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> Secrets Of Speed Picking, "Tricks of the Trade"
Todd Simpson
post May 16 2012, 04:32 AM
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As I've been working with my Soldiers of Shred in my Mentoring Bootcamp, I've realized that there are a few tips that might be able to help loads of folks who are striving to reach the next level in their precision and as a result, in their speed (In my experience, Speed is a byproduct of precision)

These are NOT END ALL BE ALL RULES, just tips to try while you are in "Practice Mode" working intently on your ability. So here are the

TRICKS OF THE TRADE


1.)Use a sharp or sharpened pick that is at least 1.0 MM thick. (Pick Flex Kills Precision, our byproduct!)

2.)Dont sit "Side Saddle" when pushing the limits of your fingers. Maintain the discipline of good posture and classical guitar position with your thumb in the middle of the neck, left foot elevated on a book, good steep guitar angle, etc. The stuff we always talk about.

3.)Focus on relaxing your right hand at speed by taking your left hand off the guitar neck. Focus only on picking for a bit. Turn the metronome up 5 BPM at a time and force you hand to stay relaxed as you progress. Once you "Train" your right hand, you can then bring the left hand back in to it.

4.)Don't make big jumps in speed, E.G. from 120 to 160. Rome was not built in a Day.

These are the "Secrets" of breaking through that Barrier between thumb/wrist picking where things get sketchy. To give you some reference, take a peek at this vid. Look at the right hand. Notice how it barely moves and never gets very tense. I'm using a bit of wrist and bits of finger movement on the right hand.



Please feel free to add! smile.gif

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: May 16 2012, 04:33 AM


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Ben Higgins
post May 16 2012, 10:32 AM
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" Secrets of Speed Picking "

Steal the right arms of either:

Michael Angelo Batio
Rusty Cooley
Paul Gilbert
Todd Simpson

laugh.gif laugh.gif

Joking aside, this is good stuff and all very true. In addition to point 2 I would also suggest practising standing up as well as you will also get the benefits of correct posture. Tension can start in the neck and translate to the shoulder and all the way down the arm. Not only that, but you'll get more comfortable with playing stood up too smile.gif

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: May 16 2012, 10:33 AM


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maharzan
post May 16 2012, 01:14 PM
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I will take Todd's hand.

/me goes to search for his Khukuri. lol


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Cosmin Lupu
post May 16 2012, 06:36 PM
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As I always said, good reminders! Can never EVER hear them too often! Thank you Todd!


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Todd Simpson
post May 19 2012, 02:41 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ May 16 2012, 05:32 AM) *
" Secrets of Speed Picking "

Steal the right arms of either:

Michael Angelo Batio
Rusty Cooley
Paul Gilbert
Todd Simpson

laugh.gif laugh.gif

Joking aside, this is good stuff and all very true. In addition to point 2 I would also suggest practising standing up as well as you will also get the benefits of correct posture. Tension can start in the neck and translate to the shoulder and all the way down the arm. Not only that, but you'll get more comfortable with playing stood up too smile.gif


Ben has a KILLER point here, playing STANDING UP is the only honest way to prepare for a LIVE GIG. HERE IS THE CATCH!

Many players sitting/standing guitar positions are so different, they can't play the same things sitting and standing. So you can either find a modified standing position (Like Slash does when he pulls his guitar up for a lead) or modify your guitar strap setting. It looks much better IMHO to wear a spiff guitar lower on stage. But of course, makes playing different as well. So try to get a happy medium where your sitting and standing position of the guitar is somewhat similar.

That way, you wont' have to learn a "standing version" of every lick you learn while sitting.

Practice!
Todd


QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ May 16 2012, 01:36 PM) *
As I always said, good reminders! Can never EVER hear them too often! Thank you Todd!


For students still learning the "Tricks of the Trade" some of this is still fairly new so it's mostly for them but yeah it never hurts to review! smile.gif I built this list for my SHRED BOOTCAMP students to put some tips in to one handy list.

Todd


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derper
post May 19 2012, 09:02 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ May 18 2012, 06:41 PM) *
Ben has a KILLER point here, playing STANDING UP is the only honest way to prepare for a LIVE GIG. HERE IS THE CATCH!

Many players sitting/standing guitar positions are so different, they can't play the same things sitting and standing. So you can either find a modified standing position (Like Slash does when he pulls his guitar up for a lead) or modify your guitar strap setting.



Or, because I gig out a few times per month, just practice standing at all times. Yep. Hours a day. Standing. I personally, am not a huge fan of sitting anyway. Live I NEVER play sitting, and just most of what I do is in preparation of live gigs, or sitting in on gigs. So why not play standing always? It's not that way for everyone. But, for me....standing is the way to prepare AND to rock!


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Ben Higgins
post May 19 2012, 10:58 AM
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QUOTE (derper @ May 19 2012, 09:02 AM) *
Or, because I gig out a few times per month, just practice standing at all times. Yep. Hours a day. Standing. I personally, am not a huge fan of sitting anyway. Live I NEVER play sitting, and just most of what I do is in preparation of live gigs, or sitting in on gigs. So why not play standing always? It's not that way for everyone. But, for me....standing is the way to prepare AND to rock!


Good for you !

It's not easy.. standing for that period of time tires you out but at least it keeps your shoulders and everything else more relaxed smile.gif


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SirJamsalot
post May 21 2012, 05:57 PM
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Playing standing is definitely a challenge when you've spent most of your days sitting. Start with your guitar a bit higher up to prevent hurting your fretting hand and gradually move it down - the further down, the more you rely on feel than sight, and the more your fretting had tendons are stretched. you'll lose quite a bit of reach (low E and A strings will be challenging get a full fret spread) until you've gotten used to it.

