Here's a neat little trick that will greatly increase your picking speed that I learned from an old article on the late great Roy Buchanan. It's called "circle picking" and here's what you do:
First off, by holding the pick between your thumb and index finger, draw a small imaginary circle (about 1/3" in diameter) with the tip of the pick. Make sure that you're not moving your wrist, but just your thumb and finger...just like you were drawing the circle with a pen.
Next grab your guitar, choose a single string and start picking the string down and up in standard fashion by moving your wrist; floor to ceiling. As you're picking down and up, start "drawing the circle" and you should notice that you're now striking the string twice as many times as you were without the circle! Now practice on the other strings with scales etc., and add this to your bag of tricks!
You can also strum full chords using this technique by simply drawing a bigger circle. This gives you an almost harp like quality to your strum...very different sounding! You can hear Roy Buchanan himself using this technique on the song "Thank you Lord" on his album release "Roy Buchanan Second Album".
Greigg Fraser is a guitarist and recording artist from Ontario, Canada who produces totally original instrumental compositions melding both clean and tortured, distorted rock guitar with fusion, new age and pop overtones.
His latest CD is entitled "Under The Radar".