Lesson 1: Speed Picking To shred like Buckethead, you need to be able to pick fast and accurately. In this lesson, I’ll show you several Buckethead-like. Learn & play tab for lead guitar with free online tab player, speed control and loop. Download original Guitar Pro tab.

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OK, in case the title of these lessons is misleading, no one can solo exactly like Buckethead. A because Buckethead is the almighty grand master of guitar, and B everyone has their own individual style of playing.

Learn the Guitar Habits of Buckethead | Guitarworld

However, I have made a few licks and exercises to help you come close to recreating the Buckethead style. Please try to use them as an addition to your style rather than as a way to copy Buckethead.

All these examples are bucketheas using a bridge humbucker pick-up and a compresser ideally. Speed Picking To shred like Buckethead, you need to be able to pick fast and accurately. In this lesson, I’ll show you several Buckethead-like exercises, and then put them all together to make a cool lick in the style buckethsad Buckethead.

Tremolo Before you start on any of the other exercises in this lesson I’d recommend working on your tremolo picking. This bucketheax help you get used to the fast wrist action. Make sure you’re moving your hand, not your whole arm. Trust me, your elbow will fall off.

And we don’t want anyone losing any arms You can’t get any faster than tremolo picking on one note.

Buckethead lesson tab?

You should pick fast the same as how you pick slow. If you don’t, your shred will not be as good as it could be – when you’re playing a solo, you need to be able to speed up and slow down smoothly. If you change your picking action to go fast, it will sound unhinged. Once you’ve got the tremolo picking down, smoothly hitting the correct string only, at a constant speed, you’ll be ready to move on to the next excerise. In the exercises, when tremolo picking is used, I’ve shown it by putting ‘tr’ above the note.


Alternate Picking Practicaly all of Bucketheads speed when he lets rip in a solo is alternate picking. This is a good example of a Buckethead-like lick using alternate picking, based around the E minor pentatonic scale: Once you get that mastered, you’re on your way.

Ascending Lick A classic ascending ie: Once again, strict alternate picking is required for this. Descending Lick Another good example of a typical Buckethead descending ie: Notice how the tremolo picked notes lfsson thrown in to create an even faster sounding lick.

Each tremolo picked note should be played for the same amount of time as it takes you to play all the other notes in the phrase, before you hit the next tremolo picked note. Descending licks sound faster bcukethead ascending ones. Maybe ‘cos I can pull-off faster than fret a note, but when you play descending licks it really does sound like your doing a lot more than you are. Try running down any minor Pentatonic scale using alternate picking. It sounds like your shredding all over the place when actually your just moving down a simple box shape.

Now, put the last 3 lessonn together to create this psycho-speed Buckethead-like lick, and remember, strict alternate picking throughout. Try to think of all speed solos like this – a collection of fast licks rather than one massive section.


The more licks you know, the faster and more varied your solos will become. There is already lfsson great lesson with pictures on this site showing how to do the infamous ‘6-finger’ tap, so Bucketheax leave that out. Remember all of these exercises can be played anywhere on the neck, on any strings. If you’ve never seen it before, I’d advise trying to get hold of the first Rock In Rio 3 solo on video, as you get a good close-up of the technique.

Anyway, here’s a little sequence to practice using your index and middle finger to tap. Make sure you always alternate fingers, so it’s like: This is a moveable pattern – move it up and down the neck and strings to create a kinda robotic blur. I made it up bucjethead at random one day and it sounds kinda cool, so I’ve included it in this lesson.


For it to work properly, I hold my pick arched inside my middle finger, like I discussed in my lesson on holding picks when tapping. Then, I use my index finger bhckethead tap the A string and my ring finger to tap the B string. However, play it however feels comfortable to you.

Be careful to advoid unwanted string noise because lessin the string skips. Try muting with the fret hand, or use a Noisegate if you’ve got one. Remember, this is just an example, extend it and play around with it Sliding Taps This one rules! This is not a difficult exercise, as buckethexd as you can tap fast.

Simply tap a fret, pull-off, then hammer on with the fret hand, in the classic Van Halen style. However, slide up the neck while doing it, so each one of the phrases is only played once.

Also, try not to worry about when the exact moment is that you should be tapping, just tap fast and move upwards, then downwards.

This is difficult to show as a tab Tremolo Tap A simple but cool idea to end your buckethear display. I can’t show this in tab, but I’ll explain it. Tap as fast as you can, like mega-fast, on one fret, eg, 17th on the B string. Then, with the left hand, slide from 2nd ledson 14th fret and back again as fast as you can without a break. This sounds really frenzied.

Try adding an octaviser to make a really weird robot sound. Hope this helps you: