How many people use "hybrid picking?"

  • Never use hybrid picking
  • Occasionally use hybrid picking
  • Regularly use hybrid picking

0 voters

I don’t use hybrid picking, but it seems like a great escape hatch to enable USX or DSX for most things and yet handle messy cases that would otherwise be difficult. It seems to be compatible with all of the CTC techniques, so it would make sense on paper. But how popular is it?

Hybrid picking is integral to my playing.

It’s an unbelievably powerful tool, and when used appropriately it can solve almost every “bad case” we can encounter in USX or DSX picking. It facilitates vocabulary which is otherwise extremely difficult, if not impossible.


I can’t imagine not using hybrid picking. Not just as some escape hatch or ‘cheat’, either.

There are so many things you can’t do without it.

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Just try the infamous “Paul Gilbert lick” like so:

-5-6-8---8-6 (loop)
 D U D m D U

…and then see if you have the courage to tell me you prefer to alternate pick it :wink:


I have come to the conclusion that a single escape + hybrid is THE way to go, it’s integral to my playing also.

lol plus sweep/economy and legato haha

Avoid the grind…


Yes and perhaps your solution makes the most sense and hybrid should be explicitly taught?

As a classical player who wants to be good at electric, I can’t escape hybrid. I haven’t leaned into it like I ought to though. If I were smart (spoiler alert - I’m not), I’d ditch the alternate picking quest and go full Marshall Harrison. In the meantime, I’ll be in the basement working on plectrum 1nps :wink:


Can you give quick summary of what you mean?

I have the courage to swipe the hell out of it, if that counts :sweat_smile:

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Been really working on hybrid and finger picking along with thumping. More tools, rights? Using all of these has all been insightful for considering hand positioning

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Is hybrid easier for USX or DSX?

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I’ll just leave this right here.

@kgk Here’s Marshall Harrison’s SWYBRYD picking


Hybrid picking isn’t compatible with every setup, grip or picking movement.

Everything is a compromise, and insisting on the facility to hybrid pick constrains the movement problem strongly, eliminating many possible solutions.

I’d argue DSX. The degree of supination required for a reverse dart-thrower based USX movement would result in the fingers not being immediately available for hybrid picking. With reverse dart-thower based DSX, the fingers can be available immediately.

It is possible to have immediately available hybrid picking with dart-thrower USX with hybrid picking, but this is a much less common movement pattern.

USX+hybrid has enormous capability, solving many of the “bad cases” of strict USX (notably what Chris Brooks calls “lone note exceptions”). However, the solutions of those “bad cases” are somehwat less obvious than those for DSX+hybrid.

As Tom has seen in our conversations - I’m primarily a USX player.

When I hybrid pick, though, it’s always after a down stroke, and I instinctively rotate (pronate) my wrist slightly (and I mean slightly) to achieve the space needed. I had to look to confirm that. Hybrid became a default trying to emulate Knopfler while holding a pick.

I’d not heard the ‘lone note exceptions’ term before, but I like it. :slight_smile:

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The basic problem is of you’re using USX, and you need to play a “lone note” with a downstroke on one string and then play a note a lower string.

When this would occur in Yngwie’s lines, his solution is to use some legato prior to the lone note so he has time to play it with an upstroke instead.

USX+H can solve this problem by arranging the picking sequence so the lone note is played with a hybrid picked stroke.

To make full use of the capabilities of USX+H or DSX+H requires that the hybrid pick can follow either the downstroke or the upstroke.

Ahh… I use that during the intro to Cliffs of Dover. During the first lick at the 12th fret. The one E note on the E string. Never heard it called the lone note…but it fits, and there’s no better way!


Well and with a clean tone, legato isn’t really an option too much the way it is for Yngwie.

I started using hybrid so I could play piano voicing type chords like Knopfler.

This was the 2nd song I tried to learn when I started playing again last year. Ben Eller had a great lesson on it. Saw them open up doe Burnt By The Sun in ‘03 and have been a huge fan ever since!

I still can’t play it…. Lol

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I think Ben’s vid was when I first realized it was hybrid picked. That’s one of Brent’s signature tricks.

All the banjo players turned guitarists lean heavily into it. Jerry Garcia probably being the most famous example.

I especially love how he tricks the Mutron III envelope filter to working with chords on songs like “Estimated Prophet” by hybrid picking.

Probably also explains why he was able to flirt with playing pedal steel guitar for a period since he already had his hybrid picking chops nailed down.

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One of the things I’ve noticed is hybrid picking feels easier with an angle pad grip instead of a trigger grip, because the latter requires more finger bending from the plucking fingers to contact the strings. Or at least that seems to be the case with my picking form (pronated DSX).

Does anyone here do a lot of hybrid picking with a trigger grip?

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