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This course is all about building your technique (also called "chops"). All the major aspects of technique are covered, from alternate picking, to left0hand stretch and endurance, speed, accuracy and so on. The course is designed as a five-day workout, to be repeated each week until memorized. Just watch the videos and follow along, but please use CAUTION: A little discomfort in your left hand is normal, but if the pain persists after you stop playing, please take some time off.
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|Section 1: Monday's Workout|
Always remember: The reason we're going to be doing these exercises is because by building great
chops you'll be able to play any phrase you need to, any time you need it. It also lets you broaden
Anyway, here are the Exercises from our Monday workout:
Ex. #1: This one works on building strenth and endurance in the L.H. It gets all four fingers
working out and warming up. It's a good starter exercise.
Ex. #2: This exercise works on LH speed. REMEMBER: The RH hand is the "coach" who pushes
NOTE: Here's how to practice sprints...
4 + 1 -------> Do this four times in a row without mistakes. This is like the 100 meter dash.
4 + 4 +1 -------> Do this four times in a row without mistakes. This is like the 200 meter dash.
4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 1 -------> Do this four times in a row without mistakes...the 400 meter dash.
Then go back to 4 + 1....at a faster speed, and start the cycle over again.
Ex. #3: Try using various finger combinations....Ouch!
Ex. #4: Note how the lone note on the high E string is always going to be an upstoke.
Ex. #5: This one is a jogging phrase that really gives a great workout to the pick hand because of all
the string jumps.
Ex. #6: I love to play this last one. You'll be playing a repeating phrase three times, and then you
need to make your own ending phrase each time. So, it's a workout, but you get to be creative, too.
|Section 2: Tuesday's Workout|
Ex #1: This first one works on building strength and endurance in the L.H. It's also a good
coordination exercise. And for fun, (and a helluva workout) try playing it without your first
Ex. #2: Our second workout of the day today is a sprint in 6's, using rolling hammer ons for
massive speed. Remember, the pick hand is going to force the tempo...
Ex. #3: This next one is makes more demands on the left hand, but the right hand also needs to
concentrate as it is constantly skipping strings. So, the coach has to stay on his toes, too!
Ex. #4 is a jogging phrase, to build endurance. It's also a very cool, modern bluesy sound...and we'll
put a cool tag ending onto it.
Ex.#5: This one is all about the pick hand, and crossing strings. Make sure you alternate pick this
one...that's the whole point. In this one, try moving the accent. So, first accent the first note of each
group. After a while, try accenting the 2nd note instead...and so on. Also, make sure you DONT
hold these as actual chords, but build them as you go.
Ex.#6: Just like exercise #6 on Monday, that is: You'll be playing a repeating phrase three times, and
then you need to make your own ending phrase each time. So, it's a workout, but you get to be
|Section 3: Wednesday's Workout|
Ex. #1: This one is outlining a very typical Southern blues/rock kind of progression. This is also our
first chordal picking workout we've done that has a six feel.
Ex. #2: This is a nice Left hand sprint in sixes. I think it's ok if your timing swims around just a bit
on this. As long as you're starting it over right on the beat, it'll sound great.
Ex. #3: This next one is a cool pentatonic sequence. So you should definitely try using it when you
solo. But as an exercise, it's a great workout for your pickhand.
Ex. #4: This next one is also a sequence, but I want to work on it as a sprint in groups of six. This
sequence is known as triplets. We're doing it in the mixolydian scale, which can be very bluesy if
used the right way. And in this lick, I want to try it with all picking, and then all hammerons and
Ex.#5: This one is from the family of "two finger torture" exercises, if you've watched that
technique video from Blues Accelerator. Be sure to try it with different finger combinations!
Ex. #6 : As always, you'll be playing a repeating phrase three times -- so it's a jogging phrase, for
endurance -- and then you can create your own ending phrase each time.
|Section 4: Thursday's Workout|
Ex. #1: This is basically a blues cliche, but it's hard to do fast, and particularly had to repeat.
Ex. #2: This one is a great pick-hand warm up...
Ex. #3: Here's a sprint with nine notes to the beat. It works as a great finish to a lick in A.
Ex. #4: This is a great alternate picking workout across strings. And it outlines a standard jazzblues
kind of progression, so it's practical, too....
Ex. #5: This is a real test of endurance. See how long you can keep it going...
Ex. #6: As I mention in the video, this is one of my favorites to play and just kind of zone on it.
Kinda hypnotic to play. And the polyrhythm that's in it makes it tricky, too. I think that's what gives
it that hypnotic feel.
|Section 5: Friday's Workout|
Ex. #1: This is what's known as a pivoting lick, which is something we cover in Volume I of Blues
Accelerator. (Be sure to check that out, if you haven't already.)
Ex . #2 : Like all sequences, you can continue this one all the way down the scale.
Ex.#3: This is my all-time favorite accenting exercise. It's such a cool pattern, and another one of
those kinda hypnotic riffs.
Ex. #4: This one is a blues sprinting lick in sixes, and we also get to create our own ending for it,
which I always like. Remember, the lone note on the B string will always be an upstroke when
you're alternate picking this...
Ex. #5: This one sounds cool, is fun to play, and you get to make you own endings again....and a
solid workout for the fingers....
All the Exercises in a PDF Document
I've been a professional teacher my entire adult life. I have taught thousands of people over the years to play all levels and all styles. A music composition major at Arizona State University, I also graduated from L.A.'s Guitar Institue of Technology. In the late 80's I was featured in Guitar Player Magazine's SPOTLIGHT column, and in the early 90's was George Lynch's guitar instructor. (He of DOKKEN fame.) I created George's instructional series for R.E.H. videos and worked with George on other projects. For the most part, though, I was one of the lead instructors at the Music Store in Mesa, Arizona where I taught thousands of students over the years. I currently reside in Sevastopol, Ukraine where I moved to master the Russian language and to share American rock and blues with a part of the world that knows little about it.