Series Review (Guitar Lesson)

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Brad Henecke

Series Review

Brad provides a brief review of this series. He gives information regarding why technique is so important.

Taught by Brad Henecke in Speed and Technique seriesLength: 2:00Difficulty: 0.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (02:00) Series Review The Importance of Technique

Remember that technique is a means to a musical end. Many players fail to realize the importance of technique. These players struggle to produce the sounds they hear on their favorite records. Others practice technique at the expense of developing essential musicianship skills. These guitarists often sound quite mechanical and devoid of any true artistic expression.

Billy Corgan's Philosophy on Practice and Technique

After the release of the Pisces Iscariot album, Billy Corgan wrote a monthly lesson column for Guitar World magazine. The following information originally appeared in Billy's article entitled "Searching For Style."

"Practicing usually falls into one of two polar camps: the technique-oriented, 'I must never make a mistake' camp and the punk rock camp, which holds that practice just makes you sound like everybody else. For me, the actual truth lies somewhere in between these two extremes. There have been times with my band when I felt the musicianship wasn't proficient enough, and this is the way I explained my point of view to them: You should never let your technical limitations prevent you from achieving your goals. If you have the artistic vision of playing something grand, don't let your lack of technical ability keep you from getting there. The most important thing is what you are trying to say, and you need to work on whatever it is that will enable you to express yourself eloquently."

-Originally printed in the September 1995 issue of Guitar World.

Warming Up

Technical exercises such as the ones Brad has demonstrated in this series should be incorporated into your daily warm-up routine. It is absolutely necessary to warm-up with light technical work at the beginning of every practice session. Your warm-up routine also prepares you mentally for the task of playing guitar. Few guitarists are aware of the importance of preparing the mind to play the guitar. In reality, this is the most important component of warming up. If your mind is in the right place, your hands will follow.

Karl Wohlwend, professor of guitar at Otterbein University and Ohio Wesleyan, frequently harps on the mental aspects of guitar playing. (Karl taught JamPlay instructors Matt Brown as well as Dennis Hodges.) The following information about warming up is taken from an article by Karl Wohlwend.

"A Few Thoughts on Warming Up"

Warming up is the process of preparing to play. We play with our hands, so perhaps we concentrate on stretching out our fingers, or maybe we thing about our technique. However, our hands are connected to the rest of our physical beings. Therefore, it is very beneficial to stretch the entire body, and to be aware of the rest of the body while playing. This includes breathing.

Just as our hands are connected to the rest of our physical beings, our entire physical beings are connected to our mental / emotional / creative beings. As we prepare to play physically, we should also prepare mentally and emotionally.

We should practice thinking and feeling the way we want to think and feel when we perform. To be clear of mind and free from anxiety when playing, we need to practice in such a manner that allows us to be clear of mind and free from anxiety.

Observation is far more important than effort

Awareness is far more important than skill.

Our bodies do exactly what we tell them to do. Perhaps our minds do too.

Creating a Practice Schedule

By now, many of you may feel overwhelmed by the number of technical exercises that you have learned from Brad and other instructors on JamPlay. For this reason, it is important to organize all of the technical exercises that you know into some sort of practice regimen. Begin by simply listing all of the exercises that you know. This should include picking, left hand exercises, reach development, scales, arpeggios, barre chord practice, etc. Then, divide the total number of exercises by the seven days in the week. This will tell you how many exercises you should try to fit into a day. If you do not have time to practice this many exercises in a day, you may need to lay your practice schedule out over a two or three week period.

Please visit Matt Brown's, Jim Deeming's, and David MacKenzie's lessons entitled "Proper Practicing" for more information about developing a practice routine.

The Simplest Exercise Is the Best Exercise

Some of you more advanced members may be saying, "Gee, why is Brad covering all these easy, beginner exercises?" Remember that basic exercises can be made challenging by playing them at very fast tempos. Also, Matt Brown has added some extra John McLaughlin exercises as well as some Kirk Hammett exercises that are quite challenging. These exercises can be found in the "Supplemental Content" section in some of the early lessons in this series.

Review Time

It is extremely important to periodically review material that you have covered in the past. This is essential to ensure that you haven't forgotten anything. You might also notice some mistakes or errors that you failed to notice the first time around. This is a great opportunity to fix these errors or bad habits.

Reviewing past material also serves as a confidence builder. Odds are that you are much better at these exercises now than when you initially learned them. This allows you to see all of the improvement that you have made. This idea can be applied to anything that you have practiced: exercises, scales, repertoire, etc.

Topics Covered in This Series

So far, Brad has provided you with all of the information necessary to develop solid picking technique.

