View Full Version : what is "circular" picking?

12-08-2002, 10:25 PM
Hi,I'm new here and just want to compliment the creators of this website for doing such a great job.

Okay now,about "circular" picking? I read all of the picking articles but I must have missed this somewhere,can someone just quickly define this for me ?

Thanks a bunch,


12-08-2002, 10:32 PM
Hi there,
and welcome @ ibreathe... I defined the term in "Mailbag : Picking / Smoothing It Out".
Quote: "This is another approach. I got the name "Circular Picking" from a book by Dave Celentano which I bought years ago. I heard of several players using this way of picking. This is how it works:

Both your elbow and your wrist are pretty much held stiff, while you "pivot" the pick by moving your thumb and index finger. This seems to be the most economical way of picking. I always had hard times adjusting to it, though, and I also felt as if it was pretty difficult to do fast picking on two adjacent strings at the same time (playing fast doublestops i.e.)

Some people tend to use a combination of wrist-movement and circular picking. It's up to you to try this and find out for yourself whether it works for you."
Hope this helps

12-08-2002, 10:37 PM
Wow,that was a fast reply.

So it's just a hand motion thing used with alternate picking ?


12-08-2002, 10:39 PM
Well, itīs more movement from the fingers than movement from the wrist, thatīs the main difference...

12-08-2002, 10:42 PM
Okay thankyou very much for the help.

12-08-2002, 11:40 PM
Youīre welcome =)

The Mechanix
12-11-2002, 04:32 PM
I was just watching a Dave Navarro (ex chillis and Janes Addiction guitarist) video called I think "Master Session with Dave Navarro". In the section on picking, you can see him very clearly using circular picking. Check it out to see a demo...

Overall IMHO, he's moving from his wrist when playing riffs and using the circular technique for lead type stuff.

12-11-2002, 08:07 PM
I have an Eric Johnson video where he covers circular picking. I never really found a need for it. But thats just me. Most people say to stay away from finger and thumb movement. But whatever works I guess.