Some new techniques I've been messing with...

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Thread: Some new techniques I've been messing with...

  1. #1

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Some new techniques I've been messing with...

    OK, this first style I've been messing with came from practicing Shawn Lane's one-note-per-string method. If we were to take this arpeggio...


    ...then the Lane way to approach this in an ascending manner would be two down-strokes with the pick, followed by a pluck with the middle finger for the last note on the e-string. The actual mechanics are similar to the Al DiMeola approach, where he'd just use the pick, and use a down-down-up pattern, which also works well, but adding the finger adds an interesting quality to the tone that you can't really get with the pick alone, and once you get comfortable with it, has a nice rolling quality.
    It's also possible to play some cool sequences with this approach that would be awkward to play with sweeping, using the down-down-pluck motion for each grouping of three...


    The descending version is totally different. Same sort of principle, but you start each group of three with a down-pick, and then execute the next two with hammer-ons from nowhere, so it's down-hammer-hammer. Again, it's wierd, but very versatile once you get comfortable with it.

    The way I've tried to mess with this is to apply this blend of economy picking, hybrid picking and legato to groupings other than three, and incorporate some wider intervals.
    For example, I might play this lick...


    ...with a down-down-down-pluck motion. As well as the tonal aspect, the advantage here is that if you want to cycle the lick, the picking pattern is the same on each pass, and adding the finger pluck on top buys your pick some extra time to get back to the D string.

    If you incorporate some hammer-ons-from-nowhere with this sort of sweep-pluck pattern, then it's possible to play the sort of broken chords that you hear in a lot of violin music that're usually impossible to play with conventional guitar technique (unless you incorporate a lot of tapping).
    For example...


    I'd play this with a down-down-down-pluck-hammer-hammer pattern.

    The hardest thing here is actually muting, and getting all the notes to come out evenly, as some of these patterns feel rather counter-intuitive at first. If need be I'll use a hairband at the first fret to help out, although I mostly practice without it, just so it doesn't become a crutch.

    There are a lot of other possibilities here, such as adding violin-style intervallic leaps to regular sweep arpeggios...


    Start this one with a pluck on the B string, then sweep it in the regular way.

    I've only really begun to scratch the surface of this stuff, but I've had a lot of fun with it so far, and it's really opened up a lot of new ideas which I probably would have dismissed as unplayable before. I know it's not a totally new concept (Marshall Harrison and Greg Howe both use a similar approach), but I've already found a few variations on it that I haven't really heard anyone else doing.

    Hope this is helpful to someone here!
    "The greatest power one may possess -- in any situation -- is simply not to care what happens.

    "In fact, it's the only power, all others being a semblance and mockery of it. But you must also not care about possessing the power itself. So fuck it."

    Thomas Ligotti

  2. #2

    Join Date: Apr 2009
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    Nice ideas there. I've used the plucking technique a small bit before but mostly on pedal tone stuff and doing a high note in some legato runs, I've never really messed around with it much. I especially like the high note followed by an ascending sweep, it's a bit unexpected and unusal sounding to me so it's great.

  3. #3

    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    Pretty slick. Tried it out and it feels awkward as hell for me. Then again I'm pretty strict alternate and sweep kinda guy (my legato and hammers from nowhere are terrible and those are kinda intertwined in this application). When I first looked this over all I could think was "why not sweep it?" That's even more awkward. Must play with this more.
    I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

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