Want to know a picking concept that sounds great, looks great and is quite practical too?⁠

Linear picking passages.⁠

By linear picking I mean picking up or down a single string.⁠

Two master of this technique are Yngwie Malmsteen and Al Di Meola.⁠

Playing along a single string offers phrasing options that aren’t as readily available in a standard scale position.⁠

As well as sounding great and looking really dramatic, linear picking passages are a great way to move up or down the neck towards higher or lower phrasing options.⁠

That being said, they’re not without their pros and cons.⁠

The good thing about them is it’s relatively easy for the picking hand – all it needs to do is repeatedly pick the same string.⁠

The bad thing is it’s a lot more work for the fretting hand.⁠

The hardest part of linear picking is training the fretting hand to move up and down a single string quickly and accurately.⁠

It can also be a bit of a challenge to synchronise both hands at first because the picking hand tends to play faster than the fretting hand can move.⁠

That being said, it’s a really cool technique that sounds great. If you like linear picking passages they’re well worth the practice investment.⁠

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