A METHOD FOR ADVANCED , N ON T RADITIONAL E LECTRIC G UITARISTS By M ICHAEL HARRISON SUPERVISORY COMMITTEE: DR. DALE BAZAN, CHAIR DR. WILLIAM BAUER, MEMBER A PROJECT IN LIEU OF THESIS PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF THE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF MUSIC UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2014
METHOD FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 2 Abstract Th e purpose of this project was to create a collection of material designed for advanced level guitar players who are interested in studying the techniques of modern electric guitar style rather than traditional classical or jazz styles. In the form of a method book, this project allow s students to access exercises that will help them improve their understanding of the techniques used by the guitar players who are at the forefront of modern guitar performance. Since many institutions still see these types of techniques as improper for professional s tudy, it is often difficult for higher level guitarists to find material to help them study t hese elements. This project examine s some of the most difficult guitar techniques to ha ve evolved over the past decades of rock music. Each tech nique is introduced from a historical perspective. Following this history of the technique is a series of exercises of progressiv e difficulty. Each exercise include s a description of its technical elements, and a series of tips to help students progress through it successfully . The tips include suggested p erformance techniques and issues to watch out for. This project also include s a companion website. By using this site, students who are studying the material in the project will have access to videos of the exerci ses being played at various speeds. They will also have access to information about musicians who are well known for having mastered the techniques found in the project.
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 3 A Curriculum for Advanced, Non Traditional Electric Guitarists The purpose of this project was to develop a method book made up of material designed for electric guitarists of an advanced level who are not considered traditional. Materials focus on the aspects of advanced electric guitar playing that are not a part of jazz guitar studies. The e xercises consist of advanced techniques used in rock and neo classical guitar playing. This style of playing is considered a modern style rather than a traditional style. Since this style and other modern players , students who are interested in them should be able to pursue them to at a higher level . Th e guitar is an instrument that continues to evolve in design and technology . T echniques used on it continue to develop as well (Hunter, 2008) . Many colleges view classical and jazz guitar as the only proper styles of guitar to study (Simmons, 2003) . These older styles of guitar are certainly worth studying and are an important link to the heritage of the guitar, but there are techniques for the instrument that require as much technical ability as those for classical and jazz guitar, but are neglected because they do not have the same his tory behind them, or because they are not considered proper by higher institutions (Chapman, 2003) . In spite of the fact that these modern styles have been ignored, they have continued to rise in popularity (Starr, 2010) . This method book provide s modern electric guitarist s with training in the more advanced techniques and continuously developing aspects of the electric guitar. Training for these techniques differs from that of an ordinary guitar player (Charupakorn, 2002) . Newer techniques on the electric guitar demand a level of skillful coordination that is often overlooked when studying modern guitar styles (Chapman, 2005) . Even though this method book focus es on modern guitar techniques, there is some mention of elements used in the jazz style , as the style to be focused on has some elements in common with the jazz genre
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 4 (Sawyer, 2012) . However, the techniques used in this method are used in a more flamboyant manner, whereas the jazz guitarist is often expected to blend into the background and stay out of the way (Colwell & Goolsby , 2002) . In th is method book and much contemporary guitar study, t here is also mention of classical music and techniques . M any modern and cutting edge guitar techniques are related directly to classical virtuosos (Hunter, 2008) . My book include s lessons and exercises of varying levels of difficulty in techniques including alternate picking, tapping, and sweep picking . The book also include s aspects of group performance through the use of accompaniment technology. This will help the students develop skills that cannot be gained through individual practice (Lehmann, Slaboda, & Woody 2007) . If desired, the instructor may use an optional assessment at the start of the book to determine what the instructor can de cide if a student is ready for the material covered in the book (Bauer, 2014) . This project holds significance for me, my own practice, and the entire profession. As a musician, I was only trained in rock and modern electric guitar when I entered college. Even though I had a high level of technical ability in advanced techniques, and was more familiar with the instrument than the classical and jazz guitarists at the university, I was not allowed to become a music major because I was not interested in either of the two traditional styles. In my own practice, I teach advanced level guitar players. I estimate that 90% of the students I teach are only interested in learning advanced techniques in rock and neo classical guitar playing. If this is what other advanced guitar teachers experience, th e n there is a need for more curriculum focused on the techniques of modern styles. As these students become greater in number, it would only make sense that guitar teachers and higher educational institutions would want to accept them as relevant music makers. These students will most likely continue to
