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How important is the sweep in this lick? Also pinky question.

scolfax

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,242
This video seems to show an important tip in getting an Eric Johnson-style lick to sound right:



I've been playing with strict alternating picking for a LONG time now. I think I can get this up to speed without doing the sweep shown in this video but I'd like to get your opinion on it.

Also, I have always played with all four fingers. I notice that this guy uses his pinky on the high E when demoing the lick, but when it actually comes to playing it wicked-fast he uses his ring finger. Do you guys do this too? Lots of really fast pentatonic players seem to avoid the pinky.
 

willhutch

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,908
I don't think the sweep is for speed, since the other 4 notes in this 5 note sequence are alternately picked. Rather, I think it helps serves to mark or accent the first note in the group of 5.

pinky? Ring? ... whichever, IMHO
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,690
It's a pretty normal way to play it if you show it to someone. You can alternate pick it too, and get it just as fast. Try it both ways and see what works for you. I use the pinky in certain positions and in higher positions not as much. But once you can do it, you can do it either way, just as fast.

You should not always avoid the pinky. If you try a sequence with some of the other pentatonic forms, you'll definitely want to use it. It's just everyone always uses the typical one, that lends to that fingering.
 

scolfax

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,242
Thanks guys. I seem to gravitate towards making this a 6 note pattern with strict alternate picking instead of a 5. And I can't help but use my pinky. Guess some of those old habits don't want to go away.
 
Messages
673
Because it's a 5 note sequence, using the little sweep keeps the pick headed in the optimum direction for all the string changes, which does mean it can be played faster (for me at least).

Granted I can't get near the top speed in that video, but avoiding the old awkward upstroke on a lower string to downstroke on a higher one and vice versa is a bonus. It's something I'm working on though, because I can from a downstroke on a higher string to upstroke on lower reasonably easily. I can also do two notes per string leading with an upstroke and ascending from low to high quickly, but descending leading with downstrokes is much more tricky. Old habits indeed.
 




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