Easy Roll Guitar Methods


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Why the Herco hybrid pick? Blues

Anything you can do with a flatpick you can also do with a Herco thumbpick. But not vice-versa. Flatpickers exert a puzzling amount of effort trying and failing to flatpick licks that are a cinch to fingerpick. Also, with the Herco, you can trim the amount of pick that sticks our below your thumb to an ideal depth-one that remains constant and consistent.

What about fingernails for picking?

According to "Acoustic Guitar" magazine, guitarists have many different ways of tackling this issue, including the use of artificial nails. "If your natural nails break or wear out too easily, artificial nails may be the answer". More guitarists than you think won't use anything but Nail-Salon applied nails, praising their "speed" and durability. I think they are best used when starting out, unless you are one of the lucky ones who posess nails of iron growing out naturally. The tendency is to strike the strings with uneven and excessive force at first, causing natural nails to break. As your technique evens out, your natural nails can work for you. Others are "meat players" using bare fingers but I find this a bit "slow", myself. But that may be just the way my calluses react on the strings. "Propiks" work for me as well-but they are a bit hard to find in stores so you have to order online. Results may vary.

Do you ever use an ordinary flatpick yourself?

Yes- I tend to use it in circumstances where I’m interspersing a lot of strumming between rolls, if you will. Individual preferences will vary! The video has examples showing picking engines using a flatpick with fingers.

Doesn’t swithching back and forth between flatpick and thumbpick confuse your picking hand?

No, not for me or many other pickers I know. It does, however, cause a variation in accents, cadence and attack- which is not a bad thing!

I use a lighter gauge flatpick so I prefer a lighter gauge Herco thumbpick. But it falls off. What to do?

This may happen at first. Don’t be discouraged. The tendency is to apply more force than is required to efficiently strike the string when you first get started. If it falls off, chances are your thumb action is too loud relative to your other fingers anyway. It will stop falling off, just keep it up! Meanwhile, you could use a heavier Herco or even an ordinary thumbpick to get started, then switch back later.

Any other instruments map over to EZroll?

Great question on an overlooked subject indeed. Keyboards players have a developed sense of fingering that maps over well into ezroll guitar. Ditto sax, clarinet, flutes too. Some people say I play banjo style which is true, but the picking engines are inverted from banjo!

I use lots of hammer-ons and pull offs. How does that relate to easy roll?

Grip it and rip it! Each "trick" or technique you add inside a picking engine pattern is a force multiplier. EZroll will teach you how and why. Hammer-ons and pull –offs that you are already comfortable with, help form the basis of your own, unique style within the Easy Roll structure

Some of your lesson content is kinda clunky when compared with your performance type playing. How come?

Couple of reasons for that, the main being that DVD Students have noticed that unlike a lot of other methods, I will use a single technique and not just demonstrate it in a lick- I create an entire solo out of just that technique. I don't know anybody else who does that-though they could well be out there. There is a scientific basis for why I do it this way, but suffice to say, it can sound as you say, a little "clunky"

I'm into transmitting these fundamentals from me to you, not show you how hot I am all the time. But rest assured these are the fundamentals I actively use to execute what some say are among the hottest chops in the world, (i ain't about to fight with 'em if they want to say that...) so obviously the clunkies pay off in the end.

Why are the sequences in Lesson One more detailed than many of the rest of the lessons?

The picking engine in lesson one is a gateway to the rest of the video. Its as close as I can get to something relatively simple that you can still say, "if you can do this you can do anything". So I want to show every possible approach to this single picking engine and fretting sequence, because once you get it, you are ready to blast off. The sensation of hearing more notes than you think you are playing is different to what the vast majority of guitarists are used to. Lesson One also establishes a "timecode" or the synchronized relationship between right and left hand. It’s just like riding a bike. The first time you did it you fell. Once you did it and succeeded, you could’nt figure out what prevented you from doing it in the first place! Same with Lesson One in Easy Roll.

I notice that I occasionally see a right hand finger strike a string during a run, but I don't hear the note. What's going on?

We occasionally deaden a string in a run either for a purcussive effect, or to leave it out entirely. This is done to keep the picking engine going steadily through the run, which simplifies the degree of difficulty of the run itself. A solid wall of notes are right there at your disposal in EZroll. Its sometimes easier to take notes out than to put them in.

What's up with this 1 finger country section?

One finger country is no stunt; my analysis indicates that the essential elements of hot country are best taught this way. The single finger fretting forces you into the essential elements used in hot country. You layer in other fingers on top as you go, and wham-yer hotter than hell. You can transfer this heat to any other genre as you see fit.

