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Lick of the Day: Two-Notes-Per-String Shred by John Petrucci

NOTE: John Petrucci's portion of this video starts at the :48 mark after a commercial. Just skip ahead!

Today's lick is a sequence of fast, descending arpeggios based on the E Aeolian mode (E F♯ G A B C D) and performed in a deliberate two-notes-per-string pattern. I use strict alternate picking throughout the entire lick, beginning on a downstroke.

When playing licks or melodies using two notes per string, many guitarists rely almost exclusively on their fret-hand ring and index fingers, even though the pinkie can more easily and comfortably reach most wide-interval stretches.

If you find you're consistently shunning your pinkie during solos, I encourage you to follow my example and advice and practice this lick using your pinkie for the wide-interval stretch at the beginning of each arpeggio. You'll receive a great pinkie workout, after which you may begin to find yourself more at ease and sure-fingered when performing other licks incorporating wide-interval stretches.

Fingering prompts in the notation illustrate my specific fret-hand fingerings.

The tempo is 140 beats per minute, 69 for slow practice.