Questions tagged [picking]

Playing stringed instruments with a plectrum.

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24
votes
8answers
19k views

How to hide a flat pick in the right hand when switching to finger picking, Warren Haynes style

Watch any Warren Haynes video on YouTube and you'll notice that he often likes to mix it up and play solos with a pick but mid-way switch to using his fingers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMxG90vP-...
24
votes
10answers
31k views

Pick weight - functional difference, or just personal preference?

I'm at the very beginning of learning to play guitar, and I recently needed to buy some more picks. This was more complex than I was expecting, since there are apparently many different weights of ...
22
votes
7answers
7k views

Where does picking speed come from? Forearm, hand, or bicep?

Where specifically on the arm/hand should rapid picking speed come from?
19
votes
4answers
7k views

Alternate picking vs down picking

When I see professional musicians play their songs on guitar, I see them down picking certain parts where I would prefer to alternate pick. Follow the url below to a riff that I play first using ...
16
votes
9answers
38k views

Finger Picking vs. using a Pick on Bass Guitar

Before I played bass I played guitar, so when I started to play bass I naturally used a pick. Eventually I learned how to finger pick and now typically use both picking techniques interchangeably as a ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

When using strict alternate picking, is it OK to play a downstroke twice in order to start a new phrase on a downstroke?

There are a lot of advocates of absolutely strict alternate picking, like Chris Thile (dead YouTube clip removed). I've been practicing that for a couple of weeks now, and I'm at the point where I can ...
12
votes
7answers
10k views

Should the picking hand little finger be resting on the guitar?

I notice I tend to rest the little finger of my picking hand on the body of my guitar, typically on the edge of the sound-hole, for greater accuracy and steadiness of the picking hand. After extended ...
9
votes
9answers
29k views

How do you strum an upstroke without striking an unwanted string?

It could be a silly question. I started learning guitar 2 months ago but the progress are not going very well. Apart from the previous problem, which I haven't solved yet, I have a problem with the ...
9
votes
4answers
28k views

Is there a "correct" position for the right hand when playing guitar?

Normally when I am playing I support my right hand by putting my pinky finger below the E string, but when I try to play past a certain speed I have difficulty keeping up. I have found a couple sites ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Fingerpicks - which styles are they used for?

I'm currently learning how to use fingerpicks, like these: The exercises I found are all blues or bluegrass related. I really like the strong sound and speed potencial, but I am more into the ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Right hand technique used in gypsy jazz guitar

I want to learn the right hand technique used by gypsy guitar, especially that of joscho stephan. His arm is perfectly still but the hand is moving so fast, how is he doing that? Any tips on how to ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

What is tremolo picking?

Are you just picking the same note a bunch of times or are you picking a lot in general and kind of hammering on to hit the notes? What does it have to do with an actual tremolo (whammy bar)?
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a "flat wrist"?

Bass legend Carol Kaye writes that she uses a "flat wrist" technique when playing bass with a pick. What does she mean by this?
7
votes
7answers
6k views

What's the right way to hold a pick?

It there any difference between holding a pick in a fist like this and with your fingers sticking out like this: I've found that most online guitar lessons teach it the first way, but I've ...
7
votes
3answers
398 views

Developing good muscle memory and avoiding bad

If I'm practicing say, alternate picking with just my right hand for speed and wrist rotation am I better off just stopping and going on to something else if I'm just not dialed in that day. And for ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

How to train for faster picking speed on guitar?

I've been training on speed picking on major scale as my daily routine, following this Justin Guitar's guide on scale picking for one year since last year June, but until now my G major scale picking ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

Does Acoustic Blues Guitar Require Use of a Thumb Pick?

I've recently started going through some acoustic blues lessons at jamplay.com. The instructor plays with a thumb pick. I had gone through the first 8 lessons using a standard pick but the latest ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there one or more "proper" finger picking styles/techniques?

Essentially, if there is some collection of proper techniques that have distinct rules or characteristics about them, that's what I'm looking for. There's not one particular artist or type of music I ...
7
votes
6answers
4k views

Strumming, picking patterns for unusual time signatures

If the time signature is 8/8 or 4/4 and let's say we have 8 eighth notes in a bar the picking should just be down up down up down up, etc. But what happens if we have 7/8? Particularly in the next bar....
6
votes
5answers
7k views

Flatpicking: how can I make my floating-pick-hand less bouncy?

Can anyone suggest how I might improve my "floating fist" style flatpicking? I'm trying to clean up my pick technique for the sake of accuracy, feel, speed, and general ease-of-playing. I use the "...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Learning pick and finger-picking at the same time?

I am picking up the guitar again, being now 30 and having played when I was about 9, and I'm a bit confused on what approach I should take while self-learning. I would ideally like to play things ...
6
votes
1answer
643 views

Beginning sweep picking exercises

What are some recommended easy exercises to start developing the sweep picking technique in guitar? And what advice would you give to someone who's just starting with this technique? I mean, what is ...
6
votes
4answers
7k views

Alternate picking while palm muting

I've been practicing alternate picking and palm muting for a while now, but I have extreme difficulties when combining these two techniques together. My picking hand can't move freely when resting on ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

When should you change your pick?

Sometimes when I try to play a solo I feel that I can't pick the notes because the pick is too short, and when I look at it, it is about 0,5mm shorter on the end than a new one. When should you ...
5
votes
3answers
267 views

Should you pick strings up and down in a straight line? Does it matter?

