Odd Man Out: Using Different Meters to Accommodate Your Technique

The following is taken from John Petrucci's classic column, "Wild Stringdom." For our final lesson on chromatics, I thought I'd throw you a little curve and give you a few odd-meter exercises in 5/8. Now you might ask, "Why play anything in 5/8?" Well, I came up with this sequence because it's easier for me to play across the strings. As some of you already know, I use alternate (down-up-down-up) picking exclusively. This can present a bit of an efficiency problem when crossing strings to play a three-note-per-string pattern, because the first note on every other string lands on an upstroke. To avoid this awkward movement and make my patterns flow a bit better, I try to craft them so that each time I cross strings, the first note falls on a downstroke. Let's get the 5/8 feel under our fingers first. FIGURE 1 is a good place to start.

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