View Full Version : Marty Friedman picking
Did you notice how Marty picks? Itīs the strangest picking style I saw in my life. Very visible in this video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGcJHmFA7yE . Has anyone ever tried to pick like this? Are there any advantages for this kind of picking? Seriously Iīd like to know how he does this and why.
I tried it, but I wasn't able to hold my pick that strange :D
Why he does this ? There is no special reason I think, it's just the most comfortable for him.
09-25-08, 07:57 AM
Yeah, I think Max is probably right here. I've always assumed it was just natural for him to position his hand like that
09-25-08, 09:39 AM
I knew eventually someone would bring this topic up about Marty Friedman's strange picking technique!
It turns out that I've had some lengthy (I know, hard to believe, right?...NOT!) discussions regarding Marty's picking with people on some YouTube video comment- threads. I don't think anyone has argued that what Marty does is conventional, because clearly, it is NOT! However, he certainly makes it work. Here are some observations I've made about Marty's picking style:
- He certainly is NOT the only excellent player/shredder with an unorthodox picking
technique. Check out Steve Morse's "muscular-straight-three-fingered" right-hand.
grip. Even the late-great Shawn Lane had an interesting "back-angled" pick attack.
In other words, the side of the pick closest to the bridge was lower than the part
closer to the neck. This is the opposite of MOST players like Paul Gilbert, Guthrie
Govan, or Rusty Cooley.
- The way that MF "bows his wrist" out away from the body is a bit puzzling to me?!?
I can see how that "bowed-wrist" position can help when doing a "loose-wristed
jangly-strum" while playing rhythm on an acoustic or even the "loose-wristed"
approach that most take when playing funk. Also, think of Eddie Van Halen's
famous (yet unorthodox) tremolo-picking technique (you know, the one he uses
for the last ascending part of about 50% of his solos! - lol!) Notice how "bowed
EVH's right-wrist is when he's tremolo-picking. However, when playing metal and rock
in general, I wonder how Marty's able to comfortably palm-mute single-note lines or
even power-chord "chugs?!?"
- The other puzzling aspect about Marty's picking (IMO) is the fact that he always
seems to be leaning the pick's angle favoring the downstroke? In other words, the
tip-of-the-pick which strikes the string is further away from the ground than the top of
the pick which he is holding (closer to the ground.) To me, this would seem to help
"economy-pick" or "sweep-pick" while ascending, but NOT while descending?!? I
guess I'd have to further check him out, but I would think that when he sweeps in the
descending direction, (upstrokes) he must have to lean the pick back in the opposite
direction to where he normally holds it (otherwise, the pick would "catch-the-string,"
- The bottom line here with Marty is that we can discuss technique all day long, but
when it comes to the more important musical aspects (like melody, tone, phrasing,
originality) Marty comes up ACES!!! He is awesome, and we should focus more on
that in the end. Remember, as I stated earlier he's not the only great player who
uses some unconventional-looking techniques. The moment-of-truth is when the
signal pushes air out of his speakers and into those microphones, or when the output
transducer (monitor/home/car/headphone speakers) hits your input transducer (ears!)
The last time I checked, the guitarist's picking technique is just a means-to-an-end.
09-25-08, 11:08 AM
the guitarist's picking technique is just a means-to-an-end.
Summed up perfectly for me.
I think, regarding technical aspects of playing, if we were all robots we could apply one mother of all theories which would stand a 99.9% chance of working across the board. However the very nature of human beings precludes this from being a possibility. I think this is the beauty of being individual and that, providing no problems are encountered, these things should be approached with an opened mind.
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