Enhance Your Guitar Picking Technique with a Dynamic Inside/Outside Drill

If you’re an aspiring guitarist or a seasoned player looking to refine your skills, here’s an insightful drill to add to your practice routine. Originally introduced as a warm-up exercise, this technique has proven to be an invaluable tool, especially for those aiming to elevate their picking proficiency.

Background and Purpose
Developed as a pre-gig warm-up and further expanded upon, this exercise not only serves as a warm-up routine but also as a method to address and overcome challenges resulting from injuries. The creator, having encountered a right-hand injury, adapted their approach to regain precision and agility.

The Drill
This drill focuses on inside/outside picking patterns and involves specific finger placements on strings. Here’s a breakdown:

Inside Picking:

Starting with the pick between strings, initiate with an upward stroke.
Follow a sequence: index-middle on the second string, then ring-little finger on the first string.
Reverse the sequence: inside starting down.
Outside Picking:

With the pick outside the strings, begin with an upward stroke.
Alternate between starting up and starting down.
Expanding the Exercise
The drill isn’t limited to a fixed position on the fretboard. It encourages movement up and down the fretboard, allowing for exploration and gradual progression in difficulty. One variation involves widening the interval by skipping strings, challenging fingers to adapt to varying distances between strings.

The Challenge and Benefits
These exercises serve the purpose of challenging conventional finger movements and patterns. By doing so, they enhance precision and accuracy, forcing the hand to adapt to less familiar sequences. This, in turn, contributes to improved overall dexterity and performance.

While these drills may seem daunting at first, they’re effective tools for honing your guitar skills. Incorporating them into your practice routine not only challenges your dexterity but also assists in breaking away from habitual patterns, fostering growth and agility in your playing style.

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