In this exercise we play the most common thing known to man on the guitar “The minor pentatonic” scale.
BUT, the key here is to play and “Count” “1 2 3 4 5 6” to get the “Rhythm” so that the picking and fretting hands can articulate the phrase musically in time and in synchronisation.
This next exercise is a classic “Repetition” alternate picking exercise. Count “1 e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a” and play in a double timed tetrachord manner accenting the 1st note in each 4 note grouping
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Performing in the style of the Guitar Trio with the plectrum requires strict ALTERNATE PICKING for the solo lines that are picked at a very high velocity. You need to be able to “Jump” straight into the rhythmic flow. The patterns below detail the best key alternate picking patterns to gain mastery for this.
The key to all of this is to “Count Time/Groupings”and “Tap your foot” as you do so. If you count time you will play what you hear. It is the key to performing this guitar trio music.
Line 1-“16ths” Alternate Picking starting on a “Down” stroke
Line 2- Extended version of the previous line above, again starting on a “Down” stroke
Line 3-Groups of “4” with strict Alternate Picking but this time starting with an “Upstroke” creating a “Rolling” effect as the plectrum glides across the strings.
Groups of 6 VARIATIONS:
Line 4-This is a “Variation” of our very first pattern but this time played in “Sextuplets” starting on a “Down” stroke.
Line 5-This line can be heard as Triplets or Sextuplets. This time though we are starting on an “Upstroke”. Again, because we are starting our alternate picking on an up stroke there is a fluid rolling effect as we cross the strings.
Line 6-This is a key signature line of Pace de Lucia and Al di Meola. It is an ascending G major scale in double timed triplets [or Sextuplets]. We are starting our picking on an “Upstroke”and ascending passionately up the scale, The better the rhythm of the alternate picking the more clean and powerful this little lick becomes.
Line 7-Here is another variation of the 16th note line. This time we start “Upstroke and roll the line along with tight rhythmical alternate picking. The key as always is to count good time when picking and tap your foot for precision.
Line 8-“Spanish” descending 2 string line. Really it is an ascending “Down” stroke alternate picking pattern followed by an ascending “Up” stroke rolling alternate picking pattern. If you treat it like that then it is easy to play and learn.
THE FOUR MAIN ALTERNATE PICKING GUITAR RHYTHMS FOR CREATIVE IMPROVISATION SET-UPS
The first alternate picking rhythmic set-up employs the 8th note and two 16th notes. This is a useful rhythm as it gives your picking right hand a moment to set up the “Up stroke” and fire the phrase forward leading to a smooth alternate picking lick/line.
The next rhythmic set up employs a dotted 8th note and a 16th note. Again this slight delay before the phrase takes off gives your right hand time to flick up and fire off the phrase with confident alternate picking.
This phrase below is the “Off-beat” phrase and is one of the most important because it creates anticipation and syncopation in your alternate picking which is essential for jazz and fusion guitar playing. [As I suggest in the video you will find this a lot in the John Mclaughlin album/CD called “Belo Herozonte].
Finally we have basic alternate picking 16ths starting on the beat. I sat on the down stroke with the plectrum on my guitar for this phrase.
All of these phrases use a simple pentatonic scale because this is the best way to get these rhythms precise when starting out with alternate picking.
“Belo Herozonte” John Mclaughlin the Translators
“Music spoken here” John Mclaughlin the Translators