It may sound dumb but let's say we play A minor scale. When I change strings do I have to hit the next string in the exact same spot? Each time I change strings I keep picking closer to the bridge. ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the reasons for using strumming and picking patterns?

From what i can tell so far, STRUMMING patterns are for two things, making sure the right beats are accented (because on the up strokes, youre only supposed to hit two strings) and keeping track of ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it possible to strum (with a pick) separated strings?

There is a song I am trying to learn and the problem is that the guitarist plays the first and fourth strings together. I know this is easily possible if you are finger picking, but I am not really a ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Optimal Right Hand Technique to Down Pick while playing Metallica

I have been playing Metallica songs (only the rhythm parts) for quite some time. I don't play them at full speed because of the Down picking, but i have been playing and practicing them at 80% speed ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Good exercise for precision in picking (with pick)?

Can you suggest me exercises for precision in picking? My goal is to pick and sing at the same time and it is hard for me for now because since I'm pretty used to strumming while singing where not ...
5
votes
1answer
427 views

What is econo-picking?

Is this simply a synonym for sweep picking or is it something else?
5
votes
1answer
8k views

How to improve right hand picking/strumming technique for electric and acoustic guitar?

How can I raise my picking (and strumming) to 16th notes at 160 beats per minute or higher? I have been trying to incorporate more forearm rotational movement into my picking (imagine turning a ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Gym exercises for picking speed

When I was younger, I could never get my riffing speed up to where I wanted it to be, even tough I excessively practiced. After years without progress I got frustrated and kind of gave up on fast ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Where along the strings to pick?

How does picking position affect a guitar’s sound? I can make some general observations – the strings are brighter near the bridge, and they can be more percussive near the neck – but I’m not sure how ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Guitar Picking improvement... is forcing EVER good

Long story, and I don't expect magic answers. But I'm always striving to improve and learn, and some of this might elicit good advice. Read if you have the time. I've been playing a long time, well ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it OK to pick over the neck pickup?

I am experimenting to get a jazz sound on my semi hollow body Ibanez. Of course it involves my hand, the amp and its settings, the pick and the strings. This topic is only about picking. I found ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

Tremolo picking, anchor palm or not?

I'm learning tremolo picking and until now I've been resting my palm just above E string and anchoring with my pinky. I noticed that when picking 2 strings at the same time I also mute the first of ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

Bass picking technique

I play the bass in a metal band, so I usually need a pick to get both a more fitting sound and reach the right speed. But I cannot find the right technique to use it and I don't have much precision ...
4
votes
1answer
233 views

Ensuring one's sweep picking is uniform in dynamics?

The problem I am having is when I do say a sweep such as: I find that when I get to the E string (on a random side note there should be the hammer on to the G and pull off to the E on the e string) I ...
4
votes
1answer
541 views

Picking using forearms vs Picking using wrist for palm muting

I have been playing for around 3 years and am mostly self taught. I have seen many people recommend the use of your forearms for picking instead of using your wrist as this might lead to Carpel ...
4
votes
3answers
117 views

My pick gets stuck and I'm trying to fix it with downward pickslanting. ( ~ 8 months of playing )

I've been playing for 8 months and I think that this is a common newbie problem: my pick gets stuck. I started to analyze my picking motion/hand and I realised that the pick is too flat ( ...
3
votes
5answers
192 views

How do I hold/use a pick

Seriously. Most people say between the thumb and index coming out the side of your thumb, but I keep messing up, hitting wrong strings, bad rhythm/timing, etc. Any other ways of holding a pick or ...
3
votes
5answers
636 views

Concerning individual string picking - when (it what situations) should the pick be angled, and when should it be perpendicular to the string?

I've learned a lot of guitar stuff from YouTube videos. But this really irks me: some YouTubers insist that their technique is the only way you should play guitar, and that any other way is a "mistake"...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

Why picking direction indicators in music?

In music notation specifically for the guitar, there are often picking symbols meaning to pick up or down. What is the purpose of these picking indicators (sorry, don't know the real term for them)? ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

"Breaking through the wall" with guitar speed and accuracy

I'm really struggling with improving my hand speed in both hands while keeping the accuracy, anyone got anything that really worked for them that they would recommend?
3
votes
4answers
97 views

When to use open note or closed note for solo on acoustic guitar for the same pitch?

Suppose you want to hit E5 (which is 0 fret on 1st string) in a passage of your solo, what are the reasons you'd pick the open note or the closed note on 5th fret 2nd string? In general for electric ...
3
votes
3answers
122 views

Touching muted strings with picking hand

When I move across strings quickly (e.g. on arpeggios), I can feel bumping lightly into muted strings. For example when I inside-pick E and A, I will start with an upstroke on E and then slightly ...
3
votes
6answers
8k views

My alternate picking technique has reached a plateau

I've played guitar for over ten years, and my alternate picking really blows when it comes to fast stuff like 7 to 10 notes per second range. I sometimes wonder if I have reached my natural limits? ...
3
votes
2answers
99 views

Muting string technique with right hand only

I'm fairly new to the electric guitar and currently learning about string muting (as in noise reduction) while soloing. The usual advice is to mute the lower strings with your right hand and the ...
3
votes
2answers
30k views

How do I know what pattern to strum based on chords alone? [duplicate]

I find a lot of music with only chords: They don't tell me the pattern I should strum. How can I know when to strum up or strum down?
3
votes
1answer
90 views

alternate picking for single stroke in alternating strings

I am a beginner/ intermediate guitar player and today I started to learn how to play Seek and Destroy from Metallica, as shown in this tablature Parallel to that I have been learning scales (major ...