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Rock Guitar Lessons: Picking Revolution

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One, two, three, four.
Are you ready?
For a picking revolution and it's
literally a revolution because
the pick is going to revolve about 90
degrees to where it was.
Now up until now, we've been holding the
pick with a strumming technique.
Which I love, I use this for
all kind of things.
I use it for playing groovy things on the
But that way of pulling the pick,
which I demonstrated before but I'll give
you a little review,
is with two fingers and the thumb, and
that holds it in place.
This new way is going to be on the side of
your first finger, not the flat part but
the side, and when you put the pick there
it's going to feel pretty precarious so
that's why the thumb comes over and holds
it like that, and
the point of the pick, let me just make
Yeah it's sort of, if you drew a line
going straight out of your thumb, drew a
line coming straight out of your finger,
the pick would be about half way in
between so it's just right in between
the lines that would be coming out of your
thumb and first finger, and your thumb
is also going to change because before our
thumb was sort of a concave bowl shape.
Now it's going to be the opposite.
It's gonna, the joint of the thumb is
going to form kind of a Tee Pee,
a letter A, like that.
So obviously, this is really different,
and why would we do this?
Why would we do such a different thing?
And the reason is for tone.
I'm got my tone, a tone that I've written
on my pick to symbolize
the difference on tone that we get when we
hold the pick differently.
So I wanna demonstrate that really quick,
if we take,
especially on the low wrapped strings,
like the low E, and
if I play notes on the string, and the
angle of the pick is parallel.
So, in other words, I'm gonna make my hand
the same angle as my pick right now.
Like that.
But if I begin to angle it forward,
you get this nice scratchy sound.
Let me put on a different pickup, so you
[MUSIC] there we go.
So here, again, here's parallel.
And as I angle it.
It really changes the treble and
the scratchiness of that, of the string,
and also allows us,
certain fast things are going to be coming
up and so
what I would recommend is having these two
different kinds of picking the strum.
Way of holding the pick [SOUND], and
that's good for
the chika chikas [SOUND], and then this
new way for faster single notes.
This is really where we're getting into
the core techniques.
Some faster picking and basic single lump
picking in general.
This is gonna be more accurate, it's gonna
be less chicka chickas,
it's gonna be more just hitting right on a
single note.
So I wanna give you an exercise, that is
is I think is the best exercise in
the world for this and it's a gallop we're
just gonna take the A string [SOUND] and
do that riding the horse gallop.
Come on old Bessie, let's ride.
we've done the gallop before with
strumming, and, so,
I think you should already have the motion
in your wrist from when you were going.
And we did that before with,
with chickas.
We, we already have that motion,
you already have that technique of two
downstrokes, down, down, and one up.
It's ya know, down, down, up, down, down,
up, down, down, up.
You should already have that from the
lessons we already did.
So now we're just gonna translate that
into this new way of holding the pick.
it's the same motions that we've done
Down, down, up.
And if we loop it.
Now my hope,
is that because you've already been
strumming this,
that it's just gonna be natural and you
don't even have to really slow it down.
You can just sorta dive in.
And it feels good right away.
That's why I gave you all that, all that
stuff to work on beforehand, but, if for
some reason this is, this is, you know, it
feels weird or you don't quite have
an intuitive feel for the strokes, just
slow it down and take it in sections.
You can start with just doing the two
That would be, let's see, one, two, three,
[SOUND] That's two downs.
And I'm muting.
With my hand on the bridge.
There we go.
I know you can do that.
This is a good way.
To get the feel of this new way of holding
the pick, thumb forward, and take a look
at it.
Actually look at your thumb, and
make sure that your thumb isn't like a
flat, sort of a straight line.
But you definitely want to bend it
Cuz then, you can see how the pick is
revolving, hence the picking revolution,
[SOUND] and let's listen to that tone
So, one, two, three, four.
[SOUND] You've got 'em.
[SOUND] Super easy.
[SOUND] Fantastic.
