Sin City Presents Magazine March 2019 Volume 6 Issue 3 - Page 12



Since we started this magazine, with so much focus on rock music, I’ve reminisced about the days when I was still a kid with the newest copy of mags like Guitar for the Practicing Musician, and remembered that excited feeling of what would be in there I could learn and sink my fledgling guitarist’s fangs into that would excite me to learn more until the next issue was released.

I’ve had this absurd idea in the back of my mind to add a guitar section if not several for all musicians to share their experience and techniques and this month I decided to pull the trigger on the idea and fire the gun!

A Few years ago or so, I just happened to meet a guy that studied at Berkley and being guitarists of course we hit it off immediately… we talked about the time he spent touring with bands like Sublime and sat in the park one beautiful spring day with two acoustic guitars while he explained Rising Force to me. While we played, all the parents and kids gathered around us and clapped and smiled and just said “Wow guys!! That was awesome!” That’s what Rock & Roll is all about making people smile.

During the lessons and methodology, he taught me starting with warm-ups, he specified several things that are mechanically important in both the right hand and the left. Keep the thumb of your left hand centered on the back of the neck… keep your fingers curved and close to the strings and make sure you start slow, so that these habits become not only consistent, but pure muscle memory… The right hand, I have so many differentiations over time, I don’t really have any advice… do what feels right.

Warm ups were one of the first things we worked on… chromatics up and down which almost every student is overly familiar with and more than likely bored as Hell with! However, he threw in a twist, he said reverse things and do it in both directions ascending and descending… throw in string skipping even.

With all that to think about, I came up with this exercise that I love, because it incorporates string skipping and changing direction simultaneously, but most importantly forces my mind and my hands to stay focused on an entirely different level!

Of course, the transcription is abbreviated, but there’s only so much space on a page and The Boss told me this was all I am allowed! Continue the exercise ascending then when you reach a comfortable point reverse the pattern and continue it descending until you get back to the first fret, as most all of my guitarist brothers and sisters know all too well, its redundant, but start slow and speed up. Try to keep your picking motion as Zen as possible (Economy of Motion). Over time it has helped me execute (with the help of other teachers and theory I have learned), I have gotten to a place that I can execute things, I had at one time doubted I would have been capable of playing.

When you become comfortable with the fingering do the exercise reversed starting with your pinky and repeat the pattern ascending and descending again… Its just a cool thing that I thought of from learning from great guys that inspired me to improve as a guitar player.

Namaste Guitar Gang! Until Next Time! Rock & Roll!