Feedback on my my picking technique


Hallo everybody
I would appreciate your feedback and suggestions on my picking technique. My goal is to be able to play longer improvised lines with possibly less legato and economy picking (because of phrasing issues).

p.p. Here I am using the same technique, more or less (I think) while improvising on St Thomas


I don’t know man, everything looks and sound great to me. Can you be more specific on what you need help with? I can’t really think of anything to improve since your technique looks smooth and effortless. None of the motions look inefficient.


Yeah had the same reaction as Guitarenthusiast. Sick playing! As far as I’m concerned you’re already playing very long improvised lines without any hick ups that I can detect. Is the occasional legato and sweeps bothering you? In that case, is there anything specific that causes you to use those techniques? To me they seem very natural and musical by the way.


Thanks a lot for your feedback (bow). I am looking for general ideas about improving my right hand technique in order to get more flexible (often changing directions, better string tracking and so on). I am trying to get really steady phrasing ( for example up tempo swinging 8th notes, 8th note triplets) , no matter what notes I play (sorry its really hard to explain it good, my English could be better for sure). Legato and sweeps are ok if the phrasing stays intact .


Ok. Are you familiar with Troys vocabulary… like cross picking for example? If not, I would recommend watching his videos about this topic. As you are clearly more interested in complexity in lines as oppose to speed, cross picking is the way. I havn’t analysed your playing in detail but I suspect you might already be doing some of that. Is the certain string changes that are harder to you?


Yes I am familiar with it and I also think that my picking technique has to do with cross picking. I could play fairly fast I guess , but simpler things (like straight scales up and down, broken scales, pentatonic scales), its really much harder to play broken arpeggios for example or sometimes when I play phrase starting with down stroke and than try to repeat the same starting with upstroke, I guess it has to do with the position of my right hand. But this way of playing is relatively new to me, I used to play something between legato and alternate before and I am still looking for optimal right hand movement.

Btw Thanks a lot for taking time to write, I really appreciate


Great playing! I will echo what others have said and suggest that there is totally nothing wrong with your technique. It’s awesome. There is nothing wrong with your hand position or arm position, and I wouldn’t change it at all. If you’re saying you have trouble alternate picking arpeggios, sure, that’s a thing you can add although it looks like you’re doing pieces of that already. But you can add that with the same arm and hand position you already have, if you want.

Same thing with the legato and economy elements. You might have added those for technical reasons, but of course in Jazz they also serve a musical purpose. I think this is a lot of where these things came from. People couldn’t play a line a certain way, so they used a different technique, and it ended up sounding better as a result. I wouldn’t change any of that!

Do you find it easier to switch strings when the final note on the string is a downstroke, or an upstroke? Or does it depend on the phrase?


Hey Nikolay! I’m actually already subscribed to your channel because I think your playing is so excellent. It’s both funny and inspiring when players of your ability ask for extra help :slight_smile:


Thank you very much Troy, I am really glad you think so! I will keep working in the same directions!

I am practicing mostly caged arpeggios in seven positions and tend to have problems with shapes starting on 6th string on the off beats (up stroke), kind of have a hard time with string tracking around second and third string

Hey Ryan, thank you very much, I am glad you like my playing! But I am really interested about right hand technique and I appreciate every tip I can get about it, specially from guy (monster) like Troy and probably a lot of other players around here!


Of course! The fact that a player of your caliber is still desperate to learn inspires me even more. I think we (everyone here) are all aware that Troy has done more for guitar instruction than just about anyone. He’s a true Sensei.

Do you ever do instructional videos Nikolay? You should, I’d love to learn some of your style.


I really like your timing! Great playing!
Just keep practicing different exercises, maybe transcribe some classical violin etudes or something. Keeping your default technique in shape and always trie to improve upon it. I trie to shift the accents around and play with the dynamics. You can always make stuff harder then it seems haha


If you’re doing one note on a string, it technically shouldn’t matter which pickstroke you start on. In theory!

If you can post a clip of a phrase or line that is working well, and also one you think works less well, happy to take a look. The “down the strings” angle you used for first video is perfect - if you can turn the amp on that makes it easier to hear when notes are connecting and when they aren’t.


Thanks a lot! I recorded few choruses on Spain and tried to play only 8th notes alternate, just to discover, that still cant play entirely alternate! I guess old habits die hard , I always played mostly something between legato and alternate and my right hand just stops some times. I also think I could have issues with strings tracking in higher tempos.

Thank you, I do play violin etudes some times, only I am not transcribing them, I did music academy with violin once and still have a lot of sheets at home. Otherwise, I totally agree with you


Hehe Spain is a great song!
Sounded real good too. Technique has a relation too “feeling” in that they produce different kinds of sound and attack. For that reason alone i think it is a good idea to use them in isolation and experiment with that like you did in the last clip!

Sometimes the instrument lends itself to a certain approach, on acoustic i pick most notes, (no gain!!) on electric i use a lot of legato.


I don’t have anything to add except that you rip. Great sound!


I will join along with everyone else once again in saying how great this playing is!

As much as I’d love you to keep posting these, what I was actually getting at is more of a single phrase. In other words, if you can find one example of a phrase that confuses your picking hand or just feels a little more awkward for you, that would make it a little easier to determine what specifically is going on. Film that example from a “down the strings” type perspective, with the amp on, no backing track.

You could also include an example where it feels totally smooth to you, as a comparison. So basically, one video, two phrases.

Otherwise, again, I think what you’re doing here sounds great and there’s really no specific reason to change your technique. But sure it can helpful to know why things feel the way they do and I think we’d all be happy to take a look a specific example / phrase if you can find one. I’m sure that would be instructive for us as well.

Thanks again!


Thanks a lot and sorry for my very late answer, was ill for a few days and than got some really important gigs to play, so i didn’t spent much time at home. I will try what you suggest and will post it here! Thanks a lot to everyone who took the time to write here, really appreciate it!