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 5 become more numerous, as the number of guitars sold per year in the United States also continues to rise (Majeski, 2006) . These are also the stude nts that often fall into the non traditional category of music makers during their secondary music career. Even though they may fall into that category and show interest in music outside of the traditional instruments and ensembles, it is still important that they be able to pursue the music that they are interested in (Williams, 2012) . Students often enjoy studying music that they are familiar with over traditional styles, and it is understandable that they may want to study these familiar styl es as advanced level musicians, especially if the material to do so is made available (Allsup, 2003) . Review of Literature Although there are many different books and sources that talk about the se style s and the performers that use them , there are far l ess resources for students that want to learn this style, or for students who want to improve on what they already know. Many times, students are left to learn the se style s by studying the songs written by guitar players who make use of them rather than studying method books like classical musicians are able to do. option to work through progressive exercises and leaves them to try and find songs to learn that are within their difficulty level. Chapman ( 2003) discusse d many of the musicians that employ the st yles that this method book cover s . Included in these players are Yngwie Malmsteen and Joe Satriani . The book describe d the style they use, but d id not give an y examples for how a player could achieve mastery in thes e techniques. A student could use this book to research some of the players that use advanced techniques. In another book , Chapman (2005) went beyond just discussing the players and actually d iscussed techniques that these players us e. However, the book only discusse d basic idea s of some of these techniques, such as sweep picking and tapping. It d id not
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 6 give enough information to get a beginner comfortable with the skills, or an advanced player a challeng ing workout to master t hem . A similar thing can be observed in a book from Hunter (2008) . T his book cover ed all major techniques and styles used on the guitar , but only enough to give a beginner a brief introduction. L s book, this book also discusse d the major players that use these advanced techniques. Since there are so many players that perform using t he advanced techniques that my book cover s , there are a number of method books that outline the techniques and styles of these particular guitarists. An example of this type of method book is one from Charupakorn (2002) that covers the style of Swed ish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen . Malmsteen came to America in the with rock music (Chapman, 2003) . A problem with this book and othe rs like it is that it only look ed at repertoire pieces from a particular player. While many of the pieces include advanced techniques such as sweep picking and tapping, there is no focus on any of them specifically. The book is designed to show advanced players how to play some of the son gs written by Yngwie Malmsteen. P ieces in the book are not meant to be exercise s for improving a player advanced style. My method book considers these advanced techniques individually, and uses progressive exercises ability . Among the many method books out there that address thes e techniques is one by Schauss (2011) that focuse d on the music of Paganini . This book concentrated on many of the same techniques that are covered in my book. However, Schauss are common among man y of the method books that discuss this material. The biggest issue in this book is that there is no explanation of many of the terms used. A book like this that uses a great deal of musical vocabulary and theoretical language should either contain a pag e that
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 7 defines terms used, or include a warning to the student or teacher that they should go through the book first and ident ify any words with which they are unfamiliar . book also use d a great deal of complicated music theor y during the explanations of exercises. At times, it begins to sound like the author of the book was trying to show off his knowledge of music theory, even though it may sound confusing to the student. The book claim ed that it is for intermediate to advanced studen ts, but it never defines what t hose levels are . Students will not find out if the book is too difficult for them until they begin to work out of it. Also, as with many of the method books that cover these techniques, the instructor/author does not discuss how successful this material has been with other players and students who have used it. It is unclear if the instructor has ever taught a student to play this material before putting it into the book. The material that I used in my method book consists of exercises and passages that have already been used in an actual teaching environment with real students. I have not includ ed any material in this book that ha s not been helpful to my students. One of the positive things about Schauss book is that it include d a cd that contains recordings of the exercises played both slow and fast. It also includes backing tracks of music that the stu dent can use to play what they have learned with accompaniment . The book also include d the history of Paganini and a brief description and history of each piece covered. The method book that I have created also allow s students to access recordings of the exercises they are going to encounter, but by use of a companion website. Unlike Schau book, this method book contain s a section for teachers. This area tell s them how to determine if this book is right for their students, and the types of things that they need to do to prepare their student for the material covered. U book, and many other contemporary electric guitar books, the method I am creating provides a goal set for the student from the start.
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 8 When reviewing these different method books, there were several things that made me either reject or accept them as an effective tool for students. I did not like how the books from Schauss and Charupakorn used very complicated musical language and musical terms when ex plaining exercises. This made explanations and written portions of the book less interesting than they had the potential to be. This was something that I wanted to avoid in my book. A lso, in both of these books, exercises are very long. Some of the exercises in Schauss book are several pages long. In the method book from Duncan (1982) the exercises and pieces are very short. I wanted to ke ep the exercise in my book brief so that the student focuses on the techniques and pick markings rather than ma king it to the end of a lengthy passage . This idea of having the is called backward design. I t is the instructional design that will be used for this book. T here are a number of books that discuss the idea of instructional designs. Included among these books is one from Bauer (2014) that not only discusses instructional design, but music technology as well . Bauer addresse d several types of instructional design. This book is also a source for teachers that want to use technology in their music lessons. This book provide d ideas for how music learning can be accomplished by means of technology, such as using recording equipment and online videos. Technology is a very important part of this method book project, and many of the ideas for incorporating technology into the project came from this particular source. Aside from t hese examples of literature, ther e are countless sources on the I nternet where information about these techniques and the players who use them can be found. However, students researching these techniques online need to be aware that all of the information and methods they find may not be reliable unless properly referenced.