From what I've seen, the most common height is where the bridge pickup is positioned slightly below the belt. Anything lower than that is Slash territory, and requires you learn to fret fret with your thumb (unless you have a set of PG monkey fingers).

biggrin.gif


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Todd Simpson
post May 21 2012, 08:49 PM
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QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ May 21 2012, 12:57 PM) *
Playing standing is definitely a challenge when you've spent most of your days sitting. Start with your guitar a bit higher up to prevent hurting your fretting hand and gradually move it down - the further down, the more you rely on feel than sight, and the more your fretting had tendons are stretched. you'll lose quite a bit of reach (low E and A strings will be challenging get a full fret spread) until you've gotten used to it.

From what I've seen, the most common height is where the bridge pickup is positioned slightly below the belt. Anything lower than that is Slash territory, and requires you learn to fret fret with your thumb (unless you have a set of PG monkey fingers).

biggrin.gif


Well said wink.gif Good suggestion on positioning as well. Hopefully one can find that magic zone where the guitar falls roughly in the same spot sitting and standing. But sometimes, that just doesn't work and folks want the slash Gun Slinger look (who can blame them?) which means spending a lot of practicing time standing up. Where I've seen this hit a snag is when a player sits during most practice, say at a computer, then tries to play standing with the guitar around their ankles. Usually goes bad. So avoid that! smile.gif


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SirJamsalot
post May 21 2012, 09:00 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ May 21 2012, 12:49 PM) *
. Where I've seen this hit a snag is when a player sits during most practice, say at a computer, then tries to play standing with the guitar around their ankles. Usually goes bad. So avoid that! smile.gif


laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif
That was me!!


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Bossie
post May 21 2012, 09:34 PM
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Playing the axe sitting down ..well i guess you should have the guitarbody on your lap with a 90 % angle to your upper legs....Lots of people tend do flatten the guitar a bit so they have better view on the fretboard...that's a bad habit and if you don't practice standing up you'll have serious problems later. mellow.gif

trust me ...i can tell :-)) !!!

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Todd Simpson
post May 21 2012, 10:58 PM
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QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ May 21 2012, 04:00 PM) *
laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif
That was me!!


Don't feel bad, it's pretty much everybody including me! smile.gif



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Cosmin Lupu
post May 22 2012, 10:37 PM
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I can totally relate biggrin.gif I have recently raised the guitar, by shortening the length of my strap smile.gif Of course, I don't look too guitaristically cool, but I can play and run around and do a lot of tricks biggrin.gif The angles are exactly as the ones I have when sitting on my chair, so I guess it feels good, even though I will have to compensate for the guitar scarf!


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 13 2012, 10:10 PM
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QUOTE (maharzan @ May 16 2012, 08:14 AM) *
I will take Todd's hand.

/me goes to search for his Khukuri. lol



Ouch ! MY ARM! GIVE ME MY HAND BACK! smile.gif

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Ben Higgins
post Jun 14 2012, 09:36 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jun 13 2012, 10:10 PM) *
Ouch ! MY ARM! GIVE ME MY HAND BACK! smile.gif

Attached Image


I'm glad I wasn't eating my breakfast when I scrolled down ! laugh.gif


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derper
post Jun 14 2012, 06:18 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ May 22 2012, 02:37 PM) *
I can totally relate biggrin.gif I have recently raised the guitar, by shortening the length of my strap smile.gif Of course, I don't look too guitaristically cool, but I can play and run around and do a lot of tricks biggrin.gif The angles are exactly as the ones I have when sitting on my chair, so I guess it feels good, even though I will have to compensate for the guitar scarf!



Yeah, I think you may have tipped me off that my strap was slung a bit too low, back when I started here at GMC. Someone did, anyway, and now I wear it slightly higher and I LOVE the difference!!

But yeah....it doesn't look as "cool".


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Arpeggio
post Jun 14 2012, 07:01 PM
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Drink lots of coffee and attach electric nodes to your hand.

I practise standing and sitting, either one gets too uncomfortable for too long. The guitarist from RageAgainstheMachine has his guitar kind of high. I didn't think of using a sharp pick but I can see why. I sometimes increase metronome speed a smaller rate at the faster end e.g. 80, 100, 120 then 130.






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Opetholic
post Jun 14 2012, 07:12 PM
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This is not what Todd suggested but I like my pick as thin as possible. At the moment I use one that is 0.73mm thick. It gives me more room to move in between strings.. But maybe I am wrong, most probably I am since Todd says opposite smile.gif what do you think GMCers?


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SCProphet
post Jun 14 2012, 07:38 PM
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QUOTE (Opetholic @ Jun 14 2012, 06:12 PM) *
This is not what Todd suggested but I like my pick as thin as possible. At the moment I use one that is 0.73mm thick. It gives me more room to move in between strings.. But maybe I am wrong, most probably I am since Todd says opposite smile.gif what do you think GMCers?


I Spend years looking for a pick right for me, and then I found the pick of destiny!!!

http://www.google.be/imgres?um=1&hl=nl...29,r:1,s:0,i:73

Carbon nylon picks, 1.14mm

The only thing that is a downside to this one, is that they are unflexible and I still need to find the correct way to stop the noise they make while sweeping. I already made it less loud, but it's still vaguely there


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 14 2012, 07:43 PM
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QUOTE (Opetholic @ Jun 14 2012, 07:12 PM) *
This is not what Todd suggested but I like my pick as thin as possible. At the moment I use one that is 0.73mm thick. It gives me more room to move in between strings.. But maybe I am wrong, most probably I am since Todd says opposite smile.gif what do you think GMCers?


I found a guy on YT a while ago and he had amazing, amazing speed and he used a silly, thin pick too so there's no limits smile.gif


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