Alternate Picking

Alternate Picking Guitar Lessons

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  • user avatar
    Thomas McRocklin
    • 3 Videos
    • 28 Mins

    Being able to switch fluently between different techniques is really important, so I’ve put together a shred lick which features a combination of alternate and sweep picking to help you nail this transition seamlessly.

    If you’re new to shredding this is a great lick to get started with and I include a lot of tips and insights that will set you up on the right track to become a shred monster in no time!

  • user avatar
    Thomas McRocklin
    • 2 Videos
    • 16 Mins

    This question comes from Liam who is having some trouble with alternate picking runs. He’s fine going from the high to low strings, but changing direction seems to require a great deal more concentration and is causing him to trip up. This is a tough problem and I totally understand the frustration, but I do have a solution!

  • user avatar
    Thomas McRocklin
    • 2 Videos
    • 13 Mins

    Today we’re going to check out a picking question from School of McRock member James. He seems to be struggling when it comes to picking speed to let’s see what suggestions we can come up with!

  • user avatar
    Thomas McRocklin
    • 4 Videos
    • 20 Mins

    The ‘box shape’ pentatonic scale is one of the first things many guitarists will learn and in this lesson I’m going to teach you how you can use this familiar pattern as a starting point to break out into more interesting sounds and expand your musical vocabulary.

    I’m also going to explain my approach to pentatonics by showing you some of my favourite patterns and breaking down a pentatonic lick that uses the 3 note per string method which is fantastic for blazing across the fretboard in high-speed bursts. If you’ve been underestimating the power of pentatonic scales – this lesson will change that!

  • Clear Skies Breakdown
    Intermediate
    Tabs
    Backing Track
    Clear Skies Breakdown
    user avatar
    Thomas McRocklin
    • 2 Videos
    • 28 Mins

    In this lesson I’m going to break down the chorus section from my track Clear Skies. This solo is jam-packed with lots of different techniques and flourishes which makes it a lot of fun to play.

    I’m going to guide you through this note-for-note, covering these techniques in detail as well as all of the little details, expression and delivery that will help you get this solo completely locked down. Let’s do this!

  • user avatar
    Thomas McRocklin
    • 5 Videos
    • 36 Mins

    In this lesson I’ve got two licks to break down that combine alternate and sweep picking. Both use simple, familiar patterns so that we can focus on how to transition between these techniques and nail the mechanics involved.

    Being able to transition seamlessly between different techniques like this makes such a huge difference to your playing, because in the real world you’re never going to do 4 bars of sweeping followed by 4 bars of tapping and so on. Instead, you should be able pick and choose techniques from your arsenal to effortlessly drop into a performance when needed – so I’ll show you exactly how I do this.

  • Blazing Speed Hack
    Intermediate
    user avatar
    Thomas McRocklin
    • 2 Videos
    • 15 Mins

    While it’s often possible to play very fast sequences purely with alternate picking, in this lesson I’m going to show you a simple hack that I use which makes it much easier to play an incredibly fast and impressive flurry of notes more easily and using far less energy.

    The cool thing about this technique is you can apply it to any note combination on any strings you like, which gives you a powerful shortcut to be able to come up with blazing fast licks of your own.

  • The Combo Lick
    Intermediate
    user avatar
    Thomas McRocklin
    • 2 Videos
    • 28 Mins

    This lick combines a number of different sounds from pentatonic to minor to diminished, as well as transitioning between alternate and sweep picking in a fast and frantic way.

    In this lesson, I’m going to break down the full lick and explain all of the different approaches I use to make it happen, as well as exactly how I’m able to transition so quickly between sweep and alternate picking at high speeds.

  • Sweep Combo Lick
    Intermediate
    Backing Track
    Sweep Combo Lick
    user avatar
    Thomas McRocklin
    • 4 Videos
    • 38 Mins

    In this lesson, I’m going to break down a really cool riff that combines two of my favourite techniques back to back – sweep picking and alternate picking.

    I actually really struggled to perfect this lick, which is a common thing that can happen depending on how you approach it – so I’m going to walk you through all of the pitfalls you need to avoid so that you can nail this technique!

  • user avatar
    Thomas McRocklin
    • 4 Videos
    • 21 Mins

    I love the sound of a blazing pentatonic lick! Today I’m going to take a really exciting pentatonic lick and slow it right down so that I can break it down step-by-step for you – nice and slowly!

    Along the way I’ll be showing you all of the insights and techniques that come together to allow you to play this lick at incredible speed.