What’s the most basic advanced (?) guitar technique? I asked myself while bathing because that’s when everyone has their deepest thoughts. What does basic advanced mean anyway? You won’t believe what comes next.

16th notes alternate picking/strumming is the most basic advanced technique I say. Why is this important? For most of the work I do these days having to cover different genres of music, doing 16th notes is basic especially when things get funky. The advanced part of it is getting things up to speed and clean.

Most of the time, the rhythm is determined by the picking hand. Each of the down and up strokes help us know where we are rhythmically e.g. the down strokes will be hitting on down and up beats whereas the up strokes will be hitting on the e and a. If we have a phrase that goes 1ena2ena3ena4ena with the underlined notes being the ones to be played, we will play them DuduDuduDuduDudu with d being the down strokes, u being the up strokes, and D showing the down beats. Simply speaking, it’s about keeping our picking hand go down and up all the time.

A weak picking hand usually means weak rhythm and we do not want that. It’s also not a case of showing off how fast we can play. It’s about keeping time and being efficient at it. I play the guitar and we love playing solos and guess what, having good rhythm will make our solos sound better as well. And that’s it, the most basic advanced technique -16th notes alternate picking/strumming, basic being that it’s everywhere, advanced being that it’s hard to master.


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