Jason Becker Altitudes Solo

Been busy with work lately, but got this cover of the solo section of Jason Becker’s Altitudes sounding pretty on point, so I’m sharing it here.


You made that look pretty easy!

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Thanks man! I keep re-uploading it after messing with the audio because I’m playing over monitors that have some weird permanent bass boost and I can’t tell how audible everything is. Getting some new ones in tomorrow and I hope my recording quality improves.

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ok, that’s great. Nice work!

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Sounds awesome! Are you using economy picking for the scaler runs or the 902 motion you’ve been working on?

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Not sure honestly - I have a long history of subconsciously working in economy picking and thinking I’m alternate picking (I think this is the old inside vs outside picking issue where it’s easy to slip into economy without thinking about it).

I also think I naturally swiped before trying to do 902, but I worked a lot on left hand muting before that because Speed Kills/Speed Lives were big influences early on and MAB stresses that a ton.

It all seems to blend together at speed unless I’m specifically doing something like alternate picked arpeggios, so I’d need a magnet or something to help hone in on that.

Would love to get ahold of a magnet asap!

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Another thing with picking technique -

I think regardless of what technique it is, hand sync and tension have been my biggest issues. I know in the past when I would just slow down and focus on hand sync for a while, even a year or so into playing, I could get fairly clean scalar runs (if they happened to fit my pickslant - which used to be a weird pronated DSX with trailing edge grip, I’ve totally changed that in the last year).

Working on cross-picking I think forced me to focus on how my technique changes from thinner to heavier gauge strings and has helped me stop tensing up too much when doing longer scalar runs, that has been a huge hurdle.

An aside here about string skipping while I’m thinking about it - even with improving crosspicking a ton, I feel like string skipping with that sort of motion in particular feels like multiple different techniques.

And I can break down why that is - because the differences in string gauge and angle of attack are much more noticeable with 902 especially because I’m trying to maintain a pretty strong pick attack, it gets even more noticeable skipping strings. The amount of curvature also changes per each case. For skipping 5 strings you’re going to be elongating the motion quite a bit, and to do it at speed, I think if you go from say down picking low E to the B string, you need a forearm helper motion to get that upstroke, because you’re going to be further from the strings with a curved motion - doesn’t matter if you flatten it out, you still have to get past the A, D, G and B strings on the way down, and you have to almost “catch” the motion at the right point (because you’re staying pretty relaxed so it feels like your hand is falling, if it’s supinated and the guitar body is close to upright, preferably leaned back towards you just a bit) and rotate the forearm to get the upstroke.

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Sounds good, man. Rock on!

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Hey man! What picking did you use for the very beginning scale run? I cant seem to figure out a good way to play that. That awkward 3 note per string is killing me.

Not sure - my default is DSX somewhat supinated (so my inner wrist is planted against the bridge with the outer wrist out). Could also do it with USX plus economy probably, like how Yngwie does ascending scalar runs.

To me it was still kinda soundlng sloppy here - I’m 99% sure I wasn’t doing any double escape picking. This is one I’d like to revisit and playthrough again.