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Rock Guitar Lessons: A Natural Minor "The" Picking Lick

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It's time for the picking lick.
And this comes from a combination of a
certain amount of notes per strings.
And let's take a look at what those are.
We have one note per string.
And then we have three notes per string.
I'm doing my usual pattern of starting on
the highest note.
Going down and coming back up.
Now why do I call it the picking lick?
Because for me, this was the lick that
opened the door to alternate picking.
This was really the one that just was
I started to have success with alternate
picking after I practiced this lick a lot.
So let's take a look at it.
That's what it sound like.
And even though it's the picking lick I
actually want to work on it
with legato first.
Because I think having the left hand, in
you know,
having the left hand be able to do this
is, one of the most important parts.
Before you even get into the picking.
So let's really concentrate, on the left
And I'm just going pick the first two
And everything else I'm going to do as.
Pull-offs and hammer-ons.
Our goal here is to get nice strong notes.
And maybe even more importantly to make
the notes really even in time.
You know sometimes it's tempting when you
the ability to do that.
So you go.
You know, to not make it even but
I want it really even.
Really even triplets.
These are one, two, three, one, two,
three, one, two, three.
let's look at the picking for just this
I'm going to do an upstroke at the
beginning [SOUND] and
a downstroke next [SOUND].
You've done a lot of this before.
And after that, we're into the world of
You get two notes for
free thanks to our pull offs.
Then we're going to continue to let
our left hand do the work and do some
hammer ons.
there's a lot of left hand going on here.
[SOUND] Now, I've taught this lick a lot.
And that's why I'm putting that much
emphasis on the left hand part.
Because sometimes when people pick it
becomes almost like the,
the engine on, on a speedboat.
Ya know, ya just, ya pull the string
[SOUND] and.
And it's almost like the hand is going.
[SOUND] You know, you got this half assed
hand going, and then, and
then you put it in the water.
[SOUND] You know, and it's just this fast
[LAUGH] thing that I don't really, that
I'm not particularly fond of the sound of.
I really want this to be controlled.
I want our.
Hands should be in sync together, and the
way to do that is to make sure that
the left hand is just as quick as the
right hand so leave the speedboat
behind and instead we're going to make the
left hand actually generate the speed and
all the right hand does is just add a
certain tone to it, cause the,
in a way a speed limit is what the left
hand can do.
You know almost we're playing a single
As soon as we start playing individual
different notes,
with the left hand when I start doing
picking I don't want to go.
You know I want to have.
One picked note.
Per, per left hand note so that's why I
want to concentration on the left hand
first and make sure that those notes are
I'm not using a lot of distortion but
I'm able to use the power of my left hand
pull-offs and hammer-ons.
[SOUND] To make sure those notes come out
nice and clean,
and especially even, in time.
So let's try it with a little more
That'll make it easier, actually, it'll
make it easier to get the notes but
have, we begin to have our muting
So let's keep our ear open and
make sure we don't get [SOUND] any of
those open strings ringing out.
Three, four.
You may find that in order to get enough,
enough power to do that,
that you have to shift your left hand
position around a little bit.
I still like,
to have this first joint of my finger
connecting the bottom of the neck.
It just makes me feel good because I know
that any time I can do some vibrato.
And I really feel like I have good control
of, of the guitar.
So let's try that again with the first
finger connected to the bottom
of the neck.
The location of it is not going to be
directly under the fret that we're
playing, but back a little bit so
when we curve our fingers they fall right
into the frets that we want to play.
Three, four.
The key here is so
much of it has to do with your ears.
You're listening to make sure those notes
are clean and in time.
Three, four.
I can hear my own playing improving as
I concentrate on the sound.
It's really the, it's all ear based.
When you listen your fingers will
automatically adjust
to make those notes sound better and
stronger and more in time.
Three, four.
So when you practice really listen to
what's going on.
That will make your hand adjust to make
the right sound and
then your hand will get used to that as a
And that'll give you the best technique
All right.
So let's work on that a little quicker.
And again our first note is an upstroke
followed by a down.
Everything else is hammer-ons and
One, two, three, four.
the picked notes actually happen quickly
then there's a big space, so they get a
chance to rest.
So they're basically just going.
A lot of the picking that we did in our
shuffle section is going to help
with that.
That's actually the same technique
that we're applying to this faster scale.
Three, four.
All right.
Once you feel that you've got it even and
that [SOUND] first note is always landing
on the downbeat, I want to speed it up a
little bit.
