This is a fast, ascending Alternate Picking run in my new favourite mode – Mixolydian b6. This is an advanced mode which I, at the time of writing this post, have not covered yet but will do in time – once I’ve finished the Major Scale Modes series of posts. This lick can be played in any key/mode with a 3 note-per-string shape by simply altering the notes to fit the desired shape. To do this I would advise learning and fully absorbing the lick (this scale shape will seem unusual to the uninitiated), then learning some of the 3NPS shapes from my other posts and seeing if you can create runs/licks in those new patterns/shapes.
Fast Alternate Picking Run
Obviously this lick requires a high degree of hand coordination. The scale shape must be fully absorbed to achieve this and, as I’ve said, the Mixolydian b6 shape will be a challenge for those unfamiliar with it. So the best course of action is to, of course, memorize the notes in the lick, at extremely slow speeds, to the point where there is absolutely no hesitation and could be played in one’s sleep. This slow tempo must not be increased until the player feels a sense of holding themself back. The tempo can then be increased in gradual increments as long as the feeling of perfect timing remains – in this case 16th note triplets or 6 notes-per-beat. This post goes into more detail on that.
Other than the awkwardness of the scale shape, there is another tricky aspect to this run which is that when it reaches the high E string it carries on laterally up the fret-board, silently position shifting each time. The left hand must keep up with these shifts – don’t let the thumb lag behind and stay relaxed throughout, keeping movements to an effortless minimum. Watch the slow play-through in the video to see which left hand fingers are used. For the right hand, as for the left, relaxation is key and movement must be kept to a minimum but it is also useful to ‘spike’ or accent the odd down pick to keep timing in check. Just hit the strings slightly harder when the first of each 6 notes (in the 6 per beat) occurs. This is a tried and trusted method I like to use to better ‘tie’ and unite my down pick to the beat.
Don’t forget you can like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and subscribe to me on YouTube by clicking the icons below –