Picking Tips for Single‐String Playing (revised)



This is a revision of an earlier post. It works better for me personally.

  1. Rest your forearm very lightly on the guitar body. You’ll need to be able to move your hand freely.
  2. Make a lightly closed fist, and rest the pinky side of your palm lightly near the bridge across all six strings, leaving a small space for the currently played string so that it won’t be muted. Then it’s just a matter of lowering your hand a tiny bit in order to play muted. You can of course move your hand closer to the neck if you don’t need to play muted.
  3. Let your wrist be straight at the start of a downstroke, and bend it slightly towards the pinky side at the end of the stroke. Go from there back to a straight wrist on the upstroke. This is called “ulnar deviation”, for the record. Don’t flex your fingers. Try to keep it tight. You don’t need the plectrum to deviate more from the string than absolutely necessary. Don’t dig in too deep with the point of the pick, that will create unnecessary resistance.
  4. Move your hand up and down along the line of the bridge depending on the played string.