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 9 T he method book I have created discusses the idea of having students think out loud during their practice. The thought behind this is that it gives the student a method of correcting their own errors so that they may practice effectively when they do not have an instructor with them. Lehmann , Sloboda, and Woody ( 2007) discussed the benefits of this type of practice method. Th eir book proclaims that a student engaged in self regulated practice is able to monitor, plan, and revise their own playing without the help of an instructor. Helping my students achieve self regulation will greatly improve their ability to practice outside of their lessons. Something that plays a large role in the area of music and creation of my method book is the development of psychomotor skills . Abeles, Hoffer, and Klotman (1994) discussed psychomotor skills as being the combination of cognitive processes and fine, physical skills. Their book mentions how even though the psychomotor domain is often seen as a low priority in many areas of education, it can take and often does take a dominant position in the area of music education. The book also described the way in which the psychomotor domain is divided into various levels. The first level is the ability to use the senses to recognize objects. The second level is the ability to prepare for an actio n of experience. After this, student s reach the guided response phase, where they begin to take guidance from an instructor. Following thi s, student s achieve the phase of mechanism, where learned responses to an action become habitual. A student has reached level five when they are able to achieve smooth and efficient performance of a complicated physical action. In the final two stages of psychomotor development, students are able to change learned skills and apply them to different sit uations, and finally create new, original skills based on their current knowledge. The method book created for this capstone project is suitable mainly to students who have reached the final two stages of psychomotor development. Much of what is covered in the book is reliant on students taking the skills they are
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 10 working on and applying them to different situations. The skills covered are very complex and require a higher level of psychomotor development. I have mentioned that some of the techniques in my book may appear in classical or jazz guitar methods. In a classical guitar method, Duncan (1982) addresse d some aspects and subjects covered in my book. His method beg an by working on techniques for each individual hand. The exercises in my book are also meant to challenge and develop only one of the student a ed arpeggio techniques and picking patterns that are very similar to the sweep picking and alternate picking tech niques found in my book. The main difference is that the classical guitar method has the student playing with their fingers rather than a pick. D ther guitar methods of the time . Rather t han using exercises to help student s improve their technique, Duncan quickly had reader playing short pieces that make us e of the t echnique being learned . My method book makes reference to a number of important players that contributed to the development of the techniques found inside. Chapman discusses many of these players in his books from 2003 and 2005. Swedish guitar player Yngwie Malmsteen , who is famous for his mastery of sweep and alternate picking styles, makes use of classical influences in his playing. Considered by many to be the father of neo classical rock music, Malmsteen is known for using the music of classical composer Paganini in his music. Another guitarist important in the development of the techniques used in my book is Eddie Van Halen. contribution was in the area of tapping. Van Halen brought this technique to the music world in then, many guitar players have made use of it. T oday it is considered a standard among modern, advanced guitar players. While Yngwie Malmsteen and Eddie Van Halen helped to establish these techniques decades ago, it would be the guitar playing of
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 11 performer s such as Joe Satriani and Steve Vai that would modernize these abilities and take them to further reaches. Method This method book was cre ated for teachers and students. E xercises that appear in this book are meant to strengthen students techniques used in modern electric guitar playing while providing teachers with effective tools to use on their advanced students . This project began with the creation of several dozen exercises. These exercises included the ones that appear in this method book. To ensure the effectiveness of the book, all of the exercises were used in a real teaching environment with actual students. The ones that were Every exer cise that the teacher an d student encounter in this project has already been studied by and benefited r eal students. T echniques that I chose to address in this book were picked because of their popularity among my current students. Just as each exercise in this book was used by real students, the practice tips found after each exercise were develop ed in real teaching situations. T ips found after each exercise address trouble spots and challenges that the students encountered while working on the given exe rcise. By selecting exercises and practice tips that have been usefu l with real students, I am aimin g to bring legitimacy to this method book that many other current method books are missing. All exercises in this book were tabbed and notated using Note flight. Noteflight is a free, online program used for notating music. It can be used to create multi stave music for multiple instruments. In this case, it was used to create tablature and corresponding standard notation for the exercises. http://www.noteflight.com/
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 12 Student Outcomes Upon completion of this method book, students will be able to: perform all of the exercises in the book at full speed use advanced alternate picking in various performance settings use advanced sweep picking in various performance settings use advanced tapping in various performance settings relate these various techniques the players that pioneered them Your Instructor Mike Harrison is a guitarist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has been playing guitar for ten years. He received a degree in music education from Lock Haven Un iversity of Pennsylvania in 2011. Mike is a performer of both classical and rock guitar techniqu e. His senior In addition to that, Mike was also the first student in LHUP history to write and perform his own recital pieces. Mike is c ompleting this method book as the final requirement towards an MME at the University of Florida . He is part of a neo classical rock ensemble that gives public performances regularly. The group has also published several al bums that are available for purchase online and in various stores. Mike Harrison is closely acquainted with world famous guitar master, Michael Angelo Batio. The two have appeared in several publications together since meeting in 200 9. Mike also teaches a full roster of private guitar studen t s that range from amateur to professional level .
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 13 Michael Angelo Batio At the end of each chapter of the book, there is an exercise from world renowned guitarist Michael Angelo Batio. Michael Angelo has widely been recognized as one of the fastest and most technically skilled guitar players in the world. He is the inventor of the double neck, left/right handed guitar. Batio tours the world, amazing audiences with his virtuoso abilities and performing guitar workshops. Michael Ange lo has also released numerous albums and dvds. Michael Angelo Batio and Mike Harrison have been acquainted for five years. Michael Angelo has written several reviews of Mike Harrison's playing and compositions over the years. Michael Angelo also writes art icles and exercises for Guitar World Magazine. The Website This method book has a companion website to be used with it. On this site, students an d users of the book can find descriptions an d tips for each exercise in the book. They can also watch and hear exercises being played by Mike Harrison and Michael Angelo Batio. It is recommended that teachers have their students view these vi deo examples before having the m begin an exercise. By doing this, the students can get a clear idea of what the exercise should sound like when it is played properly. https://sites.google.com/site/guitarmethodbook/
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 14 Part I: Alternate Picking The first section of this method book deals with the technique of alternate picking. In this technique, the player alternates picking directions on every note of a passage. This skill would be used as an alternative to picking every note in the same direction (either up or down). While alternate picking is much more difficult than picking in one direction, once mastered, it offers many advantages to the player using it. Since alternate picking does not require the player to reset their picking position after each note, it allows for passages and scales to be played faster , while still maintaining the clarity achieved when every note of a passage is picked. In rock music, this technique dates back to the 1950s, when rock and roll guitaris ts borrowed the technique from j azz guitar players. In the early eighties, guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads brought the technique into mainstream music. Eventu ally, modern guitar players including Yngwie Malmsteen and Michael Angelo Batio would master the techniq ue and set the standard for how it should be used in neo classical rock music. The exercises in this chapter are designed to take what student s already know about alternate picking, and help them refine and master the technique. The se exercises are meant to be played slowly at first, and then sped up as the student feels mo re comfortable with them. By using the exercises this way, students famili ar with the technique can enhance their abilities, and students who are not familiar with it can begin to learn to use it. Before beginning the exercises in this chapter, students should visit the book watch the suggested videos to get an idea of how alternate picking is used by professional players. The student should also watch the videos of each exercise before attempting them . This will give the student a clear picture of what they are striving to ac hieve.
