Today we will have a look at setting up “Jazz Target Tones” with alternate picking guitar technique for fast fluid improvising lines.
The example above is the most common and best example of how target tones work and how they are set up. Notice that the weak beat or off beat is the starting note. So, we have  e and a as an “Up Beat” [or Anacrusis]. This leads to the strong beat 1 in bar 1.
Now, for alternate picking we need to be aware of what picking stroke we will start on for this weak “Off” beat. Being the “Off” beat and syncopated it will be the “Up Stroke” as in [Down] Up down Up.
In the Exercise below we will now employ Target Tones within the improvised line itself from the second beat. Again, notice that the target tones start on the “Up Stroke” and resolve to the on [1st] beat of the next chord smoothly with the down stroke.
With this method you will always know where you are in the bar rhythmically, when you are on the off beat [Up Stroke] and what stroke you will start the next “On” beat with [Down stroke].
Here’s another example:
It’s also helpful to accent the 1st note in each four note grouping as this will create the jazz feel and thrust the target tones along rhythmically whilst moving your fretting hand into position.
Exercise 1: Ascending Line:
Exercise 2: Descending Line:
Exercise 3: Extended Line: [Ascending and Descending]
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