Tasty Guitar Routines 2

Now it's time for a tasty Alternate Picking Routine everybody can use daily. Delicious!

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Ultimate Guitar
5
Welcome back everyone! This time we'll focus on Alternate Picking. It's important to note that many of the exercises presented here are known by the average guitar player. I collected the ones I think are the best and most varied to practice. Always remember to stretch and warm up (look for Tasty Guitar Routines #1) before doing the following exercises. Let's go! Lesson 2: Alternate Picking Let's start with an altered version of "Ipsy Dipsy Spider" exercise. I'll explain in due time the differences between the regular and this altered version, which helps you stretch your fretting hand a little more. Important: Remember we're practicing Alternate Picking, so maintain a "Down, Up, Down, Up" stroke pattern. You also want to start at a slow and comfortable tempo (3050 bpm doing sixteenth notes) and slowly (yes, very slowly) start to speed up the whole routine. We also are going to cover the entire fretboard. Fig. 1: Altered "Ipsy Dipsy Spider" Description: Start plucking the first four notes normally. When you're about to pluck the first note on second string, leave the other fingers in their respective position moving only the finger you need to. Repeat until you've reached the high E note. The whole process starts again but in reverse.
E|---------------------------------------------1-2-3-4--|
B|------------------------------------1-2-3-4-----------|
G|---------------------------1-2-3-4--------------------|
D|-------------------1-2-3-4----------------------------|
A|----------1-2-3-4-------------------------------------|
E|--1-2-3-4---------------------------------------------|
Continued
E|--5-----------------------------------------------------|
B|----2-3-4-5---------------------------------------------|
G|-------------2-3-4-5------------------------------------|
D|---------------------2-3-4-5----------------------------|
A|-----------------------------2-3-4-5--------------------|
E|--------------------------------------2-3-4-5--3-4-5-6--| etc...
Now it's time for the classic "Ipsy Dipsy Spider". Fig. 2: Classic "Ipsy Dipsy Spider" (Keep going until you're out of frets)
E|---------------------------------------------1-2-3-4--|
B|------------------------------------1-2-3-4-----------|
G|---------------------------1-2-3-4--------------------|
D|-------------------1-2-3-4----------------------------|
A|----------1-2-3-4-------------------------------------|
E|--1-2-3-4---------------------------------------------|
Continued
E|--5-4-3-2----------------------------------------------------|
B|----------5-4-3-2--------------------------------------------|
G|-------------------5-4-3-2-----------------------------------|
D|---------------------------5-4-3-2---------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------5-4-3-2-------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------5-4-3-2--3-4-5-6--|
We're done with the 1-2-3-4 fret patterns, leaving only 1-2-4, 1-3-4 and 1-3-5. Fig. 3: Combined Patterns (Keep going until you're out of frets)
E|--------------------------------2-4-5--|
B|--------------------------2-3-5--------|
G|--------------------1-3-5--------------|
D|--------------2-4-5--------------------|
A|--------2-3-5--------------------------|
E|--1-3-5--------------------------------|
Continued
E|--6-5-3--------------------------------|
B|--------6-4-3--------------------------|
G|--------------6-4-2--------------------|
D|--------------------6-5-3--------------|
A|--------------------------6-4-3--------|
E|--------------------------------6-4-2--|
Yeah! Now let's try some variations of the major scale: Fig. 4: Major Scale (Repeat at least 2 times. Descend in the same position repeating the first and last notes to even the stroke pattern).
E|---------------------------------7-9-10--|
B|--------------------------7-9-10---------|
G|--------------------6-7-9----------------|
D|--------------6-7-9----------------------|
A|--------5-7-9----------------------------|
E|--5-7-9----------------------------------|Descend
Fig. 5: Major Scale (Triplets) (Repeat at least 2 times. Descend in the same position repeating the first and last notes to even the stroke pattern).
E|---------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------------------|
G|------------------------------------------------6---6-7-6-7-9--|
D|------------------------------6---6-7-6-7-9-7-9---9------------|
A|------------5---5-7-5-7-9-7-9---9------------------------------|
E|--5-7-9-7-9---9------------------------------------------------|
Continued
E|-------------------------7----7-9-7-9-10--|
B|------7--7-9-7-9-10-9-10---10-------------|
G|--7-9--9----------------------------------|
D|------------------------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------|Descend
Fig. 6: Major Scale (Sixteenth notes) (Repeat at least 2 times. Descend in the same position repeating the first and last notes to even the stroke pattern).
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|--------------------------------------------------------6-----6-7--|
D|--------------------------------6-----6-7---6-7-9-6-7-9---7-9------|
A|--------5-----5-7---5-7-9-5-7-9---7-9-----9------------------------|
E|--5-7-9---7-9-----9------------------------------------------------|
Continued
E|------------------------------------------7------7-9----7-9-10--|
B|----------------7-----7-9---7-9-10-7-9-10---9-10-----10---------|
G|----6-7-9-6-7-9---7-9-----9-------------------------------------|
D|--9-------------------------------------------------------------|
A|----------------------------------------------------------------|
E|----------------------------------------------------------------|Descend
That was long wasn't it? Let's finish with this last variation: Fig. 7: Major Scale (Thirds) (Repeat at least 2 times. Descend in the same position repeating the first and last notes to even the stroke pattern).
E|---------------------------------------------------------7----9-7-10--|
B|--------------------------------------------7---9-7-10-9---10---------|
G|--------------------------------6---7-6-9-7---9-----------------------|
D|--------------------6---7-6-9-7---9-----------------------------------|
A|--------5---7-5-9-7---9-----------------------------------------------|
E|--5-9-7---9-----------------------------------------------------------|Descend
Almost done. Let's finish with yet another variation of the "Ipsy Dipsy Spider" exercise: Fig. 8: Cross-string "Ipsy Dipsy Spider" (Keep going until you're out of frets)
E|----------------------------------------4-1--------|
B|------------------------4-1-----------3-----2------|
G|--------4-1-----------3-----2-------2---------3----|
D|------3-----2-------2---------3---1-------------4--|
A|----2---------3---1-------------4------------------|
E|--1-------------4----------------------------------|
Continued
E|--------2-5---------------------------------------|
B|------3-----4-----------2-5-----------------------|
G|----4---------3-------3-----4-----------2-5-------|
D|--5-------------2---4---------3-------3-----4-----|
A|------------------5-------------2---4---------3---|
E|----------------------------------5------------2--|etc...
Al last! Focusing on a variety of exercises of each technique every day will help you develop dexterity and speed faster. You can practice this routine while watching T.V or listening to some music because the only pleasant exercises are the Major Scale variations. Have fun, be patient, patient and... Patient. I'd appreciate if you leave constructive feedback or suggestions; we're here to help each other out!

