Choosing A Technique

How can you tell if your current technique — or the one you’re learning — is worth keeping?

For the most part, anything goes in picking technique, as long as you can perform the motions smoothly and effectively. And that’s the critical question. So the first thing we’ll do in this section is learn how to evaluate the efficiency of your picking motion, so you can make informed decisions about your progress.

We’ll also outline the minimum requirements of the deceptively tricky process of attempting to learn a specific technique, one used by a particular player or musical style. As part of this, we’ll take a look at the mechanical conventions that do and don’t exist in different musical genres, from metal to bluegrass to classical.

Choosing A Technique

Quick Start Guide To Choosing A Technique

Pro tip - ignore musical style and escape type and choose the joint motion that works best right now


Evaluating Your Technique

Chapter 1 - Efficiency And Physical Effort

Exertion as a powerful indicator of efficiency


Chapter 2 - Efficiency And Speed

Maximum speed equals maximum headroom


Chapter 3 - Efficiency And Loudness

Being heard without breaking a sweat


Techniques By Player and Genre

Chapter 1 - Emulating A Specific Player

The important first step in targeting a specific technique


Chapter 2 - Picking For Rock And Metal

Anything goes when the amp is cranked


Chapter 3 - Picking For Jazz

Where the standards are the only things standardized


Chapter 4 - Picking For Bluegrass

Picking in the house that Doc built


Chapter 5 - Picking For Gypsy Jazz And World Acoustic

Django's mechanics in many acoustic styles


Chapter 6 - Picking For Classical Mandolin

Technique options for sightreading styles