These licks are an example of the zany sounds you can get when borrowing techniques from other genres. Hybrid picking is actually a technique closely associated with country music, but because we are using it with distortion and an uptempo funky blues progression backing track, it just sounds plain nuts (which is a good thing in my book!).
How does Hybrid Picking work? Looking at the tab from Lick 2 onwards, you’ll notice symbols that appear to be like stubby staples. This symbol represents a down-stroke with the plectrum. What usually follows is the letter ‘M’, which represents a pluck with the middle finger. In case you hadn’t noticed by now, the combination of using the plectrum and a finger is why it’s called Hybrid Picking: it mixes the two. As you watch the video, keep an eye on my right hand and you’ll get an idea of how it works at speed.
Although technically these licks could be played with just the plectrum, I wouldn’t recommend it, as you won’t get the characterful snappy sound that comes from using the middle finger. Besides, some of the sequences would be even harder to play, as getting your finger involved means you don’t need to move your wrist as much when changing to a higher string.
As always, below the YouTube video you’ll find the backing track to play along with, and below that, the tablature. Aren’t I nice?!
Feel free to ask questions or just share your thoughts in the comments!