It seems my new instructor, Kit, is a bit like Mr. Miyagi and right now he has me waxing cars and painting fences. I trust it’s all going somewhere.
First off, he had me stop practicing scales all together because of my picking motion. He told me not to do one more scale until he tells me. Somewhere along the way I apparently picked up the habit of “economy picking” rather than strict alternate picking. My previous instructor, Bruno, also suggested I try to stop economy picking but he wasn’t quite as fanatical about it as Kit seems to be.
Now, personally I don’t see what the problem with economy picking is, but as of yet I haven’t gone over picking and scales with Kit and I’m sure he has a reason. So, as I said… I just have to do what he tells me to do. I’m sure some day I’m going to get into a guitar fight and it will all come together in dramatic fashion.
How do you pick? What is your opinion on economy picking vs alternate picking?
I was also given an interesting memorization excersize, which I believe is to help with learning notes forward and backwards. And I do need help with that. Obviously I know all the notes; A-B-C-D-E-F-G. And I know the notes backwards as well… but not very quickly and not when starting with a middle note. So to help with this I was given this excersize… First Kit wrote out all the notes in a circle like so:
Now I’m supposed to say them out loud in the following pattern:
etc, etc, etc.
Until you get to G.
I was also given another finger excersize. This excersize will help with transitioning to notes down the neck. It’s pretty straight forward: you just go up the neck with your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fingers, starting on the first fret. After you play the 4th fret with your 4th finger, you jump to the 5th fret and play that with your first finger and repeat up the neck (1st finger again on the 9th fret, etc) and repeat with each string. The goal is to make the transition as smoothly as possible on the big jumps.
Kit also likes to show you something and then promptly tell you never to think about it again. Like I said, I trust down the road everything will come together.
Well, I’m off to paint some fences.