So, I was thinking about this the other night - when I joined CtC, I didn’t know it, of course, but my picking approach was a rather rough mashup of cross-picking and probably a bit of upwards slanting/escaped downstrokes. One of the common threads around here is you tend to unconsciously solve a lot of problems that you spend a lot of time trying to play, so it would stand to reason that if I had any aptitude at all at crosspicking, however bad, then it must have been because I was playing things where that was the most reasonable solution.
And sure enough, I remember being kind of dumbfounded when I saw this closeup of Jimi’s playing, because there’s a very standard Jimi/SRV/Albert King blues lick he plays here that I was surprised to see he was sweeping - I’m not going to tab it, but in E it would be a full step bend on the 14th fret, followed by the 12th on the B and then 12th on the E, and then usually something else afterwards - for Jimi, then bending the 15th on the B as a unison against the 12th E would be common (think “Highway Chile”) or maybe a 15th pulled off to 12th on the B for a repeated whirlwind-y sort of lick (all over the place in his playing).
Video in this thread:
I really got my start playing blues as a teenager before I got into shreddier stuff, so I spent a LOT of time playing variations on this motif, and that three note 4-bent-to-5, 5, octave motif is still something that’s all over the place in my playing. And I was aware that SRV in particular did a lot of raking in his playing, so looking at it as a raked pattern was definitely something I’d tried at one point, but I think I can remember feeling like I never felt all that good about the timing on that and it was always too loose. So, this is something that I would always try to alternate pick.
The irony is that now that I can see Jimi is raking or sweeping this, it clearly sounds better and “flows” better with a sweep than three picked notes - it’s a little looser, but hey, this is blues, and it’s not supposed to be about machine gun precision. But, I suspect all that time trying to play this picked kinda forced me to develop a double-escaped pickstroke, even if I was never all that good at it.
Anyway, I think this kind of stuff is interesting - what you can or can’t do today can provide interesting insight into what you prioritized in the past, in ways that aren’t always readily obvious. Just figured I’d share some musings…