Speed Picking II

An expansion on my previous article that reviewed the fundamentals, this one is for the more familiar player. More picking technique, concepts, and exercises.

Ultimate Guitar
If you are a beginner looking for some solid advice and somewhere to start, Speed Picking (the first) is for you. However, if you are looking at expanding your playing and learning more control, you've got the right lesson. First I would like to give you some more picking exercises.
|-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-| repeat
  D U D U D U D U
  U D U D U D U D
  D U D U   D U  D U  D U   D U  D U  D U   D U  D U D  U
  U D U D   U D  U D  U D   U D  U D  U D   U D  U D U  D
The first exercise is done in eighth notes with an accent on the first beat. Master your dynamic control by performing this exercise regularly starting with upstrokes and downstrokes. Then learn this same exercise in 7/8 timing (same thing minus 1 eighth note) and 6/8. It is better to play it with a metronome. This exercise will make your picking hand immensely better and improve your timing, contradictory to it's simple appearance. The second set of exercises are picking exercises to improve your triplets and sextuplets. They should be practiced with both picking styles, at learning speed to start, and faster as you build. The first picking style is basic outside picking (when crossing pick moves outside the strings), which is said to be the easier of the two (your basic hand motion is uninterrupted while picking, it's smoother), while the second is inside picking (pick passes inside). These are good to learn because almost every run will use similar elements to these, and the last one is a good finger twister since you alternate between using your middle and ring finger. MASTER ALL OF THIS.OWN IT. Now then...all this tab is one exercise.
  D U D  U  D U D U D  U D U  D U D  U  D U D U D  U D U  D U D  U  D U D U
  D  U D U D U D U D U D U D U D U  D U D  U  D U D U D  U D U D U  D
This run is a run to work on strict alternate outside picking. It is meant to be hard at first, but it will get you in shape for those six string runs fast. It has a funky passing tone on the G string, which is the D# (8th fret). Remember to keep time and picking order, and start at a learning speed. This combined with the first few exercises and some chromatic runs will keep your picking hand in shape and get you used to crossing strings. Your left hand will also benefit, as it will follow the right.
|-10-9-7----------------------| and back up
   D U D  U D U  D U D  U D U
This is the last thing to practice. A simple descending lick, or ascending as you practice going back up the lick, is a common occurrence while trying to enter or exit a specific lick or movement. Mastering this will prepare you for anything thrown your way while connecting licks. A good example is:
  D U  D U  D U D   D   U D      D U D  U D U  D U D  U D U 
Try soloing and ending out with a similar lick. Working over a backing track is suggested, stay in key, and be creative when making such licks. I guess my final suggestion is on pattern picking, such as galloping. This can be seen in songs such as Children of Bodom's "Trashed Lost & Strungout." This is almost like drumming, using rhythm patterns in picking. If you are familiar with drums you can even play out poly-rhythms and such. Picking like this will improve control, so practice it and stay in time. And use alternate picking. Always practice economy picking separately! I guess that's about all there is to it. Just practice until you die. With that I end out with a lick I've created just now for you. Enjoy.


I request that every UGer post a lesson. We could do away with paying for lessons! Please rate with fairness, criticism welcome \m/

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I probably won't need to play really fast very often but cool lesson.
    Thanks, I'd gotten really lazy with my middle finger and this helped quite a bit.
    actually we shouldnt do away with paying for lessons because all the teachers kind of deserve the pay, unless they a crappy teacher then all they deserve is a middle finger and a slap on the wrist
    I like this a lot. It's simple and direct. c: thanks for posting this lesson dude xD
    Very nice lesson! However, please keep in mind that some speed picking techniques require palm muting as well.