Hybrid Picking Workout

by Joe Kataldo

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  • Hi guys and welcome to GMC, hybrid picking under the spotlight. This techniques, made famous by country player who needs to alternate fast picking passages and complex arpeggio/fingerstyle, is now played by many rock fusion player to expand their vocabulary and to create modern sonority. Today I show you five basic to advanced exercise that will improve your skill in a glance!

    This Lesson Will Improve

    Hybrid Picking

    Pentatonic Patterns


    Hybrid Picking Workout

    The study is divided in five parts, each one will present you, from easy to advanced, different combination of pick and finger aka "Hybrid Picking". Everything is applied to an A minor pentatonic shape, something easy, so you can concentrate on right hand, instead of think to scale notes.

    Techniques Focus

    As stated early, hybrid picking combine flat-picking and fingerstyle in one techniques. The most used fingers are the middle and the ring, today we deal with using just one, middle. The down stroke should came from pick with downward movement of the wrist, while the up stroke should came from the firs finger bone, with-out moving the others small one, with the finger tip arched toward the strings.

    Theory Focus

    Well today there is not so much theory to explain, I'd like just to remember you that "intervals" is the distance between two notes, for example a fifth interval could be made of an A notes and a E notes ( Counting up to E you got it as 5). They can be melodic, played in sequences, and harmonic, played together, like double stops.

    Pro Tips

    You can play hybrid picking using nails or flesh, the first will give you a fast round sound, the latter a more snappier sound, experiment both, and find what suits best for you.


    To much nail can catch under the strings, and broke causing pain! If you decide to experiment with nails assure that is well cut and round.

    Recommended Listening

    For classic application of these techniques check out Brent Mason "Hot Wired" album or any of Albert Lee. For more moder application, a master of this techniques, applied to shred fusion guitar is Bret Garsed.

    Keep Rocking!

    Joe Kataldo
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