Why is Shape Hunting so important?

Clinical studies in Cognitive neuroscience suggest that it is harder to organize multiple shapes (in our case, fret spans, and fingerings) and apply them than symmetrical, or single shapes which are then replicated in different positions on the guitar neck. That has been known for a long time-What is NEW is that keeping track of multiple shapes ACTUALLY DEGRADES YOUR MUSCLE COORDINATION WHILE YOU ARE ATTEMPTING IT.

What are the advantages of "string skipping"?

Lengthy subject. Boiled down to its essence, in EasyRoll string skipping is effortless, routine. That means a huge number of note sequences are accessible and therefore playable in the real world.

What are the Tumbling Dice?

In the video I use the tumbling dice icon to indicate that I am in a grip it and rip it mode within a target rich environment and not even paying attention to set "patterns". The dice suggest that I can mix 'em up in any combo and still be within a correct framework. Its a good "gamble" that I'll improvisationally generate hot chops without paying attention to anything but "feel".

What do you mean by "translates 1:1, acoustic/electric

This means that what you can reliably perform using easy roll on electric will work with equal ease on an acoustic guitar, or vice-versa. Remember Easy Roll is a comprehensive approach to make playing sophisticated guitar easier. We have all seen tapping monster guitar players reduced to girlie man strumming and lame licks when they go unplugged, because their main axe is set up as a hot rod. Frankly, the whole "Tapping" scene is only truly efficient on 10% of guitars and is aesthetically applicable in about 10% of music. I use tapping myself, but it definitely has its limits. Easy Roll changes all that.

How does Easy Roll compare to sweep Picking?

In Easy roll, Arpeggio sweeping can be done with string skipping and direction changes without losing the sweeping effect. There are also different ways to articulate the notes in Easy Roll, as taught in the video. Articulation is key. I’ve yet to see any plectrum picker palm mute individual notes in sweeping sequences, for the simple reason that your palm rolls in the opposite direction of your sweep! Yet this is what you would have to do to emulate multi-directional easyroll "sweeping" with string skipping at the same time.

In sweep technique, you are playing up or down and have little or no nuance to the individual notes. In easy roll you can mix up the order of the notes depending on the picking engine, resulting in more variety of what’s available to use. Its also easier to perform reliably than sweep picking.

Do you have any practice routine advice for easyRoll?

This is an important subject. EasyRoll was designed in part, for those of us who don't always have 30 hours a week to sit and practice, but who want to be as hot as those who do. Work on your picking engines while watching the news or whatever turns you on. My philosiphy is that if you want something to become second nature, it is advisable to spend some time practicing it as second nature while "multitasking". Take any of the three basic picking engines, damp the strings with the fretting hand and at the end of a half hour sitcom you will have that engine down cold! DO NOT practice or learn another engine, or any other motor activity for at least two hours after that "sitcom session". This is because brainscans prove that your new engine continues to be wired into your brain for the next two hours, and learning another motor skill within that time actually interrupts the wiring process. That independent neurological infrastructure you are wiring into your brain will prove useful- at the next level up.

Mix up your engines and play them in rythm while listening to music that is louder than the volume of your guitar. You will generate positive tactile feedback. Think of your engines as a purcussion instrument like Jeff (Skunk) Baxter (Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers) does in his formidable to approach guitar.

In the past, when I've tried to "fingerpick" leads using simple chord shapes, the notes all ring and blur together, especially with distortion. How do I fix that?

In the video there are several clearly explained tricks for seperating out notes, even in chord shapes, for greater articulation. One example: In flatpicking you can palm mute. But the trouble with that is, you strike the note muted from the get-go, so its not real articulation. In EasyRoll I teach a few different types of articulation, one of which is fingertip articulation. Fingertip articulation is activated by lightly exerting downward pressure on the individual string, which causes the note to ring clean then stop abruptly, producing a nice staccato articulation.

You indicate the DVD does not focus on theory as much as technique. Why?

There are hundreds of tutorials on theory out there, so many in fact that a large number are FREE. I don't want to repackage something and then sell it to if you can get it for FREE.

I have, however, developed a simple approach to understanding modes which I cannot find anywhere else. Modes confuse a lot of folks but are important so I've included that in the DVD.

I’m interested in learning more about your research methodologies and ergonomic theory as you have applied it. Care to share background in depth?

Sorry, but the answer is not at this time. These are among my bread and butter Trade Secrets.

Copyright 2006, 2007 George Pittaway all rights reserved.
Mailing Address: EZrollguitar.com
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