The Correct Way To Pick For Maximum Guitar Speed – Video Tutorial


By Tom Hess


What’s the best way to pick the strings on guitar for fast speed?


Should you use your elbow?


Is it the wrist?


Perhaps the thumb and pointer finger?


The right response is not what you think.


And understanding how you should pick is only part of the equation.


You also need to know how to practice these motions the correct way, so they become a fluid part of your technique.


It felt like it took me forever to understand these things. But as soon as I did – I was able to pick with the speed I wanted. And I've been teaching this to my students from then onward.


What action do you need to take to get shredder fast picking speed?


Check out this video to see for yourself:


Now that you are clear about how to start building faster picking speed, let’s go into greater detail. These tips help you practice for speed more effectively:



Guitar Picking Speed Tip #1: Watch your picking hand.


What are most guitar players looking at when they play?


That’s correct – their fretting hand.


This slows down your speed for two reasons:


  1. Poor playing habits in your picking hand are less easy to spot. You have to fix them later on.


  1. Your picking motions become attached to your fretting hand. That means: your pick only knows how to move together with your fretting hand as it is playing notes.


This causes your playing to become much more of a struggle than it should be (and playing at higher speeds feels impossible).


Check out this video to discover more about this problem and learn how to easily correct it:



Guitar Picking Speed Tip #2: Make your picking motion efficient.


The easiest way to pick faster is…


… to make your picking motion as small as possible.


Consider this: if you reduce the distance your pick currently travels to play notes by half, what happens to your top speed?


You’ve got it…


Your picking speed DOUBLES.


You read that right.


Take-away Point: the more efficient your movement – the faster you can play.


Watch this video to see a demonstration of what I am talking about:



Guitar Picking Speed Tip #3: Master directional picking.


I know some people out there who do not agree.


But I feel obligated to talk about what is true for me. So here I go:


Using a directional picking approach is simply the best way to pick on guitar.


This video show why:


Question: “Tom Hess, if directional picking is so good, why do so many guitarists use alternate picking and get great results?” 


Answer: Directional picking is a lesser-known technique. Alternate picking has been used for much longer. 


In other words:


Most popular guitar players known for their work pre-2000 did not have a teacher to show them directional picking when they were first learning to play. 


They became great players despite the limitations of strict alternate picking, but they also had to work much harder (and longer) to get there.


But you don't! 


The sooner you begin practicing directional picking, the sooner you’ll play the guitar riffs and solos you only dream of playing now.


Guitar Picking Speed Tip #4: Strengthen your articulation.


How do you keep yourself from getting out of sync between your hands at fast speeds?


Strengthen your picking hand articulation.


The following is why it works: it’s not possible to play loud notes with power if your pick attack isn't strong.


The better your articulation – the tighter your hands have to lock in sync to play notes clearly.


To get better with your articulation – practice without your amp for a little bit. This means you have to pick harder to get the notes to be audible.


Now that you understand how to move your picking hand for faster speed, what do you do next?


The next action to take is to follow a proven guitar speed increasing method that gets faster speed in minimal time. Get this effective guitar speed eGuide & learn how to pick fast, even if you don’t have much time to work on your guitar skills.

Author's Bio: 

About The Author:

Tom Hess is a highly successful guitar teacher, recording artist and composer. He teaches guitar players from all over the world in his online guitar lessons. Learn more on the Tom Hess Wikipedia page.