Skip to main content Skip to navigation Skip to search
  • Lessons
  • Articles
Unlimited lessons, backing tracks, and more.

Watch anywhere for as low as $10/month. Cancel anytime.

Economy of Motion - Introduction to Economy Picking

Rick Graham 210 lessons

Hello and welcome to my new tutorial on Economy of motion. In this tutorial we will be focusing on the key elements required to play the guitar with the minimum amount of physical exertion.

In this first installment we will be looking at the technique of economy picking. Economy picking is a picking technique which uses economy of motion to great effect.

One of the main stumbling blocks for guitarists to overcome is when crossing from one string to another. Essentially there are 3 ways to negotiate crossing strings when playing with a pick only. These are(when ascending):

1. Downstroke to upstroke = Outside picking

2. Upstroke to downstroke = Inside picking

3. Downstroke to downstroke = Economy picking

If you are descending simply reverse them:

1. Upstroke to downstroke = Outside picking

2. Downstroke to upstroke = Inside picking

3. Upstroke to Upstroke = Economy picking

Outside picking is when your pick travels outside the two adjacent strings. Inside picking is when your pick travels from one string to the next inside the strings. Economy picking is when your pick travels from one string to the next inside the strings. The difference between economy picking and inside picking is that your pick moves in the same direction between strokes. In other words, economy of movement is achieved because at no point do you have to stop your pick to change direction of the pickstroke. As a result, it enables us to play lines at great speeds with the minimum of effort which is always useful!

To start with, watch the video and focus on the movement with the right hand while crossing strings. Try to let the pick fall through the strings so that it comes to rest on the adjacent string ready and prepared to play the next note. It's very important to take this very slowly until you experience the feeling of the movement. It should never be forced and the strokes must never be seperated.

Ok, when you feel that you are ready, move on to the next lesson so that we can start to apply it practically with some licks and lines.

Do remember though that this is not the only technique to practice, picking wise. You should be equally adept at inside and outside picking too; it will only serve to make you a better player!

Send this to a friend