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picking - in the wrist or arm

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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?

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Elbow, lateral wrist, rotating wrist, they all come into play as you traverse the strings. They all need to be equally developed

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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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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 !

:thu:

 

Lars

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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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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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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 shit 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:thu: -Tim.

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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 shit 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:thu: -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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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.

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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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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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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.

 

:cool:

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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

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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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If you play every day the stamina thing isn't even an issue. I used the principle and it pushed me back into arm picking-the wrist thing is kinda sloppy to me now. Whatever floats your boat. I can pick really fast and accurately when I do NOT anchor and pick from the arm my forearm is straight with my wrist and my pick also uses a different plane which is always turned sideways and not dead on to the string like most players do. When I down pick it is coming parallel with the string and it turns sideways to the string. Look at the stylus pick, it has a conical tip and no drag unless you go too far into the string. Just my 2 cents again.:idea: -Tim.

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I just started lessons with a teacher that has been going at it since 1974. He almost had a fit when I picked with my wrist. Now I've been using elbow picking and I'm seeing results for the better. My playing is much cleaner and more accurate with this technique.

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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.


:cool:

 

Good vids.

 

Jimmy Bruno is great.

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It's a combination of both, but it's going to be slightly different for different styles of music. Al Di Meola discusses it in his instructional video, might want to check it out.

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Well, I think this discussion is useless ...

 

I think you're right... you just have to find a technique that works for you. Some really fast players pick from the elbow. Most pick from the wrist. Some anchor the pinkie, some anchor 3 fingers on the guitar, some don't anchor at all. Some players hold the pick with the thumb and forefinger, some with the thumb and index. There's so many different ways to skin this particular cat it's completely stupid to try and make out that there is a single 'best' way for all guitarists.

 

The only single thing I know that all fast pick players agree on is the use of a fairly heavy gauge pick and lots of practice with a metronome. Aside from that it's probably a matter of finding the best technique for your own particular body mechanics.

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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?

 

I don't know, I use a mix of everything. When I'm playing something slow I pick by moving the fingers or the wrist, but sometimes when doing something fast I notice that it's my elbow driving the movement.

 

I certainly wouldn't be able to pick by the elbow for long, as it creates much more tension, I would soon go out of sync.

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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' date=' 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.[/quote']John McLaughlin an arm picker? You gotta be kidding. His arm almost never moves. He picks exclusively from his fingers and wrist.

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I use the fore arm, wrist and index / thumb methods. When I go into the Mainstream / Di Meola warp speed , I use both wrist, thumb / index finger mode. When I use that method, I tend to pick closer to the bridge because the stings are tighter there.

At times, I also don't rest my hand on the guitar body and have my fingers fanned ( like Randy Rhoads) , so it's easier to palm mute strings, grab a tremolo arm or play with the volume / tone knobs.

Edited by AJ6stringsting

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