Aug 06 2015

Keys To Picking Fast And Accurately On Guitar

Posted in: Rock Guitar Lessons


The key to picking quickly is the ability to successfully synchronize both hands. Most guitar players are more comfortable playing fast legato phrases versus picking every note. The goal is to have a nice balance of both techniques in your playing.

Exercises which promote better synchronization should be short, simple and repetitive. Let’s look at a few examples to help achieve this.

it is important to note, in order to get the maximum value from these exercises one should practice along with a metronome whenever possible.



A major stumbling block in picking fast comes when you change strings contrary to your picking direction(example moving from the 3rd string to the 2nd string on an upstroke). Try to emphasize this problem area in the exercises you practice. Another approach to increasing your alternative picking speed is to try each exercise starting with a downstroke and then again beginning on an upstroke. If you try this you may notice that many licks are actually easier to pick when starting on an upstroke as opposed to a downstroke. The next three examples are easier to play when starting with an upstroke.

Ex. 3

Ex 4.

Ex 5.

It seems apparent that many descending licks with an even number of notes per string are easier to play starting with an upstroke.

It’s important to practice your picking exercises on the lower strings. These strings react differently than the higher strings when picked rapidly. Also, using heavier gauge strings are easier to play fast because they tend to be more stationary.

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