[SOUND] Okay, now we're gonna add the
upstroke, and
the timing of the upstroke would be like.
the [INAUDIBLE] comes in a little faster
and, it's a syncopated beat, that's why.
Feels good,
make sure you get those strokes right.
Down, down, up.
So, it gonna's down, down, up.
Down, down, up.
Watch the thumb.
Now, at first, you can visually watch your
thumb, but
really, the, the thing that's important is
the tone, and
you can listen as you change the angle.
To, there's more scratch.
A lot of, a nice, nice scratchy sound
there, and
that's one of the main things I want from
this technique, is that scratchy sound.
So, initially after you take a look at it,
then just listen.
Make sure it's the sound you want.
You can experiment a little with both.
And, and see where your favorite spot it.
All right, let's speed it up a little bit.
Let's see is we go.
that's down, down, up, down, down, up.
right now I'm putting a big, a hole at the
end of each one of those.
And, I want to loop them, I want to put
them together.
So, let's do the transition of the loop
So we're gonna, I'm just gonna play the
first note of the next one.
Now, that sounds complicated.
It's easy.
Let's try this.
Three, four.
Now, that's great.
So that's down, down, up, down.
Down, down, up, down.
You got it,
listening for the tone.
A nice scratchy sound.
Let's keep doing it.
Now if this is new.
Any new thing like this I would say, you
if you practice it for five minutes, five
minutes is a long time to go.
You know five minutes you'll do a lot of
those in five minutes,
and it starts to program, your brain so
it's sort of, it,
just do that motion intuitively, then you
can start to forget about it,
it just feels natural, and that's when you
can begin to speed it up.
Let's go a little faster [SOUND] and
after that it becomes, so if you practice
it more.
Then you can begin to loop it so there's
no stop.
Just three, four.
Yeah, that sounds so good.
I love that scratchy little thing we're
getting from angling the pick.
I want to take a quick look cuz.
Ya know, up until now we've been holding
the pick a completely different way.
So let's try it like that just to see what
the sound difference is,
cuz it might work.
That's not bad either, and
certainly, I've seen players like Neil
Sloan or Marty Friedman,
and they hold their pick like this.
And they do everything that way.
So, there's no set rule.
I just found that eventually.
This way lead to a lot of things that I
could only do this way.
So I want to introduce the technique now
to you.
Love that scratchy sound.
one of the big differences about this to
everything we've done so far,
is we're starting to do small accurate
Before I've been bashing away with, you
with wild abandon with all my picking.
This one we're really focusing in on a
much smaller and more precise technique.
So it might require more practice because
of that.
And while you practice the, the main thing
is, is listening.
Listening to make sure you get that
scratchy tone.
And this is what we're playing later.
Now you can start the, you know, you can
play harder.
That might be a good exercise too,
to between really light or really hard,
an extremely good exercise actually.
That's really gonna develop your technique
and go between muting, and
letting the mute off, you know, doing it,
just open.
To mute it.
Whisper quiet, [SOUND] and
slowly bring it up.
That's gonna, that's gonna really pay off.
So after you've practiced this to the
point where it's comfortable,
it's indestructible, then I want to start
adding some chords to it, so we can really
feel how to make transitions and how to
make it into music, you know, and so
to do that I'm gonna do this example, I'm
gonna go one, two, three, four.
This is starting to sound heavy, this is a
nice chunky thing.
Because that muting [SOUND] and because
we've got some good two note chords.
Now I'm just using the, [SOUND] two
middles strings with a bar and
my first finger and then a bar with my
third finger, [SOUND] so [SOUND].
And in between I'm doing a, [SOUND] so.
Getting that transition clean and
precise is really important.
So try to slow that down.
Let's do it in time.
So one, two, three, four.
So again, I just want to point that I'm
not doing these big moves anymore.
I'm really concentrating more on
controlling precise picking techniques
with our new way of holding the pick and
we've got a cool riff to practice it in,
and we're gonna play it loud and soft and
I wanna hear you playing this one.
So let's check it out one more time.
One, two, three, four.