Pick Slant


I wasn’t overly satisfied with my guitar technique so first thing I wanted to apply my Medium Attempt on was learning how to pick slant. I’ve appointed four weeks for this whole project but I feel I’ve surpassed my abitions in a halftime. Outcomes like this don’t happen too often in my life. Needless to say, I’m super glad with my results and Medium Attemp as a whole. Sure, my technique isn’t anywhere near perfect but it is good enough for me and Medium Attempt proved that I can stick to my goal to some extent. Admittedly, I did skip few days here and there. Nevertheless I call it a success.

Learning journey

I began with downward pick slant. This wasn’t easy for me. It was difficult to keep my picking motion more or less in a straight line. Instead, I would often fall back to “V” shape picking where my hand falls down to string and then rises up above the strings on every single pickstroke. I guess it took me a whole week to fix it at least a bit.

Then I started to tackle upward pick slant. At first, it felt awkward but I got comfortable with it rather fast. It took some tinkering to find a hand position which would allow me to palm mute which comes more naturally with downward pick slant.

One way pick slants work perfectly with even number of notes per string. That’s why I played mostly pentatonic sequences and double-picking exercises. As a result, I got to practice pentatonic shapes quite a bit which is one more positive thing.

Finally, I arrived at the final stage – two way pick slant. Acquiring it was suprisingly not that difficult. I already was relatively comfortable with both downward and upward pick slants. The only thing left was to practice the mechanics of switching between those two slants. Undoubtedly, I faced some sticking points but overall it wasn’t too complicated. The tests I’ve prepared to check efficiency of two way pick slant had few tricky string changes. It may seem that my hand movements are too big and displeasing but they feel completely undemanding since these bigger motions are pick slant changes which are produced by a different wrist movement. I use wrist deviation for picking strings and forearm supination/pronation for pickslanting. (Check this Troy Grady video to better understand what I mean.)

All in all, I can only repeat that I’ve surpassed my own expectations. I also had some fun while writing exercises and etudes for specific mechanics of picking.

I’m totally happy with results and I’ll continue on playing in this manner.

What’s next? I’m not sure. For now, I’ll take a break from Medium Attempt. I have way too many ambitions and wishes. Surely I’ll try something and will chronicle it here in near future.