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Picking Individual Strings (Guitar Lesson BC-166) Guitar for beginners Stage 6

November 1, 2019

Hi, how are you doing, Justin here In this lesson I’m going to be talking about a really basic picking exercise to get you used to the idea of picking one string at a time because we are about to start looking both at a strumming pattern, that involves picking one note at a time and also picking out your first scale So, just as a a little kind of precursor to that I wanna show you a good little exercise just to get used to the idea of picking one string at a time, because so far all we’ve done is strumming So, what we are going to be doing is we are going to be doing a down pick on every string, an up pick on every string,
then a down and an up pick on every string, and then down, up, down, up on every string Now, a really important technique that you want to get used to first, is this idea of an anchor, which is putting your little finger down, just at the bottom underneath the strings,
near the thinnest string It doesn’t have to be rigid,
it’s not supposed to be straight, it can a little bit curved,
it can be relaxed, it’s just about the touching Now, there’s a lot of debate in the guitar community, as to whether using an anchor for
picking is a good idea or not I do it, most of the guys that I know
that I really like use a little finger anchor, but there are some really fantastic guitar players that don’t So, a little bit is down to your preference What I’d recommend is that you start
by using an anchor with your little finger, see how you get on, and if you don’t,
maybe try another method But, I think this is the method that works for
most people most of the time, but it’s definitely not the only way, and so,
if you learned another way, or you know a great guitar player, or your favorite guitar player does it another way, then, feel free to do it whatever way you like Just, I’d recommend this way as a starting point So, put your little finger anchor down the bottom there, and then what we’re gonna do,
we are just gonna pick each string with a down motion. Now, I’m gonna leave my hand covering the guitar neck like this, just so all the strings are dead because I don’t want them ringing out,
it sound horrible when you have all strings ringing out and this way as well you can practice if your partner or your parents or whatever are watching television you can probably get away with doing this picking exercise without giving them the heebie-jeebies So, lets have a look at doing this exercise,
part one will be all down picks, so just picking from the thickest string, fifth, fourth, three, two, one back down, two, three, four, five, six Maybe do that one again . . . Then all up picks, up, up (plays) Just getting used to what it feels like to be doing an up pick each time leaving your little finger anchored down all the time Let’s do that one again You do this as slowly as you feel like to get it accurate, because accuracy is the key here, not doing it fast. Then we’ll do a down and an up on each note, so down, up down, up, next string, down, up, next string,
down, up, next string… and down, up if you can, try to do it evenly like I
‘m doing here where you are going: down, up, down up (plays) You could do it with a metronome if you you wanted to, but maybe at this early stage it’s better
just to be doing it as an exercise because all I’m trying to get you used to is the picking And then last we are going to do four picks on each note, so: 1, 2, 3, 4, .down, up, down, up, ..down, up, down, up, . . . down, up, down, up, .1, 2, 3, 4, ..1, 2, 3, 4, . . . ..nearly finished . . . Now, this is a really super simple picking exercise, it’s not one you are going to be doing for very long, just maybe a few weeks are whatever,
until you get to the next stage, and we start looking at more creative ways of
practicing your picking, and learning a new scale at the same time But it works as a really good introduction,
just to get used to the idea of using the anchor, and of getting your picking single strings
kind of under your fingers, so it doesn’t seem too foreign when we start playing scales So, I hope you found that a helpful little exercise, and I’ll see you for another lesson sometime real soon,
bye bye!


  • Reply Conor Brennan August 12, 2009 at 11:04 am

    first 😀 justin i learned to play because i came accross one of your vids on youtube, thanks!

  • Reply Joel Alvim August 12, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Best guitar lessons around!
    I anchor my pinky and my ring finger.. I don't seem to be able to anchor just the pinky. It does impair the speed of my picking when I anchor though however I can have more confidence over hitting the right strings with an anchored finger 🙂

  • Reply NearlyNormalSteve August 12, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Send him a couple of bucks, or buy one of his videos if you appreciate what he's done.

  • Reply acatiksel August 13, 2009 at 1:07 am

    I have some trouble with alternate picking. I feel as though my arm is a bit stiff, I'm finding it hard to relax it 🙁 I feel this the most when I try to play the verse of the song "Snow" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, with alternate picking. I have managed to play it successfully with the picking pattern: Down, Down, Up, Down, Up, Down, Up. Is this OK? Or should I stick with Down, Up Down, Up, Down, Up, Down?

