Glitch picking is just economy picking relegated to two strings. It's a great precursor to sweep picking. Here is an easy Etude in Emin. Start out slowly with the metronome and keep the note values even.
If we could just play everything on one string we would all be capable of playing Yngwie tunes and starting up Dream Theater cover bands. Unfortunately, to cover an appreciable amount of ground we have to change strings while playing descending and ascending passages. This is where problems can arise. When using strict alternate picking, we either approach a new string from a downstroke or an upstroke, which means we either have to pass the string with the pick before playing it or catch the string while we approach it in the same direction. This is the nature of Inside and Outside picking and you need to be proficient at both if you want to fly across the fretboard with any degree of accuracy.
Example 1 demonstrates Inside Picking using 1 note per string. We play the first note with an upstroke and the cross over to the next string and play it with a downstroke. In this example the pick jumps over the string it previously played to the next string, then jumps over that to return to the lower string. With Inside picking you jump over the previous string to get to the next.
Example 2 demonstrates Outside Picking using one note per string. The first note is played with a downstroke and the pick continues to travel past the next string and changes direction to play it with an upstroke, it then travels past the lower string and changes direction again. With Outside Picking you jump over the next string before playing it.
Examples 3 and 4 are a 3 note per string pattern to be practiced with both types of picking. Example 3 starts with a downstroke and uses outside picking to approach the notes played on the high E string. Example 4 starts with an Upstroke and uses Inside Picking to approach the notes played on the High E. The goal is to be able to cross over to the next string without accidentally picking the former or latter while making the jump. This is difficult and requires a certain amount of looseness in the wrist. At first you may feel like your picking hand is bouncing all over the place with the outside picking so get your thumb joint on your picking hand involved and use it to retract the pick a tiny bit while crossing over strings. A move of one millimeter can make all the difference.
Example 5 demonstrates how Inside and Outside picking breaks down while using strict alternate picking on even amounts of notes per string. The first string change uses an up, down Outside Picking motion while the string change that repeats the sequence uses up, down in an Inside Picking motion. The same thing would apply to patterns of 4 notes per string, 6 notes per string etc.
Next we have a descending, three note per string sequence in Example 6 and 7. The left hand pattern remains the same for both exercises, the only difference being what pick direction each sequence starts with. Example 6 starts with a downstroke and will result in Inside Picking whereas Example 7 starts with an upstroke and results in Outside Picking. Which one feels more natural to you? Is the Inside Picking technique cleaner and faster or is the Outside Picking easier? Whatever your answer is, it's probably best to practice the more difficult technique at least twice as much as the one that feels more comfortable for now. Also, try doubling up the sequences to build up speed and help memorize the patterns if they are new to you.
Examples 8 and 9 use the same sequence in an ascending format and are to be practiced with Inside and Outside picking as well. That first fret to fifth fret pattern is a bit of a stretch, keep your thumb behind the neck, somewhere around the middle to help spread those fingers out. Again, try doubling up the patterns once in a while.
Example 10 is a long sequence in the key of G that is designed to combine both Inside and Outside approaches with string skipping. The string skipping presents a new problem to the realm of Inside and Outside Picking considering that you are now trying to jump over an extra string to make it to the next. It's easy to get sloppy on this one, try not to let it happen. Does outside picking make string skipping easier to you at all? Do you find that you end up hitting the string you are supposed to skip with Inside Picking? Pay close attention to these things, troubleshooting is an under rated ability amongst musicians.
coun·ter·point (kountr-point)n.1. Musica. Melodic material that is added above or below an existing melody.
b. The technique of combining two or more melodic lines in such a way that they establish a harmonic relationship while retaining their linear individuality.
c. A composition or piece that incorporates or consists of contrapuntal writing.
This is an area that is easy to overlook on guitar. We spend so much time practicing chord voicings, scales etc. that we relegate the use of diads (two notes at a time) to things like double stops or strict scalar movement. Two notes together can move in more ways than up and down together.
There are four types of contrapuntal movement.
1. Oblique Motion- One voice moves while the other remains motionless
2. Similar- Both voices move together in the same direction enharmonically
3. Parallell- Both voices move together in the same direction in the same intervallic structure
4. Contrary- Both voices move in opposite directions
(To keep things simple, the lesson will focus on roots and thirds and quarter note rhythms.)
Example 1 is a simple diatonic cycle of fourths progression. C,F,Bmin,Emin,Amin,Dmin,G,C. All roots and thirds. This will provide the groundwork for the voice movement to come.
Example 2 uses motion on the upper voice approaching its destination from a scale tone above. The motion between beats 1 and 2 is an example of Oblique Motion with the bottom voice staying stationary. However, if we look ahead to beat three we have Contrary Motion between the bottom voice and top voice when both make their moves to the next chord. Interesting.
Example 3 uses motion on the lower voice approaching its destination from a scale tone above. It's the same concept as the previous example with the same results.
Example 4 interchanges motion between voices. The upper voice approaches the next chord tone, then sustains (oblique) while the lower voice approaches its next tone by a scale tone above.
