Shredding With Position Shifts

Welcome back! In this lesson I will be showing you some great examples that will help you shift positions more smoothly, while moving around the fretboard. To be able to shred on the guitar you must be able to move through all areas of the neck with no obstacles (for example, improper fingerings or not knowing where to go). As guitarists we are taught to learn patterns to play scales across the fretboard in different positions. It is important in the beginning to learn the theory behind the scales etc. A lot guitarists fall into ruts by staying within the same patterns and they do not know how to break out of that shape and move across the neck. In this lesson, I put together some examples that will really help you improve your shifting, and that I use in my playing to move smoothly across the neck. We will be sticking with only a couple different scales and keys; be sure to play these examples in all scales and keys.

Example 1 is a really great, two-string shifting pattern that ascends up the neck in the D minor scale (D, E, F, G, A, Bb, C). This pattern is based on six notes, ascending and descending played with 16th note triplets. You can do this pattern all over the neck on different strings as well.

MP3 - Shredding With Position Shifts - Example 1

Example 2 is one of my favorite one-string patterns to play and it is just a four note sequence on one string, which makes a very good shifting pattern. It is in D minor, but this pattern works in every scale and key, and it you can get it blazing up the neck with practice. Be sure to alternate pick.

MP3 - Shredding With Position Shifts - Example 2

Example 3 is one of the best ways to play your scales and to break out of scale patterns. This is a F# minor scale (F#, G#, A, B, C#, D, E) played with 4 notes per string, except on the high E string. In this example, your pinky slides up on each string from the 3rd to the 4th note. For me, sliding the pinky is the fastest way to do it and you can use your first finger to slide the first note to the second if you like.

MP3 - Shredding With Position Shifts - Example 3

In Example 4 we are going to use more of the fretboard with this 3 note per string, F major scale (F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E). This is a great way to connect your scale patterns on the fretboard and move around the neck quickly. Basically, we are playing 4 strings at a time and then moving down a string, sliding into the next position. The same pattern is applied descending as well and you can continue this pattern all the way up the fingerboard. There are so many ways to do it, so make up your own patterns.

MP3 - Shredding With Position Shifts - Example 4


OK, that is it for now! Be sure to make up your own patterns and don't forget to visit

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