Lesson Series: “0 To 60, An Introduction to Alternate Picking” - Lesson 67

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Todd Simpson
Todd Simpson

LESSON #67 - Sweet Spots, Dirty Spots

Let’s warmup and get started.
Do our usual Finger Yoga and warmup your hand/arm:

In this lesson, let's combine some techniques and approaches together to create some dynamics in our playing. We have spent a lot of time working playing precise, almost mechanical phrases to help us learn to play with consistency. Now let’s throw in some bends and holds to mix things up a bit. Listen to todays backing track while you warm up and stretch.

Our first lick is a traditional Rock/Blues lick that works well just about anywhere you use it as long as it’s key. Our backing track is in the Key of E so our licks today will be in E as well.


Let’s play this with a metronome about 120 BPM to make sure we can play it smoothly and consistently. This is the first lick to play against the backing. Once you can loop this lick it’s a great chop to use and repeat.

Here is the GuitarPro file for this shape.(GuitarPro5 or 6 Required)


Now let’s throw in a lick that’s a little more syncopated and scale based. This is a lick based on E-Minor and uses our “Back and Forh” approach. This next bit has a lot of notes. But once you get the idea behind the pattern down, hopefully it won’t be that hard to master. Don’t be thrown off by how big the tablature looks. It’s only because of the notes repeating.

Here is the GuitarPro file for this shape (GuitarPro5 or 6 Required)


Now let’s take a different approach to create something that sounds very similar. Instead of using a scale pattern and traversing strings, let’s focus on a single string ascending shape but avoid the use of open strings.

Here is the GuitarPro file for this shape (GuitarPro5 or 6 Required)