Hybrid Picking Exercises Lesson
Following on from my Hybrid Picking Primer post, I decided to expand on it and put a track together demonstrating a few of my favourite exercises as a way to show how I use the technique in the form of a song. Exercise 1 starts out with an Eric Johnson style static high note (plucked with the middle finger of the right hand) with the lower notes moving around creating a very cool ‘pedal note effect’. This was the riff I mentioned in the previous post that I’d originally heard in Eric Johnson’s ‘Cliffs Of Dover’.
I’ve then developed this into Exercise 2 which is the same exercise with an ‘exit note’ bend substituted in for the second half of each segment of the exercise. The reason for this is that this technique does not just have to be used as a non stop riff idea, it also has great application for playing licks in solos. Exercise 2 can also be practised to build speed with this particular technique. I always feel like I ‘get’ an exercise quicker when I have a small break (in this case the exit bend provides that break, giving the muscles the respite they need to recover from the onslaught of speed and come again for the next repetition, kind of like interval training!)
After a short break of 2 beats (1 bar of 2/4) we launch into Exercise 3. This flips the ‘static’ note of the exercise from the top to the bottom, so the pick has the job of plucking the pedal note and the right hand middle finger the moving notes. This is a completely different effect to Exercise 1 & 2 and has tremendous potential, I think, in the speed metal genre so any readers of that persuasion please take the exercise, create some music of your own and send me your results via the Contact page.
Finally I have included an exercise which was originally intended as a short lead guitar improvisation to demonstrate how I use Hybrid Picking in my every day playing but turned into another exercise – Exercise 4. It includes hammer ons and pull offs and the use of Hybrid Picking makes this a very dynamic and ear catching riff/lick idea. As I’ve said using only the pick sometimes can leave a flat dynamic level to a lick and this not only makes the notes easier to play but also adds those spikes that we want to hear in the lick/riff’s dynamics.
So readers will get the most out of this series of exercises by taking the basic ideas and expanding them into original songs and improvisations. I’ve also included the piece’s backing track for readers to play along with to keep those Hybrid Picking chops in shape!
Backing Track –
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