By: Pat Lee
Then perhaps have a ten minute slot on scales. Try scales in different keys. Ten minutes on scale patterns. This is a interesting aspect of practice. The great thing about patterns is they can be applied to most scales and immediately you have achieved a new type of run which often can sound really interesting. So if you had a pattern for example that you go up four notes in the scale then back three. Start again but at the second note in the scale and go up four notes in the scale then back three. Repeat throughout the scale. Just working out new patterns is time well worth spent in practice.
Get used to the pattern and sequence of the run template and it is surprisingly easy to apply this to a another scale. Though the positioning on the guitar neck is different the pattern is the same. The runs can sound very interesting. An easy way to increase your playing dynamics.
Experiment with holding the pick and the pick or plectrum position in your fingers. Different types of picks will have a change in feel. For example a middle gauge pick with a pointed end is excellent for fast accurate clear sounding runs. Softer gauge works well for acoustic strumming. Also try and experiment where over the pickups you pick or strum. Closer to the bridge will give a more of a treble sound compared to picking over the neck pickup that will give a warmer more mellow sound.
Another useful idea is to try playing with a muted sound. This is achieved by placing the palm of your strumming hand over the guitar bridge. This has the effect of muting the strings and stopping them ringing on or sustaining after the note is played. This can give a very powerful and dynamic effect. Try different areas of the palm with different areas of the bridge. When playing runs or scales it will give a more precise sound where each note is more defined.