Alternate Picking And String Switching (Group Session Video)

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Students Arthur, Cody, and Jathan have been playing for a few years now. It’s come to point in their playing where they would really like to develop speed in their lead playing, so I’ve designed a program that will help them take things to the next level. I sat them down for a group session and we began our workout with an exercise called ┬áthe “Alternate Picking String Switching Exercise”.

alternate picking string switching exercise


For a speed building session like this we’ll turn down our distortion, reverb, or any other effect. Any added effect can hide errors. This a practice and not a public performance, so there is absolutely no need for anything but the pure signal from the guitar. Of course, you could use an acoustic, like Cody. Using an acoustic guitar can add more of a challenge as the string gauge is often thicker and the action is often higher than that of an electric guitar.

To perform it all we do is play open strings with alternate picking. We pick each string 4 times as straight sixteenth notes.

The exercise is meant to be a warm-up for the picking hand as well as serve as a means to get everyone used to playing along with the metronome.

We begin at 83 beats per minute and end at 90 beats per minute.

Here’s the video of the session: