Slicker Pickin'

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Slinky hy­brid-pick­ing licks that im­press

This Month, I’m com­bin­ing the con­ven­tional flat-pick­ing tech­nique with fin­ger­style – more widely known as hy­brid pick­ing. An ad­van­tage of this method is the abil­ity to in­cor­po­rate si­mul­ta­ne­ous ‘piano’style tri­ads and in­ter­val­lic skips, with the op­tion to change to al­ter­nate pick­ing at any point. Hold­ing the pick be­tween thumb and first fin­ger, I’m us­ing the sec­ond (and some­times third) fin­gers to play up to three si­mul­ta­ne­ous notes. The pick takes the role of what would be the thumb if play­ing com­pletely fin­ger­style. So why not use a thumbpick? Well, Chet Atkins and Tommy Em­manuel are among the play­ers who have done so – though this tends to lend it­self more to solo gui­tar ar­range­ments where in­de­pen­dent basslines and melodies are more in­tri­cate.

Hy­brid pick­ing seems to be the pref­er­ence of those who play more sin­gle-note lines, us­ing the ex­tra fin­gers more oc­ca­sion­ally, like Eric John­son or Al­bert Lee. You can also add more dy­nam­ics us­ing the fin­gers to ‘snap’ the strings back against the fret­board. Even with­out a bright tone set on the amp, you can make notes pop out of the mix. Hope you en­joy the licks and see you next time!

Coun­try boy Al­bert Lee: one of the mod­ern masters of hy­brid pick­ing

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