Excercise for Picking Finger Independence

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Here is an exercise I wrote to help with gaining independence on your picking hand. There is a slight world flavor to the melody using the Mixolydian Mode.

The key here is that your thumb remains constant, playing a quarter note each beat. It’s a drone against the melody. Once you get the thumb in motion and so comfortable that you could almost forget you’re playing, it’s time to add the melody.

When I’m playing the melody I’m not really thinking about the D string drone. It’s a mantra at this point. A note to meditate on. If we look at the melody, we’re going to notice it’s played entirely on the G string while moving positions. There are some spices in there too for good measure… A slide as well as some hammer-ons and pull-off’s. All of the notes on the G string are plucked with my pointer finger. This exercise only requires 2 fingers: Thumb and Pointer Finger.

The numbers below the TAB are for fretting hand so you can observe the position changes.

This melody take a little while to nail even though it’s seemingly simple. Your first instinct is likely to be that you should pluck every note. It’s important to spend time to get the hammer=on’s correct. You’ll notice how it affects the expression of the melody.

Ex. 1 Ex. 1

Give it a whirl and think of some ways you can infuse this technique into songs you’re working on.


Feel free to reach out for info on other Guitar Exercises

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Guitarist Mark Marshall located at 51 Macdougal St #264 , New York, NY . Reviewed by 11 customers rated: 4.9 / 5
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