Lamb’s Chops Part 1: Exclusive Lesson Series With Archspire’s Dean Lamb

Hey guys! Welcome to my exclusive video series. Let’s get into the examples in this video:

Tabs can be downloaded here.

Ex.1: This is an alternate picked melody I wrote for clinics I do around the Vancouver area. I wanted something that would showcase strict alternate picking, because all my guitar buddies basically only ask me about my economy picking, and I wanted to show that both techniques are vital.This pattern starts on an upstroke, which I find gives it a good indication for rhythm. Having a strong upstroke with your pick helps you mask the fact that down and up picking both have sonic properties that differ from one another. Watch Paul Gilbert’s “Terrifying Guitar Trip” for more on this topic. This idea includes some chromaticism, (3 or more consecutive semitones) and I find it adds a nice leading line back to the original pattern.
Ex.2: This is an excerpt from a song on our newest album “The Lucid Collective.” It has the same pedal tone type vibe that the above example has, but within the passage there is a quick 32nd note trill that I find adds an extra level of dynamic. Seen here:

Trill Screenshot

Again, alternate picking straight through. Consult Paul’s technique like always, I spent most of my teenage years doing this.

Ex.3: This is an example of what’s known as “Economy Picking.” The basic idea is your pick changes direction depending on what note you’re going into. In this piece we see that, unlike strict alternate picking, you’ll end up doing two downstrokes or two upstrokes in a row in certain parts. When changing strings in this example you’ll want to pick downwards if you are switching from the E string to the A string, and you’ll want to pick upwards for the reverse. I’ve added an additional example here:

Econo Screenshot

This passage is written using one of the “Modes of Limited Transposition,” which is a really cool topic. A whole tone scale doesn’t have a perfect 5th, rather it has a flat 5th/aug 4th or aug 5th, depending on your perspective, which means it would be labeled as “atonal,” and if you’ve heard any of the music Archspire has released, you’ll find that atonality common throughout. Meshuggah loves this atonality, combined with the chromaticism I mentioned earlier.

Ex.4: The final example for Lamb’s Chops Part: 1 (keep an eye out for part 2 coming soon,) we continue with the economy picking technique, but we have a sextuplet rhythm. Fitting 6 notes in between clicks on the metronome is sometimes strange, and this is definitely the most difficult example in this video, for me anyway. Starting on an upstroke or a downstroke depends on your preference, but just keep in mind, when we switch from the high e to the B string, we pick upwards, and then in the reverse, the B to the e, we’ll pick downwards. Watch the slow versions of these examples closely and you’ll understand how I’m picking them. Thanks for watching!!!

If you like this video and want more stuff like this, Lamb’s Chops: Pt.2 will be coming out soon, and head over to for any band related updates, and feel free to email me for private lessons over skype or in person at DeanLamb(at)

Stay Tech!


Written by

Dean Lamb is primarily known for his work in Canadian technical death metal group Archspire, however his other musical outlets range from his work with the progressive metal project Seven Year Storm, guest solos, and clinic work. Dean is also a full time guitar teacher, working at Long and McQuade near his home in Vancouver Canada, where he teaches both guitar and bass. Dean has been playing music since 2000, studying in all aspects of music theory, technique, and composition.