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Fundamental Picking Exercise (Guitar Lesson)

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Allen Van Wert

Fundamental Picking Exercise

This lesson covers an exercise that works on all the major picking techniques.

Taught by Allen Van Wert in Speed And Technique seriesLength: 11:15Difficulty: 2.0 of 5

Video Subtitles / Captions

Supplemental Learning Material


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

michael.nationjrmichael.nationjr replied on January 28th, 2017

This exercise is right down my all 5 together is sweet idea. I been study types of picking a while. I like these excerise. Thank you.

chemanuechemanue replied on January 14th, 2017

H all. I find if I have to do all these exercisese (fingering, endurance. picking) it takes a lot of time. Is it necessary to practice all of them everyday? Any scheduling advice? Thank you

kevindneesekevindneese replied on September 28th, 2015

Have done several of the speed courses both on here and on other guitar sites and this one has helped me speed more than any. I've always tried to keep my pick consistent whether I'm going up or down. Your one lesson about keeping the pick on the string when you alternate pick kind of lit a light bulb over my head and it has really helped. Was kind of interesting in that I automatically economy pick naturally and was doing it before I know it had a name lol. I think economy of motion helps your speed and I've just done that without thinking. Really good material here. Am really benefiting from this course a ton.

charlie_waspcharlie_wasp replied on September 5th, 2013

Sorry for three the same messages :( My internet connection is not well sometime.

charlie_waspcharlie_wasp replied on September 5th, 2013

Hi, Allen, thank you for your job, I discover new cool stuff for everyday routine with your lessons. I have a question: is it important to practice on clean sound or distorted? And if important so in what way?

allen.vanwertallen.vanwert replied on November 22nd, 2013

Clean to make things harder and distorted at times to make sure things are muted properly.

charlie_waspcharlie_wasp replied on September 5th, 2013

Hi, Allen, thank you for your job, I discover new cool stuff for everyday routine with your lessons. I have a question: is it important to practice on clean sound or distorted? And if important so in what way?

charlie_waspcharlie_wasp replied on September 5th, 2013

Hi, Allen, thank you for your job, I discover new cool stuff for everyday routine with your lessons. I have a question: is it important to practice on clean sound or distorted? And if important so in what way?

midlifemidlife replied on July 9th, 2013

I am really struggling with the switch at the end to triplets and staying in time. I think the the triplet feel with only 2 notes per string is hanging me?I am having to really slow it down and count 1 and a 2 and a... Like you say, got to work on your weaknesses.

allen.vanwertallen.vanwert replied on November 22nd, 2013

You got it! It is only tough until you understand and get used to it, then you expand further from this point.

musomikemusomike replied on November 6th, 2012

Hi Allen, I am new to JamPlay but not new to guitar so it didn't take me long to get to phase 2 and now I am loving these picking exercises. Thanks to your picking exercises, I am improving and with these exercises added to my everyday practice routine I am looking forward to seeing some much needed improvements to my playing. So Thank you.

allen.vanwertallen.vanwert replied on November 22nd, 2013

You're very welcome!

raskewraskew replied on August 22nd, 2012

Clasical guitarists use mirrors to validate their form and position; Why not the rest of us?

handsfromasshandsfromass replied on October 29th, 2012

oh yeah i do it on electric , too

verciapoanceverciapoance replied on April 26th, 2012

What about hybrid?

allen.vanwertallen.vanwert replied on April 30th, 2012

Talking about using the pick itself. You can use alternate and also economy while also using hybrid picking etc.

glen.buxtonglen.buxton replied on January 20th, 2012

one thing i have trouble with..when picking moderate to medkium fast..I usually get stuck in my pick..I hold myu pick pretty light..and try to make the movemens from finger and elbow..I know its been a debatte between plkayers..Using to light grip or a more heavy grip..What grip would you recommend Using?..

allen.vanwertallen.vanwert replied on April 30th, 2012

I use a light grip for soft sound and a heavy strong grip for a louder sound.

glen.buxtonglen.buxton replied on January 20th, 2012

allen what are u using? im using the screamer, 2,75..Which i like cuz it has a really sharp point..I used to play dunlop stubby 3.0..which also are really great...Allen wht angle on the pick are you using when picking? is it a 45 degree angle?..

allen.vanwertallen.vanwert replied on April 30th, 2012

I have a slight angle when picking. Not sure which V pick I used in this video.

gibstratgibstrat replied on October 17th, 2011

cool exercises that gotta drive ya nuts after a while with that metronome

eitanprouserepiceitanprouserepic replied on October 13th, 2011

dude i have been doing every excercise in these lessons eery day. insane difference in my picking. keep em up. this is great

allen.vanwertallen.vanwert replied on October 13th, 2011

I am glad it is working well! Keep at it and it will change forever. I have bunches more on the way as well.

vince_mcvince_mc replied on October 11th, 2011

Thanks Allen. Something like that was just what I wanted to see to practice my picking weaknesses... By the way, what sort of pick are you using. Looks super thick. Like John Petrucci 3mm thick!

allen.vanwertallen.vanwert replied on October 11th, 2011

A V Pick of some sort. Thicker than 3mm

melodiusthunkmelodiusthunk replied on October 12th, 2011

Hey Allan: I just received Vinny's starter set + 1 EuroII, and i can't believe the difference these picks make , improving, speed, accuracy, and fullness of sound. I was admit I was quite skeptical at first, since I had never played anything thicker than the 1 mm Tortex I HAD been using up to now. I figured strumming would really take a hit with anything thicker, but several of the V picks I received with thickness of 1.5 mm and even up to 2.75 mm were surprisingly forgiving in this aspect. So I'd like to ask you do you ever practice with whatever pick you used to play, on the theory that getting a song down with the old pick will just make it sound 10X better when you switch back? Or would you advise sticking with your favorite and never look back? Great series, wish I had more time to give it, but I can already see improvements in hand synchronization. Scott

allen.vanwertallen.vanwert replied on October 12th, 2011

I try to practice with the one I am going to be using for playing most of the time but fear I may wear it out so I tend to sometimes save the really nice ones for when I need them.

shredersonsshredersons replied on October 11th, 2011

Looking forward to more on economy...good stuff, thanks again Allen

allen.vanwertallen.vanwert replied on November 22nd, 2013

you're welcome!

allen.vanwertallen.vanwert replied on October 11th, 2011

60 Exercises not 5x20. Sorry. I am a tard.

Speed And Technique

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Allen "Robot" Van Wert teaches his approach to developing technique necessary for fast playing.

Lesson 1

Series Introduction And Picking Primer

Allen kicks off his technique series with a primer lesson on right hand picking.

Length: 30:52 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Rudimentary Drills

Allen shows you the 24 rudiments crucial to developing finger dexterity.

Length: 7:22 Difficulty: 1.5 FREE
Lesson 3

Left Hand Endurance Building

Allen shows an amazing muscle building exercise that really works out the left hand!

Length: 9:32 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Fundamental Picking Exercise

This lesson covers an exercise that works on all the major picking techniques.

Length: 11:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Synchronize And Stretch

Allen shows you a great exercise set that helps with synchronizing your hands as well as stretching your left hand.

Length: 8:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

The System

Allen Van Wert explains his system of programming, reinforcing, and forgetting primary functions of guitar playing. This system is a long term practice routine that will take some time to fully implement...

Length: 50:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Interval Exercises

This is the next step after you have learned Allen's "system". If you follow Allen's teachings you are sure to have a deep understanding of intervals and scales.

Length: 21:29 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Triad Arpeggio Exercises

First, Allen gives a pop quiz for you to check your own ability to visualize the fretboard. Then he gives exercises for programming your triad arpeggios.

Length: 21:30 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Seventh Arpeggio Exercises

Allen Van Wert shows you how to apply his systematic practice approach to 7th arpeggios. If you are just discovering this series make sure to start at the beginning or some things may not make sense.

Length: 8:36 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Fretboard Advancement

Allen briefly explains how he refers to modes in the context of this lesson and then shows you how to grow your knowledge of the fretboard.

Length: 15:35 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

Rut Busting Exercises

Get out of that rut with these exercises from Allen Van Wert!

Length: 10:44 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Basic Tapping

Allen returns to his speed and technique lesson series with a look at the basics of tapping. This lesson will act as a primer for more advanced tapping concepts and eventual speed increases as well!

Length: 30:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 13

Using Tapping to Extend Your Range

Allen is back with the next installment in his look at tapping. In this lesson Allen discusses and demonstrates how you can use tapping to easily extend your range while playing.

Length: 11:05 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Single String Tapping

Allen is back with more tapping goodness! This time around, he discusses single string tapping.

Length: 10:27 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

Multi-String Tapping

By this time you should have a pretty strong grasp of tapping basics and be proficient at tapping on one string. In lesson 15 of his Speed and Technique series, Allen starts working you up to tapping...

Length: 14:46 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Tapped Octave Minor Pentatonic

In this lesson Allen demonstrates an octave displaced, tapped, minor pentatonic scale. This can be useful for solo work and getting around chord changes!

Length: 10:28 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

Emulating Keyboards

Allen is back with a comprehensive look what what many people call "Touch Tapping." Allen likes to describe this as emulating a keyboard on the guitar.

Length: 32:41 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Combining Tapping Techniques

Now that you should have most of the tapping techniques under your fingers, it's time to put them all together. In this lesson Allen provides you with a piece of music that encompasses all of the techniques...

Length: 11:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

String Skipping Exercises

To wrap up his current film session and look at the speed and technique series, Allen provides a lesson based around exercises to build your string skipping technique.

Length: 29:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only

About Allen Van Wert View Full Biography Allen Van Wert got the nickname "ROBOT" from his unusual guitar tapping techniques that often sound like a video game more than a guitar. He has studied and played a wide variety of genres. His experimental and eclectic amalgamation of music combining shred guitar, crazy tapping techniques, and electronically infused composition contrasted by a highly emotional soft melodic side, make his debut album a really fun and interesting listen for just about anyone.

Allen has recorded guitar for the famed video game soundtrack composer Jesper Kyd (Composer of Hitman, Splinter Cell and many other big title games) as well as composing and recording for movie trailers and TV commercials. He has also been producing, recording and co-writing for local artists in his small home/project studio.

His three books on guitar technique, ear training and songwriting have helped many students over the past couple of years. Allen has also played in various cover bands in many genres since the age of 16 and has played to over 5000 on a few occasions. He was a featured guest musician on the album "West Coast Shred Fest".

In his spare time, Allen programs video games for fun. Wooo!

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