School of Music


Doctor of Music Education (DME)


Rebecca Watson


Hybrid Picking, Guitar, PIMA, Undergraduate Guitar, Plectrum, Jazz Guitar Picking


Higher Education | Music


This qualitative study underscores a hybrid picking approach to the guitar curriculum at the undergraduate level to ensure better career opportunities for college graduates. While classical and commercial guitar styles vary in methodology, practice, and performance, many undergraduate guitarists may feel underprepared for professional career opportunities in the commercial realm based on the specific curriculum in the academic domain. In many undergraduate guitar curricula, guitarists must often choose between a classical or commercial approach to learning. Undergraduate guitarists may not be experienced in diverse guitar styles that could further a musical career if opportunities go beyond classical or jazz. The qualitative methodology of this study will compare standard undergraduate classical and jazz guitar curricula to some of the demands in commercial styles. Examples include traditional picking or strumming with a plectrum, guitar styles that employ hybrid picking, positioned scales with open strings, chord extensions, classical arpeggios and exercises, and comprehension of commercial techniques. While limited texts offer some concepts to address the significance of this problem, an undergraduate hybrid picking curriculum may be applicable for students desiring a full-time performance career in music, where many opportunities exclude standard classical and jazz guitar styles. The findings of this study could be valuable to both guitar instructors and students due to some limitations of standard guitar curricula found in many universities.