I’m new here, just subscribed to the site and I’ve been watching the Pick Slanting Primer.
I thought I’d make a post about Dave Kilminster because I think his mechanic is different from any of the ones I’ve seen under the magnet.
For those who don’t know him, Dave is the guitarist for Roger Waters and until recently Steven Wilson (and Keith Emerson before that). I was lucky enough to be taught by him at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) back in the early 2000s before he was as well-known as he is now. The students all knew him as a fearsome player. Guthrie Govan was also a tutor there at the time, also mostly unknown. Guthrie had a monthly residency at a pub in his hometown and Dave K would dep for him when he was unavailable.
Dave’s picking seems to come from his elbow but unlike the other elbow players discussed in the primer, his wrist swings freely, not locked. Here’s a video I’ve found which gives a reasonable look at what he’s doing. The camera angles are sometimes frustrating, but everything is here:
14:42 Play With Me style demonstration, can’t see elbow
15:30 discussion of his picking
16:00, 16:05 tremolo picking demo. His elbow is still not quite in shot, but you can see that’s where the motion is coming from. You can also see here the same kind of ulnar extension that Troy talks about with other elbow players.
Slow picking demo at 16:47, looks entirely like wrist motion. I’d say this is not the motion he uses at speed.
17:17, another tremolo picking demo. Here you can’t see his elbow moving, but you can see his wrist is moving, and this is the secret of his mechanic.
17:34 Extremely brief wide angle shot of tremolo picking where you can see for a second the elbow and wrist motion together. After this he explains how he thinks he does it. He says “forearm” but he’s clearly not talking about forearm rotation as we refer to it on Cracking the Code; it’s more an elbow motion. At 18:52-18:58 he does some mimes which make it clear how he thinks his mechanic works.
There’s also this performance of him covering Shy Boy:
Sadly there isn’t much alternate picking in Shy Boy, at least as Dave plays it, but at 2:58 he does some tremolo picked octaves. They’re not at shred speed, but I think that is a clear view of how his mechanic works.
I’m interested in elbow picking because it was all I did as a teenager. Then I (despite Dave K’s example at college) concluded this was Wrong and Bad and never did it again. I had a go recently and after a few seconds I felt like I was about to snap my arm off—my shoulder, elbow and wrist all felt like they were going to fall off! Clearly I need to find a new approach to doing it without injuring myself.