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  • picking - in the wrist or arm

    So, when people pick with their right hand (assuming right handed player using a pick), is the correct technique to use your wrist to deliver the note, or your entire arm...ie bending at the elbow and keeping the wrist relatively stationary?

    or a combo of both?

  • #2
    Elbow, lateral wrist, rotating wrist, they all come into play as you traverse the strings. They all need to be equally developed
    Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...







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    • #3
      This is the way I see it...

      Fingers: Holding the pick.
      Wrist: Doing the actual picking motions.
      Elbow: Moving the hand from string to string.

      I would not recommend using the elbow when alternate picking, as the precise motions required could cause strain on the tendons if half your arm is doing the picking motions. Wrist picking is, at least in my opinion, the most effective way to pick when doing alternate picking. Al Di Meola, Paul Gilbert and Shawn Lane all share this opinion.

      You'll see economy pickers like Jimmy Bruno use their elbow for many fast lines, and while I wouldn't pick that way myself, the economy picking motions aren't as tiring as the alternate picking ones. This is because your pick usually travels in one direction when changing strings, instead of doing little skips like when you're alternate picking.

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      • #4
        Whatever works, man.

        I used to pick with wrist only, but I could not get any speed by doing so ... but I used that technique for more than 10 years, I could not tremolo pick 16ths above 130 bpm, no matter how much I practiced.
        I think this might be due to the fact that I'm a lefty playing righty, so my picking hand is the weaker hand ...

        But then, about 2-3 years ago I switched to elbow picking, and that seemed to be the solution for me. I got way more speed that way, the only difficult thing is to stay relaxed, and by a lot of practicing this can be achieved.

        Check out Vinnie Moore's instructional videos, he's doing all the fast picking from the elbow, and he is FAST !!!!

        So bottom line, I thingk, you should try different ways and see what works best for you.

        I know many people consider elbow picking as wrong, but I'd say whatever works is fine ....

        Good luck !


        Lars
        my website - free licks - some of my music

        I offer online guitar lessons on Skype in different styles. Send me a PM if interested.

        check out my EP 'Sonic Sketches'

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        • #5
          One more. Fingers. OK, that's several more. When palm muting for instance...
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Santuzzo
            Check out Vinnie Moore's instructional videos, he's doing all the fast picking from the elbow, and he is FAST !!!!

            You know, I was watching his 2nd vid recently and noticed he is picking from the elbow. But when he played the examples slowly he would pick from the wrist. I was trying to figure out if his fast playing is a combination of wrist and elbow or just all elbow. Its hard to tell...but I haven't studied the vid too much. When I try to use my elbow for fast picking, the lh/rh synchronization gets out of whack. I guess I'd have to practice it for a while at slower speeds to see if elbow picking works for me....

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dsimon665
              You know, I was watching his 2nd vid recently and noticed he is picking from the elbow. But when he played the examples slowly he would pick from the wrist. I was trying to figure out if his fast playing is a combination of wrist and elbow or just all elbow. Its hard to tell...but I haven't studied the vid too much. When I try to use my elbow for fast picking, the lh/rh synchronization gets out of whack. I guess I'd have to practice it for a while at slower speeds to see if elbow picking works for me....
              Vinnie is a rare example of someone using the elbow for faster picking, and rarely even does it nowadays. The fastest players have all used the wrist for their picking, guys like Shawn Lane and Paul Gilbert have all reached higher speeds than Moore.

              It's all about practicing. If you can't do it, you just haven't worked hard enough. Took me a year to switch from elbow to wrist picking, but it was worth it. Economy of motion, my friend, economy of motion...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Yngtchie Blacksteen
                Vinnie is a rare example of someone using the elbow for faster picking, and rarely even does it nowadays. The fastest players have all used the wrist for their picking, guys like Shawn Lane and Paul Gilbert have all reached higher speeds than Moore.

                It's all about practicing. If you can't do it, you just haven't worked hard enough. Took me a year to switch from elbow to wrist picking, but it was worth it. Economy of motion, my friend, economy of motion...


