Drill of the Week #35 – Harmonic Minor Scale Speed Sequence

richardsguitarstudio on November 4, 2014

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OK here is a harmonic minor lick that is a bit more advanced – but YOU GOT THIS! Learning to play fast is NOT just for shredders! Have you ever heard the song¬†Don’t Stop Believing? Is that a shred song? Nope. But have you tried the solo in the intro? Or the opening 7 notes to the solo in the bridge? Super-fast. really tough. That’s just one example among thousands. You never know when you will be called to show a little lightning, so you wanna be ready – whether you’re in a progressive metal band or a wedding band. Here are a few tips:

  1. Use a metronome. Guys, guys, guys – metronomes have been around for hundreds of years and promoted by music teachers word-wide. You are not exempt from using one! Find a tempo that works for you and that you can control the lick. The metronome allows you to increase speed at imperceptive intervals, and when we increase speed on our own it’s usually more of a jump in speed than we’re ready for.
  2. Break it into chunks. If you try to play the whole page over and over and expect to nail this thing, you’re wasting your time. Break it up into manageable chunks.
  3. Accent the beat with a rest stroke. Use the pick as your metronome. Play “1-e-and-a 2-e-and-a etc” and ram the pick into the adjacent string on each number count (just follow through accent on the high E string). The other 3 notes should be light – fast and smooth. Think of it as one short burst of tension on the accent, and airy fluttering on the other notes. It’s easiest to start with picking all light notes and then introducing the accent later on – this will avoid excess tension. Practice accenting different rhythms and time signatures to learn control with the rest stroke.

Nate from Richards Guitar Studio shows you an E Harmonic Minor scale speed sequence. This is a guitar lick using a drill sequence with an E Harmonic Minor Scale. A great exercise for developing guitar picking speed, shred technique, finger speed, and scale speed.

Richards Guitar Studio offers professional guitar lessons in Aston PA. We serve Delaware County PA towns such as Swarthmore, Media, Springfield, Ridley Park, Garnet Valley, and Brookhaven.


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