Picking Vs. Strumming, Awesome Guitars and Some Humor

Picking Vs. Strumming, Awesome Guitars and Some Humor

I oftentimes have to fix the picking hand technique of my students who oftentimes get confused about when to pick and when to strum.
The hand that holds the pick, deals with 2 techniques only in everything guitar playing.

  1. Picking
    1. This is the technique you use when you play less than 3 strings.
    2. Used for single note lines, guitar solos
    3. Hand/wrist rests on the guitar body (and/or on the strings)
    4. It’s a wrist motion
    5. Move small
  2. Strumming
    1. This is the technique you use when you play more than 3 strings. (also called: “chords”)
    2. This is rhythm guitar. You don’t strum solos or melodies, you strum rhythms
    3. Elbow/arm rests on the guitar body
    4. It’s an arm motion
    5. Move big (if you move small, then your rhythm is going to suck)

Some songs where both techniques are used, include:

  1. Custard Pie

    The first 7 hits are picked, with the picking hand, picking an open A string with a 3-note ascending melody on the D string. The A chords and G bass notes are strummed.

    This song is perfect to learn how to switch between picking and strumming.

  2. Wish You Were Here

    The melody between the chords, played on the bass strings, should be picked. Technically speaking you could potentially play them without resting the picking hand on the guitar body, but it’s much harder to hit the right strings or correct notes that way.

    The chords between the melody notes are of course strummed.

  3. Whole Lotta Love

    The first 4 notes, B D B D bass notes, are picked, the E power chord right after is strummed (all downstrokes).
    However: if you want to palm mute the E power chords, then you would keep picking, downstrokes only, with the picking hand partially laying on the bridge and partially on the strings to dampen them.

Some Cool Guitars

ESP With Lovely Paint Job

Extravagant Angel Design

Fiery Shiny

Some Silliness

Grateful Dead’s Live Speaker Set Up

A Disgruntled Listener


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