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 15 Alternate Picking I Description: This first exercise for alternate picking is the very definition of the technique. E very note in the passage is picked in the opposite direction of the note that came before it. This exercise could be considered neo classical, and makes use of theory that could be heard in the music of J.S. Bach. This style of passage is very common in the music of guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen. The exercise stays on one string and makes use of a chromatically descending root note , accompanied by alternating, A lberti bass style notes. Tips: Like all of the exercises in this book, it is recommended that this one be played slowly at first. This allows the student to earn a better understanding of the exercise and all of its various nuances. In order to fully understand the passage and be able to play it fast, it first needs to be played slowly.
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 16 One of the most important things for the student to focus on in this activit y is the direction of the pick. F ingers used on the frets are of little importance in this exercise, which is why they are not labeled, but since this is an exercise that focuses specifically on picking, it is very important that the pick marks be o bserved exactly as they are written. Even though the figures used on the frets are not important to reap the benefits of the exercise, it is suggested that the student play the first not e of each set of four sixteenth notes with the index finger. The follo wing three notes of the set can be played with any combination of the remaining three fingers. A student could use a passage like this in several different ways. As written in the exercise, it would serve well as a lead guitar run. The high pitch of the notes being used would make the run stand out over an accompanying chord progression. If played in a lower octave, this exercise could serve as an accompaniment to a melody being played in the same key. Using the accompanying website , the student can hear and see this exercise played both slowly and at high speed. The student can also see and hear professional players using passages like this in real musical settings.
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CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 18 Alternate Picking II Description: This exercise is taking alternate picking to the next level of difficulty. Unlike the first exercise where all of the notes are on the same string , this exercise moves across three different strings. In this passage , the student experiences a thr ee note per string modal run that spans three strings and then moves up by half step. T o reach the half step that starts each new phrase, the student slides from the note that began the previous phrase. Also, this exercise introduces something that is not considered common among play ers who use alternate picking. When the student moves to a new string, they will use the same picking direction as the previous note if the pick i s moving in the direction of a new string. This can be seen in the pick markings on the exercise. Even though this goes against the idea of alternate picking, it cuts down on the amount of movement the student uses when switching strings and allows for smoother playing. Tips : Like the previous exercise, the most important thing for student s to do while practicing this exe rcise is to pay attention t o pick markings. The student should work on this exercise slowly at first since there are now multiple strings involved. Once again, the fingers being used on the frets are not of great importance . Students with smaller hands may want to use all four fingers, since each phrase has four different frets being used. Students with larger hands or longer fingers may be more comfortable using only their first, second, and third fingers. Written the way it is, this exercise would not serve much of a musical purpose to a player, as it is chromatic and meant to be an exercise. It could be used a s a lead guitar run i f played over the proper accompaniment. Similar passages to this one are used in the music of modern guitar players like Paul Gilbert and Michael Angelo Batio. Skilled guitarists will often ignore key signatures when playing at extreme high speeds.
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CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 21 Alternate Picking III Description: This alternate picking exercise makes its way across all six strings of the instrument. On each string, the student will play three different notes. The first two notes are separated by a whole step while the second and third notes are separated by a half step. In this exercise, student s follow a set pattern and ha ve to adhere to that pattern in order to work their way across the strings. Every time the pattern reaches a new string, the student has to scale back down and restart so that they can add the next string. The goal is for the student to complete the pattern on all six strings while following the set picking marks, and then scale back down to the starting note. Tips: Once again, the student needs to pay attention to the picking marks. That should be the main focus of the exercise. The student needs to take notice of the repeated up or down pick s that occur at certain times when moving to a new string. As always, beginning to work on the exercise by playing it slowly and then gradually speeding it up will help the student get the most out of it. Students may want to consider using a metronome when they practice. Even though this exercise is not in a specific key, this same pattern could be applied to a scale or mode in any key to create quick lead guitar passages. This can be heard very often in the music of guitar players like John Petrucci and Buckethead.
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CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 23 Alternate Picking IV Description: This exercise is very similar to exercise three. It reaches across all six of the strings. This time, three different notes being used on each string are separated by whole steps. Once again, even though this is an alternate picking exercise, there are repeated pick directions seen under certain circumstances when strings are being switched. The whole steps in the exercise tend to make it more difficult than the previous one, simply because more distance is being covered. Tips : Careful attention needs to be given to the pick markings in this exercise. Like all of the exercises in this section, this one is meant to work on techniques for the pick hand. The student can choose to play the fretted notes with their first, second, and third fingers, or with their first, second, and fourth fingers. This exercise should be played slowly at first and then sped up gradually, as the student becomes more comfortable with the picking patterns. Even though this exercise is not in a specific k ey, it could be used as a lead guitar passage when played at high speed. So many notes being pla yed at high speed can be used a s an embellishment in any key. The pattern could also be applied to a scale or mode and used over an appropriate accompaniment. Picking patterns like this are common and played at very high speed in the music of performers such as Rusty Cooley. A passage like this played at high speed could be considered the ultimate outcome of practicing alternate picking. Once these exercises ar e mastered, the student should start looking into how to incorporate them into a musical setting.
