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  • Posing Pick Problem

    When doing fast alternate picking , like the descending single string runs in a lot of surf music, what's the best technique? More in the wrist or fingers? It's hard for me to get smooth. Pick choices for this? Thanks
    "HAVE FUN, TRY NOT TO HURT ANYONE AND EAT PLENTY OF GREENS"

  • #2
    Wrist. Turn the pick at a slight angle and it will cut across the string with less friction. Pick choice is based on your comfort. I like Fender 351 med. tortoise shell.

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    • #3
      I could be wrong but those sound like thin picks they drag across the strings. Thicker picks need to be lifted slightly and "ramped" over the strings a la Eric Johnson say.

      Regardless, smoothness comes one perfect stroke at a time. Practice even quarters and 8ths. Find the maximum speed you can do flawlessly and effortlessly and work from there.
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      • #4
        never the fingers. wrist and forearm work together

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        • #5
          Make sure you are actually playing each note and not just whipping your pick back and forth through the string. Start painfully slow - though it may seem tedious at first, establishing intent in every stroke will go a long way in developing smoothness and ensuring that you can maintain control and volume as you speed things up.

          If you wanna dig a little deeper, check out this comprehensive overview of pick technique by jazz guitarist Tuck Andress.
          tl;dr

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          • #6
            Yes, that Tuck Andress link is a great resource for picking information.

            I'd add to the original poster that you always want to keep your hands and arms relaxed.

            Practice with a metronome for good timing.

            And practice dynamics and accenting notes for more overall control - don't just practice for speed.
            **********************

            www.thesymbolsband.com

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            • #7
              Hey Jasco! ..good to see you, hope all is well

              The longer I play, the more I'm convinced that "whatever works, works". With regards to picking, whatever method = the least tension for you..is the best..so you have to try them all!. I couldn't play the fast part in "Highway Star" properly until I tried out "thumb and index finger movement ONLY"..for example.
              Originally Posted by Jimmy James


              You're the British SAS of Metal.









              Originally Posted by Phlat Phive


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              Originally Posted by goodusername



              Mosiddiqi is a prick, btw.



              Some Tunes:

              http://www.box.net/shared/zbo8hrncu2
              http://www.box.net/shared/dnlnkn3g44
              http://www.box.net/shared/th4tv5noyi

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              • #8
                I'm not generally a trem picker, but have found that the Dunlop Jazztone 204s (small, thicker than the Jazz IIIs, and with a rounded tip) works really well for that technique.

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                • #9
                  Caveat: I'm not a super fast player. I have spend a fair bit of time last year working on alternate picking technique, so I've definitely gotten some lessons learned, but I'm no pro. That said, it's the internet so I might as well give my 2c.

                  If you watch videos of a bunch of great alternate pickers - Petrucci, Malmsteen, Vai, Gilbert, Govan... they all have different styles. Some of those styles (like Vai's) look really uncomfortable for me. There are certainly common themes - 1. stay relaxed 2. pick from the wrist, not the elbow and 3. don't anchor your hand on the bridge too heavily; but actual hand positioning is very much an individual thing. Everyone's body is different and what works for you may not be what works for your musical heroes.

                  In my opinion you have to start with the sound and clarity of each note and get the tone you want, then work backwards up your fingers, though your wrist, through your arms to get the whole process in sync to create that sound. If you're consistently flubbing notes, there's a reason. Slow it down and analyze. Is it pick angle? Are you moving your fingers to much? Are you flubbing because you're anchoring your hand on the bridge? I would always recommend playing slowly and accurately and building up speed from a solid foundation, but be aware that every technique has a certain speed at which it begins to feel different. You need to push yourself and understand that feeling in order to play fast. If you only ever practice slow, it's hard to be good and fast. If you jump way ahead and just slop through playing fast, you'll never get clean. You may need to tweak your technique to make a smooth transition. Also, be sure to change things up and don't get stuck playing the same exercise over and over for too long. String skipping feels different from linear lines. Outside picking feels different than inside picking.
                  Multiple award winning blues/rock/country at http://www.zeyerband.com or http://www.reverbnation.com/zeyer.Check my solo (instrumental rock) projects at: http://www.reverbnation.com/vincedickinson"Music is like the English language - it's just full of rules that need to be broken or you aren't hip.""It doesn't take talent to upgrade your playing. It takes patience" - Kenny Werner

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                  • #10
                    you may also want to look into Directional or Economy Picking, it changes the way you see 3 note per string scale and makes everything very easy. Then again if you are after the picking attack that only alternate picking offers you are on the right path with the advice given here.

                    Definitely more wrist, I use the thumb muting technique which basically means that I rest my thumb of the picking hand on the strings so that they stay muted when playing Lead Guitar.

                    Hope this helps
                    http://www.georgeshredking.com/

                    http://guitarlessonsinvredenburg.com/

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the tips guys
                      "HAVE FUN, TRY NOT TO HURT ANYONE AND EAT PLENTY OF GREENS"

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                      • #12
                        you may also want to look into Directional or Economy Picking, it changes the way you see 3 note per string scale and makes everything very easy. Then again if you are after the picking attack that only alternate picking offers you are on the right path with the advice given here.

                        Definitely more wrist, I use the thumb muting technique which basically means that I rest my thumb of the picking hand on the strings so that they stay muted when playing Lead Guitar.

                        Hope this helps


                        Economy picking a single string gliss is also a wonderful intellectual challenge.
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