music lessons

Picking Exercises

Basic Picking

Picking is the act of striking the string to create a sound. There are many different types of stringed instruments and many different ways to pick. 

Rest the heel of the right hand lightly on the lowest strings.

Notice the movement in mostly from the wrist, and the forearm is still. Anchoring the hand in this way will reduce fatigue and increase accuracy.

Pick Stops

“Pick Stop” refers to the position of the pick after it has struck the string. In this case, the pick lands on and rests on the lower adjacent string.

Notice the hand stays anchored on the string

Same String Pick Stops:

Generally, after the pick strikes the string, it either continues in the direction it is heading, or reverses direction. This exercise is designed to improve reversing direction. It can also be a useful way to mute the string and stop the sound.


Isolate  and minimize the movement used to strike the strike and immediately rest on the string.

Adjacent String Pick Stops:

Resting on adjacent string helps develop follow through, and by resting on the string, you can control the timing accurately when continuing onward to the next string.

Combo Pick Stops 1 Strings

This exercise and the next combine the first 2 exercises. Now that we are moving across 2 or more strings, the pick stops are really beneficial for accurate timing, and as well allow the hand and wrist to stay relaxed.