John Frusciante’s Fast Cross String Alternate Picking – Pedro

In this Student Spotlight lesson, I will try to help Pedro tackle John Frusciante's fast cross string alternate picking in "Snow (Hey Oh)".

This can be very challenging lick to get up to full speed, and most of the trouble comes from the picking hand.

At first, I will demonstrate a way of playing this lick without using alternate picking. There are more economical ways to play it, that will make it easier, but Frusciante probably wanted the rhythmic attack that the alternate picking gives the lick and went with that.

The things I will demonstrate to Pedro are first, balancing the picking hand so that you are not favoring either side. This will enable you feel like you are just brushing across the top of the string, and upstrokes and downstrokes will both have the same level of resistance. The picking motion itself is a very small rotation of the wrist and forearm.

After that is accomplished, we then focus on the wrist. As you can see in Pedro's great demonstration, he tends to alter the angle of his wrist to move across strings. This makes every string have a completely different pick attack and is hard to develop consistency. Instead, it is better to keep your wrist angle identical for each string and simply let your elbow carry you from string to string. The will make every string feel the same when it comes to the actual pick attack. It feels like you don't have much control at first, but you will soon find that it is easy to control and really frees up your picking hand.

After I talk about these concepts, I will then demsontrate a quick practice routine that can be done to systematically get this difficult lick under control.

Thanks for the video Pedro!

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John Frusciante's Fast Cross String Alternate Picking - Pedro

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