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CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 25 Alternate Picking Michael Angelo Batio Description: This is the first exercise in this book that was donated by world famous guitar virtuoso, Michael Angelo Batio. One of his exercises will appear at the end of each chapter . This picking exercise uses a perfect alternating pattern. It moves between two different strings , playing a similar pattern on each string. L ike the other exercises in this chapter, this passage depends on a high level Tips : The student should play the exercise slowly at first, paying attention to the pick markings. Once the student is familiar with the picking pattern, they shoul d start gradually increasing speed. This is a passage that is meant to be played as a high speed embellishment, so the student may want to work on this exercise with a metronome to help build accuracy at high speed. The student could use a repeated passage like this to make a lead guit ar section more interesting. S tudent s could consider playing the above passage as it is and then moving it upward or down ward chromatically to add color to a solo. Michael Angelo Batio uses this passage and similar ones constantly in his music. Many times in lead guitar playing, it can be effective for a player to take a s mall pattern and repeat it over and over for technical effect. Now that the student has completed the chapter on alternate picking, they can either progress onto sweep picking, or go back and review the exercises in this chapter, depending on their level of success with the previous four workouts.
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 26 Part II : Sweep Picking The second part of this method book covers the technique known as sweep picking. Sweep picking is a skill done when the player moves the pick across a certain number of strings in one direction, often playing an arpeggio . Since this is a technique that takes a great deal of time and practice to master, it is often seen as being very difficult. However, if studied properly and slowly using helpful exercises , it can become part of any player s repertoire with little trouble. Sweep picking was used by j azz guitar players during the 19 th century and still is today. It was borrowed from j azz music by rock guitar players during the 1980s. The technique really came to its height when modern rock guit arists began using it combined with classical harmony. Among these players were Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai, and Jason Becker. Even though sweep picking is considered a picking hand technique, it requires just as much dexterity in the fret hand. Both hands need to be coordinated in order to make the technique work. The desired outcome of sweep picking is usually a clean, fast arpe ggio from the lowest string to the highest, and then back. Guitar players who have mastered this technique are able to add another dimension of flash and skill to their playing. When working on this technique, it is recommended that the student either use an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar that has no distortion. Even though players like Michael Angelo Batio perform clean sounding sweeps whi le using distorted guitars, doing so takes a great deal of practice and is not a good idea for players who are still trying to get a footing in the technique. Students who study and practice the exercises in this chapter will be able to play arpeggios acro ss three, four, five, and six strings. The students will also be able to combine sweep patterns to connect different chords.
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CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 2 8 Sweep Picking I Description: This is the first of the sweep picking exercises. Sweep picking can be done on as few as three strings, but this first exercise uses sweeps that cover all six strings. Every downward sweep of this exercise is a six string E minor arpeggio. The first upward sweep is an F minor arpeggio. Every upward sweep moves up by another half step each time. As the upward sweeps move further up the neck of the instrument, it becomes more and more challenging for the student to make it back to the original starting note o f E. Tips : It is a good idea for the student to work on this exercise at a slow tempo. Sweep pic king is a very difficul technique. Like alternate picking exercises, the most important part of the sweep picking exercises is the direction of the pick. S tudents need to pay close attention to the pick markings on the exercise. Successful sweep picking depends on the pick moving in a single direction across a number of strings. For this to occur, the student needs to have a great deal of coordination b etwee n their hands. Players working on this exercise also need to pay attention to the hammer ons and pull offs that are present. These are very important in making sure that the pick remains moving in the proper direction when it reaches one side of the neck or the other. Arpeggios like this can be used when playing lead guitar solos. As long as the student understands what chord they are being accompanied by, as well as what chord they are sweeping, these patterns can be adde d anywhere in a guitar solo. These types of sweeps can be heard at very high speed in the music of Yngwie Malmsteen and Michael Angelo Batio.
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CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 30 Sweep Picking II Description: This second sweep picking exercise now has the student combining the six string minor arpeggio shape from the first exercise with a four string minor sweeping shape. Once again, the student starts out in E minor. The first four sweeps are all downward, and they cover E minor, F minor, F# minor, and G minor. The final sweep is a G minor arpeggio across all six strings. Each downward sweep has a pull off at the end of it. This note that does not need to be picked gives the player an opportunity to reset their pick before starting the next sweep. Tips: Even though this exercise can be played fast enough to only last a couple seconds, it should be practiced slowly at first. If the student looks at the four string sweeps, they will notice that they are the same as the top four strings of the six string sweeps that they did in the previous exercise. The student needs to pay attention to the pick markings. The duration s of each up and down pick are clearly marked and are key to playing this exercise successfully. The student needs to pay attention to the pull off notes. Resetting the pick for the next arpeggio is difficult to do at high speed, but by using the slurred notes to th eir advantage, the student can reset their pick during that time. These arpeggios can be used the same way as th ose seen in the last exercise. Once the student knows the chords that are accomp anying them, they can choose a sweep pattern and arpeggios accordingly. Four string sweeps can be played quicker than six string sweeps, and when the two a re combined, they can add a level of variety and impressive technicality to a lead guitar passage.
