HY­BRID PICK­ING

Master the style that many say is the best of all pick­ing worlds

Guitar Techniques - - FRONT PAGE -

In the two pre­vi­ous ar­ti­cles we ex­plored the con­cepts of al­ter­nate and econ­omy pick­ing and how th­ese tech­niques could pro­vide in­creased speed and ac­cu­racy. In this fi­nal in­stal­ment, the fo­cus is less about ve­loc­ity and more about ver­sa­til­ity – as well as show­ing how hy­brid pick­ing needs to be an es­sen­tial part of your tech­nique.

Hy­brid pick­ing is ba­si­cally a mix of fin­ger­style and plec­trum tech­niques where your re­main­ing pick­ing hand fin­gers don’t just hud­dle round the pick but are also used to sound the strings, open­ing up a whole new world of pos­si­bil­i­ties. Like any other tech­nique, hy­brid pick­ing evolved over time rather than be­ing ‘in­vented’ by one spe­cific player. Over the decades there have been many fa­mous devo­tees in­clud­ing: Chet Atkins, Brad Pais­ley, James Bur­ton, Jimmy Page, Ritchie Black­more, Eric Clap­ton, SRV, Eric John­son, Zakk Wylde, and Wayne Krantz. This list is just the tip of the hy­brid ‘ice­berg’ but clearly il­lus­trates the wide range of gen­res to which it can be ap­plied. If you’ve never been tempted to ex­per­i­ment with hy­brid pick­ing, or maybe thought of it as a coun­try player’s thing, then it’s def­i­nitely time you did some se­ri­ous re-eval­u­at­ing. Hy­brid pick­ing is equally use­ful in comp­ing or solo­ing sce­nar­ios. Dou­ble-stops or three-note chords can be sounded si­mul­ta­ne­ously with­out the rak­ing ef­fect caused by the drag of the pick across the strings. Fin­ger­pick­ing pas­sages can be seam­lessly in­te­grated with­out that em­bar­rass­ing pause where you put the pick down on your amp (and then lose it). Wide in­ter­vals that would nor­mally de­mand tricky string jumps can be played with ease. Bluesy SRV-style licks with that high chord tone sound­ing as if by magic, ‘fat­ten up’ your so­los. The ben­e­fits, as you can see, are im­mense.

The ex­am­ples in this ar­ti­cle have been grouped to build your tech­nique grad­u­ally. Ex­am­ples 1-4 fo­cus on easy hy­brid pick­ing ex­am­ples us­ing the pick plus your sec­ond fin­ger and are based mainly on a va­ri­ety of dou­ble-stop themed ex­er­cises. Ex­am­ples 5-8 in­tro­duce hy­brid picked lead lines fea­tur­ing the same ‘pick plus sec­ond fin­ger’ ap­proach and cov­er­ing a range of styles and set­tings. In ex­am­ples 9-12 you will learn how to use both your sec­ond and third fin­gers with the pick to cre­ate cool jazzy comps and pseudo fin­ger­style riffs, all of which are worth their weight in gold when play­ing in duo sce­nar­ios. Ex­am­ples 13-17 il­lus­trate some use­ful scale prac­tice pat­terns, plus a cou­ple of triad based, key­board style riffs. The fi­nal work­out (Ex 18) fea­tures a melody har­monised in block tri­ads, plus a solo cho­rus that il­lus­trates how au­then­tic phras­ing can be achieved us­ing hy­brid pick­ing in this con­text.

Fi­nally, you’ll be able to give all those tired Pen­ta­tonic licks a new lease of life. As with the pick­ing chal­lenges cov­ered in the pre­vi­ous ar­ti­cles, re­mem­ber that the only way to master any tech­nique is to in­cor­po­rate it into your play­ing style im­me­di­ately and re­in­force this with daily prac­tice. Play­ing through all of th­ese ex­am­ples with a clean sound will help you to fo­cus just on your tech­nique and high­light any is­sues that need at­ten­tion. And whether you’re a novice or you al­ready use hy­brid, there’s some­thing for you here.

HY­brid Pick­ing iS a mix of fin­ger­StYle and Plec­trum tecH­niqueS wHere Your re­main­ing fin­gerS are alSo uSed to Sound tHe StringS

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