Dimebag Darrell's Picking

My question is what techniques is Dimebag using in his picking style?
His arm and wrist positioning (consistent 90 degree to strings) never changes and to me it’s really weird. Also it looks the coolest among other picking techniques, but that’s just opinion.

Hi! I haven’t watched a lot of Dimebag but I just scanned a few clips. He looks like a wrist player with a lightly supinated arm position, similar to what we teach here in this video, but with a slightly different grip and a little more arm supination:

The key is that this isn’t 90 degrees to the strings. The picking motion is still angled. But if you’re looking at the pick itself, you’re not going to see much. That’s not really where we should be looking — what we’re really looking for is the path the pick is traveling, and whether it is moving along an angle. And that’s much harder to see from a distance.

Specifically, from this one arm position you can do downstroke string changes (DSX motion) and upstroke string changes (USX motion), just by changing the angled direction your wrist is moving. No change in arm position required. That’s why you’re not seeing any changes, because if they are happening, it’s coming from the wrist, not the arm. That’s how EVH does it for example when he plays lines that switch strings after both downstrokes and upstrokes. He’s a wrist player too, just with a middle finger grip.

Of the two wrist motions, DSX or USX, most players have a default. We’d need a “down the strings” clip to see which one he’s using. But we know more or less how that works. That video above shows you one of the two motions, the USX motion, which works for licks where the final note on each string is an upstroke.

Hope that helps!


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