FREE 42 Classic Guitar Riffs Tab Book.

Guitar Picking Exercises

Here are some guitar picking exercises, and warm up routines, that are geared towards the intermediate hard rocking metal guitarist, that wants to become a shredder. This lesson plan will increase your music theory and dexterity on the guitar, allowing you to be creative and add to the lesson plan.

Performance notes:

Doing these warm ups are essential to being able to attack the scale and arpeggio exercises that we will be exploring in future lessons, plus you will become a precision picking machine.

While you start the practice regime find a tempo that you can work with (consistent picking attack and your able to complete the exercise comfortably) after you’re able to complete the exercise, adjust your metronome to a faster beats per minute – work at a pace that is achievable – for example on Sunday chart your bpm and by next Sunday hopefully you be able to increase your bpm.

Fret not if you need another week, then take it, but set up some goals – for example if you can play 16th notes at 120 bpm, set a goal to be able to play 16th notes at 130bpm in two weeks. 

Always use a metronome and work these examples up and down the entire fret board.

Staff 1: Alternate picking and maintain first fret position utilizing your 2nd finger for the 3rd fret and ring finger for the 5th fret and pinky for the seventh fret.


For exercises 3-12 continue the pattern ascending and descending on all six strings.

Staff 3 – 8: Maintain the same fingerings and alternate picking but notice now you’re picking the notes 2, 3 and 4 times each.



Staff 11-12: Alternate picking and notice each grouping has different picking pattern. Pick any patterns you like and alternate them – use your imagination.


Continue the patterns from staffs 3-12 using string skipping. Once you have completed these warm ups you will be ready for the sweep picking Warm up exercises which will be the next lesson…

Article by David Sucher

Our goal is to provide you with the training, inspiration, motivation and confidence to become the guitarist you dream of becoming.

© Guitar Coach Magazine 2024. All Rights Reserved.

FREE Download: Classic Guitar Riffs Tab Book.

Master 42 All-Time Classic Guitar Riffs, PLUS FREE VIDEO TUTORIALS.