Tag Archives for " Picking "


This Fun Picking Pattern Combines Picking & Strumming

A lot of guitar players treat strumming and picking as separate skills, and rarely allow the two to meet… which is a shame, because they ARE separate skills, but once combined, they allow access to so much more than either skill could access individually.

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In today’s guitar lesson, we’re going to look at one of the examples out of my Dynamic Rhythm Guitar course from the section on Picking, and it is one that begins to mix strumming and picking together into a single pattern.

The “strumming” that we’re doing here is only on two strings – the first and second strings – and that alone is a good place to start practicing for a lot of you strummers: precision strumming! Can you selectively strum any two or three strings that you want? If not, start practicing, because you’ll need that ability when you start merging your strumming with your picking.

The main thing to note about the notation used here is that the R represents the Root string number. So in the case of a normal open G major chord, you’d play the 6th string where the root note for the G major chord is found (3rd fret). In the case of an open D major, you’d play the 4th string in that R position. The rest of the numbers on that same line indicate the string numbers to play. Below that you’ll see the Count written out, if you want to learn how to count the example out, rhythmically.


Pick ‘n’ Pluck – Fingerpicking Technique

This guitar lesson covers a fingerpicking technique that I like using from time to time. The basic idea is that you pick the root note with your pick (plectrum… whatever!), and then you pluck strings 1, 2, and 3 simultaneously after that. This gives a somewhat syncopated rhythmic feel, and it sounds great because you can get really fancy with the bass lines if you want too.

If you want to get technical, I guess this isn’t true fingerpicking; because in that case you wouldn’t be using a pick at all, you’d be using only your fingers. My preference is to combine the use of the pick and the fingers, which is what is referred to as hybrid picking.

If you do want to get fancier with the root notes, think about what the bass player would do in that situation, and try playing around with those ideas. If you know what guitar scales you have to work with, then you can play around in there. In this video you’ll see I do a bit of that with the riff / progression towards the end of the video. There are many other guitar riffs that you could use this with, you just have to be creative.

Pick ‘n’ Pluck – Fingerpicking Technique

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Adding Dynamics To Your Guitar Playing

When you’re playing guitar dynamics are very important. The same is true for any instrument, but how do you add dynamics to your guitar playing?

Although there are many ways of adding dynamics to your playing, one great way to do that is to change the intensity you play with. One way to do that is to mix up picking and strumming, moving from one to the other. Guitar picking tends to have a softer, more mellow sound, and guitar strumming can be used for more of a pushing, lively portion of the song.

It is important to note that you don’t have to be an expert at fingerpicking or strumming before you can start adding guitar dynamics to your playing. Take the simplest picking pattern that you know, and the simplest strumming pattern that you know, and start using them together! Don’t make it complicated, just try to start experimenting with it.

Video Problems? Watch Guitar Dynamics on Youtube.


Picking Bass Notes

This guitar lesson on picking bass notes is pretty short, because I scooped one of my buddy Colin’s guitars to do the lesson quick while he was out of the room! Haha. Gotta have some fun in life, right?

Well, anyways, the main point of the lesson is that when you’re picking,  you really need to be aware of where the bass notes are in the chords you’re using. The bass notes really pull the listener along. The other notes in the chord are great, but if you don’t have the root note in there, you’re going to miss it.

Anyhow, here’s the video:

Video problems? Watch Picking Bass Notes on Youtube.

Click here for more fingerpicking lessons.


Beginner’s Tips for Guitar Picking

I recently ran a poll asking you guys what you wanted to learn most on the guitar, and guitar picking came in a dead tie with strumming (both at 26%) and seeing as I’ve already done some lessons on strumming, I figured it was time to even the score and get one in on picking too.

Nothing special going on here – basically this just takes a bit of coordination and PRACTICE.

If you really want to learn guitar picking, and it certainly is a cool skill to have, you have to sit there and practice. I can remember going over these patterns for hours when I started guitar picking, working hard to get every single note nice and clear. If you’re still working on getting your chords sounding good, this can be a great way to practice getting a clear sound out of each string.

Start with the first pattern I show you in the lesson, basically picking your root note of the chord, then the top three strings in order ( 3 – 2 – 1). So for the G chord you’d pick the strings in this order: 6 – 3 – 2 – 1.

The root of the C chord is on the 5th string, so you’d pick that chord in this order: 5 – 3 – 2 – 1.

The root of the D chord is on the 4th string, so you’d pick that chord in this order: 4 – 3 – 2 – 1.

You get the picture. Watch the guitar picking lesson, and if you have any questions, leave a comment below the video.

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