Pick Blocking

A detailed breakdown of how to pick block and gain some speed with example sound files and riffs tabbed out.

Here's three good examples of playing that helped me move from palm blocking to pick blocking. Some are played slow then fast so you can hear the progression in your head before attempting to speed it up. Start playing these VERY slowly until you can pick block every note cleanly without using your right hand palm or lifting the bar. It may help to practice these for only 5 minutes, take a 15 minute break, then come back to them to allow your right hand to relax. Over time the mechanics will come without even thinking and then you'll be able to play these much faster. This is not an attempt to teach a certain riff, but an attempt to teach pick blocking using riffs that have fingering patterns that are used by a lot of other riffs and songs.

I am no expert on this subject and there are a lot of great courses on this subject. Maybe my approach will work for you, maybe not. Try this and other methods until you find one that works for you. In actual practice, I use a combination of pick blocking, palm blocking, and bar movement (sliding the bar off of just picked strings to mute them). Sometimes I will use all three fingers and sometimes I will use two fingers with a crossover picking approach. On some days I use thumb and index finger a lot and on some days when I can't get that to work I go back to thumb and middle finger. In any case what is tabbed here is how I played these as they were recorded. Just like anything else that you are trying to learn, as soon as you feel a decent level of frustration, walk away from it for an hour or a day and give your mind a chance to absorb what is going on. You will do much better at this with twelve 5 minute sessions than with 1 solid hour steady where your hand and body are tightening up trying to learn a new thing.

In my experience it helps a lot to have your picks securely anchored to your fingers so you don't have to focus on retaining them. Your hands will relax a lot more if the picks are securely affixed and you don't have to keep pushing them back on by pushing them against the strings. I use "Gorilla Snot" for this and one application to the picks lasts about 3 days. You might also find that picking the strings VERY hard allows you to pick block more cleanly and faster.

In the tab below I show which finger picks each string and which finger blocks each string. The finger indicated before the period on the bottom line shows which finger picks the string. The finger indicated after the period shows which finger blocks the string.

Have fun with this and let me know if anything here helps you.

Fast Lick 1 Audio

Pick Block 1 Audio

Pick Block 2 Audio


These Pages Created and Maintained using    Arachnophilia.
Comments? email webmaster Greg