TECHNIQUE FOCUS Expressive picking
To sound musical when playing with high levels of sustain like Santana isn’t just a matter of cranking up your amp and digging in, you’ll need total control over your picking dynamics if you’re going to get anywhere close. The best way to build this is to practise with familiar scale patterns so you can focus on your picking hand. Practise picking very lightly; this should sound like you’ve backed off your volume control. You don’t need to play fast, start at 80bpm playing eighth notes with alternate picking. Build your control so you can change your picking dynamic between strings and ultimately between notes. It’s all about building a technique with maximum control that will give you total freedom of expression, adding greater depth and musicality to your playing.