Lessons > Tremolo Picking

Tremolo Picking

Tremolo picking is where one fret is picked as rapidly as possible for a set duration of time. A common technique when tremolo picking is to create a fast motion in the arm instead of the wrist. This technique is good for playing fast on one string but makes it harder to switch between strings. When playing a sequence of tremolo picked notes it is generally easier to play them all on the same string. Switching strings whilst maintaining the fast motion can be very difficult. Below are some tips on how to improve your tremolo picking:

  1. Only use the tip of your pick. No more than a couple of millimetres of the pick should come into contact with the string.
  2. You may want to hold the pick at a steeper angle so that only the edge comes into contact with the strings. This reduces the resistance on the pick but makes each note sound less crisp and clear.
  3. Keep your fingers, wrist and arm relaxed. Many people tense up when they try to play faster. If your shoulder or wrist aches then you're doing it wrong. Try starting slow and increasing the speed whilst maintaining the relaxed feeling in your arm.

Tremolo picking is represented in tab by three diagonal lines under each number, although Internet tabs have their own notation.