And let's try stopping too.
So we'll do little fast bits with pauses
in between.
One, two, three, four.
There we go.
Let me make it even.
Nice triplets.
I'm gonna slow it down a little bit.
Three, four.
There we go.
You can really hear the triplet now.
That's where we get the control.
All right.
Let's see how quick we can get this.
One, two, three, four.
That's pretty awesome.
That's really fast.
Those are some seriously cooking 16th note
Now let's try to pick it.
We're adding, we're starting the same way.
We're still starting [SOUND] with upstroke
to a down.
then we just kind of fill in the blanks
with that alternate pattern.
So, whatever you played, the next thing is
the opposite.
So we go [SOUND] up, down, up, down, up,
down, up, and we're back at the beginning.
this is where all our work with the
And all our work with starting with the
upstroke and
down beat, is going to really come into
play and really pay off.
So, let's try that again super slow.
One, two, three, four.
Also, all your work with your left
hand is going to pay off because that's,
they are going to fall right into place.
You don't even have to worry about it
because it has become habit now.
Now you can just concentrate on making
sure the strokes are correct,
starting with the upstroke.
Three, four.
[SOUND] All right,
that's great.
The stop is so important.
Let's speed it up, but
let's keep that stop in there to make sure
we're locked into the beat.
Three, four.
Nice stop.
I want to even do more stops.
I want to do maybe two phrases.
Just like three, four.
Nice big hole.
That's going to be really valuable.
To get out of the vortex.
Of fast playing.
You could enjoy that hole.
Reverb tail.
You're still in control of the time.
Later on, we can put some notes in there.
All right.
So, I think now we're ready to speed it up
a little more.
Let's still keep the stop though.
I think the stops is the best way to
Because it makes sure that you're always
aware of where the beat is.
So let's do one, two, three, four.
That's pretty quick.
Starting with the upstroke.
Put the hand on the bridge.
Picking lightly.
But accurately.
That's fantastic.
this lick has the potential to be really,
really quick.
I'm just going to see how quick I can get
it and still keep the notes sounding good.
So, I'm gonna go three, four.
Again, those stops, they help me.
I'm playing this better than I thought I
would because I've warmed up
with doing those stops.
One, two, three, four.
The ability to stop like that,
that really, your audience is gonna love
They're gonna hear [INAUDIBLE] and that
last note is what sells it.
That's the period at the end of your
This case maybe an exclamation point.
Three, four.
You can even make
that last note louder if you [INAUDIBLE],
you know?
That's some powerful fast picking,
that's really what makes it cool.
That's, to me that's so much better than
the speed boat, the [NOISE] you know?
So, [LAUGH] I, I hope you get my concept,
the contrast of those two ways of picking.
And this was a revolution for me.
Now, I also want to let you know that when
I discovered this lick,
I had already been playing guitar for
about eight years.
So, I had a lot of left-hand facility, I
already had.
Spent a lot of time with the left hand.
And then I felt I was ready.
To start doing that picking lick.
In fact, a friend of mine showed it to me
and I started trying it.
And I was so excited because for
the first time, I could finally do some
fast picking.
And this was my doorway into so many other
ways of picking fast.
But I just wanna point out one more time
that it starts with the upstroke.
This is hugely important to so
many techniques that we, this lick in
and variations we're gonna do with it.
And you know, if you have any trouble with
that at all,
just go back to the shuffle section.
Cuz that's where all the core techniques
That's where I got used to playing the
upstroke on the downbeat.
And you know that, that's where you want
to start to get these,
to get those techniques together, to get
that core technique and
it's going to make this easy to play.
Alright, I want you to put a big stop on
the end.
And I'd love to see you play this.
I think I can really help you if you send
me a video.
I can watch the details,
I can use my trained ear cause I've play
this lick a lot.
So, I know what to look for.
So I'd love to see you play it no matter
what stage you're at.
But what I want you to concentrate on is
to try to play it really accurately,
make sure the left hand, you put as much
work into the left hand as
you do the right and let me know where the
beat is.
You know, give me a four count at the
Tap your foot and I want you to with your
tell me what the tempo is, where the
accents are, where the stops are.
That's the information that I want you to
send me with your guitar.
Love to see you do it.
Check out the other students and what
they're doing.
And it will focus our ears and focus our
playing, and we'll master this lick and
have some serious fast picking.
You can do it.
Three, Four.