Challenging passages we are working on


Exactly! I usually find it more comfortable to slide with the index for some reason.

Another alternative to make it one way ps is to have one string with 6 notes instead of 3 (and a big position shift) - if that makes sense. I could try to tab it tomorrow!


Even though I haven’t been contributing, I think this thread is a great idea.


Fast 3nps picking is so common in guitar that you should try to come up with a strategy to play them instead of reorganizing the notes, imo.


And yet at that speed it is very rare to see someone playing it cleanly


@Lukhas, how is it going with the ascending scale? As I mentioned in other threads, the ascending 3nps scales have been my nemesis for ages (both with economy and alternate - there’s no escape for me!).

Things have been improving recently as I started experimenting with “wrist only” motions - see the recent crosspicking etc. discussions. Before that I was using “a lot” of forearm rotation to induce the TWPS motions, and somehow it never felt great (I am talking about executing the line with alternate picking in this case).

As far as I understand there is nothing instrinsically wrong with using the forearm (Troy got some amazing results with it in Antigravity), but it never fully clicked for me.

I don’t know if this can be helpful but I thought I’d share just in case!


I’ve been practising it on and off as I’ve also picked up Symphony of Destruction’s solo to work on (with a completely different set of challenges!). I’m trying to experiment with getting the feel of the economy picking right. How it should feel like when going from one string to another in the ascending direction, working on consistency. It feels easier when descending, going towards the lower strings than when ascending, so I’ trying to see what I do right going up to try to apply it when going down. On the few examples we have of economy pickers, it does look effortless from afar but a lot of techniques, not only in guitar do look effortless but they aren’t always really effortless. When I asked Frank Gambale about it, he very obviously said no, both sides were equivalent in smoothness and that he was picking pretty hard. Sometimes I think it’d be way easier to brute force it with alternate picking! :smile:

There’s also that the rest of the song is pretty much alternate picking, somewhat cross-picking. You really have to switch gears from one motion to another. Like this section before the two solos that’s a good workout… if you try to alternate pick everything! As the tab may suggest, I doubt it’s alternate picked on the recording: some of the sections are globally in time but not exactly on the click, very legato.


Great choice! This solo and the one from Skin o’ my teeth are also on my list of challenges to work on!

I also have trouble squeezing a fast economy lick in between alternate picked passages. My main obstacle is timing. With a 3nps scale played in 16th triplets, I noticed that having the accent fall exactly on the string change gives me trouble. I find it easier to play these things by conceptualising them as 2+2+2 rather than 3+3, if that makes sense! Again this may or may not help you, but there you go :smiley:


Always wanted to play that on guitar. Might start on it


I’m still chipping away at “Eugene’s Trick Bag” song is killing I’m stuck between the end of the arpeggio section and the diminished lick at the end so basically the caprice section and directly after. Everything else I’ve got down or can at least play it through. Although the diminished lick is a pain at first my mind keeps trying to play far beyond the sun at that part.


Hi all,

I have been working on these passages for god knows how long. I come back to them every now and then to see if I actually made improvements. They are my benchmark:

  • EJ’s Cliff of Dover intro lick (fully picked, with the EJ system)
  • Dream Theater’s Glass Prison Intro arpeggios (fully picked, some sort of cross-picking)
  • “Eugene’s Trick Bag” intro arpeggios (fully picked, economy)

My latest pick is:

  • John Petrucci’s ‘Universal Mind’ intro. (fully picked).

Anyone working on something similar? Or did anybody struggle with these and find a way to clean them up?


Now that’s some peak Petrucci picking. The curvature of the motion is so flat I can’t see the pickslant. Even with the nice camera angle, you’d think the strings aren’t there as an obstacle at all. :sweat_smile: Do you also use this intro as a benchmark?


I know I’m a bit of a broken record on this topic, but I have the impression he is mostly using dwps+swipes!


Why do you think he doesn’t just use sweeping wherever possible? Does he use sweeping for arpeggios on some of his other songs?


I do think he’s hitting a few extra strings every now and then, but that would be the highest quality swiping I saw in a long while if that was “only” DWPS and swiping. It’s an especially unforgiving passage considering he’s at unison with the keyboard on those parts with a lot of string skipping. While he’s not exactly known for cross-picking, Petrucci does know how to do it, so it’s not ludicrous to think that he is cross-picking.

Well there’s quite a bit of string skipping, so sweeping would be difficult. Sweeping would look more like that, with much smaller picking movement.


Since I’m a beginner… ascending-descending pentatonic )
and from time to time I try to manage that short 32th runs in the end of Bach’s ‘Badinerie’


Still cleaning up the 3rd solo from Dream Theater’s Erotomania to prep for recording. I almost have it :'D

Other challenging passages will be…

  1. DT - Overture 1928. The 2nd half of the solo leading to the outro. Not a shred segment but the time signatures and picking is messing with me.

  2. Paul Gilbert/Racer X - Technical Difficulties. Not a priority but I have problems doing the string skipped diminished thingy towards the end of the intro followed by the shred pattern.

  3. Yngwie Malmsteen - I am a Viking. I don’t quite understand the timing for the 16th note pattern at the intro and the picking pattern for the second half is hella weird.


Not sure if you’ll find that interesting, but someone who’s a huge John Petrucci fan is working on it right now.


Great! Thanks for sharing. Is the second video more recent? Because you seem to have cleaned it up. Great job! I am nowhere near that level. To be honest, I gave up trying that line. Maybe I should get back on it!

Cheers \m/


Ah, I said “someone”. That “someone” is not me. :laughing:


Hello everyone! I’ve been working on the intro of “I am a Viking” by Yngwie. Still trying to figure out a way to play it consistently and start speeding it up.

I can’t find the way he does it to save my life. :rofl:

Those one note per string back and forth sequences are really challenging for me. Same goes for the Bark at the Moon solo sequence.