Picado Technique

For Flamenco, you have to learn a few new guitar techniques. One of them is called Picado. This is the first one to learn. Check out the video! It’s a short sample from “Flamenco Guitar Secrets”.

The first thing I want to show you is picado. That is the alternating movements of the index finger and the second finger, your middle finger.

So the picado’s are done — that’s like when you do soloing, it’s alternating movements of your index and your middle finger. A few things to remember about that is number one, when you do picado you should have your thumb sitting on the 6th string all the time. As a matter of fact, 90% of the time when you’re doing flamenco, you should have this thumb sitting here on this string.

If you’re going to be using this string, then your thumb should go up about a centimeter, maybe perhaps the same distance between one string to the other string, on the wood, and play here. But anyway, picado’s are done like this. So that is index, middle; index, middle; index, middle. Always, alternate. It’s like walking. Right foot, left foot; right foot. You don’t hop on one leg, do you?

It’s just the way it’s done. I’m going to give you some exercises so you work on these things, on these exercises, just to make sure you’re alternating. So the first exercise with picado will be, you have four frets and you’ve got four fingers. You don’t want to play like this. You don’t want to do that, or play like this. One, two, three, four. Like that. All right, so. And then you come back.

All right, the thing to remember also is you have to play these on the rest strokes. So this is a rest stroke. This is a free stroke. You’re not resting against anything when you do that. But a rest stroke is you’re resting on this next string when you play. After you finish this, you just slide down one and continue. And if you want to slide down one. Same thing, all the way down to here.

I would do this with these two fingers and I would also try to do this with these two fingers, the middle and A. And now, look how I am going to go up with my thumb. Now I’m going to come down and rest on that sixth string again.

All right. That is picado exercise number one.

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