# Todd Simpson - Shred Journey

Todd Simpson

## Introduction

Lesson Series by Todd Simpson

Welcome!

In this course, I'll be showing you how to get started with "Alternate Picking". In this lesson, I will try to assume nothing. We will start at the very beginning and work out way up. The goal of this series is to take you from 0 to 60 BPM (Beats Per Minute) and beyond. Once you can keep your alternate your picking steady and go across strings, you are ready to begin working up your speed. All it takes is practice.

Todd

Quick Vocabulary: "Beats Per Minute" (Per: Wikipedia.org)

Beats Per Minute is a unit typically used as either a measure of tempo in music, or a measure of one's heart rate. A rate of 60 bpm means that one beat will occur every second. One bpm is equal to 1/60 Hz.

The BPM tempo of a piece of music is conventionally shown in its score as a metronome mark, as illustrated to the right. This indicates that there should be 120 crotchet beats (quarter notes) per minute. In simple time signatures it is conventional to show the tempo in terms of the note duration on the bottom. So a 4/4 would show a crotchet (or quarter note), as above, while a 2/2 would show a minim (or half note).

In compound time signatures the beat consists of three note durations (so there are 3 quavers (eighth notes) per beat in a 6/8 time signature), so a dotted form of the next note duration up is used. The most common compound signatures: 6/8, 9/8, and 12/8, therefore use a dotted crotchet (dotted quarter note) to indicate their BPM.

Exotic time and particularly slow time signatures may indicate their BPM tempo using other note durations.

Music sample:

120 BPM tempo, Example of a basic 4/4, 120 BPM tempo - Play sound

## Metronome

It is very important that you learn to work with a “Metronome”. What is a metronome you ask? Good question. Here is a good definition from Wikipedia

A metronome is any device that produces a regulated aural, visual or tactile pulse to establish a steady tempo in the performance of music. It is a useful practice tool for musicians that dates back to the early 19th century.
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metronome )

Before we begin, let's talk a bit about time and practice. Life is a busy thing and the only way to get better is to take control of your time and carve out time to practice each day. It is not easy in our hectic lives to find that time, but it is critical that you manage your time in such a way as to allow for daily practice, seven days a week if at all possible. Five days a week at a minimum. If you can, try to spend an hour each day with your instrument.

Before playing, always try to do some gentle stretches with your hands and wrists. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the bane of any musician. Avoid it by stretching lightly before and after playing. Also, do the usual things to help maintain yourself like getting enough sleep, and not over doing it when going out when friends. Learning an instrument can be made much easier by taking care of yourself so that your mind is clear and focused when you sit down to practice and learn.

I'm looking forward to teaching you how to get from 0 to 60 and beyond!

Todd

## The Lessons

Lesson Series by Todd Simpson