Where in MIM do we have examples of these Pent sequences?


I checked thru the cascade/volcano/antigravity seminars but I dont quite see what im looking for

do we have clips from any of the interviews doing these type of licks? (fingering not so important, im looking for the picking hand patterns)

G-----------------------------------5----5–7--5–7 etc

mainly concerning the jumping back and forth between strings, wouldnt this basically be a crosspicking type of lick?

for that matter, the “hard” version of the PG lick where he jumps back and forth between the e and b strings…wouldnt that be a candidate for crosspicking?

Do we have fast examples of that version of the lick anywhere in MIM? for example any version of this: (edit, I did find these “double outside Gilberts” in the AG seminar pack)


or any versions of these classics, especially the outside version (edit, check the Martin Miller mechanics workshop)



Thanks, JJ


I do a ton of this stuff, and have shared (sloppy - I’ve gradually gotten better since) video of it around here. At the time, the consensus was what I was doing was crosspicking (which definitely works here), but I suspect there was also a 2wps component since I can definitely feel (and see) the wrist rotation occurring when I blaze through this stuff at speed.

Either works very well. Honestly, I’d say just get your metronome going at a decent clip and play them for a couple weeks - your hand will probably figure out a fairly efficient way to get through this.


yeah I just want to see some pros version of this. I usually do it with an economy pick thrown in so its always inside picking going to the higher string. But I was also wanting to see what kind of speed the pros are doing this pattern at


I don’t have a video of anyone doing it, but you can hear that lick being played very fast at 2:44 into this song. Vivian Campbell is the guitarist. He plays it at the 10th position in D minor pentatonic - he starts at the 5th string I think, and goes up and then back down with that pattern. The next lick is, if I remember correctly, a type of lick that you have said in the past that you like very much and that’s also played very fast here. This is a solo my guitar teacher taught me in my second year of playing but I’m not saying I played it perfectly. I had the speed very close though ( and did play the following lick at speed). The lick at 2:44 I played starting with a downstroke, so it was all outside string changes. That was 1985 so I didn;t think in terms of crosspicking or whatever, I just thought in terms of alternate picking and figured out how to do it myself. My teacher showed me the notes but the technique - I was on my own for that. I think y’all can figure it for yourselves as well if you’re willing to put some serious time and effort into it. This was the hardest solo by far that I had ever learned at that time and to this day I think it’s an impressive solo! Vivian Campbell was really very good back then. He was primarily influenced by Gary Moore.


well yeah of course thats an ultra classic Cd thats in my car right now lol. Viv had a weird career and IMO he peaked right there and sort of phoned it in after that. One of my fave drummers there too.

Im a huge Gary Moore fan btw

When people accused Yngwie of playing too many notes, Yngwie passed the buck over to vivan lol. He said Vivian played way more notes than Yngwie hehe


That’s great that you have that CD in your car right now. I agree it’s Viv Cambell’s best album Last In Line was good too but this was his peak!

Would you say that the speed he played the lick at 2:44 is more or less the speed you were hoping to hear the lick at? I played it kind of sloppy for a lot of years because it’s a tough lick at that speed. The next lick in the solo - the very Gary Moore style lick at 2:51 - I played using all inside string changes and that lick I played cleaner than the 2:44 lick and at speed. At the time that Gary Moore style lick Vivian plays was the coolest lick I knew and to this day I love that lick!


I didn’t know that story! That’s cool. I’d say Vivian was close to as fast as Yngwie but not quite as fast (except on Rainbow In The Dark which is just phenomenal). I think Yngwie got credit for being a lot faster because Vivian was playing traditional styles of licks whereas Yngwie was playing lines that were more like lines you’d only heard on violin before.

@Troy do you think Vivian is playing the lick starting at 2:16 with strict alternate picking or hybrid picking? Or more importantly, do you think it’s possible to do that clean at that speed with strict alternate picking or is hybrid picking necessary to pull it off at that speed? My guitar teacher back in 1985 said he thought it was hybrid picking. Thanks!


I have a feeling Yngwie sounds a bit faster than he actually is…just due to his attack and tone and cleanliness back then etc. I take Willjays list with a huge grain of salt but he has numerous people being as fast as Yngwie and of course some faster. Then again he has Joe Stump and Greg Howe being somewhat slower than Yngwie. Dunno.

viv on that 1st album was just sick. Just the overall aggressiveness and look what year it was. Stunning for that time period and still quite impressive. Most American players were more bluesy oriented and pentatonic. Then of course VHalen started really bringing in 3nps and diatonic stuff but he was still firmly blues rooted. Viv sort of followed the Randy R approach of using a mostly European vibe…very diatonic without much of a blues root. Carlos Cavazo was a very underrated guy with the same approach

Rainbow is deffo one of the top 10 air guitar solos! very nasty


and this guy? dudes been almost forgotten sheesh. Probably most melodic guy ever with killer phrasing and tone and vibrato


I completely agree with you about Vivan and I think he was only 21 years old at that time since he was born n 1962 and this was 1983! His speed, aggression, sense of melody, and vibrato were all so good. It’s sad that he went to Def Leppard. To me anyway. In 1983 that was state of the art playing and as you said still quite impressive.

Regarding Joe Stump being ranked relatively low on Willjay’s list, I’d guess that was because Stump’s fastest playing is all economy picked and those economy picked licks didn’t qualify since the list was for strict alternate picking. I think Stump is good, but damn, I’ve never seen anyone try so hard to be just like Yngwie, right down to using not just the same guitar but even the same strings, all the rings and other jewelry, and now he’s finally achieved his dream - he’s the guitarist for Alcatrazz.