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CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 32 Sweep Picking III Description: The third exercise in the sweep picking chapter focuses only on the E minor arpeggio. The first two sweeps cover a four string E minor arpeggio. Once the player returns to the starting note, they will then play a six string arpeggio from E on the first string to E on the sixth string. This arpeggio is then followed by another six string E minor sweep, but with the third of the chord added at the top. Finally, the student will play one final E minor arpeggio, sweeping across six strings and endi ng on the fifth of the chord on the highest string. Tips : This is the most difficult sweep exercise so far. The first thing that the student needs to look at is the speed they are playing at. It is tempting to try and play an exercise like this at high speed, but since there are so many things taking place , it is best for the student to start off slowly. Again, student s need to pay close attention to the picking directions marked on the music. Sweep picking of this level requires coordination more than anything, so note and pick accuracy is more important than speed. The last note of this exercise may be the most difficult to hit. The student needs to choose the best fret fingers for this exercise to allow them to reach all of the notes that end each arpeggio. This type of sweep picking can be used the same way as any of the previous sweep exercises. If the student were improvising over a straight E note, or an E minor chord, this sweep arpeggio exercise could be used to create lead passages. Once the student is familiar with the exercise, they can shift the starting note to any fret on the lowest string and change the key of arpeggio s being played.
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CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 34 Sweep Picking IV Description : The fourth sweep picking exercise is a more difficult version of sweep picking exercise one. Once again, the student is using the six string sweep pattern from the previous exercises. The passage starts off with a six string E minor sweep from bottom to top and back. The student then plays the same E minor sweep back up, but plays back down with an F minor sweep. The student reaches the bottom, but instead of hitting the F as the end note, they land on E and play an E minor sweep back up. Once at the top again, the stu dent plays an F# minor arpeggio to bring them back down to end on E. This exercise takes away the added pull off note from the first sweep exercise, removing the student time to prepare for the next sweep. Tips: As in all of the other exercises that focus on the picking hand, the most important part of this passage is picking. The student needs to pay close attention to the pick markings for each sweep. The lines attached to each marking tell the student how long the pick will be moving in the specified direction. By this point, the student should have discovered a fingering to use with their fret hand that works for them while playing these different arpeggio styles. The reason that fret hand fingering is not incl uded in these exercises is because every player prefers to use different fingers, depending on the physical makeup of their hand. An exercise like this would not be seen in a musical setting very often. The point of this passage is to help the student in crease dexterity when moving between different arpeggio sweeps in various keys. Moving between different arpeggios can be a challenge, as the next exercise will show.
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CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 36 Sweep Picking Michael Angelo Batio Description: This is the final sweep picking exercise of the book and it was contributed by guitarist Michael Angelo Batio. This exercise takes the idea of sweep picking arpeggios and turns it into a musical thought. This exercise takes a classical chord progression an d applies sweep picking to it. In this passage, the student plays a series of three string sweeps and ends the exercise with a five string sweep. Another element that makes this exercise different is the presence of a tapped note at the top of the last arp eggio. This allows for the player to add an ext r a member to the final chord. Tips: The student needs to start off by playing this exercise slowly. Not only does the student have many changes in pick direction to focus on, but the sweeps in this exercise a re not close to each other as they were in the previous exercises. The student needs move their hand over large intervals to play these arpeggios. Practicing slowly is the best way for the student to get the feel for these leaps. When playing the final arpeggio in the exercise, the student needs to pay attention to the tapped note at the very top of the sweep. This is where practicing slowly will benefit the student once again. To reach the tapped note, the student needs to remove their picking hand from the strings and reach for the note with one of the fingers that they are not using to hold the pick. The student can get a better picture of how to do this by viewing the video on the accompanying website. This sweep progression c an be head in the music of many neo classical guitar players. Michael Angelo Batio uses this exact progression in several of his compositions. Other neo classical players that use this type of sweep progression include Yngwie Malmsteen and Joe Stump. Players like this are influences from hearing this same type of progression in the music of Baroque and Classical composers.
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 37 Part III: Tapping The third portion of this method book will deal with the technique of tapping. Tapping is done when both hands are on the fret board . While the hand that would normally hold the pick presses down desired melodic notes, the other hand plays no tes to compliment the m . Tapping can be used to play notes over large intervals that would not be possible to perform while using the pick. Tapping can be used to play melodies, arpeggios, or random, unique sounding effects. Unlike the previous two techniques discussed, tapping was not borrowed from a style outside of rock. Tapping originated in the rock genre in the lat e 1970s. It first appeared in the music of Eddie Van Halen. Van Halen was so protective of the technique that he would play with his back to the audience so no one could figure out the secret of the skill he was using. Once the secret was out, many modern guitar players began using tapping and expanding on it, making it more complex and technically demanding. Tapping is considered a key part of a modern rock guitar th century, j azz guitar players began to borrow the technique from rock. While the technique itself is not considered difficult, it becomes more challenging when trying to integrate theory into it. When tapping is used to hit random notes, it is not very difficult, b ut using it to play arpeggios or scales can become more difficult . The exercises in this chapter will focus on the advanced aspects of tapping. Students who study and complete these exercises will be able to use tapping to create arpeggios, tap across strings, and use tapping to play melodies in a given key.
