guitar · guitar picking · instrumental music · practice

Observing Al Di Meola’s edge picking (with video)

I recently watched an interview with guitarist Al Di Meola as part of a Google video program called Talks at Google. Al, a noted speed picker, plays a few tunes during the show and I noticed something relevant to my recent article, “A Survey of Guitar Picking, pt 2.” In that post I mentioned the idea of edge picking, of turning your guitar pick in such a way that it more easily glides over the strings. As a result of this the player’s thumb ends up pointing towards the floor. If you watch the Di Meola video you can see that his thumb turns when he plays especially fast passages. (If you watch around the 17:36 mark you can see some of this.)

The whole video is worth watching if you’re interested in the history of fusion and jazz guitar in the 1960s and 1970s. Di Meola lives up to his reputation as being… ummm, opinionated. (Clapton fans will not be happy.)

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