A common problem with intermediate players that prevents them progressing is their pick control… or lack of!


One thing we looked at in a previous email was economy of motion when picking, but we also want to make sure the correct part of our body is moving the pick at the right times.


In general, we use different parts of our arm to move the pick:

  • When we are on a single string, the pick is move by the wrist
  • When we change strings, the arm lifts (or depresses) the wrist to the appropriate string.


Video yourself playing a short section of music. Put your guitar down and watch the video. Which parts of your hand, wrist and arm are you using when on a string and moving between strings? Two common mistakes are:

  • Picking on a string from the arm, instead of the wrist
  • Picking on a string from the thumb, instead of the wrist
  • Changing string from the wrist, instead of from the arm


See if you can spot yourself making any mistakes. Then, play the exercise again slowly, and train yourself to use the correct motions. You should find it a lot easier to play, and if you previously had a speed barrier, you will find that you can push through it.


Making sure our students are using correct technique, and training them on using correct technique is just one of many ways that we ensure our students progress and improve their abilities week-by-week.