Marshall Harrison Interview


When you asked him to play Paul Gilbert style licks, it seemed he had a method of doing outside string changes that didn’t follow any of the CTC recommendations… Especially when he did descending outside string changes I think he actually had his pick angled the wrong way according to the CTC rules of the pick needing to be downward slanted when doing an upstroke on the G string which will be followed by a downstroke in the D string with the pick angled upwards. Marshall Harrison doesn’t do this and I’m not sure what he is doing on the Gilbert style licks to achieve clean string changes. Could someone, especially @Troy explain what Marshall is doing to achieve these fast alternate picking string changes (I’m not interested in the stuff where he uses hybrid picking) so quickly and cleanly? Thank you!!


He uses directional picking for everything so he is picking in the direction of the string he’s going to next. This is often sweeping, but when it isn’t, it’s an inside string change. In the odd case of an outside string change he just uses his finger.


Hey Costanza, thanks for responding. I understood everything you wrote perfectly well until the last sentence. You wrote: “In the odd case of an outside string change he just uses his finger.”

What does that mean? Which finger are you referring to and how can he possibly maneuver the pick to perform an outside string change with just one of his fingers?!?


Probably this?

At 7:30 he expalins how he deals with even numbers on strings.
… sorry to interfere, just saw that the day before yesterday.


The “rules” really just describe playing styles, i.e. choices players have made that seem to fit most of what they do. They do not mean that you can’t move a pick a certain way if it looks a certain way. Remember you asked the David Grier question, “how can he change strings using an upstroke if he has an upward pickslant”. The answer was “wrist extension”. That’s the wrist movement that goes that way when the arm is positioned as Dave positions it.

I don’t recall the moment you are referencing here, but in general, if you think more about the directions things are moving, then ask yourself, what finger, hand or arm movement could cause that? Then you will have your answer.


Watched the whole Marshall interview now, and what unbelievable small motions he can make with the picking hand, it does not get any smaller this!

It is confusing at times… when he plays some ultra fast stuff it looks like alternate picking but in the slomo you see the economy picking.
When he engages the hybrid picking he does some very exceptional stuff.
His left hand is also doing the most acrobatic stuff.

@Troy Is there a second interview planned with Marshall?
Would be great to go more specific into the picking motions he makes, where he feels the movements are comming from, how he practiced it etc…


I’ve been suggested a follow up interview for a while. His playing is very different now to when the first interview filmed. He was only starting with the hybrid stuff then, now he’s really developed it.


Yeah, i have seen some more recent hybrid stuff from him which is just crazy!


Yeah his technique looks effortless.


Damn he is SO fast! Who needs alternate picking!!? That sounds amazing.

…Just kidding I still want to alternate like the greats :joy:

but that speed thought. So cool