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CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 39 Tapping I Description: The first tapping exercise in this chapter is limited to one string. It is in the key of D minor. The first note is the dominant of the key. Every tapped note is a member of the D minor scale and bounces off of the dominant. At the end of the exercise , the student plays a D chord to show the home key. This is a very Baroque sounding exercise and can be compared to certain passages in the Bach Toccata and Fugue. The melody on the way up is a minor scale in order, but on the way down, it begins to skip notes, adding to the difficulty of the exercise. Tips: The student can cho ose whether they want to tap me l ody notes with one o f their fingers or with the pick. The demonstration in th e video is done with a pick. S tudent s should play the exercise slowly at first. This is especially true of the second half of the exercise where the intervals between the melody notes get bigger. When the student picks the final chord of the exercise, they may want to strike the strings over the fret board rather than the pickups. Th is can cut down on the time that would be spent trying to get the pick hand back to the pickups from the fret board where they were tapping. T his neo classical style tapping exercise is very common in the music of guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen. If the student wanted to use a passage like this in a musical setting, they would just need to know what key they were playing in and adjust the scale being used to create the melody and the dominant note they are bouncing off of.
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CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 41 Tapping II Description: This is the first tapping exercise that will cover more t han one string. It goes beyond the first exercise and covers all six strings. I n this passage, the student experiences the same pattern repeated on each string. Each time a new string is added, the student repeats the pattern on the previous string and adds a n other string at the top. The result is the student performs the pattern at least twice on each string, if not three times, not including the highest string. At the end of the passage, students will slide their fingers into an atonal sounding chord shape. Tips: The first thing the student should do when practicing this exercise is to play it slowly. Once the student has the feel of the pattern under their finger s, they can start increasing speed. The student can choose to play the tapped notes either with their fingers or by tapping with the pick. In the video that accompanies this exercise, the passage is being played with the index finger performing the tapped note. However, the student can choose to tap with any finger or combination of fingers. The re is not a great deal of harmonic significance to this exercis e. This passage is meant to be used as an effect rather than a melodic lead. This type of embellishment is sometimes referred to as players say sounds like an old computer or arcade. This style of playing is very common in the sometimes atonal music of guitarist Buckethead. The chord added at the end of the exercise is there simply to compliment the style of this famous guitar player. Students that enjoy this quirky type of pl aying can find many more exercises of this nature online and in Buckethead
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CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 43 Tapping III Description: This is a tapping exercise that spans all six strings. Many guitar players that use tapping often limit it to one string. This exercise covers a large range of notes in a small amount of time. A skilled performer playing this exercise at full speed could play all 19 notes in less than a second. The pattern being used is the same on each string. The first note is tapped while the second and third notes are played by means of pull offs, or slurs. Once the player reaches the final string, they play the pattern for a sixth time and then slide their l ast finger down to an A , completing the passage. Tips: This tapping exercise requires a great deal of coordination between both hands. If the finger playing the tapped note is not in place before the finger playing the second note, the result will be an added note that is not written in the exercise. The stude nt can choose what fingers they want to use to fret the required notes. The student is also free to choose what finger they are tapping with. Many students will choose to tap with their index finger, as it is the most common finger to use in this technique . Tapping with the pick is also an option. The student can see this being done in the online video for this exercise. Once again, students should practice this passage slowly at first until they are comfortable with it. This exercise or a similar passage could be used to add color to a lead guitar solo. Even though it does not follow a specific key, each shape on the individual strings creates the form of a major chord. The student could use major chords in the correct keys under this passage to accompany it. This type of passage appears often in the music of neo classical pioneer Randy Rhoads.
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CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 45 Tapping Michael Angelo Batio Description: This tapping exercise involves some of the most difficult elements of guitar technique . It is in the form of an arpeggio. Something that this exercise makes use of that none of the others have is the technique of string skipping. String skipping is a difficult technique itself. This exercise uses a different finger pattern on the way up than it does on the way down. It covers a wide range on the guitar and introduces the student to a new way to play arpeggios. Tips: This exercise is the last and most difficult one in the book. It was donated by Michael Angelo Batio and is a good example of a technique that he uses very often. As with all of the exercises, the student needs to play this one slow ly at first, especially if string skipping is something that they are not familiar with. Practicing this exercise with a met ronome is highly recommended. In order to achieve the desired effect, the student needs to be sure that they are playing the notes evenly spaced. An exercise like this has the potential to sound sloppy if it is not played correctly . At first, t he student may also want to play with a clean guitar sound. U sing a high level of distortion can prevent the student from hearing exactly what they are playing. Being able to play these exercises with a clean tone is the first step. Being able to play them correctly with a distorted guitar sound is the final product. A tapped arpeggio like this is not something that many guitar players use. Due to the technical agility that this technique requires, Michael Angelo Batio is one of the few guitarists to use this ability not only on recordings, but during live shows as well.
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 46 Congratulations! You have reached the end of this method book. While mastering these exercises, you have experience d some of the most difficult techniques of electric guitar playing. These skills are used by some of the greatest players to ever pick up the instrument, and now you can use them as well. While working your way through this book, you have improved and expanded your knowledge of sweep picking, alternate picking, and tappi ng. The next step is for you to take these techniques and begin using them in your own p erformances and compositions. Being able to play through the exercises is an impressive accomplishment, but being able to take the elements that the y feature and apply them to musical settings is the ultimate show of understanding. Students who are looking for further instruction in the techniques and abilities found in this book are recommended to lo ok into the work done by several guitar virtuosos. Michael Angelo Batio has released numerous instructional dvds over the past few decades that focus on these techniques. They can be found online, and include uired through Guitar World Magazine.