                You'll need to look at "The Principles" from jaime andreas there is a section on the right arm and wrist picking is not the most precise and fastest-elbow picking is, not trying to start **************** but your elbow moving from string to string while picking fast with your wrist straight and no anchoring your picking hand pinkie on the body of the guitar is the best way to go. If you don't believe me you should try it out for a couple of weeks. Also, if you watch shawn lane he rotates his forearm and picks from the elbow. The rotation of his forearm is from the velocity of the pick hitting the strings.Just my 2 cents and take it with a grain of salt -Tim.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by toneking
                  You'll need to look at "The Principles" from jaime andreas there is a section on the right arm and wrist picking is not the most precise and fastest-elbow picking is, not trying to start **************** but your elbow moving from string to string while picking fast with your wrist straight and no anchoring your picking hand pinkie on the body of the guitar is the best way to go. If you don't believe me you should try it out for a couple of weeks. Also, if you watch shawn lane he rotates his forearm and picks from the elbow. The rotation of his forearm is from the velocity of the pick hitting the strings.Just my 2 cents and take it with a grain of salt -Tim.
                  Well, you may think that's the case, but I strongly disagree. I picked that way for a few years, but I noticed that when the speed increased, my arm would get tired from doing these small, rapid movements. I tried reverting to picking from the wrist, and after a year of work, it finally paid off, and my picking is more accurate than it used to be, but it's also more than fast enough.

                  And no, Shawn Lane did not pick from his elbow. It's pretty obvious if you watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOLZ6z959U8

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                  • #10
                    Well, I think this discussion is useless ...

                    Again, whatever works, I mean, I don't thnk there is "wrong" or "right".
                    If it works and you don't hurt yourself (and this is why I stress the importance of keeping your arm relaxed when picking from the elbow) it can't be wrong.

                    Vinnie Moore doesn't do the elbow picking picking that much anymore, 'cos he's using much more legato playing nowadays, I think that is the only reason.
                    my website - free licks - some of my music

                    I offer online guitar lessons on Skype in different styles. Send me a PM if interested.

                    check out my EP 'Sonic Sketches'

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Santuzzo
                      Vinnie Moore doesn't do the elbow picking picking that much anymore, 'cos he's using much more legato playing nowadays, I think that is the only reason.
                      He says that he uses it occasionally, but not as much as in the instructional videos.

                      If you wanna give his current playing style a closer look, check out the new UFO DVD, Showtime. Features many Schenker-era classics, as well as new songs co-written by Moore. I hadn't heard much UFO before purchasing the DVD, and I was pleasantly surprised when I listened to it. Moore shows why he was such a suitable replacement for Schenker, and also why he's probably the most tasteful of the '80's shred guys.

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                      • #12
                        I notice all the fast guys get their arm moving when they are going for top speed. I've seen Lane videos where the arm is definitely moving.

                        Also watch the second P. Gilbert video and you can clearly see his forearm movement. Petrucci in his video too. And these guys are known as "wrist" pickers. And they do use the wrist but every so often, for certain licks I see that forearm moving fast.

                        Also on the Yngwie instructional video. He uses many combinations for his licks. Sometimes it's more finger movement and sometimes wrist and when they show a side angle of him, as he picks a run up the high E string, you see his whole arm moving rapidly.

                        All arm is not good. Vinnie Moore had some bad tendonitis problems from it.


                        But then again, look at John McLaughlin who's known to be an arm picker. Even said in an old Guitar Player mag. He smokes everybody.

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                        • #13
                          whatever works for the individual person is the best way. but if you're starting from scratch and looking for a technique, these short videos break it down pretty well:

                          http://www.jimmybruno.com/pickscale.htm


                          here it is in action:
                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQChYrqUQzE&mode=related&search=
                          or
                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dcfWOc1v34

                          etc.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by buddastrat




                            All arm is not good. Vinnie Moore had some bad tendonitis problems from it.




                            Oh, where did you read this?

                            Rather interesting.

                            I have been reading Vinnie Moore's fourms where he pots himself regularly.
                            I read in one post where he was asked about it ...
                            He says, he never had an injury ...
                            See for yourself ....

                            http://www.vinniemoore.com/cgi-bin/ib3/ikonboard.cgi?;act=ST;f=3;t=779;hl=injury
                            my website - free licks - some of my music

                            I offer online guitar lessons on Skype in different styles. Send me a PM if interested.

                            check out my EP 'Sonic Sketches'

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I used to think it was all wrisst, but I noticed how one of my shredder friends (who plays lots of Paul Gilbert-esque stuff) who is an amazing player and picks very clean uses the arm a lot more than the wrist.

                              Do any of you guys have problems with lack of stamina in the right arm/wrist? I constantly find my right arm/wrist runs out of stamina

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