Hybrid Picking Power, Jazz Secrets, and More!

November 10, 2014


Rob Michael of the Atmos Trio sent in this morsel. “Times are tough and everyone is looking for a deal, so it’s great when you can learn one thing and use it many different ways. The half/whole diminished scale is often used over a dom13b9 chord as in the V-Im progression in Fm. What’s great about the diminished scale is that anything you play can be moved up or down in minor third intervals and still remain within the same diminished scale. That means this same lick can also be played over A13b9-Dm7, Eb13b9-Abm7, and F#13b9-Bm7. This figure benefits from a horn-like legato technique employing straightforward hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slurs.”



This sparkly harmonic lick only requires a thumb and a finger on your picking hand and the index finger of your fretting hand, which you’ll lay directly over the 12th fret to sound the harmonics. Pluck the low E harmonic with your thumb and pluck the D harmonic with your index finger. Now the key to this technique comes in: Slap all the strings with your last three fretting-hand fingers. This will create a cool contrast between harmonics and percussion. The thirty-second-notes at the end are challenging but just go for it! 


More fun with hybrid picking. Pick the F, hammer the G, and then nail the open D and G strings with your middle and ring fingers. Keep all the sixteenth-notes even in tempo, although you might want to palm mute the low notes. Same thing over C. Tip: You can make it more country and less rock by hammering F# to G and B to C instead.

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