I hope you've been working hard on the stuff we covered in the last economy picking lesson! You might have noticed that in that lesson we focused exclusively on
using downstrokes to economy pick across two strings. Well, in this lesson we even things out by focusing
on using upstrokes to economy pick across two strings. So let's jump right in with the first exercise for
Economy Picking Exercise 2:
This exercise uses an A Major triad and is played using economy picking in the
- Pick the first note using a downstroke.
- Pick the second and thirds notes using one continuous upstroke. The upstroke should be
done so that it just glides across two strings with the one upstroke motion.
I find it really helpful to analyze the mechanics of any economy picking exercise that I learn. So let's do
that now. Here is the mechanic that the exercise above uses…
Economy Picking Mechanic From Exercise
Here's what this mechanic means…
- Play the string that you are currently on using a downstroke.
- Pick the current string again using an upstroke and use the same upstroke motion to move to and pick
the next adjacent string.
As I mention in Economy Picking Lesson 1,
what I like to do once I've analyzed the mechanic is then compose ideas that use that
mechanic. This allows me to not only get better at the mechanic but also increase my musical
With that said, here's an economy picking lick that I made up using the mechanic above…
Economy Picking Lick 2:
Here are some important notes about this lick…
- It is constructed using notes from the B Natural Minor scale. This scale is
also called the B Aeolian mode and is made up from these notes: B C# D E F#
G and A.
- It uses only sixteenth note subdivisions. This means that for the entire lick you
need to be playing four evenly-spaced notes per click of your metronome. Just be sure to
watch out for the last two notes of the lick. Although these notes are sixteenth notes, you'll notice that
I have sneakily ended on the second sixteenth note of the beat.
- I must admit I went nuts with the mechanic. You'll notice by counting them that I used the mechanic a
grand total of seven times in the lick! To make this clearer for you to see, I've put
the same exercise below with boxes drawn around each repetition of the mechanic…
Before you move onto any further economy picking lessons, I really recommend doing the following…
- Review this lesson and the previous lesson. Make sure you have read everything again. Also make sure
that you have memorized the exercises and licks.
- Set a speed goal for the exercises and licks. Keep practicing them until you have
reached your speed goal. I recommend setting a speed goal of around 120 bpm using sixteenth
notes. The goal at this stage of learning should not be speed but clarity, cleanness and accuracy
of timing. Of course, once you've reached 120 bpm then feel free to push the limits.
And lastly, if you're looking for a LOT of new ideas to learn that will improve your sweep/economy picking,
then I highly recommend grabbing a copy of this shred guitar e-book. (I feel that
it is a fantastic resource, and will keep you busy for a LONG time. You can read my full review of it here:
Shred Guitar E-Book Review).
Return To: Free Online Guitar Lessons