By: Rich Roger
Picking Hand Positioning
Here is a walk through of how your hand positioning should be. Keep your picking hand close to the guitar, anchor your hand to the guitar body by using your ring and pink fingers and don’t let your hand float in the air, don’t bend your wrist outward (If you do so, you will not have controll and percise picking) and make sure you keep your hand relaxed and don’t tense or stiffin up. Also, experiment with different guitar picks. Different players tend to use what is confortable to them, however a thin pick will not stand up to fast alternate picking. I find that a heavier pick will doesn’t bend that easy and extra heavy picks barely bend at all.
So grab a bag of your favorite guitar picks and lets wear them out on these exercises!
PART I- Picking Exercise 1
Example 1 is a warm up exercise that I myself have been playing for over 20 years. This exercise will do wonders on your picking hand, and again, I can not stress how important it is to start slow. Make sure all of your notes have the same attack with your picking hand. This exercise starts on the 3rd fret on the 6th string. Follow the finger pattern and the pick strokes below the tab. A good way to practice this exercise that will really get your wrist and forarm burning is to play it the exercise at every fret starting on the 1st fret then ascending the neck to the 19th fret and back moving one fret (half-step) at a time.
Example 3 is the same exercise with just your 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers.
Try to incorporate all of these exercises into your daily routine. Also, make sure that you practice these with a metronome with the following beat divisions:
• Quarter Notes: 1 Note Per Beat
• 8th Notes: 2 Notes Per Beat
• Triplets: 3 Notes Per Beat
• 16th Notes: 4 Notes Per Beat
• 16th Note Triplets: 6 Notes Per Beat
• 32nd Notes: 8 Notes Per Beat
So turn on, tune up, and rock out!