Movable Picking Patterns

Welcome back! In this lesson we will be focusing on picking and moveable shapes that will help to create longer lines. All of the examples are based in the diminished scale, the one that begins with a whole step and the formula is (1, 2, b3, 4, b5, #5, 6, 7). You can also look at it as, whole step, half step, whole step, half step etc and it is an 8 note scale. There is a mode of this scale that begins with a half step and the formula for that is (1, b2, b3, 3, b5, 5, 6, b7). We won't go in too much detail with the diminished scale though, since I covered this scale in previous lessons.

Most of the examples in this lesson are built using two strings and a 6-note shape with the fingering (1, 3, 4, 1, 2, 4), which are the first six notes of the scale. Once you master these patterns, be sure to move them around the neck and apply them to any scale or key. Also, you don't have to play these patterns over diminished chords, they work over minor chords or you could use power chords as well. Be sure to alternate pick these examples.

Example 1 is a 16th note pattern that uses the first 6 notes of the A diminished scale, (A, B, C, D, Eb, F, F#, G#) and it moves up a minor 3rd to C diminished. The scale is symmetrical, so you can move these patterns in minor 3rd intervals and the same notes will repeat. Begin playing this one slow and be sure that both hands are in sync.

MP3 - Movable Picking Patterns - Example 1

Example 2 is the same pattern as the previous example, but moved through the A diminished scale ascending up the neck on all 6-strings. This pattern does not move through each note of the A diminished scale, it moves up in b5 intervals with the scale, except the last pattern on the B string, which is a major 6th. Don't forget to move this pattern around all over the neck.

MP3 - Movable Picking Patterns - Example 2

Example 3's patterns are variations from the 6-note pattern we have been using. This is just a repeated, descending four note sequence.

MP3 - Movable Picking Patterns - Example 3

This variation in Example 4 is a little different sounding, because it is built with different intervals like 2nd's, a major 3rd and a minor 6th. It can be tricky to play and it does sound cool if you move it around the neck. Be sure to apply it to other scales.

MP3 - Movable Picking Patterns - Example 4


OK, that is it for now! Be sure to make up your own examples, and be sure to visit for the latest news, updates and releases.

Mike Campese is an all-around music performer, session artist and teacher competent in many musical styles, electric and acoustic. He has studied at G.I.T. (Honors Graduate), and with Paul Gilbert, Norman Brown, Stanley Jordan, Scott Henderson and Keith Wyatt.

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