Repeating Speed Picking Patterns

Welcome back! With his lesson we will be focusing on the right hand and I will be showing you how you can develop your picking to become fast and accurate, and to help build speed. I will give you just a few examples that helped me out in the beginning with my picking and some phrases that I use in my music. These examples I will be giving you are in the same scale, but the point is to apply it to every scale you know and in all keys.

The first thing to do is get these short fragments accurate and fast, and then make them into longer lines. In each example, I start off by giving you the short repeated phrase and then I apply it to a longer line. Be sure to alternate pick all of the examples and play them as evenly as possible.

Examples 1a and 1b represent the types of patterns I learned when I started playing that helped me develop my picking. I first learned the type of pattern in example 1b when I was in my teens and taking lessons, and when I was listening to Yngwie. The pattern is just three notes that descend and repeat on one string, which can be applied easily to any scale. This example is in the F# harmonic minor scale (F#, G#, A, B, C#, D, E#). Practicing on one string is a great way to build your speed and then expand from there.

MP3 - Repeating Speed Picking Exercises, Example 1a
MP3 - Repeating Speed Picking Exercises, Example 1b

Examples 2a and 2b highlight another great pattern I learned back in the day when I was listening to both classical music and neo classical shred. This is a popular pattern in classical music and it is great in many ways. It sounds really cool, and it makes a great picking exercise to help develop your coordination and it will strengthen your third and fourth fingers on your left hand.

MP3 - Repeating Speed Picking Exercises, Example 2a
MP3 - Repeating Speed Picking Exercises, Example 2b

Examples 3a and 3b feature another great exercise to develop your picking and speed. This is an ostinato type phrase that sounds great at high speeds. Once you get it blazing in one spot, move it up the neck like we did in example 3b and play it on all strings.

MP3 - Repeating Speed Picking Exercises, Example 3a
MP3 - Repeating Speed Picking Exercises, Example 3b


OK, that is it for now! Be sure to make up your own speed picking patterns. Don't forget to check out my latest CD, "Chameleon". and please visit for more information.

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.

Mike Campese: The Fire Within