Jake Workman – Fastest Flatpick In The West

Jake Workman – Big Mon

When I turned on this video and first heard the click (which I’m guessing is about 180) I thought- wow, this guy is gonna blow a vein in his head.

Well, Jake Workman may have set the “Big Mon” world speed record with this video and, we all know how important that is (Guinness Book of World Records should have a category for this)….

I know a lot of you are gonna think and even comment that it’s too fast or, not music anymore.

But as negative as some or many of you may feel, you have to just admit that this is super impressive. Yea I know, it’s more like weightlifting but, it’s something to take note as to how he’s able to accomplish this… AND  I’m sure if you could just play like this if someone were to wave a magic wand, you wouldn’t turn it down.

How is Jake Workman able to do this?

Let’s break it down. First and foremost, look at his right hand. He’s holding the pick in his fist rather than his fingers spread out. Holding the pick in this manner is gonna make it so he doesn’t have to work as hard to get out the clear loud notes, due to the fact that the pick is being held by more mass. I always equate it to a punch…. you do it with a fist for the most impact, not with your hands open.  And his fist is relaxed and not tense, even though this speed is very very brisk.

I’ve seen other Jake Workman videos and believe it or not, he had his hands open for them. And if you notice, right at the intro he does have them open, but closes up once he starts picking.

Second you will note his left hand posture, as he’s able to use all 4 fingers with runs. Yea, it helps to have long fingers but I’ve seen people with short one’s be able to get around the guitar with no problem.  So the proper arch, which is not that much different than a classical technique, is being used here as well.

The last thing I’m gonna talk about is the metronome. This is what has pushed Jake to get to this speed. All you do is put the setting at a comfortable level, play along, and then turn it up a couple of clicks next time you play it. If you do this, you will notice that some of the things you were able to do at a slow tempo can’t be done faster. This is going to reveal a lot about what you can do fast, vs. what you can play slow. And there’s a whole world of fast that you can find that works better and easier when played fast. Pushing yourself with the metronome is something that you should consider if you want to build up speed.

Finally, I’m gonna tell you that Jake Workman is one seriously fine musician, and I’m planning on featuring him with some other videos here soon that have nothing to do with speed. You will be amazed!

Here’s a little more info on Jake: 

“Jake comes from Draper, in Utah and is attending Utah University majoring in Jazz Guitar. He lists his occupation as student and guitar, mandolin and banjo instructor. in 2009 he made the cut to the top five in both the Flat Pick and Banjo Championships. Jake says coming here to see friends is reason enough to return each year. Family, friends and his girlfriend, Rebekah, occupy much of his free time but he says he does like to play the Wii (ha ha). Jake chose the Deering Terry Baucom Signature Model Banjo by the Deering Banjo Company of Spring Valley, CA as his prize instrument.” see more


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  1. Pingback: Jake Workman: Texas Flatpicking Champion

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