A Major Scale

These files will guide you when practicing Exercises 1 (all down picks) and Exercise 2 (all up picks).  "BPM" stands for "Beats Per Minute", and refers to how fast the scale is played.  The lower that number is, the slower the exercise is played.   Start with 80 bpm, and practice both exercises until you can play them without any mistakes and in perfect time with the audio file.  When you are able to do that, then move to the 100 bpm file and try the same thing with that.  Unless otherwise noted, I recorded these scales counting 4 beats before you will start playing.

A Scale 80 bpm     A Scale 100 bpm     A Scale 120 bpm

These files will guide you when practicing Exercise #3.  Here you will alternate up and down picks, but your right hand is moving at a faster speed because you are playing eighth notes rather than quarter notes.

A Scale Eighth notes – 80 bpm     A Scale Eighth notes – 100 bpm     A Scale Eighth notes – 120 bpm

This file will help you with Exercise #4, which is the most difficult in terms of picking.  Concentrate on using the correct pick direction – if you do it correctly, at the end of every measure, the last note should be an up-pick.  Up-picking may not feel natural to you but, if you can learn to emphasize the first note of each triplet while up-picking, you will be able to play a much wider range of music than someone who can only do it while down-picking.  This ability is especially important if you want to play Celtic or Classical music.

A Scale Triplets – 60 bpm     A Scale Triplets – 80 bpm

This file will help you with Exercise #5, which is called an arpeggio.  This exercise identifies the notes from the A major scale that would be used to play an A chord, and helps reinforce in your mind, their relationship to each other.

A Scale Arpeggio – 80 bpm     A Scale Arpeggio – 100 bpm     A Scale Arpeggio – 120 bpm

This file will help you with Exercise #6, which is designed to help reinforce in your mind, the relationship of one note to another as well as present some challenges with pick direction.  Note that each triplet is a mini-scale – you play the first three notes of the scale, then back up one note and play the second, third and fourth notes of the scale.  Then you back up one note and play the third, fourth and fifth notes of the scale, and so on.

At first, concentrate on getting the notes right on this one – don’t worry so much about pick direction until you can play the notes perfectly.  When you can do that, then work on the pick direction.  If you do it right, you should finish with an up-pick at the end of each measure.

Triplets in A – 60 bpm     Triplets in A – 80 bpm     Triplets in A – 100 bpm