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> Speed Picking
Outlaw2112
post Jan 20 2009, 10:24 PM
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Ive been working on my speed picking lately... just putting on the metronome and hitting 4 notes per beat..
Just going 1234 up and down the neck on my fingering...
my question is when its at a lower speed my hand is nice and relaxed, but when i speed it up my hand tenses up and my finger straightens out on the pick.. I can hit the faster speeds on time, but i want to know how to keep my hand relaxed like it is at the slower tempos..

Is there some kind of trick or is it just practice, practice practice like everything else with this instrument?


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superize
post Jan 20 2009, 10:28 PM
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Something i have noticed when practising speed picking is when i get to a speed that i am not comfortalbe with i get more tensed in my fingers.....

So i belive that you need to work on lower speeds untill you can played it relaxed......

Dont know if anyone else has anything better but thats how it is for me


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Outlaw2112
post Jan 20 2009, 10:31 PM
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Im good til i get to about 168 then my hand tenses up.... I can play it but i want to play it with the same relaxed picking hand i normally have...



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superize
post Jan 20 2009, 10:33 PM
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QUOTE (Outlaw2112 @ Jan 20 2009, 10:31 PM) *
Im good til i get to about 168 then my hand tenses up.... I can play it but i want to play it with the same relaxed picking hand i normally have...


Just keep working on it and your hands will work fine....


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jan 20 2009, 10:39 PM
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Your hands will naturally tense up when going up speed and pushing the limits. I can only say that this is perfectly normal mate, and should advise you to take regular brakes when practicing fast passages, so the hand is not tense up prolonged periods of time. This can possibly cause pain and other complications. So just take it easy and practice until you see that the fingers are starting to tense up. Then stop a bit, and start again, and continue tomorrow and practice, practice, practice. Hands will be relaxed the more you practice.


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Oxac
post Jan 20 2009, 10:40 PM
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Also, no offence bro', but that exercise is bad. When you improvise, you play what you've practised so if you want to improvise like that... be my guest.

I'd take the oppourtunity to practise scales and patterns that you will use when practising speed. And also, try to practise cool timing, like a lick with 5 notes in it played as quarter notes. I.e.
CODE
A -------3-5
E-3-5-7

repeat 4 times and you'll be back on time.

I just recently read in a post by Cael or Organizedconfusion (dunno whom) that complained a little about their jamming sounded like the exercises they've been doing. There's an easy solution, practise things you think sound good! That way, your jamming will sound good and you won't have to practise speed first, then learn all the patterns you wanna use. Do both at the same time!

Just my 2 cents.

This post has been edited by Oxac: Jan 20 2009, 10:43 PM


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Outlaw2112
post Jan 20 2009, 10:54 PM
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QUOTE (Oxac @ Jan 20 2009, 10:40 PM) *
Also, no offence bro', but that exercise is bad. When you improvise, you play what you've practised so if you want to improvise like that... be my guest.

I'd take the oppourtunity to practise scales and patterns that you will use when practising speed. And also, try to practise cool timing, like a lick with 5 notes in it played as quarter notes. I.e.
CODE
A -------3-5
E-3-5-7

repeat 4 times and you'll be back on time.

I just recently read in a post by Cael or Organizedconfusion (dunno whom) that complained a little about their jamming sounded like the exercises they've been doing. There's an easy solution, practise things you think sound good! That way, your jamming will sound good and you won't have to practise speed first, then learn all the patterns you wanna use. Do both at the same time!

Just my 2 cents.

yeah, makes since but if i just want to push my picking and just practice speed picking, my fingers wont go as fast as my picking hand so ive just been practicing this at 4 times picking for each beat and 4 times picking for each finger movement

I see what you are saying though


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Muris Varajic
post Jan 20 2009, 10:55 PM
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Tense is normal at higher speeds I would say,
with enough practice it'll be less annoying or whatever
but it's pretty impossible to get your picking hand 100% relaxed
at speed picking, I mean, muscles are doing hell of a job there! smile.gif


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Oxac
post Jan 20 2009, 11:41 PM
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QUOTE (Outlaw2112 @ Jan 20 2009, 10:54 PM) *
yeah, makes since but if i just want to push my picking and just practice speed picking, my fingers wont go as fast as my picking hand so ive just been practicing this at 4 times picking for each beat and 4 times picking for each finger movement

I see what you are saying though


I c, you should do that with the licks then. Pick every note in a lick 4 times biggrin.gif Better than chromatic exercises imo. Good luck with it biggrin.gif


QUOTE (Muris Varajic @ Jan 20 2009, 10:55 PM) *
Tense is normal at higher speeds I would say,
with enough practice it'll be less annoying or whatever
but it's pretty impossible to get your picking hand 100% relaxed
at speed picking, I mean, muscles are doing hell of a job there! smile.gif


Yeah, but I'd say that you can always raise the limit of where you go from relaxed to tensed. You're always gonna get some extra bpms if you tense up, but you lose control and it's not a sustainable way of picking a 5 minute petrucci solo biggrin.gif


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Outlaw2112
post Jan 20 2009, 11:48 PM
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QUOTE (Oxac @ Jan 20 2009, 11:41 PM) *
I c, you should do that with the licks then. Pick every note in a lick 4 times biggrin.gif Better than chromatic exercises imo. Good luck with it biggrin.gif


Ill start finding something else to practice my speed picking drills with, the point is to speed up my picking and make it more precise..

