Advice Needed On Making Blues Phrases More Efficient

I’m a DWPS really comfortable with the Volcano Method style of picking. Recently I went back to learning Red House by Hendrix and I can muddle through a bunch of the blues licks with pretty good accuracy with 2WPS but I would love to be able to hit the accelerator like when Yngwie plays blues and I was wondering if anyone has any strategies to pick these standard repeating licks more efficiently? Cheers

e|------------5--------------|
B|--------5------------------|
G|-7b9---------------------|
D|---------------------------|
A|---------------------------|
E|---------------------------|

e|------------5--------------|
B|--------5------8p5-------|
G|-7b9---------------------|
D|---------------------------|
A|---------------------------|
E|---------------------------|

e|-----------5-8p5---------|
B|–8b10------------5------|
G|---------------------------|
D|---------------------------|
A|---------------------------|
E|---------------------------|

2 Likes

Very good question. I have some solutions myself, but I wonder what the fastest solutions are that would work for most players.

The video has unfortunately been taken down, it appears, but there was a live Jimi video I stumbled across a few months ago with some great footage of his picking hand, discussed here:

I’ve always essentially (and badly) cross-picked that 7b9 5 5 pattern, but watching Jimi, it was pretty clear he was sweeping/raking it, using a downwards slant. It certainly “feels” more Jimi-esq when you play it that way, it adds a bit of a slippery looseness to the phrase.

2 Likes

Ah! Very interesting, thanks for the insight!

I think the next thing I’m gonna do is probably just learn a bunch of licks from Yngwie’s Hendrix covers and maybe check out his Blue Lightning record and report back here with any findings :slight_smile:

Yngwie would be a good source here, especially if you’re not at all interested in “authentic” techniques, but just ways to get faster.

If you wanted to stay more within the blues cannon, though, I’m SURE there’s some good footage of SRV somewhere out there you could hunt down and get some sort of idea what’s going on in his picking technique.

Otherwise, you can always just reason through it - sweeping works, but so too does crosspicking and I could also see hybrid picking based approaches working here, especially plucking the top root note on the high E string for a bit of emphasis.