Advanced Two Hand Technique

If you just ran out of picks and you haven't made it to the music store to "pick" up a few more, then this is your lucky day. If you're sitting there with a pick in your hand, throw it away, you won't need it.

The intro for "Possession", off of Skapegoat's new CD, "Dawn of A New Death", started out with a delay that was set up to repeat each note I played. It was one delay and no decay. It sounded good and I was liking it, but the first night we were playing it as a band, my delay pedal wasn't working. I also realized that we don't play with a click on stage, so the tempo could vary. Digital delays, when they're set up like this, are not very forgiving, so I decided to take a different approach to this.

The approach I took is written out in the following example, "Possession Intro". Since I do like playing with both hands I thought, why couldn't I repeat what my left hand was doing with my right hand? I figured out what my delay was doing (when the notes started repeating), and I found out that the first note of the repeats started after the third note of the main riff. Then I learned the part in another position with my right hand. Put them together, and now I can play it at any varying speed that might occur on stage, plus it looks very cool!

"Possession " - MP3

As with anything else that's new to you, start out slow and make sure all the notes are even. I would suggest working on a small section at no tempo - no metronome. If you haven't done much with your right hand, I suggest that you learn each part with each hand separately and then work on putting them together. Also, if playing with your right hand is new to you, work for small periods of time. You'll reduce injuries, such as blisters or sore fingertips.

Once you get both hands going, take out your metronome and start working it up to speed. When you're feeling comfortable with this technique, begin working on the rest of the example. As for your hands, keep you left hand under the neck in classical position. That means that you have your thumb in the middle of the back of the neck, behind your second finger. Your fingers should be parallel to the fret board with some spread between them. Don't let them clench. The same goes for your right hand, except it will be above the neck with your thumb riding on the top of the fret board. See Fig. 1. Make sure all four fingers on each hand are ready to play and that you use them all, especially on bars 5 and 9. The notes that are tapped with your right hand have a "+" on the staff and a "T" on the tab coinciding with them.

Fig. 1

Enjoy, experiment, but mostly have fun!

Todd "TC" Caron is a graduate of McNally Smith College of Music in Minneapolis and The Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, CA. TC has also studied with Jennifer Batten.

Currently, TC is writing and playing guitar with the band Skapegoat in Denver CO, writing solo material, and doing studio guitar/bass projects.

Skapegoat's latest release is entitled "Dawn Of A New Death".

Todd Caron