Hot answers tagged

8 votes

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

Going up and down the strings at an angle is natural, and it may be more or less pronounced depending on picking style. About where to pick the strings, that depends on you, on what you want it to ...
MMazzon's user avatar
  • 6,329
7 votes

My alternate picking technique has reached a plateau

A lot of alternate pickers get stuck right where you are, and it's because fast alternate picking requires a very specific technique—one that no one even understood until a few years ago. The world's ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 618
7 votes

How do people play fast tremolo on guitar (with a plectrum)?

Here is an interesting interview with Jeff Waters, at the beginning he speaks a lot about picking hand technique: To summarize: Practice a lot Vary the tempo Analyze ...
user1079505's user avatar
  • 16.6k
6 votes

Background sound of pick hitting string

The amount of pick sliding over the string may be the problem. Try holding the pick more gently, and changing the length it sticks out, thus not more than 3 or 4 mm showing. Also, you may be digging ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 192k
6 votes
Accepted

Pick Makes Clicking Sound

Not a clue what guitar you use, but pickguards are at least 1/4" lower than the strings, so you shouldn't be anywhere near with your pick, strumming. Also, once the strings have been strummed, ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 192k
6 votes

How do I hold/use a pick

Without seeing a picture, it's hard to say exactly what you are doing, but honestly, if you look at 20 guitar greats you will find 20 different ways to hold a pick. It really doesn't matter as much as ...
Doktor Mayhem's user avatar
  • 36.9k
6 votes

How do I hold/use a pick

There is no one way. I probably use 5 or 6 different ways, depending on what/where/how I'm playing. I agree with the good Doktor - hold it tight enough so you don't drop it, loose enough to have ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 192k
5 votes

Why is a plectrum banjo played with a guitar pick and not with finger picks?

Easy strumming was probably the market reason for the creation of the so called plectrum banjo. For strumming you don't need a pick for each finger, and because of the metal strings the most natural ...
José David's user avatar
  • 4,244
5 votes

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

There are many different kinds of angle or slant you can use with a pick. The two most commonly discussed are: A "twist" to ensure one edge of the pick hits first. This can be anywhere from 0 degrees,...
Doktor Mayhem's user avatar
  • 36.9k
5 votes
Accepted

alternate picking for single stroke in alternating strings

See this old video of Metallica: Both Hetfield and Hammet play the parts you mention by downpicking every note. Both alternate picking and downpicking have their ...
user1079505's user avatar
  • 16.6k
4 votes
Accepted

Save Tonight - sounds wrong

Congratulations on your decision to learn to play the guitar. It is a difficult instrument to learn in the beginning but it gets easier as you develop some basic skills and start learning the basic ...
Rockin Cowboy's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Tremolo picking, anchor palm or not?

There is no single correct way to do tremolo-picking. If you analyze how the greats do it you'll realize that everybody has their own technique. I'd suggest to watch videos of relevant players, and ...
Matt L.'s user avatar
  • 20.1k
4 votes

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

Dr. Mayhem's answer describes the two most commonly used modifications of pick positions. I would like to add more details about their motivation and benefits. Twisting the pick, i.e., rotating it ...
Matt L.'s user avatar
  • 20.1k
4 votes
Accepted

Does Edge Picking Break Strings Faster?

No The material of the picks is much softer than the strings. That's why the pick wears away, because the string is harder. If you were tuning at the time the strings broke, then it might be ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
  • 56.6k
4 votes
Accepted

Muting string technique with right hand only

Use whatever you can - left hand fingers that are free, right hand free fingers, palm, as much as possible. Using left hand fingers can work quite well, with the exception that there's always the ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 192k
4 votes

Touching muted strings with picking hand

The rule is: if it sounds good, it's good. I recall in one of his Youtube videos Troy Grady, who analyzed playing technique using slow motion camera, found, that when changing strings quickly one may ...
user1079505's user avatar
  • 16.6k
4 votes

How do people play fast tremolo on guitar (with a plectrum)?

The Kubi example you posted isn't tremolo picking - I only hear metered 16th notes. Tremolo is more of a continuous sound. There are two factors: first, the pick is angled to allow the point to "...
Tom Serb's user avatar
  • 4,817
4 votes

Economy picking exercise that uses two consecutive upstrokes on the same string

I think the intention here is try to keep beats on downstrokes and offbeats on upstrokes. The concept here appears to be avoiding picking in the contrary direction your hand moves to reach the new ...
Lazy's user avatar
  • 19.9k
3 votes

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

When teaching an instrument there are approaches to developing the technique in the student. Often a teacher will insist on a rigid interpretation of a technique so that the student develops that ...
Alphonso Balvenie's user avatar
3 votes

Why is a plectrum banjo played with a guitar pick and not with finger picks?

Before the 1910s most banjos were strung with gut strings and played classic style - that is finger style similar to classical guitar and with no finger picks. This style was immensely popular and ...
Brett Lowe's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Why is a plectrum banjo played with a guitar pick and not with finger picks?

The following historical look at the plectrum banjo is from the work of late musicologist and musician, Shlomo Pestcoe (banjo artist and banjo historian). (The early 1900s saw the emergence of two ...
Plecplayer's user avatar
3 votes

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

Since I wrote this question in '13, spurred on by the excellent answers of Dave, Anthony and user5785, I've become a hopeless alternate picking nerd and can give a definite answer here. Yes, you can ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 618
3 votes

Alternate picking from string 1 to string 3 - ACDC back in black

Professional guitarist here. Congrats on your progress! Keep it up and you'll get there soon. A competent guitarist should be able to pick this lick any number of ways. Because, honestly it's a ...
NickGrooves's user avatar
  • 1,647
3 votes

How do people play fast tremolo on guitar (with a plectrum)?

There's a jazz guitar instructor called Peter Farrell (who studied with George Benson) who has a take on this. He refers to it as "bee picking", presumably a reference to Flight of the ...
xavriley's user avatar
  • 397
3 votes

How do I hold/use a pick

I know you said no dry exercises but IMHO there are some "dry" exercises you should be doing away from the guitar that will greatly help you with pick control and speed. Back in the 1990's I ...
Mark Newell's user avatar
3 votes

Alternate picking issue

To keep alternate picking, the solution is pick slanting with upstroke escape. After you play the last note on the E string with an upstroke, the pick should end up above the plane of the strings. ...
user1079505's user avatar
  • 16.6k
2 votes

When should you change your pick?

Change: replace vs. repair (vs. diversify) Replace You can perform a blind experiment: Blindly draw the used or the new plectrum. Monitor whether you observe a difference while playing, when you do ...
rfbw's user avatar
  • 361
2 votes

Guitar Alternate vs. Economy vs. Directional Picking Styles

DP is not entirely the same as EP in that the latter intentionally picks an odd number of notes on a string to move to a new string in a particular direction, and an even number of notes to redirect ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 21

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