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How to Speed Pick on Heavy Metal Guitar

Let musician Alex Skolnick teach you how to speed pick in this heavy metal guitar lesson from Howcast.

Transcript

Let's talk about speed picking. There are a lot of different ways to speed pick. I started speed picking by listening to music from different cultures. For example, Italian mandolin, Flamenco guitar, Greek bouzouki, you know, many others. I often find that that's the best source of speed picking. Just to take the mandolin example. Take one note and just practice playing that note up and down until you're eventually able to play it almost like a fan. So it's to be very relaxed.

You can change notes. You might combine this with hammer-ons and pull-offs. So there I worked my way down the scale. If I play more notes on the scale, say I play two scale notes up, and slide down, it creates a nice speed picking exercise.

I'm playing clean right now, but if I play this with full on distortion, it sounds pretty cool. Check it out.

Okay. So at the end I went down the scale across the strings. Again, you have to start slowly and you just need to practice like this and then eventually you get to the point where it's like this, and you can add extra notes.

And there's your little lesson on speed picking.

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