Alternate Picking Exercises- 7 MORE John Petrucci Riffs to Boost Technique

Back by popular demand, I have 7 more John Petrucci riffs that will help your alternate picking.  If you have not seen the first 9 riffs, head over here.  Now let’s start on these seven.  NOTE: if you are unfamiliar with my format, click the song title to hear a youtube video of it, and click the tab to enlarge it.

1) A Change of Seasons– Dream Theater

Once again we are going to try to start off with easier riffs and work our way up. First of we have this simple riff that begins at 1:27 into the song.

2) When the Water Breaks– Liquid Tension Experiment

Here’s another pretty easy riff. It starts at 8:23 into the video.

3) Sacrificed Sons– Dream Theater

Now we’re starting to get a little more difficult.  The riff starts at 4:21 in.

4) Universal Mind– Liquid Tension Experiment

The most difficult part of this riff is the changing time signatures. It starts at 5:51.

5) The Test That Stumped Them All– Dream Theater

Next we have a much more difficult riff due to the fast tempo.  Practice hard on this one.

6) Damage Control– John Petrucci

The last two riffs are off of Petrucci’s solo album.  The hard alternate picking part of this riff comes in the second half when it switches to 6/8. The string skipping will help you a lot if you get it down. It starts at 2:16 into the video.

7) Animate-Inanimate– John Petrucci

Finally, this last riff will also help with alternate picking as you skip strings.  I couldn’t find the actual song but this video of just the guitar part will do. It starts at 36 secs in.

There ya go.  If you have any questions or comments, email them to me at  I am especially interested if you have any guitarist that you would like to see featured in an article such as this one.


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4 Responses

  1. […] Alternate Picking Exercises- 7 MORE John Petrucci Riffs to Boost Technique […]

  2. Excellent exersices.
    The neccesary arpeggio work all guitar players need regardless of style or level.
    Keep up the good work!

    andrew (

  3. Dream Theater is in the studio again, and I can’t wait to see what magic they produce!

  4. […] Alternate Picking Exercises- 7 MORE John Petrucci Riffs to Boost Technique […]

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