Picking: 3-String Picking Ideas

Welcome back, and happy international guitar month! In a previous lesson I gave you some 2-string picking examples that you can use to develop your picking and to create longer lines. This month I will teaching you some 3-string picking ideas that can be great for developing your picking, and to help create lines. There are tons of examples I can show you on this topic, but I will show you just a few ideas to get you started. All of the examples I will be showing you should be alternate picked.

Example 1 is a 3-string picking idea, that lies within the notes of an F# major scale (F#, G#, A#, B, C#, D#, E#) Technically, this example is E# Locrian, because the first note begins on the E# of F. For simplicity you can call
it F Locrian, or even F# major, and that all depends on what notes you are emphasizing.

This is a great picking exercise, especially if you want to develop your right picking on three strings. This is played with 32nd notes, but it could also be played with 16th notes or 8th notes. Be sure to use a metronome, and experiment with moving this up the neck in half steps.

MP3 - Picking: 3-String Picking Ideas - Example 1

Once you get the one-octave, 3-string scale pattern down and up to speed, a great exercise would be to apply it to the all of modes and play it up the neck. That is what Example 2 is based on. This is in the F# major scale, but you can
do this in any mode, or scale, and on any set of strings.

MP3 - Picking: 3-String Picking Ideas - Example 2

Now, with Example 3 we will move this 3-string, 9-note pattern up the neck through the modes, on all strings in the key of F# major. There are several ways you can move up the
neck, this is just one way, Be sure to experiment with many possible combinations.

MP3 - Picking: 3-String Picking Ideas - Example 3

Finally, Example 4 changes up the pattern and the key. This one is in E minor (E, F#, G, A, B, C, D) and it is a 3-string pattern that is really great for your picking. Try to experiment with starting with a downstroke and with an upstroke. Beginning with with either one will help develop your inside and outside picking, because it alternates between both.

MP3 - Picking: 3-String Picking Ideas - Example 4

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That is it for now. Be sure to make up your own patterns and be sure to visit www.mikecampese.com for more information, and to purchase my CDs.

Mike Campese is an all-around music performer, session artist and teacher competent in many musical styles, electric and acoustic. He has studied at G.I.T. (Honors Graduate), and with Paul Gilbert, Norman Brown, Stanley Jordan, Scott Henderson and Keith Wyatt.

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