5 Essential Guitar Picking Techniques to Use with Your Attak Piks
If you’re a guitarist, you know that picking is one of the essential components of playing the instrument. From strumming chords to shredding solos, the way you pick the strings can make a significant difference in the sound your produce. In this blog post, we’ll cover:
- 5 Types of Picking Techniques for Acoustic & Electric Guitarists
- Bonus Picking Technique for Bass Guitarists
- Where to Find a Guitar Pick to Suit Your Picking Style
5 Types of Picking Techniques for Acoustic & Electric Guitarists
Attak Piks are a unique type of guitar pick engineered to produce specific sounds depending on the technique used. The Acoustic Attak line features picks with patented raised structures on the tip that help create an aggressive, percussive sound. Other Attak Piks, such as the Stealth series, are designed with an ergonomic grip, sharp point, and beveled edge to help you play faster, more efficiently, and with greater precision.
The type of pick you use will depend on several factors, including the type of guitar you play, your skill level, and the type of picking technique you use. Let’s take a look at some of the essential types of picking techniques and how choosing the right Attak Piks can help you achieve the sound you want.
Alternate picking is a technique that involves playing notes in an alternating upstroke and downstroke motion. It is an essential skill that all guitarists must master before moving on to more advanced techniques. One of the most popular forms of alternate picking is Tremolo Picking, which takes the approach to its extremes by performing it at high BPMs and isolating it to a single string.
If you’re seeking a guitar pick to support the alternate picking style, the Stealth, Stealth XL, and Radium offer an excellent solution. The choice of material and ergonomic design of these models is perfect for guitarists of any level attempting to clean up their alternate picking technique. Featuring a recessed grip combined with a 12-node matrix, these picks offer a comfortable, easily adjustable grip. Combine this with the steep bevel and sharp point, and these picks are a strong contender with picks like the Dunlop Jazz III or Ernie Ball Prodigy series.
The bevel decreases the amount of friction and resistance between the pick to help players slide smoothly across the strings for a more fluid, effortless alternate picking experience.
Strumming is when a guitarist plays multiple strings at once with a single stroke. This can be achieved with or without a pick; however, lighter gauge picks are generally preferred for this particular playing style.
Those seeking a pick that’s perfect for general strumming will find what they need in the Attak, Ambush, and Viper. For a brighter, more percussive tone on the acoustic guitar, the Attak and Ambush come highly recommended. Both Attak and Ambush have patented raised structures on the end of the tip that create multiple strikes with a single strum. The result is an aggressive yet harmonic balance of sound.
The Viper, on the other hand, clocks in at approximately 1.4 mm, which might be considered a fairly thick pick for general strumming. However, the length and width (35 mm/32 mm) create a reasonably flexible structure, allowing the pick to bend when gripped at the top of the side opposite to the corner in use. The Viper is often compared to a Fender 355 guitar pick due to its triangular design.
Many guitarists began their musical journey by imitating the stylings of Thrash Metal pioneers like James Hetfield (Metallica), Kerry King (Slayer), and Dave Mustaine (Megadeth). One thing all of these guitarists share in common is their heavy use of down picking.
Down picking is a technique commonly used in metal, punk, and hard rock music, taking advantage of the massive amount of energy in a downstroke to deliver a more powerful, aggressive tone. Often repetitively used on the low E, A, and D strings, the technique gave birth to the term “chugging,” which is a variant of down picking in which the strings are palm muted and the gain is turned up high.
The pick of choice for down picking aficionados is the Surge. Best described as a pick designed for chugging, Surge features small bumps arranged all over the face of the pick that provide a solid grip and percussive effect to the down picking technique. These bumps are intentionally sized and placed to achieve a balanced tone that’s not too aggressive, harsh, or scratchy.
Possibly the most impressive picking technique is sweep picking. This is a method in which the player sweeps across the strings in a manner similar to strumming. The difference is that each note is played independently and then muted before the next note is played. Often used by “shredders,” this technique is perfect for playing arpeggios at the speed of light.
Those attempting to master sweep picking will find the most help from Acoustik Attak’s Stealth, Stealth XL, and Radium models. As aforementioned, these models all contain a sharp point and aggressive bevel that are especially helpful for sweep picking as they help the player glide more easily across the strings. Additionally, the bevel supports angled edge picking, which is commonly used in sweep picking to minimize resistance between the pick and string.
One of the more advanced guitar picking techniques is known as hybrid picking. This is more of an umbrella term applied to any technique that combines a pick and the rest of your fingers. Generally, hybrid picking is performed by holding the pick between your thumb and index finger, using the other three fingers to pluck the strings.
When hybrid picking, the Blade Series by Acoustik Attak will offer the greatest advantage. Hybrid picking requires you to have a strong anchor to play root notes on the lowest three strings. Every Blade model guitar pick has a series of ridges and valleys on the tip in which the string is gripped and plucked rather than simply picked. These ridges help provide that anchor to ensure your root notes are played with power and presence.
Of course, it’s impossible to mention the Blade series without also mentioning “chicken picking.” This form of hybrid picking is when the string is plucked between the pick and finger, creating a type of “cluck” sound that’s reminiscent of a chicken. With the Blade model, chicken picking is achieved without hybridization since the string is caught in the valleys and plucked without the need to use your fingers.
Bonus Picking Technique for Bass Guitarists
Bassists don’t always use guitar picks, but when they do, they need picks that are designed to withstand play on thicker strings. There are several Attak Piks we recommend for this exact purpose, including:
- Ambush: The aggressive structures on the end of the Ambush pick hold up well when playing bass guitar, with the contact between pick and string creating an almost “slap/pop” effect when digging in.
- Juggernaut: This pick was created by a bassist for bassists and features a hefty 3mm thick design with 1mm step-down tip that allows for fluid, gentle alternate picking when applying the tip or a dark, thumping tone when leverage is applied.
- Surge: Combine the Surge with a bass and fuzz pedal of your choice and you won’t be disappointed by the edgy, growling tone this pick produces while playing.
Find the Guitar Pick to Suit Your Playing Style at Acoustik Attak
When it comes to playing the guitar, the choice of pick can make all the difference in achieving your desired sound. At Acoustik Attak, you’ll find a wide selection of guitar picks designed to suit different playing styles and preferences. What sets these picks apart is their innovative design, which allows you to achieve similar effects to electronic pedals and equalizers at a fraction of the price.
Acoustik Attak’s guitar picks feature patented sets of ridges, bumps, diamonds, and other designs on the top and bottom sides of their attack zone tips. These designs allow for multiple strikes on strings, enhanced harmonics, and new frequencies that were literally unheard of beforehand. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, these picks can help take your playing to the next level.If you’re looking for a guitar pick that can help you achieve your desired sound, look no further than Acoustik Attak. Shop our selection of picks today and experience the difference yourself!