  • Reply Jen Andrews August 13, 2009 at 7:43 am

    yeah um . i suck!! 🙁

  • Reply the old cylentshadow August 13, 2009 at 7:48 am

    You rule sir

  • Reply Conor Brennan August 13, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    dont get me wrong i would but i can't afford it and i'm only 14!! justin if you're still going when i have a credit card i'll send a few pound your way 😀

  • Reply NearlyNormalSteve August 13, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    No sweat-its not me, its Justin that I would recommend sending the $ to, in fact at 14 you would probably benefit from his dvds.. Thanks for replying and I wish you the best of luck in life in general and guitar in particular. Steve

  • Reply raket94 August 14, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    justin is the king of life

  • Reply Ciarán McCarthy August 14, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    I hate using an anchor, I feel really uncomfortable and restricted. But I can do everything fine without it. 🙂

  • Reply Yalda Majdabadi August 19, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    some people hate it
    when i started learning i did it automatically!

  • Reply Cue Zephyr December 24, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Blargh, I've been playing for 3 years or thereabouts, and still haven't tacled this… It's about time.

  • Reply Gerald C February 14, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Guys, i have a question.
    Since I've started playing I've always rested my hand on the bridge when shredding, trying not to kill any chords xD.
    Is it better to do it using an anchor? If so, can you use 2 fingers for anchoring?

  • Reply CleverDjembe March 12, 2010 at 6:37 am

    shit… gimme a real guitar anyday 🙂

  • Reply tattie April 11, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    @ultimage7 erm I'm not sure, maybe getting into the habit of resting on the bridge isn't the best idea, in case you end up playing a guitar one day which has a tremolo system. I'm thinking that would be bad for tuning.

  • Reply alan martinez April 16, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    you guys can practice this with the song thunderstruck by ac/dc

  • Reply Asim Riz May 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    @ultimage7 by you mentioning 'shredding', ima assume you've got an electric guitar…resting your hand on the bridge isnt gonna make much of a difference then…however, if you're playing an acoustic, plucking closer to the sound hole's better as the further away you get from it (towards the bridge),worse the sound gets…so i'd say anchor, PROVIDED you're playing an acoustic…btw, ive got the same problem as you (i play an acoustic) and ive gotten used to resting my hand on the bridge :/

  • Reply 1954telecaster May 27, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    lmfao "your partner"

  • Reply Steve Phillips October 8, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    amazing clarity I like his lessons. he seems to have got younger looking

  • Reply mikaela speilburg May 26, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    "giving them the heeby geebies",

  • Reply KhmerBayon July 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    thanks for great lessons, wish i could have a teacher like you!!

  • Reply BlueWizardViolinist January 19, 2012 at 4:36 am

    So useful! I play violin and I'm trying guitar for fun, loving it so far.

  • Reply Cayydance May 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Your videos are great! You're thorough and explain it well. Your accent is pretty cool too 😀

  • Reply Obama's secret son May 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I use my fingers only how would I do this exercise??

  • Reply wink ming July 24, 2012 at 12:05 am

    scary nails..but cute face!

  • Reply gorzinplatz September 17, 2012 at 12:36 am

    The anchor has totally helped me. Thank you!

  • Reply bmhyakiri October 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Yeah the nails are always kind of gross but they're essential for fingerpicking.

  • Reply Shamir Q. Picasso December 3, 2012 at 5:33 pm


  • Reply boerboel313 February 4, 2013 at 7:05 am

    What guitar style is that. Not a normal guitar shape.

  • Reply Sudin February 27, 2013 at 9:22 am

    why should i go for guitar class, when i found people like you!!!!!

  • Reply Bhawna03 May 6, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I know! My mom really wants me to attend guitar lessons, but I really don't want to 'cause I already found an amazing teacher, and I can learn in the comfort of my own home! 🙂

  • Reply dancingworms001 August 10, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Do different guitar strings give different sounds? i am thinking of changing the strings on my guitar

  • Reply Sumaiya Marium March 6, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    thanks 🙂

  • Reply Terion Johnson April 4, 2016 at 12:10 am

    Very helpful thank you

  • Reply Olli Vanajas January 6, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Many thanks for all your wonderful videos Justin – you're a treasure 🙂

  • Reply Christine Lorencz January 21, 2017 at 2:10 am

    omg. that is so helpful…wow. thanks…

  • Reply Johan Brage June 8, 2017 at 7:25 am

    An anchor works so much better then hoking my piky to the e-string the way I used to. Justin Sandercoe – Britain´s finest!

  • Reply EverydayImVloggin January 17, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Hey do you pick every string with just the pick? Or should the thumb pick the e major, a, d strings, then index finger on g, middle finger on g, ring finger on e minor ? So confused need help

  • Reply Paolo Dimal August 26, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Verry helpful im watchin in 2018

  • Reply L Manning April 9, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Don't forget to donate- use his link, he is amazing!

  • Reply Andy Land April 29, 2019 at 2:57 am

    How much pic should be out of your fingers and how much pic hits the strings

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