A Fun Way to Improve Your String Skipping and Alternate Picking Technique

Looking for a fun electric or acoustic guitar song, that will improve your alternate picking and string skipping technique?  Then you’ve come to the right place.

Johann Sebastian BachIn today’s tutorial we will look at a pick-style guitar arrangement for J.S. Bach’s Gavotte I from Orchestral Suite Number 3.

The piece is in two sections that each repeat once.

The first section is performed entirely in ninth position.  The second section begins in second position and returns to ninth position in the second half of measure 19.

You will notice that Bach’s Gavotte is written in 2/2 time.  Two-two time is also known as cut time.  This means there are two half notes per measure and the half note receives one beat.

The Trill

In the Baroque Era (1600-1750), it was quite common for performers to embellish certain notes in a composition.  One of the most popular of these ornamentation techniques was the trill.

Over the years, there has been some dispute over the proper way to perform trills.

In the Baroque Period, the trill was performed by rapidly alternating between the indicated note and its upper auxiliary note.  An upper auxiliary note is simply the next scale tone above the written note.  The trill in the Baroque Period begins on the upper auxiliary note and resolves to the main note.  Below you will see how the trill in measure 5 is written and performed.


J.S. Bach's Gavotte 1 trill


Bach's Gavotte 1 trill expanded

Notice in the above example the main note is the F#.   The upper auxiliary note is a G.

The number of repercussions performed in the trill depends upon the ability of the performer, the duration of the main note and the tempo of the piece.

Below you will find the download link for the PDF Guitar Tab Sheet Music for J.S. Bach’s Gavotte I from Orchestral Suite Number 3 Have fun!

Download Bach's Gavotte 1 guitar tab sheet music pdf

If you are looking for more ways to improve your string skipping and alternate picking (flat picking) technique, check out my comprehensive guitar technique course Guitar Hanon: Scale Mastery Beyond Hanon for Guitar.

Guitar Technique Course - Guitar Hanon - Mega Chops: Scale Mastery Beyond Hanon

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