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Bring on the Pain pt. 5

I hope everyone had a nice month off, I sure did. To make up for the lack of columns last month I decided to do a big one. For this month’s column, I decided to incorporate two main concepts. Chordal movement, and Picking (my favorite…). This is pretty much going to be the culmination of my lessons on gallop rhythms.

If you look closely at the exercises, you’ll notice that there is some cool chord movement. Its actually a pattern called a "circle progression’, for those of you who don’t have a great deal of theory knowledge, a ‘circle progression’ is basically a progression that goes
14736251 (degrees of the scale). starts on 1(tonic), then goes either up a fourth or down a fifth to the 4 of the scale (subdominant), then up a fourth or down a fifth to the 7(sub tonic, or leading tone (depending on what scale), again up a fourth or down a fifth to the 3(mediant) then to the 6(submediant), the 2(supertonic), the 5(dominant), then back to tonic. if i lost you don’t worry, the theory behind it isn’t all that important. anyway, the circle progression is in a minor, so the chords are as follows, a, d, G, C, F, b diminished (second inversion), E, and back to a.

The best way to tackle these exercises is to start with ex.1, play slowly to a metronome and memorize the pattern. Once your left hand fingers learn the pattern, your half way there.

The other 6 examples are different picking patterns. Before even attempting these memorize the progression from example 1. Now apply the new rhythms to the progression. You can even make up your own variations if you wish to.

Things to watch out for! The string skipping on the 3rd, 4th, and 6th measures makes these exercises extremely difficult at faster tempos.
The Picking patters for the gallops are as always (down down up down) or (down up down down).

Ex. 8 is all of the picking variations combined into one line. Its cool and fun to play, and great as an exercise, but its functionality is limited to that.

There you go for this month, hopefully my music theory stuff didn’t confuse you all that much. If I did, learn some theory, its a great tool of all musicians.


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