Pick And Choose

by Will Landrum
www.guitarconsultant.com

So much emphasis is placed on playing well with your
fingering hand that often our rhythm hand technique falls
behind the curve.

For example; can you play faster and cleaner notes using
hammer-ons and pull-offs rather than picking each note
individually?

Using your pick and choosing what strings to play is
extremely important in developing your overall technique.

Picking the proper strings precisely enables you to add more
depth and color to your music.

One of the most useful ways I applied this to my playing was
with distinct sounding power chords. This involves playing only
the notes of a chord that produce the heavy sound we rockers
like so much.

For example, one of the ways an A power chord can be played
is like this using only 2 strings:

         A Power Chord
         6 5 4 3 2 1
         E A D G B E

         X o   x x x
Fret 1   | | | | | |
         - - - - - -
Fret 2   | | 1 | | |
         - - - - - -
Fret 3   | | | | | |
         - - - - - -

See how, in order to get the proper sound, you must be
accurate and play only the 5th and 4th strings, keeping the
others quiet.

Another advantage is the ability to accurately pick individual
strings when fingering chords. This also adds a lot of flavor
to your playing and, when mixed with alternately picked scales,
can really allow your creativity to soar!

I've tabbed out the intro to one my tunes, "Over Age" that
will help you focus on your picking accuracy. It involves
manipulating the basic Am and Em open chords using string
skipping and single note runs.

         A minor        E minor
         6 5 4 3 2 1    6 5 4 3 2 1
         E A D G B E    E A D G B E

         X o       o    o     o o o
Fret 1   | | | | 1 |    | | | | | |
         - - - - - -    - - - - - -
Fret 2   | | 2 3 | |    | 2 2 | | |
         - - - - - -    - - - - - -
Fret 3   | | | | | |    | | | | | |
         - - - - - -    - - - - - -

Need help reading tablature?
http://www.guitarconsultant.com/readtablature.html

Intro to "Over Age" from Will's debut CD.
http://www.guitarconsultant.com/cd-will.html
This is played in 4/4 time and the general feel of the notes
are 16ths.

LEGATO
Am form
          p
E ----------------------------o---------------------
B ------1-o-------------o-------o-------------------
G ----2-----2---------2---2-------------------------
D --2---------2-----2-------2-----------------------
A o-------------------------------------------------
E --------------o-1---------------------------------


Am form
                            h p
E ------1---o---------------------------------------
B ------------o---3---2---o-1-o---------------------
G ----2---2-----2---------------2-------------------
D --2---------------2---2---------------------------
A o-------------------------------------------------
E --------------------------------------------------


Am form             Em form

E --------------------------------------------------
B ------------------------o-----2-----o-----3-------
G --------------------------o-----o-----o-----o-----
D 2-3-2-o---------------2-----2-----2-----2-----2---
A --------3-2-o-------2-----------------------------
E --------------3-1-o-------------------------------


E -------------------------------------------------
B o-----2-----o-----3------------------------------
G --o-----o-----o----------------------------------
D ----2-----2-----2--------------------------------
A -------------------------------------------------
E -------------------------------------------------

FIRST ENDING
E ---------------------------
B ---------------------------
G o--------------------------
D --3-2-o--------------------
A --------3-2-o--------------
E --------------3------------
REPEAT

SECOND ENDING

Am form

    h     h p h p h p h p  ~~~~
E ---------------------------
B o-2---o-2-o-2-o-2-o-2-o----
G o-----o--------------------
D 2-----o--------------------
A 2-----2--------------------
E ---------------------------
END

Remember, your goal is a clear crisp sound as well as
keeping all the notes flowing, especially when the single
note runs kick in.

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