Today’s exercise was on sweep picking, a kind of technique that I’ve always had issues with due to a rather shaky hand coordination. At first I was doing the exercise with clean sound – bad mistake when you practice sweeping. I realised, well if it’s clean I won’t necessarily notice if each note rings individually as arpeggiated notes can simply blend in. So I switched to a lead tone and sure enough, it was much harder to get a good consistent ring of each note. The exercise itself was quite simple, a chromatic G major chord progression in triads along the first 3 strings, nothing too difficult… well until you reach 108bpm that is, then it becomes a mess. What I probably need is a few more sessions with slower tempo and a definite decision on how to tackle the barred triads. I kept switching between my first and second fingers and could never quite settle on which one made things easier to play (well actually I did, for the finger transition between chords, the second finger works best but for “finger rolling” the notes, the first seems to be better…)
Still that was quite enlightening in a way, I then relaxed into a couple of jams over that Am blues backing track I recently got which I quite like the sound of and for which I have the perfect sound setting. I tried the settling into the pentatonic shape we discussed yesterday and it does feel somewhat more natural to think about playing this way, certainly in terms of playing a certain kind of tone, I really liked that. Sadly, Audacity on Linux just doesn’t seem to like the input from the guitar and crashes after a few seconds of recording, so I wasn’t able to record this time round. But next time, I’ll definitely try to.
I do wish it wasn’t so much of a faff setting things up to record…
Edit: I forgot to say, when I was practicing sweeps I noticed the type of pick I used was making things more difficult to achieve. So I pondered who to best draw inspiration from and decided to try switching to my Malmsteen pick. It’s thicker and has smoother edges, perfect for sweeps. Sure enough, it helped a little. Of course my technique still needs improving but every little helps 🙂