Greg Howe I think probably is slower than Yngwie but Howe is an awesome player. His strongest point is his phrasing which was extremely unique for a Shrapnel signed player. Dallas Perkins, the teacher who taught me for a few months in 1988 when I was living in Tampa and taught me how to sweep pick said Greg Howe was one of his favorites and maybe the best of all the Shrapnel guys because of his phrasing. Howe has as different a style from Yngwie as he could possibly have and still be considered a shred player. Another thing I like about Greg Howe is he endorsed the first serious guitar I ever owned and the guitar I have played more years than any other - The Fender Heavy Metal Strat.

The Fender HM Strat is a truly awesome guitar with its 24 fret neck with a 17 inch radius, the Kahler locking tremolo, the Dimarzio pickups - it’s a Strat in name only! it’s a beautifully made guitar, I love the feel of the neck, and mine has a very nice paint job - it’s a marbled wine colored guitar. It’s gorgeous. I couldn’t find a picture of one so picture one like this but wine colored and the marbling is black. Everything else including the maple fretboard is the same.



So, I’m no pro, and it’s sloppy as hell, but if I floor it I can get up to Campell’s speed in that Dio tune and while getting up to speed is a little shakey I can at least hold it at that speed for a while. I’ll try to push the speed on this pattern for a little bit and see what happens, but for now it looks like I’m crosspicking.


Drew, no shame in not being able to play that up to speed and clean. Vivian Cambell was a monster player!


Interestingly, these triplet pentatonic licks were something I could play fast within my first year of studying guitar (only with inside picking though). I have no idea what mechanics I was using and can’t remember how clean it was, but it felt easy. Then I changed teacher and he told me my picking was wrong etc etc and it all went down the drain… grr!

I tried to wing it today after 20y and it feels a bit sticky/mistakey, but seems doable with some more practice:

I think I am doing a sort of poor man’s Andy Wood in terms of motion, with some kind of flick of the wrist/forearm to dodge the unwanted strings, but perhaps @Troy & co will see something different.

EDIT: when I do this with outside picking, it’s a swipefest!


This is awesome. It looks either pronated, like Molly, or it could be a flat orientation which only gives you downstroke escape and not upstroke escape. Di Meola appears to do this and this may be why you hear swiping in Al’s technique and potentially also why you experience it on the “outside” version of this.

Andy appears to be more supinated, just eyeballing:

But you can see that this doesn’t stop him from making occasional forearm adjustments. So it’s complicated.

Great works here - looks / sounds great.


No excuse - I’ve been playing longer than he was at the time!

That looks a lot like my mechanic playing this (aside from the fact your results are cleaner, lol), right down to that weird flick of the wrist. For me, I’m pretty sure that’s a two way slant thing, where I lean naturally towards a upwards slant with escaped downstrokes, and when I need to escape on an upstroke I get that rotational flick of the wrist thing going. I seem to be sort of splitting the difference between crosspicking and TWPS on patterns like this - call it crosspicking with the occasional assist, I guess.

Great playing!


haha. im such a dunsky sometimes. I went to play the “Pentatonic” sequence…you know the one where I mentioned throwing in an economy pick lol.

Then i realized I wasnt looking for a pent sequence after all lol. I realized it when i tried the Pent sequence and i was like “uhmm, I thought I was faster at this??”

I meant to reference this type of sequence…where id normally throw in an economy pick going to the G string

G-----------------------------------------------------2----2–4--2–4--5 etc


I had a few moments last night so I started blowing through that pattern against a C minor backing track, and then filmed a few quick video clips, one of which is here:

Tommo’s is definitely cleaner - not the least of which because he’s playing unplugged (!!!) and while I’m not using a ton of gain (Mark V, Mark IV mode, gain at noon) I’m still getting a little bit of an assist.

We do seem to be using a similar picking motion, though - I’m gonna go with crosspicking but with some two-way assist coming off upstrokes before string changes, but if someone else is seeing something different definitely weigh in!

It’s a heck of a lot easier diatonic, huh? :rofl: If I get a chance I’ll shoot some of this, but it’s the same mechanical approach just with fewer string changes. Ironically, the best way to practice this is probably to practice the pentatonic pattern, since the string changes come at you a lot faster!


omg another Paul Gilbert marfan pinky lol

yeah, maybe it was a Freudian slip that I accidentally posted the Pent pattern. In trying it I see how bad I suck at it. I dont feel bad though because probably 3-4 hrs practice would speed it up quite a bit. As it is, the right AND left hand would be a bit wonky on it since I generally only do it in bits or maybe with some hammer/pulls

The diatonic stuff though I have somewhat together since thats 99% of what I play lol


I have NO idea what you’re talking about, but I’m intrigued, lol

And yeah - I first got started on lead guitar playing mostly blues and blues rock, so I still tend to do a lot of pentatonic runs. I like what Rusty Cooley does with them too in more of a shred environment, they can sound very “open” and weirdly fast due to the wide intervals, even though when you sequence them like this you lose a lot of that effect.

It’s worth spending some time drilling them even if it’s not a shape you’re going to find yourself playing much - if you can do this with a pentatonic, a diatonic feels easy!


Marfan syndrome

yeah im sort using some of Claus Levins practice ideas ATM where I am trying to really master single string playing and then expand out from there. Its actually working quite nicely!

So the hardcore Pent sequence might be a ways away since its about as hard as it gets. Of course I am also doing 3nps stuff so plenty of string crossing work too but part of his (my, common sense) philosophy is to focus on one or two main things at once as opposed to spreading too thin