The Leave

Core Location: Techniques

The Leave is a training concept. By working this into our playing at the start, our accuracy goes up, and jam and reading modes always flow better. Doing the training integrates native & applied intelligence, when done with the deepest possible focus.

The leave is pick tracking. It can be a touch 'tedious' for some (learning to love training is a central path), at the beginning, but its efficacy is unmatched.

The basic idea is that every picked tone contains the location of where it is going next, and we pick to that location. We pick to a particular place, so we are prepared for the next tone.

Being automatically prepared for the next tone allows us to enjoy tones that are sounding. Since we previously planned the tone we are hearing, we can listen to what is happening.

Learning to leave your pick is programming motion through space in time. We pick to our next location. When we build this into our picking, it becomes automatic. We can apply this idea to our core scale training. When we do the work, our accuracy increases and we know that we aren't training mistakes.

Let's play some training exercises using the leave.

6 to 1

Any two strings can be thought of as a string couplet [a pair of strings], whether they are adjacent or spaced [adjacent strings are more "couply", would you agree?]. For this next exercise, the dots are where your pick will follow through to, as to be ready for the next articulation. Pick the 6 string down & allow your picking motion to all the way to underneath the 1 string, then pick up & allow your picking motion to go back to over the 6 string.

6-1, 5-1, 4-1, 3-1, 2-1

Now we expand the leave to include all of the string spaces. Allow your picking motion to follow the lines [pick to the next appropriate string space]. Be ready.

the leave exercise


For a string couplet, we can pick on the outsides or insides of each [as shown at the end of the video for this exercise].

We play an open string arpeggio [broken chord] by using 5 couplets [pick on the outsides of 6-5, 4-3, 2-1, then the insides of 2-3 & 4-5] - always down-up.

These kind of exercises are truly endless. I encourage you to make up as many picking patterns as you can. And, again, apply this idea to any chord.

guitar picking, the leave outside inside exercise

Bonus not shown in the video...


the leave bonus exercise

The leave training is most vital training idea/action that I use for picking accuracy.

To remember: the location for the next articulation is built into the previous articulation. And, we don't have to think about this for long to get results. Even just doing one scale with this level of focus and attention brings new levels of accuracy.