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Multi-String Picking Shred Lick

Want to play shred licks?

Many players would agree that alternate picking chops are the foundation of
shredding And almost all the teachers, from me, to Silvio Gazquez, to Paul Gilbert,
all advocate building up your picking chops on a single string, first.
But where do you go from there? And how do you play something fast that also sounds
One of most the musical but short phrases involves simply going up and down a 3 note
section of a scale(at a fast tempo, its more musical sounding to me than simply
repeating notes going up or down). And you can do this on a single string.
For example, B C D C B C D C etc Try coming up with some of your own musical
ideas based on this kind of pattern
Heres my idea of the day:
As with any 4 note pattern, you can repeat this on multiple strings and get the same
down up down up picking pattern.
Lets try this on 4 strings of the C major scale, starting on the B note, and repeating the
lick 4 times on each string before going to the next string.
Crank the tempo up to 200 bpm, and we have some genuine shred guitar. wow
To finish the phrase, im just continuing the pattern for 3 more notes, sliding up from the
10th fret to the 12th fret with my pinky on the last note , giving it some vibrato and a
final slide down.
Importance of Legato
Lets talk about legato playing today. When I say legato, I mean
hammer-ons and pull-offs.
If you cant do a basic hammer on or pull off, please please please
do yourself a favor and get my beginner lead guitar course
(Killer Lead Guitar Made Simple)
It is often easier to use legato, since
you dont have to pick every note , and picking involves , well
developing your picking chops.
However, sometimes playing stuff only legato is harder because
youre really relying on that fretting hand to do a lot more work.
Repeated hammerons and pulloffs take a lot more out of your fretting
hand than if you just were picking every note.
What I mean is, when youre picking every note, your fretting
hand must be in place, but it doesnt have to pull off and hammer
to produce the right sound.
This is especially true if you want a nice, even, round tone, and
more so if the tempo is fast.
And a lot of times you do want a fluid, rolling, lyrical sound
from your playing. Picking every note would sound stiff.
Any way you slice it, if you wanna be a good player, you
need to work on your legato chops at some point.
Heres a few basic exercises for you.
The easiest is just playing 3 notes on 1 string
in a diatonic scale. In this case, from A minor.
Next, we have A pentatonic 3 notes per string
which is harder because of the wider stretch.
(Please dont hurt yourself never strain)
Finally, we can make it even more challenging
by adding more strings to our lick.
Each of these 3 licks is a repeating lick
so feel free to play it with feeling with a killer tone
till the cows come home
So , you have 3 licks in increasing order
of difficulty. I happen to be playing these
using 16th notes at 176 bpm. If thats too
fast, by all means, slowwwwwww it dowwwwwwn.
Or, if youre badass, try playing it at 200 bmp or
One more piece of advice on this, pay attention
to the other strings ringing open. You may need to do a bit
of palm muting especially if youre using a distorted tone.
Record yourself and as Steve Vai says, listen to yourself
with a critical ear..

Beginner Diatonic

Intermediate Pentatonic

Advanced Pentatonic 2 strings

Lydian Magic Part 1

If youve been playing guitar for
more than a day, youve probably
heard about scales and modes.
Although they can sound mysterious,
theyre really nothing more than
inversions of a scale.
If you have C major scale, you have
the notes: C, D, E, F, G, A, and B.
Then you also have:
C Ionian (Major)
D Dorian
E Phrygian
F Lydian
G Mixolydian
A Aeolian (Minor)
B Locrian
All with the same notes the only difference
is which note you start on, or emphasize.
Thats why , for example, in the Guitar Scale
System software, theres no modes listed.
Why? Because if youre learning a pattern
across the whole neck, all the notes would
be the same.
Still, we can create different sounds depending
on which note we start on.
In the next email, Ill show you a few cool
tricks using the Lydian Mode.
For now, I want to leave with you a cool chord
that emphasizes the lydian sound.
Lets take E Lydian The note that really
stands out is the Bb.
This forms a tritone interval, which is the
creepiest of all intervals Play
an E note and Bb to hear what I mean.
I think tritones were actually illegal to play
in the days of old. You could be accused
of being a witch. Im serious. lol
Anyway this interval sounds awesomely bittersweet when you
mix it together with the beautiful Maj7 sound
inside of an Emaj7#11 chord.
To me, this chord really captures the essence
of the Lydian mode.
Check it out:
Middle finger goes on the A string,
ring finger on the G string,
pinky on the B string, and youre
barring the top 4 strings at the
6th fret with your index finger.
Try playing this chord and then
some lydian riffs.

Lydian Magic Part 2

Continuing our discussion about the Lydian mode, lets stay in the key of E Lydian.
A simple trick to making the Lydian sound come out is skip the 2nd note of the mode,
and just play around with the root, 3rd, fourth, and fifth notes of the mode With
special focus on the 4th note. (Bb)
Then , after establishing this sound, you can change up the sound
by hitting that second degree of the mode. (F#)

Thats the basic idea.

Pinky Power!

Hey there my friend Pull up a chair, lets talk guitar chops
Theres SOOO many ways we can work on our chops.
One obvious area of chops is our picking Another obvious area is
our left hand fretting. I want to focus on that today, and specifically
on the pinky because its often the weakest finger when it comes
to fretting.
If we can improve the weak link thats the pinky, we
can gain a lot more control, chops, and power.
So today, Im going to focus on an 8-note repeating lick.
Work on this one, and practice it as fast and as clean as you can.
Heres the lick:

Im going to demonstrate this at 160 bpm. First Ill play it slow
a couple times with pauses, then Ill play it slow repeating, and then fast repeating.
See if you can play it faster and cleaner than Im playing it here! Of course,
if you cant thats fine, just play it clean at whatever speed you
can, and go from there.
Now, whenever Im learning a new lick and I want to
play it as fast and as clean as possible, I often examine what
the right hand picking is doing first, and master that on its own.
We are using strict alternate picking starting with
a downstroke. If we dont fret any of the notes and just
play open strings on the D and G strings, we get this:

This isnt too difficult But now try adding the left hand. Youll use the following
fingers for the eight note in the lick:
Index, Middle, Pinky, Middle, Pinky, Middle, Pinky, Middle.
So youre using your pinky a lot and on 2 different strings. Have fun!