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Hybrid Picking, Part 1: Using Triplets

Roy Fulton, Guitar Instructor

Roy Fulton, Guitar InstructorHybrid picking is an extremely useful technique to have at your disposal.

Not only has it been pioneered and championed by many a country guitarist (check out world class players Vince Gill and Johnny Hiland for some amazing examples) but also many of the modern rock guitarists such as Guthrie Govan incorporate this technique into their own playing style as well.

What Is Hybrid Picking?

Hybrid picking is simply a combination of using the pick and fingers to pluck the strings. Just watch this video for a demonstration:

This week, we’ll cover some beginners’ exercises involving triplets. Examples 1–6 concentrate on the D, G and B strings.

On examples 7 & 7a, the A, D and G strings are also used. (See tab.)

While playing the D, G and B strings, concentrate on the following finger patterns:


Pick – Middle Finger – Ring Finger

D                    G                    B




Pick – Ring Finger – Middle Finger

D                    B                    G


While playing the A, D and G strings, concentrate on the following finger patterns.


Pick – Middle Finger – Ring Finger

A                    D                    G




Pick – Ring Finger – Middle Finger

A                    G                    D



Take four QUARTER notes and divide each of them into a group of three.

Four Quarter Notes


Triplets to Quarter Notes

We end up with:

Counting Triplets


All of the hybrid picking examples are played in triplets using the pick/finger combinations provided. Check out the lesson videos for all the examples.

Video 1 – Examples played at 70bpm

Video 2 – Examples played at 110bpm

Video 3 – Examples played at 140bpm

Hybrid Picking Example 1




Example 2




Example 3




HP Ex4




Example 5




Example 6




Example 7





If you are new to this technique, remember to:

  • Take your time and work through all of the examples at a pace that suits you.
  • Use the pick/finger combinations shown.

If you are stuck in a rut, hybrid picking is a great way to breathe some new life into old licks – or to simply add something new to your playing.

Either way, hybrid picking is a very expressive and percussive technique that you can add to your selection of musical skills.

Next time I’ll be taking a look at hybrid finger combinations playing sixteenth notes.

‘Til then… Happy Pickin’.

Roy Fulton

Our goal is to provide you with the training, inspiration, motivation and confidence to become the guitarist you dream of becoming.

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