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Michael Johnson >> Surf Guitar Legends >>
Lesson Subject: Surf Legends
What you learn: Single-String Scales & Runs
Teacher: Michael Johnson

Michael: Learning how to play lead guitar can be broken down into several areas of study (scales, runs, melodies, licks, ear training, exercises, etc.). The key is training your hands to develop "muscle memory," this can be achieved by practicing scales over and over, but can become monotonous over time. The key is to break up these scale patterns and try as many variations and sequences as possible. This has an amazing benefit to developing your speed and playing licks without spending to much of your focus on trying to find positions on the neck. Your focus should be on playing and hearing musical lines. The following exercises will help you develop these skills:

Michael: The following exercises will focus on using single string scales, in this case we will use the E Minor Scale pattern on the 6th string E:



Michael: You can easily see the melodic patterns played on a single string. Try experimenting using several exercises on the upcoming exercises, here are a few ideas you can try:

1. Play the exercises ascending (going higher on the neck) and descending (going lower on the neck)

2. Try playing the patterns with your eyes closed after you memorized the exercise and positions.

3. Try playing these patterns on the other single strings.

4. Try increasing your speed and keep your hands stretched.

5. Try down-picking, up picking and double-picking, build up your speed as you develop these skills.

6. Try mixing up these sequences and making up your own patterns and combinations.

7. Practice while not focusing on your hand. Example; practice while watching TV, listening to the stereo, etc. This helps you to focus on listening to what you're playing and developing your hand muscle memory

Michael: This first sequence jumps every other note as it ascends the E Minor scale pattern, Let's get started:



Michael: This next sequence climbs 3-notes at a time:



Michael: Make sure you keep your fingers stretched out, your hand might get tired over time, take a break and practice some more. This next sequence is basically the same as the last pattern, but this time you descend the last 2-notes or each phrase:



Michael: This time you climb 4-notes and descend 2-notes:



Michael: Here's another sequence that plays every other note as the main pattern climbs, the only difference is you include the open string note (E) in each of the group of notes:



Michael: This sequence is basically the same as the last, but this time you jump more notes in each group:



Michael: This sequence starts on the higher notes and jumps positions, this patterns actually sounds classical and a method used by composers:



Michael: Remember to try these recommendations on these sequences:

1. Play the exercises ascending (going higher on the neck) and descending (going lower on the neck)

2. Try playing the patterns with your eyes closed after you memorized the exercise and positions.

3. Try playing these patterns on the other single strings.

4. Try increasing your speed and keep your hands stretched.

5. Try down-picking, up picking and double-picking, build up your speed as you develop these skills.

6. Try mixing up these sequences and making up your own patterns and combinations.

7. Practice while not focusing on your hand. Example; practice while watching TV, listening to the stereo, etc. This helps you to focus on listening to what you're playing and developing your hand muscle memory

 
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