View Full Version : Circular Picking

Shred Fan
03-03-2003, 11:39 AM
Hey guys, now that I'm floating like I said I will need to work on building speed up again but have experimented with some circular picking.

So basically I'm talking about , floating hand, circular picking w/some wrist movement. I'm not to flash at it but I think if I put the time into it I could really get it fast, using the wrist in some times where it is better suited, but mostly the circular picking.

What's your views on this? Plus, could someone let me know some players who use this or similar circular picking technique, I'm just curious. I think I've seen Jason Becker use it in one video I saw (he seemed to have picking coming from thumb/finger action in some parts, and he was doing it fast).

The more help of info you have the better, it's all appreciated.

-Shred Fan

PS. Yeah! 100 posts, and still going strong (sorry, I just felt like celebrating) :D

The Mechanix
03-03-2003, 01:52 PM
Happy centenary Shred Fan!

The only guy I know that definintely uses circular picking is Dave Navarro (ex chillis, current Janes Addiction). In his video "Master Session with Dave Navarro", he briefly explains his approach to picking, and it comes almost exclusively from the finger thumb movement.

I had a lesson once with a guy who had jammed with Frank Gambale, and he told me that alot of his picking action came from the thumb/finger area.

Is circular picking also known as butterfly picking? I've heard this term but have never seen it defined anywhere.

Just another quick question, when I'm using this technique and up the speed, my picking always seems to revert back to exclusive wrist movement. Have you found this too?

BTW was the video you mentioned "The legendary guitar of Jason Becker". His playing is really amazing, and the Cacophony Live song is awesome!

C ya

NP: Marty Friedman - Music for Speeding

03-03-2003, 04:40 PM
Circle Picking is a style of picking in which the motion comes from the fingertips. It is similar to theway you write.
I don't like circle picking because you will reach a speed you can't pass (try writing super fast).
I saw a guy at the GUITARMAGEDDON who used circle picking, he was good though.:)

Shred Fan
03-03-2003, 09:04 PM
Hi, na the video I mean is just a file I saw of him playing Paganini's 5th in his home studio, he used a lot of wrist but in some bits it looked like circular picking.

Yeah it appears that circular picking may be harder to hit high speeds with (then again I guess it's just a matter of training yourself to play that way). But I think I'll stick to a bit of circular and a lot of wrist movement.

If anyone else has got something to say, feel free, I'm interested in all the advice I can get.

03-08-2003, 09:13 AM
"Plus, could someone let me know some players who use this or similar circular picking technique,"

Eric Johnson describes one of the picking techniques he uses, as being "Circular Picking".

In fact, from the video's I've learned from as well as articles I've read, Eric Johnson recommends "Circular Picking" when trying to play fast phrases, as it requires minimal motion therefore increasing velocity.

"But I think I'll stick to a bit of circular and a lot of wrist movement."

IMHO if this is your preference this is a good strategy, as you have incorporated both techniques.

Congrats on the century mark!!

Shred Fan
03-08-2003, 11:34 AM
Thanks Schooligo. After considerable analysis of all this, it seems that is a lot easier for me to hit high speeds with the wrist, but when going between 2 strings quickly, circular picking has its uses being more economical and all.

Thanks for the advice everyone,
-Shred Fan