Overthinking Guitar Practice

Hello and welcome to the first episode of “80KV Overthinks Things.”

Watching videos of my performances, I think my picking is the weakest part of my guitar performance at the moment. Therefore, I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to work on that over the next few months. And instead of simply Googling “guitar picking exercises” or “rhythm guitar exercises” or just learning a bunch of Rob Zombie or something, I decided to solve this problem with math.

Yesterday during a boring meeting at work, I sketched out some pseudocode for an

The output

algorithm that outputs every possible combination of rhythms for one measure of eighth notes, and outputs it in a way that conforms to alternate picking — a V to represent a downstroke (on each quarter-note), a ^ to represent each half-note (on each eighth or “and” note), a _ for a downstroke rest and a – for an upstroke rest.

From there I just had to transcribe the pseudocode into JavaScript, my language of choice for this project because a) it’s what I do every day for work, and b) I could just copy and paste it into the console without having to worry about compilation.

My code is available here┬áif you’re curious. It places each string into an array and then shuffles the array so all 256 possible rhythm patterns are in a random order. I’m going to work through this document and practice these with a metronome and hopefully tighten up my performance.

Also, I like the output of my algorithm because it looks like I’m writing a bunch of weird emoticons in a row.

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