haven't found any use for this having been playing for years and already covered this lessons, its appreciated that someone's put the effort and time to put it in.. carry on the good work - it was a useful lesson for my amigo who'se learning
    slayerman
    i always wondered how to make the notes crisper when sweep picking. now i know; rolling the finger!
    battleaxe
    If you could, it would have been better if you'd explained more about Economic Picking! Take this ----- ----- --- -- -----5----- -----5-- 6----- --5--6- ---- U D D What I'm trying to ask is that when I go for the 6'th fret in the 5'th string, Should it be Upstroke or downstroke (Economic picking)
    Banshee_007
    The negative comments here are absolutely unreal. Appreciate what's being offered.
    guitar_virtuoso
    decent lesson dude, it helped me in decifering diffeent sweep and arpeggio techniques.....my only problem, was the way it was written a lil more clarity would help a lot...decent none the less