I've been playing chords and riffs forever but only recently started challenging myself to play more lead lines in between riffy segments.
I've noticed that my fingers aren't quite as in synch as they need to be in order to succesfully pull this off however.
I'm a big fan of solving problems myself , so I came up with this 20-30 exercise I could do every day to increase my speed and accuracy while alternate picking dramatically.
I've set up a practice track in reaper with a hi-hat that basically just acts as a click track.
It starts off at 120 bpm, then 140bpm, 150, 160, 170, 180, 190, 200, 210,220, 230 and finally 240bpm, which is exactly double the speed we started off with.
If you are at the point where 240 is just not cutting anymore and you need a faster click track, you can just play 16th notes in stead of 8th and you'll have effectively unlocked the hyper-speed module of the exercise.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
The exercises themselves are nothing new or innovative, but there put together in a manner that is conducive of fast progression and building that muscle memory quickly.
I've uploaded the click track to my buy me a coffee members section. So if you become a member you will get the audio backing track that you can just plop onto your phone and practice and warm up with it every where you go! (Link here)
Now back to the lesson:
So we start of with the standard "Spider" Exercise.
It starts on the 5th fret of the lowest string with your index finger and moves up chromatically to the 8th fret of that same string with each fret being fingered by a different finger, essentially mimicing the movement of a spider.
Once you've reached the 8th fret with your pinky, move up one string and start back on the 5th fret on that string and repeat the chromatic figure as before.
Copy this for all the remaining strings until you reach the top strings 8th fret with your pinky.
At that point slide your hand over one fret and start on the 9th fret on your top string with your pinky, moving down chromatically to the 6th fret on that same string with each note being played by a different finger, essentially playing the spider figure backwards.
Then repeat this motion on every string until you reach the lowest string again.
Once you've reached the 6th fret on your bottom-most string with your index finger, slide down on fret and start over.
Play this at every tempo 6 times.
First at 120 bpm, then 140bpm, 150, 160, 170, 180, 190, 200, 210,220, 230 and finally 240bpm.
Do the same thing as in the first exercise, but only use three finger on the left hand.
Now you will have to move strings within every bar, thus freeing your hand from the 4 notes in a 4 notes per bar pattern, shifting strings every bar.
Essentially this teaches your fingers to move outside of the 4 beat click.
So now the exercise goes 5-6-7 on every string until you reach the highest string. Then shift up one fret to 8th fret with your pinky and play 8-7-6 on every string.
These are NOT triplets, they are 4 notes in a 4 bar pattern, they should fall exactly onto the click.
Start at 120 and move up in tempo along with the project.
This is our first two finger spider.
It goes 5-6 on every string. Use your index and middle finger for this.
This is the nasty one. It only uses two fingers, but they are index and pinky.
Yes, that means 5-8 on every string until you reach the top string then shift up one fret and play 9-6 on every string.
It's amazing how fast your hand will want to cramp up doing this, if your not used to it.
Just remember tostay loose in your arm, wrist and hand.
Repeat every exercise 6 times before moving on to the next one. Only play to the tempo you can cleany play them at.
If that is below 120bpm, than just play half-time, so that every one of your notes lands on ever other click of the click track.
Alright, now get to practicing!