Morse is renowned for reeling off what he calls "un-guitaristic" lines of seemingly impossible complexity. These keyboard- and fiddle-inspired trademark phrases often consist of no more than a single note on any given string. This kind of one-note-per-string arpeggio picking is typically regarded as the domain of fingerpickers, not flatpickers.
After all, the pentatonic scale is nearly ubiquitous as a cornerstone of modern rock lead playing. And fours is a common rhythmic grouping, especially considering that most rock songs are written in 4/4 time. As a result, we hear pentatonic fours patterns in rock leads all the time, especially in keyboard and horn parts.
Even more amazing is that Speed, Accuracy and Articulation was filmed in one straight take, with virtually no edits or re-takes, after a previous studio session left precisely one hour on the clock for the day. As anyone who has filmed video lessons can attest, this is simply a super-human feat of on-camera consistency and cool-headedness.
Van Halen’s recent Jimmy Kimmel Live performance affords an almost perfect glimpse of Eddie Van Halen’s legendarily unique approach to tremolo picking. The incredible speed and consistency of his take on this technique has been a source of fascination for 35 years.
Today we bring you the latest lesson video by Troy Grady, the guitarist who brings you those ultra-intriguing "Cracking the Code" lesson videos that appear on GuitarWorld.com. "This is 'Cascade,' a chapter from our latest Masters in Mechanics seminar," Grady says. "It explores Eric Johnson’s use of sweeping in pentatonic playing.
The most fundamental challenge in fast picking is also the easiest to spot from halfway across the room: the motion mechanic. To play notes with a pick, we need a way of moving it back and forth in the classic alternating down-up picking sequence. Historically, this movement, or motion mechanic, has been the most visible and most commonly discussed component of picking technique.
The cascading waterfall of sound that is Eric Johnson's lead playing has captivated players and listeners for 30 years. In Johnson's ethereal soundscape, all the edges are smoothed away. Even the distinction between scales and arpeggios seems to blur. His patterns tumble imperceptibly through positions. And his limitless supply of sparsely voiced diatonic chord substitutions only enhances the vertigo.
Guitarist Troy Grady hosts a web series called "Cracking the Code." In each episode, he breaks down a phrase — or something awesome that he has learned or figured out — and then explains it in a detail-packed way that includes an information- and graphics-packed video.