Inverted patterns for Speed Picking!

This lesson has quite a scary name for any beginner who either has no idea on what an inverted pattern is, or is nervous about the challenge of building speed on guitar.

However, let us re-assure you that this will actually be a simple lesson with some easy to follow tabs that you can work on at your own pace and build the tempo gradually.

The aim of this lesson is to demonstrate how simple it is to create inverted patterns from any scale/mode that you wish to use, and give you a few example variations that you can take and apply for your own further learning/writing purposes.

A Quick note before we begin:

This lesson is primarily to teach how to improve your picking speed and gain an understanding of a few easy pattern formulas. We will be ascending and Descending in E Phrygian Dominant with a variety of patterns.

We have decided to use E Phrygian Dominant as it is both simple and pleasing to listen to, whilst also being a valuable scale to know!

The notes/ intervals in E Phrygian Dominant are:

I ♭iiiiiIVV ♭vi♭viiV
E FG#AB C DE

Example 1: 6 up, 2 down

Starting off, we are going to follow the first shape of E Phrygian Dominant scale both ascending and descending, progressing 6 notes up the scale and then inverting for 2 notes, before continuing forward.

Above is the audio example of how it should sound. Now give the below tab a practice!

Example 2: 4 up, 2 down

Unlike the last example, the following (and remaining) examples in this lesson will be in the time signature 6/8. This example ascends 4 notes and then descends 2 notes.

It’s worth mentioning that I have kept 3 notes per string (including an open string) to make the progression more comfortable to play; Give it a go!

Example 3: 5 up, 1 down

Now we are ascending up 5 and descending 1, however, once we reach the high e string, I decided to ascend up the string and then do the descent along a higher octave.

At this point it may become slightly harder to distinguish between the alterations as I have kept them all in the same scale and key. Because of this, if you are beginning to struggle it is best to repeat what you have already learned until it is solidified in your mind and your hands before continuing.

Example 4: 3 up, 1 down

This example is similar to the last in which we ascend in the first position, then across the high e, and then descend through the higher octave. We have changed the pattern however, and in this case we are ascending by 3 notes & then descending by 1 note.

Example 5: 3 up, 2 down

And for our last exercise, we will be ascending by 3 and then descending by 2. One thing to note about this example is how small the increase in our pattern is each time. Because of this, we are cycling through more notes, making the tab bigger. For this reason, we didn’t tab out the full descent and left the example on the high e string.

Since we are cycling through the same notes and progressing up the scale much slower, this exercise is a great way to build speed without moving your fretting hand much.

WooHoo!! We hope you enjoyed this lesson and were able to take some valuable information from us. 🙂

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