Pick Scrape

A pick slide or pick scrape is a guitar technique most often performed in the rock, punk, or metal music genres. The technique is executed by holding the edge of the pick against any of the three or four wound strings and moving it along the string. As the pick moves across the string, the edge of the pick catches the string’s windings in rapid succession causing the string to vibrate and produce a note. This rapid rattling of the pick’s edge against the windings also gives the resulting note a grinding or grating quality.

The pitch of a pick slide rises as the pick moves closer to the bridge, nut, or fret (if the string is being fretted) and lowers as the pick moves away from these points, towards the center of the vibrating length of the string. Since pick slides usually start near the bridge and end over the higher frets, the notes have a characteristic of gradually lowering the pitch. This technique is most effective for electric guitar with high gain. It isn’t loud enough to be distinguishable from ordinary fret noise on an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar without distortion. It is not bad in any way for the amp, guitar, or strings, but it does ruin the edge of the pick. Thinner picks made of more durable materials tend to have the best results.