Guitar lesson on playing with pace: plectrums, picking, practise, sequences and strings

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This is our follow up episode on playing at speed and pace.  It follows on from our earlier lesson on how to use sequences to open the fretboard and also the previous episode on TrueFire courses and their jam tracks. 

During this lesson Dan discusses plectrums and we look at 5 specific types and discuss some of their pros and cons.  Next, we look at and review some sequences which will speed up your playing and give you some automated patterns to throw into your solos.  Next, we discuss the picking hand and give some brief insights into some picking techniques. Finally, we discuss some areas to focus on in your practice and the difference that strings make to your speed and tone.

Thank you TrueFire for sponsoring our podcast and with Christmas coming, what better gift could there be for a guitar fanatic?  We are grateful for your vote of confidence and are fully enthusiastic about your product in return.  How could we not be?  The TrueFire guitar learning platform is massive and meticulous in its layout and content. 

Timings for the SoundCloud audio version

00:02:16Start of remit on playing at pace
00:03:39What plectrum to choose?
00:04:42Pick number: A jazz 3, Jim Dunlop – Eric Johnson shape
00:06:45Pick number 2: Big Jazzer Red Bear pick
00:07:29What is a bevel?
00:08:52Pick 3: Red Bear Jazz3
00:09:46Pick 4: John Petrucci Dunlop
00:14:03Some sequences to have in the trick bag
00:14:04Top tips for pentatonic blastage
00:14:43First – the 4s pattern
00:15:05Pattern 1 (ex1): 8 5(e), 8 5 (B)
00:15:11Pattern 2 (ex2): 5 (e), 8 5 (B), 7 (G)
00:15:314s, down the pentatonic, ex1 and ex2
00:15:53Reverse 4s sequence
00:17:44Moving up the frets through different positions
00:19:00Moving up using 2 string and 3 string sequence of 4s
00:21:12Eric Johnson uses straight pentatonic
00:22:53Classic Johnson 6s
00:23:38Roll notes using economy picking
00:24:35Using sequences of 3s
00:24:35Group into sequences of 3
00:26:20Joe Bonamassa / Eric Johnson – top notes of Pentatonic and work up
00:27:18Adding the 9th
00:28:20Four notes: the root and adding a 3rd note on the string
00:30:40Practice regime – straight up and down the pentatonic scale
00:31:40Playing without tension
00:32:36Playing very gently and still lightly holding onto notes
00:34:37Strings, tone and frequencies
00:37:23Doubling up on your highest and lowest notes
00:37:47Why does it feel easier on 3 notes per string?
00:39:05Focus your practise on your picking hand

Hey everyone! We are really pleased to have this mini-series sponsored by TrueFire until Christmas: it is the most excellent, expansive and extensive online lessons platform. Their product is so well thought out and educational that Dan and I are confident that you will find it an inspirational and valuable addition to your guitar learning arsenal. Sign up and receive 14 days to decide before you wish to pay for your subscription, without even needing to enter your card details. You really have nothing to lose and a world of knowledge and skills to gain.


Keep watching, listening and getting in touch.  We really want to hear from you!

You may want to check Dan Davies out in action.  You can find Dan’s album on Spotify and other streaming music sites, like Apple Music (click the links to take you to his album ‘Flight’)

Enjoy your musical journey and be in touch!

Gary and Dan

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