Jason Sidwell introduces another great selection of lessons from our GT tutors.
When I was 19 I made the move from being a purely classical guitarist, to playing electric guitar too. As a novice pick user during the first year or two, I found it fascinating looking at transcriptions to see how lead passages could be alternate picked, sweep picked, or hybrid picked. Super pickers like Paul Gilbert, Steve Morse, Al Di Meola and Yngwie Malmsteen were among those that most intrigued me. I still find picking options interesting, discovering ways to articulate passages and overcome problems that can hinder a passage’s flow. An inquiring mind is a developing mind and technique curiosity stimulates flexibility of choice.
GT’s policy about picking directions (shown below the tab) is to provide information where it’s important or to ‘crack the code’ to overcome potentially tricky passages. To provide it for every bar in every tutorial though, would be a little overkill; furthermore it’s always good to formulate your own technique choices, to get deeper into your studying. For example, one of my past classical tutors always had me adhere to fingerings shown in the music, but add my own where there were none when first tackling a piece. His thought was; cement the whole piece and if I were to wander away from the original suggestions, I’d better have a good reason to argue my case. All this meant I was 100% committed to the piece. Don’t think this is solely the domain of classical guitar either; I’ve spoken to or read interviews with great guitarists like John McLaughlin, Lee Ritenour, Eric Johnson and Mike Stern who are super keen on ‘best’ fingerings and picking decisions so technique concerns can be discarded to focus on the music. I hope you enjoy this issue and working on our technique suggestions as well as adding your own. You’ll be a better guitarist and more able to solve problems if you keep curious and committed. Have fun!