Monday, January 12, 2009


The issue of picking has been debated for years with opinions on all sides. Picking gets down to pairs: 2 downs, 2 ups, 1 down and 1 up and 1 up and 1 down.

Alternate picking is typically used for 2 notes on 1 string. Consecutive picking is used to transition from string to string when the direction of the phrase permits it.

The term "sweep" implies an effect as much as it implies a technique. Regardless of how the picking motion occurs (which is a different subject), you can't avoid the concept of the picking pairs.

If you think of phrasing, consecutive picking gives you a legato, flowing effect, no matter what the speed. On the other hand, alternate picking gives you a more articulate sound.

Ultimately, virtually all jazz guitar players use a combination of alternate and consecutive picking.

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