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Lesson Series

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Rick Graham - Guitar Roadmaps Part 9: Hybrid picking

Lesson Notes

** As featured in issue 10 **

In this guitar lesson I'd like to talk about my specific approach to using and practising hybrid picking guitar techniques. If you aren't familiar with hybrid picking don't worry, it's a simple concept whereby we use a combination of the pick and fingers of the right hand to play different notes, guitar licks or chords. Chances are you'll be holding the pick with the thumb and index finger of your right hand. This leaves the middle, ring and little fingers available to use to play other strings. This popular modern guitar technique can be remarkably useful and I personally use this technique in lots of ways, including arpeggiating chords and playing wider interval guitar licks when soloing.

For the purposes of this tutorial, I'm going to show you three very useful ways of applying this technique which will not only help you to improve your hybrid picking skills but will hopefully also give you some ideas in the application of the technique to further your study.

The first example is taken from a set of Classical guitar studies written by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa Lobos. Some of these studies adapt particularly well to the electric guitar and study

#1 is perfect for hybrid picking technique. All we need is the first chord in the study which is a simple open E minor chord. The right hand will be playing the following sequence of strings: 6, 4, 5, 3, 4, 2, 3, 1, 2, 1 3, 2, 4, 3, 5, 4 alternating between the pick and middle finger. Once you have that pattern down then you can apply it to any chords you like.

For the next example we will be using a triplet pattern which uses the following right hand sequence; down, down, m, a, m, up. We'll be using this with a D minor chord at the 5th fret with the root on the A string. This pattern is a little bit more challenging than the previous pattern but stick with it and you'll be fine.

Remember to change to different chords when you feel ready to do so. The final example is even more challenging particularly to get up to speed! The right hand pattern is as follows: down, m, up. I love this particular pattern and try to use it whenever the opportunity presents itself but it does require quite a lot of practice and quite a lot of patience. When you get it down you'll find that it will work with a variety of string combinations, making for some really creative sounding stuff.

Feel free to download the tabs on the downloads page and get your hybrid picking into shape. Thanks for checking in, see you next issue!

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