[Picking Technique Lesson] How NOT To Pick

  • 🎬 Video
  • ℹ️ Description

In this guitar lesson video, you’ll learn exactly how you should move your hand and arm when picking on the guitar. You’ll see a wrong way to pick and a better way that leads to move accuracy, reliability and speed on the guitar.

First, I’ll teach you why you should never flick your thumb when picking.

Second, I’ll show you when to use your elbow and when to pick from the wrist.

Third, I’ll show you how these two (the wrist and the elbow) ought to be integrated in their movements when picking on the guitar.

Finally, near the end of the video, I’ll share with a big a BIG secret that the vast majority of students don’t know and why most make slow progress even when they are taking guitar lessons for a long time. The advice I share with you here is critical so be sure to watch the video to the end.

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💬 Comments

It's frustrating at first when you have been doing it wrong for so many years but then after you commit to jsut getting it done and persevering through this, the breakthrough happens and picking becomes so easy and fluid it's somewhat hard to believe. GREAT lesson, awesome and detailed explanation. This works!!! Thank you!

Author — Mo Richard


I've managed to accumulate 3 hours of practice on this idea today and, man, results are showing already. Changing between strings above 140bpm is a damn sight easier thanks to this and I appreciate that you have put it out to us for free.

Isolating that cheeky thumb flick *is a must* if you are going to take this seriously!

I found it easier by consciously locking my thumb at the knuckle whilst playing slow and deliberate when striking a string. Using only the E and B strings to start with, pick the notes of the Aeolian scale and work back up the scale 2 strings, or 6 notes, at a time. Descend and then work on slowly sewing the scale portions together. From there, ease up the pressure, of which you're using to lock the thumb, in increments, until you're not grabbing the pick like a note. Keep it slow and deliberate until it feels more subconscious than a few repetitions ago.

It helped me a massive ton in just a few hours.. I'm looking forward to 3 month's progress!

Thank you as always, Tom. Your lessons, mainly your teaching style, is unparalleled in my opinion! 🤘

Author — J C


Such an awesome lesson! My previous guitar teachers never even bothered showing me how to pick correctly.

Author — CP M


I know I personally didn't pay NEARLY enough attention to my picking techinque for a very long time... this video definitely makes it much easier to correct all the bad habits I've formed. Thanks for sharing!

Author — Jace Bastian


man i wish stuff like this came out when i started out, 3 years now and i've been using so many wrong techniques and horrible methods, being self-taught is rough

Author — pond


Tom Hess's comment in the end totally makes sense.

Author — Alexander Yuganov


Who DIDN'T hold their pic wrong at first? Out of all the things I've learned on guitar, unlearning the way I initially held the pic was the hardest.

Author — Turbo the Cat


Thanks, this is exactly what i been looking for, my right hand gets really tired when i try to play fast with metronome, so i cant increase my speed.

Author — Enzo Hernandez


Great info and amazing speech at the end Tom. Thank you! This is exactly what students AND teachers need to hear.

Author — Ben Bouissieres Music


By far the best Guitar techniques lessons on YT, great job !

Author — FERVENT-david Luzi


Tom, ur teaching tekniqs are superlative! I've already made improvements, & have been playing since 1966. Mucho thanx, bro!!!

Author — Al Boeck


Critical to do the right way in the beginning. Thank you, Mr. Hess.

Author — Robert Davis C


Man i was waiting for this lesson for so long.Very very good explanation on the teacher giving up on you.its sooo true now when i think about it.Alternate picking fast and clean is the hardest thing i had to do in my life.I dont care about sweep picking or tapping or crazy stuff for now.I just want to do alternate picking efficiently.I know someone that after a year of practicing guitar they can do alternate picking so fast and clean.I dont know how they do it.So anyway if some day i can be half as good as you in alternate picking i would be proud of myself.Thanks for the lessons Mr hess.Good Day.

Author — Behnam Dabestanizade


Great information 👍 I've experienced the same thing teaching martial arts over the years always creating innovating ways in which to teach the students precise technique until they achieve the desired goal of focus, movement/action, into application without the students losing attention nor their passion to learn and advance. Each student learns differently and at different speeds, in the end it is the students responsibility to make/take the time to apply the needed focus, time, and a real inside desire/dedication to advance oneself in anything he/she sets they're interest in. Again great video!

Author — I am


Do you have any tips for playing more precisely? I struggle playing higher up on the fretboard where finger placement becomes less forgiving

Author — Harley Peterson


Hi Tom, I recently enrolled as a student to your guitar teachings. I'd love to see a video about thumb muting explained. Thanks! :-)

Author — Vlad Spalatelu


Thank you this is a great video. It resonates with me both as a student and a teacher.

Author — Carlos Urquidi Guitars


Love the vids Tom! Would be great to see one on increasing speed for triple riffing/gallops

Author — 13 Flaws


Very informative could you do lesson on how to correctly hold your pick correct arm angle ect thank you 🔥🔥🔥🎸

Author — Bullet A.K.A


Great video, Tom you're the best teacher!!!

Author — Fabrizio Coppola