As the lead guitarist for Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder since December of 2015, Jake Workman is someone you pay close attention when he plays. Although most known for his bluegrass playing, Jake’s playing reflects his multitude of influences including rock, classical and jazz. In fact, he has a degree in Jazz Guitar Performance from the University of Utah.
This latest release from Jake is an exercise packet that packs a punch!
According to his website, Jake says that, “This packet is stuffed full of wonderful exercises to help improve right hand alternate picking. These are patterns that I’ve developed and studied over the years for my own learning and still use to this day.”
The 3-sheet bundle includes:
- Right Hand Essentials (a wide range of useful patterns, from easy to difficult)
- Right Hand Speed Drills (targets specific string changes to help build speed)
- Right Hand Forward and Backward Leaning (an essential principle for accessing high tempos comfortably)
Basically it’s US$30, you get a total of 48 great patterns that Jake has compiled and organized into 3 pages.
The simplest way I could describe these is that it’s kind of the equivalent of getting the “120 Studies for Right Hand Development by Mauro Giuliani” but if it were written by a bluegrass player.
They are not the same thing of course… but the function of the exercises kind of parallels Giuliani’s work. So this is kind of like Giuliani, but bluegrass?
The cool thing about the exercises is that Jake has basically written them out as open string exercises. He could have in fact made the packet have more pages, but with a little creativity you can quickly take any of these 48 patterns and apply them to chords, lines, sequences, melodies or phrases that you can muster.
In fact, what I noticed is that as soon as I started working on these exercises (and I just started on these, mind you), I already started getting the benefits of it.
In conclusion, if you like Jake’s playing and just want some new (very good) exercises, this might just fit the bill. Just remember that although it’s three pages, you could very well spend years working on these. Good luck to you and me.
Pros: Great solid no B.S. right hand exercises that help develop your picking
Cons: If you look at it as a 3-page PDF file, it might seem kind of pricey. However, if you look at it as the distillation of years of experience from Jake Workman, this will look more like a bargain.
TLDR: If you enjoy and admire the kind of picking technique and fluidity that great flatpicking bluegrass players get, you might benefit from this packet.
You can get this packet here: https://jakeworkman.com/store/right-hand-exercise-packet
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