There's a well-known rock song I've been trying to learn, and there's a lot about it that I'm finding difficult, no doubt because I've just started playing.

The first ten notes (two adjacent strings at a time, actually) are played very rapidly, and I can't seem to even hear a pick in the notes. It just seems like it all blends together.

There's some distortion, but not a lot. Certainly not to the point where you can't hear picking, as it can clearly be heard in other parts of the song.

How would a person play notes/chords without having the picking heard?

Thanks for any replies.
pick closer to the neck?

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The song is the Stone's "Can't You Hear Me Knockin' ". He's not finger picking, unless he can switch to a pick really fast. I also don't think it's hammer on's or pull off's, but I could be wrong.

I never tried picking close to the neck. I'll give that a shot. If that doesn't work, I'll just call Keith Richards and ask.
If you necessarily need to do it with a pick, and not use legato..you can try picking lighter, try a different pick, hold the pick parallell to the strings when you pick...etc... there's so much you can do to change the way picking sounds.
Also picking closer to the neck like said above will have a significant effect on your picking sound.
Things with strings:
Ibanez J.Custom, Prestiges, RG8, SR5 bass etc
LP's, Strat, Tele
ENGL Retro Tube 50
5150 III 50W
Orange Terror Bass
I never really hear the picking if you listen to just what's coming out of the amp... obviously, if you're playing it yourself you hear the guitar itself and the pick, etc. The sound of the pick is determined by where you pick, the thickness of the pick, how hard you pick, and loads more.
I looked at some YouTube videos on hammer on's and pull off's. That's definitely what he did on the album, but he's sure fast (at least to me). He hits 11 two-string chords in 2.5 seconds.

It's going to take years of practice to get to that point.
Thanks. I looked at some YouTube videos on tapping and they made it look easy (of course). I was able to get some notes by tapping, but I had to have the amp cranked up to hear them.
Sometimes removing excess pick noise will be done after the guitar has been recorded, by using a notch filter in the EQ. There's a lot that can go on in post-production that we may think is coming directly from an artist's amp.
There's a lot that can go on in post-production that we may think is coming directly from an artist's amp.

Oh, yeah. The first time that really hit me was hearing the US remix of "Baby Blue" by Badfinger in 1971 or so. The UK version was a little wimpy, and the remix had a lot more gain and reverb. The US version sold well, while the song didn't do especially well in the UK.
Try out a heavier pick

1mm or above will smooth out any slappy attack you get from picking
I took the movie "Casino" and played the part where "Can't You Hear Me Knockin' " opens a scene, and played it at half speed. I could hear picking six times. The other notes sounded like hammer on's or pull off's.

I didn't hear any tapping. It was just really fast, even at half speed.
Last edited by Monkeyleg at Apr 13, 2012,
It's also a definite possibility this song is in open-G with the low E string removed. This might make the chord shapes significantly easier and give you the drone notes you need to make it work.
I noticed that Dunlop Jazz III picks are a lot less noticable through the amp. Also, legato playing removes pick sounds
Stormface, I have my guitar tuned to open G, which is what Keith Richards uses on a lot of songs from the 1968-1974 period. I don't hit the low E string, although I'm fairly certain that Richards hits it once in the studio version of the song.