Micro study 20 – fast scales 1a, is part of a series – #6stringinspiration – of short and sweet studies that target very specific musical bars or techniques. These are for those who have very little time and want huge gains from tight focused practice ideas.
Micro Study 20 – Fast Scales 1a
This is part of a series of micro studies on achieving speed playing scales. This micro study focuses on the 120 bpm tempo and being able to coordinate the RH with the LH on bass strings.
This is a classic 6 note repetitive idea that was inspired by Al Di Meola‘s early phase – the ’70’s Gibson Marshal era. (Elegant Gypsy is a fantastic album to check out from this period. See below for some ear/eye candy from this album.)
The idea works the 1 2 4 LH finger combination, as it is the strongest set of fingers; in the the low register; and only repeats it for a short amount of time – speed in bursts. You need to do is focus on getting those fingers relaxed, coordinated and faster – BUT with a different angle to micro study 14, its companion lesson.
Not seen Micro study 14? Click the link below.
Note: This study is in the key of G major, however the idea is built off the 7th degree of the scale and so is more appropriately a mode – mode 7 or a locrian scale fragment. (Not sure about modes? Check out this post to get you up to speed pronto! CGRocks Modes Post)
Old Skool RH Angle
So that you don’t sound like a cat scratching across the strings, and to actually facilitate RH finger movement, you need to drop the hand slightly and raise the inside of the wrist – old skool Segovia style. This alters the angle of the nails to the strings, allowing finger freedom and less noise. (Just try playing it with a modern angle – hand inline with arm, you will hear the difference). See the video of above for clarity of positioning.
…and of course keep in mind this from micro study 14.
The trick to playing at a mid tempo such as this, 120 bpm, is making sure that the fingers are well coordinated, There should be no mis-fretting or missed notes, If there are you need to work the idea at a slower tempo until your mind and body are together and you do not need to think about the movement – just execute it. If you cannot do this at 120 bpm you will struggle to get it up and past 150bpm.
Click the links below if you want to get faster with your arpeggios.
Want the Dots?
Get them in Micro Study 16