The most fundamental challenge in fast picking is also the easiest to spot from halfway across the room: the motion mechanic.
To play notes with a pick, we need a way of moving it back and forth in the classic alternating down-up picking sequence.
Historically, this movement, or motion mechanic, has been the most visible and most commonly discussed component of picking technique. The sheer variety of motion mechanics used by elite players has been a source of fascination and bewilderment.
While rotational forearm techniques are probably the most common, elbow and even finger-based motion mechanics are also possible.
Yngwie Malmsteen, to take a highly relevant example for Cracking the Code, uses all three. Malmsteen’s legendarily fast rotational motion mechanic, which he employs for pure alternate picking, is a highly capable all-rounder, and also a great introduction to rotational picking techniques that are so common in guitar. Read More