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    dwainfish
    Again, its a beautiful thing you've done. Its similar to things I do, but in a context that completely changes the way in which you work the muscle. You should check out petruccis rock discipline if you haven't already.. He also has a great alt pick/string skip exercise which would round off this lesson quite sweetly.. Until next time. Which better be soon. Peace.
    jhodge87
    Nice article, there are some good exercises listed in here. My only negative comment around this whole article is in regards to this... "You can practice this routine while watching T.V or listening to some music because the only pleasant exercises are the Major Scale variations." I would definitely encourage people to not do any practice(even if its warm-up exercises) while watching TV or listening to music as to make the most out of any practice session, you want your concentration to be 100% on your playing.
    dwainfish
    One question, The keep your fingers in place until you use them thing.. Which is obscene to get used to.. Is there any particular reason why we do this? And should we only do it in the first exercise?
    _Doggy_
    Hi Dwainfish! We do it to gain strength and finger independence. I always do it first because it still stretches your hand (if you've done a lot exercises before it will be way more difficult to actually finish it). Cheers!
    TheGroundZero
    Good advice. I already use the majority of these exercises in my daily practice. If you stick to this stuff every day and focus on accuracy and not speed, you'll find the speed naturally works it's way in.
    Gortorek
    jhodge87 wrote:I would definitely encourage people to not do any practice(even if its warm-up exercises) while watching TV or listening to music as to make the most out of any practice session, you want your concentration to be 100% on your playing.
    Agreed. I'd say that music isn't as bad as TV or other people making noise while you're trying to practice (music on a stereo is always a consistent volume, wheras TV/screaming children are not!), but it still doesn't precisely help, either. Good article.
    stormtrooper887
    what speeds would u recommend starting off at? also how long would it take to see a noticeable difference?
    _Doggy_
    Hi Stormtrooper! I would say both depend on many things, but: 1) Because each of the exercises aim at different hand motions, u should start at a speed in which everything sounds good and you feel comfortable (around 50 - 70 doing eight notes). 2) Super variable, but let's say if you practice this exercise half an hour each day of the week, you'll start seeing noticeable results in about a month, or maybe a little less. Some people get speed really fast, others tend to get it more slowly. Just be patient!
    _Doggy_
    Hi Stormtrooper! I would say both depend on many things, but: 1) Because each of the exercises aim at different hand motions, u should start at a speed in which everything sounds good and you feel comfortable (around 50 - 70 doing eight notes). 2) Super variable, but let's say if you practice this exercise half an hour each day of the week, you'll start seeing noticeable results in about a month, or maybe a little less. Some people get speed really fast, others tend to get it more slowly. Just be patient!