I NTENSEGUITA R
Hybrid Picking Techniques
Welcome to another installment of Intense Guitar! This
month’s question comes from Darrell Toulouse from Beaver
Creek, Colorado. Darrell asked, “You mentioned something
about a hybrid technique used by a guitarist named Brett
Garsed. Who is this guitarist and what is this technique
that’s so different?”
Brett Garsed is a guitarist hailing from Australia whose technique combines both flatpicking and fingerpicking. His style
is very legato, not unlike Allan Holdsworth or Bill Conners,
but the big difference is that he employs fingerpicking while
simultaneously using traditional flatpicking techniques. You
can find out more about Brett by going to BrettGarsed.com.
I highly recommend checking out his unique style of playing.
If you like his style, you may also want to check out Michael
Lee Firkins, who has a very similar style but adds a whammy
bar technique that emulates the sound of a slide. Both guys
are great guitarists with whom I’m sure you’ll be impressed.
I was fortunate enough to have had a few lessons with
Brett and I’d like to share with you some of the concepts
he taught me. I could never master the technique the way
Brett has, but a few of the techniques have cropped up in
my playing from time to time. Let’s look into incorporating
them into your playing.
In exercises 1 and 2, the fingerings indicated under the
staff are not for the fretting hand, but for the picking hand.
The bridge symbol indicates a downstroke, the remaining
numbers – 2, 3, and 4 – indicate which fingers of the picking
hand to use.
What we’re trying to do is get the technique so smooth that
the listener won’t be able to tell when you are picking a
note or plucking it with your fretting hand. From my experience, to get it this smooth is very difficult. Again, I highly
recommend checking out Brett’s playing as an example.
Exercise 3 is basically a lick combing three and four notes
on a string but utilizing our hybrid technique. It also incorporates slides to shift positions, so watch for the straight
lines that indicate slides. Exercise 4 is a lick that combines
slides as well as a hammer-on for the first two notes.
I’ve indicated both fretting and picking hand indications
between the notations. If you are left handed simply switch
That does it for this month. If you have any questions
you’d like me to address you can always reach me at
Toshi@TOSHIISEDA.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or for those
of you on MySpace: myspace.com/toshiiseda. Good luck
with this month’s topic and we’ll see you next month here
in the best guitar magazine on the planet! As always,
“Who dares wins!”
Toshi Iseda is an Alumnus of the prestigeous Berklee College of Music and the American
Conservatory of Music. He has been featured in Guitar Player, Guitar World and Guitar/Guitar One
magazines, and is a former instructor at the National Guitar Workshop and former instructor at
the American Institute of Guitar.