Planting Technique: The Secret to Clean Picking

Many guitarists have great fretboard hand technique, but struggle with their picking technique. I am one such player, and I would guess many of you are too.

I've recently discovered a solution: Planting Technique

So what exactly is planting technique?

If you've ever studied classical guitar you may be familiar with planting technique already. Basically, it's a method of practicing where as soon as you pluck one string, you immediately "plant" the next finger on the next string to be played. It's more or less a method of training the picking hand to move as efficiently as possible - muscle memory.

I never thought to apply planting technique to my electric guitar playing until the amazingly talented Rick Graham discussed the idea in his Economy Picking HD Video Lesson (available for purchase here. I highly recommend it.)

The only difference between classical guitar planting technique and electric guitar planting technique is that you use a pick rather than your fingers. The same principle of immediately preparing the pick (or fingers) for the next note applies.

You can practice planting technique with any material you're currently working on - scales, arpeggios, licks, exercises...whatever. The idea is to take it nice and slow and really focus on being as economical with your movement as possible.

I've been practicing this technique all month, and I am already seeing huge improvements in my picking hand accuracy.

Have you ever used planting technique? Share your experience with a comment below.


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