Thursday, August 21, 2014

Guitar Exercises Ditones Variations on Keelbert

The importance of creating some variations on your exercises has never been stressed enough in talking about how to practice the guitar (link vecchio post).

Here is my take on Keelbert, DITONES book ex. 2.6.

It is a classic three-notes per string ascending sextuplets pattern which repeat on every two strings:

D:-----------------------1-2-3-
A:--------1-2-3--1-2-3--------
E:-1-2-3-----------------------

[you got the idea].

Paul Gilbert rocks

As both Paul Gilbert and Kee Marcello used to do, rather than picking through all the notes you can give your picking hand some rest by way of playing half of the sextuplet with legato. Thus, you have this (legato is by way of hammer on (h), I further put it in bold:

D:------------------------1-2-3-
A:--------1-2-3--1h2h3---------
E:-1h2h3------------------------

This is the patter Keelbert wants you to practice.

After a month and more practicing the exercise I realized that in order to have the legato working in a smoother way it was usefull to play the Keelbert mixed picking and legato pattern and then play the whole sequence with alternate picking.
This gave me confidence and suggested me to play also the second half of the sextuplets with legato, as follows:

D:-------------------------1h2h3-
A:--------1h2h3-1h2h3----------
E:-1h2h3-------------------------

I now practice my pick & legato variation of Keelbert with the following picking patterns: standard Keelbert; sextuplet-legato; strict alternate picking

D:-------------------------1-2-3-
A:--------1-2-3--1h2h3---------
E:-1h2h3------------------------

D:------------------------1h2h3-
A:--------1h2h3-1h2h3--------
E:-1h2h3-----------------------

D:-----------------------1-2-3-
A:--------1-2-3--1-2-3--------
E:-1-2-3-----------------------

For each pattern I ascend, switch up position, descend, switch up a position, ascend again, switch up another posititon, descend again.

Of course you could have much more variation: what about doing it with a different number of ascending/descending? What about inserting a fourth picking hand patter (say, economy picking?), or a fifth (pick the first half of the sextuplet and use legato on the second)?
Come up with your own variations and share them!