How To Use Hybrid Picking To Play Simple Guitar Chords


Hey, how’s it going this is Claude Johnson with Guitar Control, I want to talk about “hybrid picking”, which is basically using your pick and your other fingers of your picking hand and you can do some cool stuff like playing a simple chord progression, kind of make it cool. So let me show you exactly what I’m doing here.

Hybrid picking is a technique where you’re basically using your pick and also the other fingers of your picking hand.

Here’s a simple example… Watch the video and check the tabs.

I’m starting on an A chord, and it’s really a partial A chord, just on the D, G and B-strings. I’ve got my ring finger on the 7th fret of the D-string, middle finger on the 6th fret of the G-string and then the 1st finger on the 5th fret of the B-string. We’ve got these three notes.

How I’m picking this, I’m holding my pick between my first finger and thumb, picking the D-string and then I’m going to be using my middle finger to pluck the G string in an up motion and using my ring finger to pluck the B-string. So if I twist my hand a little bit so you can see it better, it’s like… Once again.

Now, that’s basically hybrid picking, just using your pick with your fingers.
I’m also using a specific picking pattern which goes like this. It’s an 8th note pattern: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8; or basically going from the high string to the low string and repeating. Remember, ring finger, middle finger, pick; ring finger, middle finger, pick.


This 8th note pattern starts on the D-string. So we have D-string, B, G, D, B, G, D, B And if you like to learn from the tabs, please check the tabs, or if you like to learn just playing by ear, it just… So that’s our 8th note pattern.

Then we go up to the D chord, the same chord, but we just slide up, the 12th, 11th and 10th frets. Back down to the A. And then I do this. So here we’re on the C chord. This is all major triads, by the way. C, G, A. Now, the C’s and the G’s are only half a bar, meaning it’s only four notes. So we can’t do that whole pattern. What I’m doing here is… So it’s D-string, B, G and then back down to the D. And then back to our A.

A couple of quick pointers with this stuff. Just make sure you have the right tone when it’s ringing out, make sure you’re picking at an even tempo and really work on the phrasing. Get it so it’s… Make it so it flows and just work on one chord at a time until it flows. It’s got a nice rhythmic quality to it, rings out nicely and then you can start moving around.

Along with that, don’t pick like too loud or too quiet; get it just right. It’s real easy to go too loud or too soft. You kind of want it right in the middle and consistent. So work on that a little bit. Another thing that’s important when
you’re sliding here, you can slide up and get a nice little effect. So by using that slide it adds a little bit of flavor to it. I don’t really recommend sliding the whole chord, like this. You can do that, too, but I like to just lift off and just slide on the D-string. So when I’m done with this chord I lift off with my middle and first finger and I’m just sliding on the D-string. After I slide I put my fingers back down and keep playing the chord. Same thing when you slide back. I feel that gives it a real nice, clean kind of phrasing when you do it that way.

You can keep all your fingers down and you’ll get a thicker sound, like I said. It’s kind of an interesting effect, too. You can try it both ways. I hope you enjoyed that and hopefully you’ll come up with your own cool musical ideas based on hybrid picking. If you want to get the tabs for this lesson just click the link below the video description. That’s all for now. Rock on and I’ll catch you next time.

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