SRV's chord tremolo - what movements?

Hi guys
I’ve noticed SRV has this thing, where he tremolo pick several tones in chord. You can see that the wear on his guitar matches the movement. I wonder exactly what kind of mechanics are in play.

The video should start at the exact moment of the movement. (01:56)


Yes please let’s crack this! I think fast strumming technique is vastly under-studied. I know some people get this by feel, but I’m not one if them.

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He lost the pick at some point during that strum run and at the end he is doing it with his thumb and index finger

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Wrist and elbow movement.

I was hoping for a few more details but thank you :sweat_smile:

Right, this is wrist motion strumming. Then you add in the elbow movement once you have the wrist movement. What I meant is this is not just elbow or forearm rotation with or without elbow movement.


Only thing I can add, specifically, is that SRV was alleged to have held the pick backwards, holding the point and strumming with the thick bit. I can’t see his hand clearly enough to confirm that, but I’ve read it before.

thanx for the replies, guys :slight_smile:

I’m also going to speculate that the fact he moves his hand further away from the bridge and back and forth a bit while doing this is not by accident - it may make the strings easier to move through, it may be for tonal reasons, it may be both (probably is, come to think of it), but it’s probably either consciously or subconsciously by design.

SRV uses this technique alot in “Dirty Pool” and you can see several close ups. It looks like there is a direction change going on in his picking, maybe 2wps with larger movements.

Perhaps the right thing to do is copy the experts at this kind of motion, like Nile Rodgers?


Thanx, kgk. This forum is so great and supportive :slightly_smiling_face: I learn new stuff all the time because of you guys. :metal::v::muscle:

I have noticed one aspect of this motion before- the downstroke alternated between further up the neck and then closer to the bridge. Sort of an up and down the neck motion happening as well as the actual strum itself. When I try it myself, for example on a fast bluegrass strum it somehow seems to help. I don’t really know why but it feels good and tends to solidify the rhythm. Try it!

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