Ill work out some scale patterns that are easy on the fingering and work on my picking






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utak3r
post Jan 20 2009, 11:50 PM
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Have a read here smile.gif


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Muris Varajic
post Jan 20 2009, 11:51 PM
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QUOTE (Oxac @ Jan 20 2009, 11:41 PM) *
Yeah, but I'd say that you can always raise the limit of where you go from relaxed to tensed. You're always gonna get some extra bpms if you tense up, but you lose control and it's not a sustainable way of picking a 5 minute petrucci solo biggrin.gif


I said pretty same thing using different lines tho...
oh, and yeah, I didn't mention Petrucci so I owe you one. wink.gif


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Outlaw2112
post Jan 20 2009, 11:54 PM
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QUOTE (utak3r @ Jan 20 2009, 11:50 PM) *
Have a read here smile.gif

good read... speed isnt the direct goal of my practice just of this exercise, if you dont push your limits then you will never get faster... thats what the metronome is for


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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Jan 20 2009, 11:57 PM
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That's normal. You muscles must be tensed to some extent. During the time, if you continue to practice, hand will become much more relaxed. Like you are in the gym, you have to tense your muscles to lift 50 pounds, then after month or two, you can do it with less tension then before, then finally after 6 months, it's easy and your not tensing that much.
If you watched Yngwie, you noticed how his right hand is relaxed, well that came with practice, and you will also play effortless as time goes by, don't worry!


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Ramiro Delforte
post Jan 21 2009, 12:51 AM
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The tension when you're playing faster comes because you don't want to make any mistakes and that's ok, so your body concentrates too much on that and that generates the tension and the extra pressure in your pick hand and sometimes in your thumb of your left hand. Be carefull because those things could bring some tendons problems.
A good way to liberate the tension is too practice a lot at a slow speed so you can increase your precision and that allows you to play more confortable at a higher speed. The other way is to practice a lot to the full speed and beyond so when you lower the speed to the real time you'll feel relaxed and confident because you can play it twice as fast more or so. That's the advice Paul Gilbert gives (to play something good and full speed you have to be able to play it twice as fast), and John Petrucci, when he says that he always pushes a lot beyond the speed limit of the lick that he wants to play.
So, the those ways could help you to release the tension but the best way is also to be aware of that state and correct it when it happend. In order to do that you have to pay attention when you're practicing not only to the fingers on your fretboard but to your breathing and all your muscles so you can work on the relaxation while you're playing.

I hope this help you a little bit.

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Outlaw2112
post Jan 21 2009, 04:55 AM
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QUOTE (Ramiro Delforte @ Jan 21 2009, 12:51 AM) *
In order to do that you have to pay attention when you're practicing not only to the fingers on your fretboard but to your breathing and all your muscles so you can work on the relaxation while you're playing.

How should i be breathing?
I never pay attention to how im breathing it just happens


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Muris Varajic
post Jan 21 2009, 10:43 AM
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QUOTE (Outlaw2112 @ Jan 21 2009, 04:55 AM) *
How should i be breathing?
I never pay attention to how im breathing it just happens


As normal as you can,
try not to hold your breath when playing some harder chops,
keep it going as you would normally.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jan 21 2009, 10:48 AM
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Just breath normally while practicing. When you go up the speed, the breathing starts to go up, and so is blood pressure. This can lead to uneven playing, so you just have to focus to breath normally and evenly.


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Jose Mena
post Jan 21 2009, 02:19 PM
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When starting to develop speed this is normal, I remember I would feel pain in my whole arm. But little by little you feel more comfortable with it, at the beginning you might be making wider movements and as you practice you will move less and less and achieve more speed.

My advice is, focus on cleanness and accuracy, moving the hand the least amount possible, and speed will come, it is all muscle memory.


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David Wallimann
post Jan 21 2009, 03:42 PM
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Lots of great advices here.
I'll add with a reminder that warming-up is extremely important.
It will get your muscles ready and help your blood flow naturally in your body at higher speeds..
Keep track of your progress too, it's always encouraging to see your development.




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