How do you use Hybrid picking in metal, rock & blues? Video with riffs

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  January 7, 2021
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Hey Joost Nusselder here, and today I want to look at some hybrid picking in metal. I will also explore other styles afterwards such as rock and blues.


Hybrid picking in metal

I have been using hybrid picking in blues for a long time and I find it is starting to creep into my metal playing more and more, although some riffs and sweeps are difficult with hybrid picking.

In theory, hybrid picking is where your pick never comes up on the strings, but instead of doing those upstrokes with your pick, always pick it up with your finger of your right hand.

Now I’m not a purist and I like the extra ability to express the fingers of your right hand over just your pick, but it can also help you get some licks faster.

In this video I try some riffs with both picking and hybrid picking:

It’s not quite natural yet and it’s hard to get the same attack with your finger as you would with your pick, but I’m definitely going to explore it a bit further.

I am playing here on the Ibanez GRG170DX, a beautiful metal guitar for beginners that I am reviewing. And the sound comes from a Vox Stomblab IIG multi guitar effect.

Hybrid picking in rock

In this video I try the exercises of two video lessons that you can also watch on Youtube:

Darryl Syms has a number of exercises in his video and in particular an exercise with string skipping I find interesting and I cover it in the video.

It’s always easy to use a finger of your right hand to play a higher string when your pick is working on a much lower string. For example, pick on the G string and your finger then takes the high E string.

Also a video in which Joel Hoekstra of Whitesnake shows some nice patterns, in particular hybrid picking with your plectrum and three fingers, so also using your pinky for those high notes.

Nice to practice and also to strengthen your little finger to be able to process in improvisations later.

          Joost Nusselder, the founder of Neaera is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new equipment with guitar at the heart of his passion, and together with his team, He's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2020 to help loyal readers with recording and guitar tips.

Check me out on Youtube where I try out all of this gear:

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