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 47 This page is for any teachers who are using th e method book with their students. If your students are working out of this book, it means that they are already at an advanced level of playing. The exercises in this book are designed for students who already have a grasp on these advanced techniques. If your student has never worked with sweep picking, alternate picking, or tapping, then this book may not be right f or them. This book also uses dialog ue and terms that should be known to all advanced guitar players. If your student is struggling to understand the terms used in this book, they may not be ready for this level of study and may want to look in to a less advanced method book. Also, this book is designed for students who want to study advanced rock and neo classical guitar techniques. If your student is looking for a method book to help with classical, jazz, blues, or any other genre of guitar pla ying, this is not the right one . If you have determined your student is ready for this book and that it is the appropriate book, there are some things to keep in mind while having them progress. The companion website is a very useful tool. It contains videos of all of the exercises in the book. Using this, the student can hear the exercise being played slowly and quickly. The final goal for each exercise is for the student to be able to play them at the high speed hear d in the videos. Until the student can play the exercise as it is heard in the full speed video, with the proper picking directions, you should not have them move onto the next exercise. Students who are ready for the exercises in this book are of a very high skill level. If you as the teacher are not able to play the exercises, you can still coach the student as they make their way through. By using the tips found after each exercise, you can instruct your student on what they need to do to master each passage . Some of the exercises may take time for a student to get through , but you should not let them get discouraged by this. Pair the method book with other activities and repertoire so that the student is not working only on the exercise.
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 48 One major thing to watch when a student is working through this book is the pick markings. The majority of the exercises w ork on the pick hand, and if pick markings are ignored, the exercise will not help the student advance. You will notice that the fret hand fingers are not marked in these exercises. Many method books will mark fret hand fingers with numbers. All students have different physical makeups for their hands. Advanced students can decide what fret fingers work best for them . If one of your students are having difficulty with an exercise and you believe it to be caused by a fret finger that they have chosen, then you should make a suggestion for using a different finger. The most important thing to remember is to stay positive with your student s and make sure that they are having a good time. These exercises are very difficult and can easily discourage a student. As long as you encourage them, stay positive, and keep them focused on the desired outcome, this book can be a fun experience for both you and your students. If you do not stay patient and remember the difficulty of these exercises, this book can be a very rough experience for you and your students. To decide if students are ready to advance to the next exercise in the book, teachers are encouraged to use the rubric found in appendix B. This rubric offers a way for teachers to assess the success of their students. I nstructors can use the various level s of the rubric to make a decision of whether or not a student has accomplished the set learning objectives .
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 49 References Abeles, H. F., Hoffer, C. F., & Klotman, R. H. (1994). Foundations of music education. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. Allsup, R. (2003). Mutual learning and democratic action in instrumental music education. Journal of Research in Music Education. 51 (1), 24 37. Bauer, W. I. (2014). Music l earning t oda y : Digital p edagogy for c reating, p erforming, and r esponding to m usic. New York: Oxford University Press. Chapman, R. (2003). Guitar: Music, h istory, p layers. New York: DK Publishing Chapman, R. (2005). Guitar: Performer, i nstruments, p laying s kills, and t echniques. New York: Metro Books. Charupakorn, J. (2002). The b est of Yngwie Malmsteen: A s tep by s tep b reakdown of h is g uitar s tyles and t echniques. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Corporation. Colwell, R. & Goolsby, T. (2002). The t eaching of i nstrumental m usic. Upper Saddle River NJ: Prentice Hall Duncan, C. (1983). A modern approach to classical guitar. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Corporation. Hunter, D. (2008). Guitar: A c omplete g uide for the p layer. London: Quantum Publishing Ltd. Lehmann, A. C., Sloboda, J. A., & Woody, R. H. (2007). Psychology for m usicians: Understanding and a cquiring the s kills. New York: Oxford University Press. Majesky, P. & Majesky, B. (2006). The a nnual c ensus of the m usic i ndustries. Retrieved from http://www.musictrades.com/census.html Sawyer, R. (2012). Explaining c reativity. New York: Oxford University Press. Schauss, G . ( 2011). Shredding Paganini. California: Alfred Music Publishing Co., Inc.
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 50 Simmons, M. (2003). Guitar u : w here and h ow to g et a c ollege d egree in g uitar. Acoustic Guitar. 14 (4), 68 70, 72, 74, 76, 78. Starr, J. & Waterman, C. (2010). American p opular m usic: f rom m instrelsy to m p3. New York: Oxford University Press. Walker, D. (1989). Teaching m usic: m anaging the s uccessful m usic p rogram. New York: Schirmer Books. Williams, D. (2012). The non traditional music student in secondary schools of the United States: engaging non participant students in creative music activi ties through technology. Journal of Music, Technology, and Education . 4 (2 3), 7 9.
CURRICULUM FOR ADVANCED NON TRADITIONAL GUITARISTS 51 Appendix A All of Michael Angelo Batio and videos were used with full permission from Michael Angelo Batio. For the method book, Mike can use any of my exercises or DVDs that he has access Appendix B 4 3 2 1 Picking Student uses correct picking and pick direction all of the time Student uses correct picking and pick direction most of the time Student uses correct picking and pick direction some of the time Student does not use correct picking or pick direction Speed Student plays t he exercise at the highest speed found on the video with no trouble Student play the exercise at the highest speed found on the video with little difficulty Student struggles to play the exercise at the highest speed found on the video Student cannot play the exercise at the highest speed found on the video Accuracy Student plays all of the correct notes in the exercise all of the time Student plays all of the correct notes in the exercise most of the time Student plays all of the correct notes in the exercise some of the time Student rarely plays few or none of the correct notes in the exercise
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