Learn Any Guitar Technique: From Speed Picking, Sweep Picking to Finger Picking.
One of the things that makes the guitar so much fun, is its amazing versatility in the number of ways you can express yourself on the instrument.
We teach any guitar technique you can think of.
Here’s a quick list of some of the techniques we cover at ZOT Zin.
- Speed picking
It’s just really fun to play fast lines or solos. The technique primarily used for this is alternate picking. Yngwie Malmsteen is one of the guys who is very well-known for this amazing speed, but you can also hear blazing-fast playing in country, jazz, or rockabilly.
- Sweep picking
This technique is usually used in arpeggio lines, where you sweep over the strings, picking all the notes across the strings in the same direction. It allows for really fluent-sounding, fast lines.
One guy you want to check out, who built his whole technique and playing style around sweep picking, is Frank Gambale.
While sweep picking is usually associated with neo-classical shred or heavier styles like metal or hard rock, the technique is also used by jazz players in their improvisations.
- Finger picking.
With this technique, you hit the notes with fingers instead of using a pick.
From Kansas “Dust In The Wind” to The Beatles “Blackbird”, to Flamenco, folk or classical guitar, fingerpicking is a really fun technique.
There is also something really freeing about not having to hold a pick.
This is a fun technique that allows playing really fast, fluent melody lines. Rather than picking every note, you use a series of slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs. This technique is heavily used in the soloing styles of for example Joe Satriani or Steve Vai.
In this technique, you incorporate the fingers of the picking hand to tap notes. This leads to the ability to play fast, fluent lines with wide intervals.
The guitar player we associate the most with this technique is Eddie Van Halen. You can also hear this technique in the playing of Joe Satriani, Jeff Watson, Jennifer Batten, Randy Rhoads, and more.
- Bass slapping.
You can slap bass on the guitar. You use the side of your thumb to “slap” on the bass strings and fingers to “snap” notes on the higher strings.
It sounds really cool. You can hear Guthrie Govan use this technique in the intro to his song “Wonderful Slippery Thing”
- Classical fingerpicking.
This is something we only get into with our students who want to learn classical guitar or jazz chord arrangements. It’s advanced fingerpicking where you incorporate melody, chords and bass parts simultaneously into full song arrangements.
This is the technique used in flamenco where you have a rapid succession of strums with each finger. Rasgueado generally uses only one digit (finger, thumb, etc.) for each strum; this means that multiple strums can be done more quickly than usual by using multiple digits in quick succession.
- Pedal Steel Style Bends
This is a technique used in country music, where you play a chord then bend one of the notes in the chord.
- Slide Guitar
From Duane Allman to the old blues guys to Guthrie Govan to Jeff Beck, in standard tuning or open tunings, adding slide guitar skills to your bag of tricks will open up more ways to express yourself on guitar.
- Hybrid Picking
When you use a combination of pick and fingers, that is called hybrid picking.
It’s a technique heavily used by fusion and technical country guitarists. It allows to snap notes with fingers (creating a “country twang”) or play fast lines that skip strings, with more ease.
These are just some of the many techniques my students learn at ZOT Zin Guitar Lessons.
Contact me anytime to become much better and technically more proficient at guitar.