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> Alternate Picking - Solo
Gerald
post May 29 2008, 03:49 PM
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Marcus,

Hiya! I'm really in to neoclassical metal stuff right now and I wanted to toss a question or two your way.

Prior to GMC I was really in to blues and the scale my hands seem to know and default to is the minor/blues pentatonic. Also prior to GMC I didn't know what alternate picking was. As a result I have the habit of playing in that 1st pentatonic box with a lot of down strokes.

So my question is, what is a good exercise to practice, (warm-up), that will incorporate a more harmonic minor or natural minor note choices/scale and work on my alternate picking when soloing?

Currently I'm working on Carlo's Power Metal in Em as I really like that riff and I'm thinking about picking up your latest lesson on neoclassical. However what I'm wanting to do is find an exercise that will help me develope the raw technique and get my hands working in those minor scales so when I improvise and make my own riffs and runs it has more of the neoclassical feal.

Thanks!!
- Gerald
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Marcus Lavendell
post May 29 2008, 09:44 PM
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Hi Gerald,

First I think you should just play the natural & harmonic-minor scale up and down over and over again, until you know them inside out. And simply use alternate picking when doing this. I know that's not very fun though, but you can do this as a warm-up exercise for say 5-10 minutes each day. Eventually these patterns will get into your muscle memory and you'll be able to play them without thinking about what note is coming next - and that's when you're ready to start develop some speed!

Also do the all the neoclassical lessons here that you like (start at slow speed of course), and try to analyze them as much as you can.

Then you should also listen to a lot of necolassical music, or maybe even better: listen to "real" classical music smile.gif You'll learn a lot about phrasing, note choice etc, just by listening!


-Marcus


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Gerald
post May 30 2008, 02:33 PM
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Okay so having read that here is my plan of action:

Warm up with Harmonic Minor/Natural Minor scales with alternate picking
2 Lessons - Power Metal Em & NeoClassical Etude #1 - after mastered pick up other related lessons
* Use Metronome for warm-up & lesson to build speed and develope timing*
Listen to neoclassical and hit up some real classical
Become next neoclassical king, sign record deal, buy expensive sports car and acquire gear endorsements
smile.gif

Quck ? - is there a "box" for either the natural or harmonic minor that is like the default box scale if you will to play in? Kinda how box 1 is the main jam for minor/blues pentatonic? Or should I not try to see it that way and make sure I practice the scales up and down the neck starting at the root and playing to the octive so I develope the muscle memory for longer runs?

Thanks!


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Marcus Lavendell
post May 30 2008, 06:44 PM
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Sounds like a great plan, Gerald! smile.gif Hehe... I like the "buy expensive sports car"-thing! laugh.gif

Sure, If you're comfortable with using boxes then go a head and do that. But also plactice just one string at the time (covering all the notes in the scale of course). Like this, for example:

E-22-20-19-17-20-19-17-16-19-17-16-13-17-16-13-12-16-13-12-10-13-12-10-8-12-10-8-7-10-8-7-5-8-7-5-4-7-5-4-1-5-4-1-0-
B-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The point is to learn all the notes in the scale, on all the strings, all over the fretboard.


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Gerald
post May 30 2008, 08:26 PM
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That's a good tip on the practicing the scale on each string. That is another good warm up to do with some alt picking at a slow tempo to get the blood flowing.

Another thing if you don't mind me picking your brain, is playing with backing tracks. I often find myself just jaming out to nothing other than myself. I did some searching on the web for backing tracks, but I often will find tracks that are of popular songs with no guitar, such as Black in Back. What I'm wanting is something I can loop easily - something really simple so when I'm doing scale practice I can play to something other than the metronome.

For that kind of practice, would you recommend any website in paticular with free tracks or perhaps using a drum machine? I use GMC backing tracks from the lessons, but often times the tracks are higher bpm than I can play so I use the metronome and I cannot loop them. I'd like something I could adjust down to even 50bpm to work on or a slower track to jam to.

This post has been edited by Gerald: May 30 2008, 08:38 PM
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Marcus Lavendell
post May 31 2008, 07:28 AM
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Yes, I always found that playing to "real music" (backing tracks) is a lot more fun, as opposed to practice to a metronome or jammin to nothing but myself. I'm sure there are lots of backing tracks that you can download on the web, but I don't know where to find them I'm afraid.

Though, I would recommend you to learn the basics in MIDI so that you can create your own backing tracks. You don't have to be super advanced to do this, you just need to learn how to make a simple drum beat and a bass line. As long as you stay with MIDI there's no problems looping, or adjusting the speed as you want it. smile.gif


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MattE
post May 31 2008, 03:09 PM
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so with your single string example, does that particular pattern appl to all strings or is there a different pattern for each?
I remember Muris' scale pictures on his lesson extend the whole fretboard, an they near give me a headache trying to find the boxes laugh.gif
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Marcus Lavendell
post May 31 2008, 09:32 PM
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No, that example I posted are only for the E-strings. All the other strings have different patterns, so just learn them one by one smile.gif


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