Whenever a chord ascends by a fourth (or descends by a fifth) a Dominant 7th can be substituted to give a V7-I effect. Example 5 uses this technique in all places possible and has an impressive effect, aurally and contrapuntally. How many different types of Counterpoint do you see between each quarter note? Do some Dominant 7th substitutions sound better than others in this example?
Examples 6, 7 and 8 use the same techniques we used in previous examples but the roots have been dropped an octave to give an impression of a separate bass line over the single notes above it.
Try these techniques over more popular chord progressions like I-IV-V, I-vi-ii-V, or even a blues. You could even try it with the pop staple I-V-vi-IV.
Eric Johnson's ability to solo with chords always impressed me when I was starting to play guitar. It was so much to take in, it's hard enough to make single note solos interesting and here he was using a whole bunch of notes all at once. A lot of what he does is based on triads, every inversion and position, be it open or closed. This lessons covers open position triads, their inversions and how they relate to each other with voice leading and melodization.
Example 1 is a simple C major triad with it's inversions. The first voicing is C,G,E, it's first inversion is E,C,G and the second inversion is G,E,C. Arpeggiate it like Example 2 and you can hear how these voicings can be used for intervallic sounding lead lines.
Example 3 is the same voicing and inversion idea on an F chord so we can get a progression going like Example 4, changing from C to F. The idea here is smooth voice leading. each chord taking the shortest possible route to the next. Look for common tones between chords, see how the C note doesn't move in the first chord of the first bar in Example 4? That's voice leading. That's the ticket. Example 5 arpeggiates the same progression. Remember, these voicings can be used for soloing with a distorted lead tone as well as chords with a clean tone. EJ is all over this stuff, it gives a real solid sense of harmony and freedom to the player when you can hear the changes going by without accompaniment.
Example 6 gives an A minor chord the same treatment. Now we have three chords to voice lead into. Example 7 shows a few possibilities with C, Aminor and F.
This is were things get a little more advanced. Example 8 is the entire chord scale from the key of C. Example 9 is an arpeggiated chord scale. Don't forget to try these examples as single note leads as well. Examples 10 and 11 are all the inversions. This is a lot to take in so be patient with this stuff before you try the next examples.
This is when it starts to sound like music. A standard diatonic cycle of fourths applied to the key of C gives us a chord progression of C-F-Bdim.-Em-Am-Dm-G. Example 12 shows a couple possible permutations of said progression using all the voicings we have worked on so far. The next step is, how do we incorporate some single note stuff to play melodies on top of the chords?
Examples 13 to 15 show how a scale note can be applied BETWEEN the chord changes to give some melodic flavour. Example 13 is the same cycle of fourths progression in Example 12 but with a scale on the highest voice in the chord. This scale will always descend into the highest voice of each chord change. Example 14 does the same thing except on the mid voice. Example 15 is a little different considering the smooth voice leading between every chord. The bass note doesn't move much so a scale note below each new chord was added. If this is all starting to sound like a really remedial Bach piece than you are correct. J.S Bach was a master of voice leading and inner melodies (AKA Counterpoint). Listen to Glenn Gould performing Bach's Inventions to hear a master at work.
Playing with strict alternate picking at all times is fine if you're John Petrucci or Al Dimeola. I am not. I had people tell me when I was starting up to alternate pick everything at all times, it's the only way to play fast and clean. That's fine for picking on one string, but you have to change strings eventually, and that's where things fall apart. Playing a downstroke on one string and then an upstroke on the other always caused me to "trip over" the string in a way. My right hand never could do it very well, I always just kind of played whatever felt comfortable. I found out later on that what I found comfortable was referred to as "Economy Picking".
Basically, economy picking is alternate picking, the only difference is the way you change strings. Play the three note per string scale in Example 1 to get a feel for it. The picking hand is going "down up down, down up down" changing strings with the same picking direction. Same thing applies to example 2, descending with the opposite picking direction. This makes all the difference in the world. Watch guys like Tal Farlow when he's playing an up tempo tune and it looks like he's dragging his hand all over the strings, like he's "wiping" the notes out. This is also the method Frank Gambale uses.
The trick with economy picking is odd number note groupings. Any pattern with 1,3,5,7 etc. notes per string will allow you to change strings picking in the same direction, thus saving you from alternate picking hell. Examples 4 and 5 are an A major scale in note groupings of 7. This is a John Petrucci Style lick that can go by in a flash. When playing these odd note groupings it is important to practice with a metronome. The accents are all over the place and unpredictable so it can be easy to lose track of where the "one" is if you're not careful.
What about pentatonics? Good question. Pentatonic scales usually lie on the fretboard in two note per string shapes, an even number. how Eric Johnson can play these the way he does has always baffled me. Anyhoo, remember the "Extended Pentatonics" lesson I posted earlier? Changing the scale to three notes per string helps get the economy going. Example 5 is a pentatonic lick in E minor using economy picking and a five note grouping. Remember the metronome! These odd numbers aren't what we are used to hearing in western music, keep the rhythms tight.