Here is a list of what he has covered:

1. Rhythms and Counting

For additional information and exercises pertaining to rhythm, please check out Matt Brown's Reading Music and Rhythm series as well as Dennis Hodges' Phase 2 Metal Series. Several of these lessons are dedicated specifically to rhythm and counting.

2. Picking Patterns

A. All Downstrokes
B. All Upstrokes
C. Alternate Picking (starting with down and upstrokes)
D. Sweep Picking
E. Economy Picking

Upcoming Lesson Topics in This Series

Here is a quick preview of some of the topics that Brad will cover in future lessons:

A. Picking Technique
B. Fret-hand Technique
C. Library of Brad Henecke licks. These will build speed, dexterity, and your vocabulary of licks that can be inserted into your solos.
D. String Skipping

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.

JayFritzJayFritz replied

Very Useful in my opinion. Good refreshers.

aferrari37aferrari37 replied

Very good lesson. Have gone back to try to clean up my picking tech, and started here. Thanks for a great review

flyrerflyrer replied

Brad, Great review very helpful

jboothjbooth replied

I just love seeing my own name :)

nessanessa replied

I too love seeing your name. Great lesson series so far, Brad!

kevinacekevinace replied

Get a room you two.

Speed and Technique

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Technique is extremely important to playing in any style of music. Perfect technique combined with blazing speed can take your playing to a whole new level.

Series IntroductionLesson 1

Series Introduction

Brad introduces his Speed and Technique series.

Length: 1:15 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Picking and TimingLesson 2

Picking and Timing

Brad Henecke covers proper picking technique and gives a basic lesson on notes/timing.

Length: 6:10 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Picking and DownstrokesLesson 3

Picking and Downstrokes

This lesson is all about the downstroke. Brad discusses technique and shows you how to pick in different rhythmic groupings.

Length: 5:20 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
UpstrokesLesson 4


Brad covers the proper way to perform an upstroke.

Length: 4:16 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Alternate PickingLesson 5

Alternate Picking

Brad Henecke covers alternate picking and how it can speed up your guitar playing.

Length: 5:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Alternate Picking with UpstrokesLesson 6

Alternate Picking with Upstrokes

Brad Henecke presents alternate picking exercises that start with an upstroke.

Length: 3:26 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Sweep PickingLesson 7

Sweep Picking

Brad explains the basics of sweep picking in this fun speed building guitar lesson.

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Economy PickingLesson 8

Economy Picking

Brad explains the basics of a technique called economy picking.

Length: 5:33 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Series ReviewLesson 9

Series Review

Brad provides a brief review of this series. He gives information regarding why technique is so important.

Length: 2:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
String SkippingLesson 10

String Skipping

Brad covers proper string skipping technique and gives you some exercises that will speed up your playing.

Length: 8:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Hammer-on / Pull-offLesson 11

Hammer-on / Pull-off

This lesson is all about improving speed by applying hammer-ons and pull-offs. Learn some exercises that sound great and boost speed.

Length: 11:27 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Hammer-On LickLesson 12

Hammer-On Lick

Brad Henecke demonstrates a speed building lick that makes heavy use of hammer-ons.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Brad Henecke

About Brad Henecke View Full Biography Brad Henecke was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on May 5th of 1963. He has been a fan of music for as long as he & his family can remember. You could always find him running around the farm wailing on his cardboard guitar, pretending to be a member of the rock band KISS. Additional inspiration came during his first concert when he got the chance to see Boston & Sammy Hagar in the early 1970's.

This opened up a whole new world of rock and roll music for him; his parents noticed his growing interest in music and enrolled him into guitar lessons when he was 13.

From there he jumped into two years of lessons at a local music store in Cedar Rapids. After discovering Eddie Van Halen, Brad knew that the guitar would always be a part of his life. He took his love throughout the city as he played as a pit musician & jammed at parties for friends.

This made him thirsty for more. He enrolled classes at Kirkwood Community College & also took lessons from the one & only Craig-Erickson (

His love for music landed him a gig opening for Molly Hatchet in Cedar Rapids with a band called "Slap & Tickle". He has also played in the Greeley Stampede show for quite a few years with "True North".

Brad is currently playing in Greeley, Colorado with a rock band titled "Ragged Doll". They play a wide variety of music with an emphasis on classic rock from the 60's to present, with Brad playing electric guitar in the five piece lineup.

He currently jams on his all-time favorite guitar: a Paul Reed Smith Custom 24. Beyond guitar, he plays also plays drums & bass guitar. He has also been known to thrash a banjo from time to time. He is still actively playing & passing his 31 years of playing experience on to others (you!).

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