Ej's Quickest Runs

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by PLEXIBLE, Jun 18, 2006.


  1. PLEXIBLE

    PLEXIBLE Member

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    After watching EJ's Austin city Limits DVD I,m determined to increase the speed of picking pentatonic runs. Can anybody help me get there quicker? Does he pick every note? Is it strict alternate picking? I'm amazed if he picks every note.
     
  2. Yngtchie Blacksteen

    Yngtchie Blacksteen Member

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    Shawn Lane has some pentatonic exercises in his Power Solos video, they're quite useful for those EJ-ish licks.

    And I believe Johnson mixes picking with hammer-on's to get a fast an fluid sound.
     
  3. Thwap

    Thwap Silver Supporting Member

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  4. gennation

    gennation Member

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    There's a tutorial at my site that explains how he takes the 7-note scales (mode patterns to guitarists) and turns them into Pentatonic scales/patterns jut like you mention.

    http://lessons.mikedodge.com

    Follow the links to the Lydian Tutorial.

    I'll give you some great stuff that will make the little light go on.

    People like John Mclaughlin, Coltrane, and Miles have/had been wielding Pentatonics for the basis of their sound for years.
     
  5. mkl13

    mkl13 Member

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    Thanks for the link to the Lydian lesson's on your website, they look like great ideas and I am starting to work on some.

    Matt
     
  6. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    A lot of times EJ picks every note. Get his instructional video and you'll get some great examples. If you watch it closely, you'll get his "trick" to playing those fast. I call it a trick because he does it all the time and it's really one lick that he molds into many others. He does it all the time when he wants to go fast. The transcription books are often wrong too. They get the notes right, but the fingering is critical to be able to do those fast quintuplet patterns.

    It's not about the modes or any theory trip. Take any old pentatonic and execute it his way and it will sound right. It's really about setting up the right hand.
     
  7. PLEXIBLE

    PLEXIBLE Member

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    Hey Buddastrat, be more specific-was is the trick? I can play his lines close to the speed using legato. I guess i need to be patient with the pick every note- i.e. start slow and build speed. 2 notes per string and fast=hard. I'm use to 3 notes per string runs.
     
  8. Super Locrian

    Super Locrian Member

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    Looks interesting, have you considered to show the examples on musical staffs in addition to the tablature? I think most who want to grasp the harmonic and linear concepts you're discussing, would (need to) know how to read music.
     
  9. gennation

    gennation Member

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    You know, since you mention it...

    I've just started to seriously get back into reading and staff writing and JUST finished my first transcription, in decades, for a new lesson on 'common sounds within Jazz music'.

    So, I see a trend here for me that I will be transcribing things with staff and tab more frequently in the future. Although, sometimes I have to do quick tab stuff just to get a word in in the subject ;)

    And also, I have audio files for those Lydian examples too. I just haven't gotten around to posting them within the tutorial yet.

    Seriously though, I just finished my first written transcription about 30 minutes ago!
     
  10. LR1400

    LR1400 Member

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    Thought I would post this here as well. My opinion on EJ picking quick runs. EJ is a Mofo!

    The way I pick them and the way EJ describes how he picks (along with his picking away from the string. Which is not exaggerated on the quick runs but more subtle) which is to use the side of the pick, not the tip per se, but you brush across the string with the side of the pick. You will get that smooth picking tone which sounds almost like you are hammering on and pulling off legato style.

    Get the ALC DVD or one of those instructional DVDs and look at his right hand. EJ picks 90% of those quick runs. Examine his right hand closely, look how his thumb is cocked almost bent backwards, when you pick this way you will notice that the only way to get that smooth attack is to pick with the edge of the pick, brushing across the string. Examine his left hand and you will notice that a lot of the time he uses his first and third finger and a lot of times he picks 2 notes per string, sometimes 3. Which can make it harder to go fast with only 2 notes per string but EJ and shawn Lane can fly on pentatonics better than anyone. When he picks more than 2 per string a lot of times he will use more finger and thumb movement while picking making it easier to pick on one string, but across multiple strings it is mostly wrist.
     
  11. gennation

    gennation Member

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    That "2 notes to a string" is exactly what my tutorial I posted is about. It's also a a clear cut view of how Mclaughlin used to play in the early days. Most of those first couple of Mahavishnu albums are "pentatonic-ised" scales made from bigger scales.

    Cool stuff.
     
  12. GtrWiz

    GtrWiz Member

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    Frank Gambale's Chopbuilder DVD has lot's of EJ type pentatonic runs, and surprisingly very little sweeping. I'd say 95% alternate picking.
     
  13. ivers

    ivers Member

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    I became better at 2 notes per string pentatonics after practising a lot of 1 note per string alt. picking, as in ditching sweeping altogether for several years and forcing myself to play all arpeggios with alt. picking.
     
  14. LR1400

    LR1400 Member

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    And what do you know, EJ sites Mcluaghlin as one of his main influences.

    When he mentions guitarists Mcluaghlin always comes up, along with of course Hendrix, Clapton, Beck, Reed, BB, and Atkins.

    To me when you break scales up in to pentatonics like Mcluahglin, EJ, Coltrane, Tyner, etc. you got less of that root running Al DiMeola sound. It sounds more open and interesting. I snooze a lot when I hear too much 3nps although some of it can be tasteful.
     
  15. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    www.sheetsofsound.net
     

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