Alternate Picking

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INFO & EXPLANATION

EIGHTH NOTESWe've only been looking at WHOLE,HALF & QUARTER notes up until now. The lesson just before this one titled, "Adding the 5th String" makes a perfect case for EIGHTH notes. Really, if you go back and look at that lesson, you'll see that we could have used half the amount of measures if we had written it as QUARTER and EIGHTH notes instead of using HALF and WHOLE notes. Study the diagram below.

 

You can relate EIGHTH notes to QUARTER notes the same way you relate QUARTER notes to HALF notes. The duration in time of an EIGHTH note is 1/2 that of a QUARTER note. The common way to count EIGHTH notes is as shown above, 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &, etc.. Just as you can play 2 QUARTER notes in the same time you would play 1 HALF note, you can play 2 EIGHTH notes in the same time as 1 QUARTER note.ALTERNATING PICK STROKESLearning EIGHTH notes gives us the perfect opportunity to introduce the UP stroke. In this lesson all the notes that fall on the "&" of the beat (see the illustration above) will be played with an UPSTROKE of your pick. Look at a sample from the lesson:

 

PLAYING A REPEATING PATTERNThe notes used in this lesson are the natural notes (no sharps or flats.) The chord diagram below shows all the notes that are used in this lesson.

 

You should familiarize yourself with these note names and where they lie on the neck of the guitar. This will make learning the pattern of the exercise easier.

Study the way the melody weaves back and forth to see if you can recognize a pattern that repeats at different starting points along the scale.PLAYING WITH THE PRACTICE AUDIOThe background tracks provided for you to play along with can be accessed, as usual, by going to the main lesson window and clicking the "Practice" button at the top right of the screen.

 

First, open the "Notation" window and get both it and the "Practice" window open on your desktop. Get your guitar ready and click the "play" button in the "Practice" window. You'll hear 4 count-in clicks and then a chord that represents the 1st measure of the TAB/Notation. You don't start playing until the 4th beat of that measure. These are called the pick-up notes because they "pick up" into the first full measure of the exercise.

The background will continue to loop and you can continue to repeat the exercise several times. If you get lost, just hit rewind and start over.

The chord changes in the practice audio will give this otherwise somewhat boring exercise a little life.

HANDS/VIDEOS

AUDIO FILES

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PRACTICE AUDIO

NOTATION