Pasquale Grasso Technique


Hi guys,
my name is Ben, I‘m a jazz guitarist from Germany. I am a huge fan of Pasquale Grasso‘s playing, especially impressed by his flawless right hand hybrid technique and I‘m currently studying his style of playing!
But somehow I can‘t really figure out all of his right hand picking mechanics.
He seems to be using twoway slanting, but is his hand flowing above the strings or is he planting his fingers on the pickguard?
How is he circling his index/ thumb to move the pick so precicely or what combinations of finger/hand/ arm movements is he using?
I know he is using „economy picking“.
What else is important to know about his picking?

Thanks so much for your help!



He talks about his technique in his MyMusicMasterclass video.

HIs picking is very much like Chuck Wayne’s – the central motion mechanic is the index finger/thumb, similar to writing with a pencil. I’ve heard it called “circle picking” and I know Howard Roberts advocated a similar technique, but the name isn’t particularly important.

I’ve experimented with it, but it never felt comfortable for me. Like a lot of motion-mechanics, your mileage may vary.

He uses two-way pickslanting, with lots of sweeping, but he’s definitely not picking every note. Not a lot of guitarists have nailed that Bird/Bud phrasing like has.


Looks just like economy and not a ton of slant changes - can you show a time stamp/isolate a fast run on either of the vids to discuss?


In terms of UPS vs DPS, he’s very consistently UPS–note the number of times he sweeps from high to low in that position, also his position when he does a straight, alternate-picking downward run at 1:57—and he keeps his wrist and hand very consistent in that orientation as he moves around, even while hybrid picking. I don’t see much rotation at all but I do see quite a bit of that thumb-and-forefinger thing, which indicates to me he’s not conceiving things so much in terms of strict alternate picking but more that he’s just really comfortable with that very classic-looking hand-wrist-forearm position and structuring his figures to that technique. I don’t see much anchoring except incidental moments along the way. More of a “floating” technique, if that’s the word, that I’ve always thought was the “correct” way to play, though I struggle with it myself.


Thank you so much for the detailed answer!
You‘re right about the UPS, It clearly overweighs the DPS!


Man I like that tone.