This is a lesson on how you can become dangerous on the guitar using just one string. It will also develop your double picking. The lesson will be based on “A Pentatonic Minor” (five-note Am scale), and will be adding a bit of the diatonic scale.
The lesson will be focusing on the first string. Use the “E” string as a drone (E is the fifth note in the Am scale, so it’s a good harmony to work with).
Practice your double picking – that is, the down up picking. The first thing you need to learn is the scale notes.
Start with open your open “E” on the sixth string, then the “G” on the third fret, and then back to the open “E”. You’ll find the “A” on the fifth fret, then go back to the open “E”. “C” is on the eighth fret.
The one diatonic note is “B” – and it is found on the seventh fret.
If you like, the “D” is at the tenth fret, and then your octave is on the twelfth fret.
You can get a lot of mileage out of this if you play around for a bit. It’s like a crayon box – create a picture musically.
So how this riff works is double pick the open “E”, then single pick for whichever fretted notes you want after that.
One way you can strum this is to do down up picking the whole way through. The only way you’ll be able to get consistent speed is to get good at the down up stroke.
You can do all this with just one finger if you wish, or use multiple fingers.
If you’re interested in going much deeper with drone note riffs, be sure to checkout my Guitar Player’s Bag of Trick Riffs course!