A couple of weeks ago, I gave you a short, 30-minute guitar workout designed for guitarists whose practice time is limited. The positive response I received prompted me to create an additional lesson, which, in combination with my original workout, will give you a good hour of intensive practice.
In its most basic form, the lick is a sequence of six notes played as a sextuplet or two sets of triplets (depending on the tempo). The notes are played on the same string, which makes it very easy to alternate-pick and build speed. Once you have mastered the basic pattern, you can apply the lick to different scales and positions to give an almost endless amount of variations.
The term "fill" is usually associated with drummers to describe a short break from a regular groove, or a "mini solo" that's usually used to signal the end of a phrase. Guitar players also can use fills in the same way, and they can be used to enhance your rhythm playing. Adding fills when writing or recording will allow you to inject a little extra creativity and personality into your rhythm parts.
Recently, I've been experimenting with five-note patterns, or quintuplets. A quintuplet is when you fit five notes where usually you'd fit four. For example, you can fit 20 16th-note quintuplets in a normal bar where you'd play five evenly spaced notes for each beat. These rhythms can be challenging, so I wanted to give you some simple exercises and licks that will help you develop a "feel" for them.
We all have busy lives and responsibilities that distract us from our playing. For this reason, I've developed a quick, intensive guitar "workout" that can be completed in 30 minutes. You can use this by itself as a quick practice when time is limited or incorporate it into a longer practice session. Either way, this workout will help develop your playing in a number of important areas.
Players often only play exercises to improve technique, but it's important to vary your exercises to focus on other important parts of guitar playing. Although this exercise is based on arpeggios, it really is meant to help you visualize scales differently from the standard "three note per string" shapes.
Heavy metal has lost all form of legitimacy as musical genre. I believe it has evolved, or devolved, to the point where it has become something so different from what it once was, that it now is a different genre all together. People could argue that music trends change constantly with new generations that influence what is popular. However, jazz is still jazz, blues is still blues, but metal is no longer metal.
The basic idea? You trill on a string with your fretting hand, then use your picking-hand pinky to catch harmonics. You can move your finger back and forth over the pickups, and you will catch different harmonics at different points along the sting. You have to be very gentle with your picking hand, otherwise you will "choke" the string and won't produce harmonics.
When I started playing again after taking a few months off, I immediately noticed how weak my fretting hands where when trying to execute string bends and vibrato. These exercises will gradually build up your finger strength and stamina. Each exercise will become progressively more difficult and require stronger technique.
Lack of inspiration, time commitments such as work, medical problems, loss of interest, even video games are all valid reasons people take a break from playing guitar. I decided to start this series of lessons for anyone who has spent a period of time away from playing. These lessons will help you get back into playing regularly and give you some useful exercises to help rebuild your technique.