Introduction to Picking Motion
An overview of motion mechanics for new and experienced players alike
This was a live event on December 30, 2017 2:00 PM EST
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Is there any "grand unified motion" that could work for both 2 way pick slanting and crosspicking, so that the motion you use to change your pick slant is the same one that you use for crosspicking/1NPS lines? That seems like the Holy Grail for alternate picking. One technique that lets you do everything. Martin Miller seems to get close, but he still has 2 "modes" and he switches back and forth.
The subject of the broadcast flows from things we’ve been learning on our new forum, and one of the most important of these is: picking motion mechanics. More specifically, the difficulties that players face in developing it.
What’s so hard about moving a guitar pick back and forth, even on a single string? Well, for one thing, there are so many ways to do it. Wrist movement might be second nature to you, while elbow movement might feel more natural to another player. And both of these are oversimplifications, because there are many variations of each. Factor in anchoring, muting, string switching, string tracking, fretting hand synchronization and other variables, the number of combinations quickly gets… out of hand.
So in this Talking the Code help session, we’re going to take a practical look at some of the most common picking motions in popular use: wrist, elbow, and forearm. We’ll look at how these movements work in both downward and upward pickslanting orientations. We’ll examine their anchoring and muting approaches and interaction with common pick grips. We’ll cover the anatomical basics of arm and wrist movement, how to identify basic categories of picking and pickslanting movements. When we’re done, you’ll be able make a pretty solid educated guess about the pickslanting techniques a player is using just by observing the way that player holds and contacts the guitar — even if you can’t see what the pick is doing up close. And even if that player is you!
If you’ve struggled to find a picking motion that’s comfortable, fast, and effective, or if you just enjoy these kinds of subject, this should be a fun introduction to this fundamental yet deceptively complex topic.
And don’t worry if you can’t make the broadcast. Recordings of this and future broadcasts will be hosted on the platform for subscribers to watch or re-watch when they want. Not only that, all the questions asked and answered through the new interface will be available in the interactive timeline beneath the platform version of the video, for easy navigation. This aspect of the broadcast setup is one we’re excited about: making everything we do findable in an organized way, so that it’s available for learning.