The pentatonic scale is great for alternate picking exercises when played in it's standard two notes per string format. This is because of the awkward string crossing required when using straight alternate picking.
We are now going to take advantage of that exercise potential and apply alternate picked speed bursts to the pentatonic scale.
These speed bursts are meant to help you develop picking speed while maintaining a relaxed picking hand. The reason it works is because of the fact that you can be relaxed playing the four slower 8th notes but then you quickly have to jump in and play four 16th notes then go back to 8th notes.
You are gonna want to try and maintain the same level of relaxation during the speed bursts that you do during the 8th notes. You need to be quite honest with yourself here and constantly analyze how your picking hand feels. If there is any tension in the hand at all do your best to get rid of it.
You can also extend this workout if you choose by slowly making the speed bursts longer. Perhaps four 8th notes followed by six 16th notes? Then after that is mastered make it eight 16th notes.
In this way you will slowly build the ability to stay relaxed and loose for longer periods of fast notes.
Don't try to get to playing more than four 16th notes in just the first day. You will want the first few times you practice this exercise for the 16th note's speed to be at the top of your ability level. It should be a challenge initially for you to get the four 16th notes clean and relaxed.
Only after you can do the four 16th notes in this way would you want to start increasing the duration of the 16th notes.
Also, don't forget to practice this great guitar technique workout with all 5 of the pentatonic scale forms. Here is a link below to my pentatonic scales lesson if you need a refresher on your pentatonic scale forms.
Oh and don't forget to "Grab the TAB" for this workout lesson either. It will help you grasp the speed bursts concept.
Remember, the goal is to stay nice and relaxed throughout the entire exercise. Let's see if you can do it!
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