Emil Werstler's picking technique


Hello again. I made a topic a few days ago about my picking problem. Getting used to my new picking technique. I found an amazing picker a long time ago and I noticed that my picking technique looks similar to his when looking from the side.

All I’d like to know is how does he pick? With his thumb (it looks like for the most of the time), rotation or wrist? I see sometimes he used his elbow.

Here are some of his vids.

If he uses his thumb/index (the way I feel when I play), then I must be on the right way copying his style, at least I hope so.


According to a comment Ben Eller (great player and friends with Emil) made on one of Troy’s videos, “Emil is a level 10 downward pickslanter.” I am sure he switches to 2 way for some things but most of his picking is gypsy jazz influenced. Yo can especially see this in the first video. Looks like a combination of forearm rotation with a little bit of elbow and finger thrown in.


Yeah. It seems he’s using wide rotational movement during the riffs to make them sound more percussive and dynamic. But from what I see, he’s using his thumb/index combo when playing scales (or he uses it during the string changes). The movements are more economical and his palm and fingers are glued to the strings for muting (while in original gypsy jazz there’s no need for muting).

Also I think this is a great DWPS excercise. Troy told me that Gilbert outside picking lick isn’t suitable for this task, so I think this one should work really well, because I don’t get stuck between the strings (actually I pierce it through but whatever). Also it sounds like sixes while it feels like playing 4 note groupings.


That anchored 3rd finger looks weird as hell but he’s definitely programmed some consistency into that approach. Very meaty sound.


Emil’s picking is awesome. One of my top picks for an interview with Troy.

He’s predominately using DWPS however he seems to be proficient in cross picking as well. Ben Eller has a video on cross picking arpeggios which is inspired by a lesson he had with Emil and I did see a video where Emil was cross picking some crazy gypsy jazz arpeggios. Wished I could find it again!

His “right hand warm up” video has some freaky rhythm picking (especially what sounds like some 32nd note riffing around 4:39s)


THAT’s why I thought Emil did at least a bit of crosspicking, I remember now.