Circle Picking - Learning A New Picking Technique

There are actually a lot of different picking styles out there that most beginning guitarists are not aware of for their tunes, and one of them might be circle picking.

Circle picking is a very neat picking technique that can potentially speed up the tempo of your fast riffs by eliminating unnecessary muscle movement. By simply messing around with this technique only for a few minutes, you'll begin to understand the value.

Holding the guitar pick.

There is essentially no variation in how you hold the pick, but only in how the pick moves. Simply grab the pick between your thumb and index finger and hold in a firm fashion.

Decide what's most comfortable as to where you rest your strumming hand on the guitar body, because your hand needs to be stationary for the sake of circle picking.

Try placing your hand on either:

  • The guitar bridge area.
  • The pick guard area.

The motion.

Just like the name suggests, circle picking means taking the pick in a circular rotation as you strike strings with the pick. Two strikes will actually be made in a full rotation.

1. Move the pick in a counter-clockwise motion.

So, when you're pulling the pick the closer to you, you should be moving upward toward the lower strings. Oppositely, when the pick is moving farther away from you in the rotation, you should be rotating towards the higher strings.

2. Hit a string moving downwards and upwards.

When your pick rotates around, you should be make two pick strikes, imagining that they are at the points of 3 and 9 on a common clock.

The muscle seclusion.

This style of picking is all done with the thumb and index finger while tying to eliminate as much movement in the wrist as possible. (There should be no movement at all from your arm)

The most effective way of creating this smooth motion is when both of your fingers are holding the guitar pick firmly and working together to create the action.

This is very great for fast riffs and I just recently learned that Eddie Van Halen uses circle picking very often. (wink wink)

My important guitar supplement links:
How To Guitar Play- Important Tips For Beginning Guitarists
Fast Electric Guitar Learning Course
Best Acoustic Guitar Lessons

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