ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Performing Arts

Guitar Drills, for One String: The Wave (part 1)

Updated on February 18, 2010

This is another very simple finger pattern. It is simple, but should not be underestimated. It is a fundamental motion that it will support your soloing in obvious, as well as not-so-obvious, ways. As such, point of this exercise is to improve accuracy and stamina, which are both vital to speed. And it can even sound good on its own as part of your guitar solos.

Notation:

^ - emphasis
d - down pick
u - up pick

The Basic Pattern

Let's start with the basic pattern:

           ^
  |--7--8-10--8-| (repeat)
     d  u  d  u


This can be done on any string anywhere on the neck. This particular example exercises fingers 1, 2, and 4. Master this simple pattern. Start off as slow as needed for the notes to be clear, your timing to be accurate, and your fingers to be relaxed. As your muscles memory sinks in, and the motion becomes easier, the speed will come.

When it comes down to it, this pattern is easy, which is why it can improve speed and accuracy so quickly. It won't necessarily be mastered in one day, but improvement will be noticeable between practice sessions if time is spent on this. This simple pattern should be played repeatedly, over, and over, and over until you get tired and the whole thing starts to fall apart. Then you should just slow down a bit, and play it some more. The speed and timing you gain on your guitar with this exercise should help with many other finger patterns and exercises.

It's easiest to place the emphasis on the highest note at first. Higher notes are naturally emphasized by the higher pitch.

This pattern should be practiced using the 3rd finger as well. This is especially important, because the 3rd and 4th fingers do not move quite as independently as the 2nd and 4th do for most people.

           ^           ^           ^           ^  
  |--7--9-10--8--7--9-10--8--7--9-10--8--7--9-10--8-|
     d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u


And a slight stretch should be included, as well.

           ^           ^           ^           ^  
  |--5--7--9--7--5--7--9--7--5--7--9--7--5--7--9--7-|
     d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u


Picking Variation

Switching the direction of your picking will help round this drill out a bit, and prepare you for its next phase, transitions. Here's basically the same drill, but starting with an up-pick.

           ^           ^           ^           ^  
  |--7--8-10--8--7--8-10--8--7--8-10--8--7--8-10--8-|
     u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d



Transitions

There are 4 transitions that can be made to the neighboring string. This is because there are 4 notes in this drill: 4th finger, one of the middle fingers (2nd or 3rd), down to the 1st finger, up to one of the middle fingers. The basic idea of these transitions is that the sequence of the note-playing fingers remains the same: 4, 2/3, 1, 2/3. One of those notes just happens to be on the neighboring string.

Here are examples of all of the transition we want to cover. These all use the same notes and finger pattern; all of the finger patterns will eventually be exercised.

x4H

g |-------------------10--9--7--9-10-|
d |--7--9-10--9--7--9----------------|


 

x6H

g |-----------------------9--7--9-10-|
d |--7--9-10--9--7--9-10-------------|


x1H

g |--------------7--9-10--9--7--9-10-|
d |--7--9-10--9----------------------| 


x9H

g |-----------------9-10--9--7--9-10-|
d |--7--9-10--9--7-------------------| 


x4L

g |-10--9--7--9----------------|
d |-------------10--9--7--9-10-|


x6L

g |-10--9--7--9-10-------------|
d |-----------------9--7--9-10-| 


x1L

g |-10--9--7--9-10--9----------|
d |--------------------7--9-10-| 


x9L

g |-10--9--7--9-10--9--7-------------------|
d |-----------------------9-10--9--7--9-10-|



 

You probably noticed the weird names/codes for these transitions. If you're not interested, just remember them so you can follow what I'm talking about later. If you are interested, and it might help you remember them better, see if you can follow my convoluted logic:

  • Transition code: x#(H,L)
  • x - transition, x-ition; like "xfer" for "transfer"
  • # - the finger making the transition
  • H - transition to a higher string
  • L - transition to a lower string
  • 1 - first finger, or forefinger
  • 4 - fourth, or "pinky" finger
  • 5 - one of the middle fingers. These are fingers 2 and 3; 2 + 3 equals 5.
  • 6 - transition where the first note of the second string is played by one of the middle fingers (i.e. 5), then descends to the note played by the first finger (i.e. 1). 5 + 1 equals 6.
  • 9 - transition where the first note of the second string is played by one of the middle fingers (i.e. 5), then ascends to the higher note played by the fourth finger (i.e. 4). 5 + 4 equals 9.

That's eight different string transitions that go with this exercise. But what about picking? When we add picking direction to the mix, and its influence on sweep picking versus alternate picking, we end up with 16 patterns! And we need to practice all of them to get full coverage.


Ascending the scale

Full coverage in a single run of the drill isn't a problem when the whole guitar neck is used. The full exercise goes through 8 different scale positions on the neck, each using a different transition between strings. There are also changes in direction within each position to cover the different picking options (sweep versus alternate). This exercise should not always be played the same way; the starting transition should be changed up every couple of times, so the transitions can be practiced at different locations on the neck.

Here is the sequence of position-transition combinations, starting with x4H:

Position 1, x4H
Position 2, x6L
Position 3, x1H
Position 4, x9L
Position 5, x9H
Position 6, x4L
Position 7, x6H
Position 8, x1L

Like I said, these can be mixed up to keep it fresh.

Here's the tab for the above sequence of positions. I've only included the first scale position, with the hopes that you can extrapolate the specifics of the subsequent positions.

Position 1, x4H

     ^           ^           ^           ^
e |-------------------------------------------------|
b |-------------------------------------------------|
g |-------------------------------------------------|
d |-------------------------------------------------|
a |--------------------------5--3--2--3--5--3--2--3-|
e |--5--3--1--3--5--3--1--3-------------------------|
     d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u


     ^           ^           ^           ^
e |-------------------------------------------------|
b |-------------------------------------------------|
g |-------------------------------------------------|
d |--5--3--2--3--5--3--2--3-------------------------|
a |--------------------------5--3--2--3--5--3--2--3-|
e |-------------------------------------------------|
     d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u\ u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d/


     ^           ^           ^           ^
e |-------------------------------------------------|
b |-------------------------------------------------|
g |--------------------------5--4--2--4--5--4--2--4-|
d |--5--3--2--3--5--3--2--3-------------------------|
a |-------------------------------------------------|
e |-------------------------------------------------|
     d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u\


     ^           ^           ^           ^
e |-------------------------------------------------|
b |-------------------------------------------------|
g |--------------------------5--4--2--4--5--4--2--4-|
d |--5--3--2--3--5--3--2--3-------------------------|
a |-------------------------------------------------|
e |-------------------------------------------------|
     u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d/ d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u


     ^           ^           ^           ^
e |-------------------------------------------------|
b |--6--5--3--5--6--5--3--5-------------------------|
g |--------------------------5--4--2--4--5--4--2--4-|
d |-------------------------------------------------|
a |-------------------------------------------------|
e |-------------------------------------------------|
     d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u\ u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d/


     ^           ^           ^           ^
e |--------------------------7--5--3--5--7--5--3--5-|
b |--6--5--3--5--6--5--3--5-------------------------|
g |-------------------------------------------------|
d |-------------------------------------------------|
a |-------------------------------------------------|
e |-------------------------------------------------|
     d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u\



     ^           ^           ^           ^
e |--------------------------7--5--3--5--7--5--3--5-|
b |--6--5--3--5--6--5--3--5-------------------------|
g |-------------------------------------------------|
d |-------------------------------------------------|
a |-------------------------------------------------|
e |-------------------------------------------------|
     u  d  u  d  u  d  u  d/ d  u  d  u  d  u  d  u

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)