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Mr Mayhem
GMC:er
44 years old
Male
Essex United Kingdom
Born Sep-22-1976
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My Wife, Guitars, Music, Rock, Flying,
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Joined: 21-November 10
Profile Views: 1.009*
Last Seen: 31st December 2010 - 07:56 PM
Local Time: May 14 2021, 03:31 AM
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Mr Mayhem

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26 Dec 2010
Hi Everyone.

I promised i would post my results when i found the pick that solves my problems so here i am.

Im using picks from www.dugainpicks.com and they are brilliant.

They are a bit expensive (about £8 each i think) but for me its a small price for the peace of mind im getting.... see all my previous probs regarding pick slippage etc.

The only minor niggle i had with them was that they don't normally sound quite as sharp as the big stubbies i was using, but i fixed that by sharpening them. I now have the sound and tone from the big stubbies, but a perfect grip and feel too.

These picks really are amazingly comfortable, and they also ensure that my fingers are going exactly in the right place when i hold it too.

At the moment i am getting a bit more pick noise than normal, which i put down to the pick being a bit different to my old ones... but im sure i can fix that with a bit of adjustment to the angle im picking at. Also i think maybe my amp isn't set up the best.

Anyway i wanted to say thanks to all who wrote to me offering advice and helpful suggestions, especially to Ben Higgins who helped me to stop beating myself up about it. Cheers guys!
11 Dec 2010
Hi everyone.

I had a thought today about practise.

One of the exercises i do during my practise is a scale pattern where you start a scale playing the first four notes. Then you play another four notes from the same scale but starting on the second note. Then you play another four notes starting from the third note and so on.

When you play this its quite a work out. Especially if you then decend the scale in the same fashion.

The thing is this exercise i find is really demanding, and usually i find it takes a good few attempts to get it right. Me being me i tend to keep going at it until it works, and on a bad day this can mean i play it over and over sometimes spending a whole hour on just that one exercise. On the other hand its quite delightful when it goes right first time and i complete the exercise in 10 mins or so. However this rarely happens because its so tricky.

The exercise was given to me by my old guitar teacher because it is good for working your outside alternate picking when ascending, and good for your inside pick when descending. I've just hung on to this exercise i suppose mainly because its hard.

Now the point i want to raise is this. This exercise is not musical really, and i can't see any real practical use for it during a solo. Some scale patterns are great as both an exercise but also sound cool and can be used in a solo say. But not this one, its purely boring chromatic pattern repetition stuff.

The question is this. Is there any point practicing something just because its hard, even though if serves no real practical purpose other than to improve a particular skill?

Im pretty sure now that i can play what i want to play, without going over and over this same old exercise. Should i be sacrificing so much time on something i can never really use when i could be spending that time on something i can use?

How do we know when to leave an old exercise behind and not bother with it anymore?

Jon Mayhem.

8 Dec 2010
Hi all GMC ers.

I've been playing on and off for about 16 years. Im a big fan of shred especially the more melodic type like Europe and Malmsteen. Therefore it probably won't surprise any of you that im big into speed picking.

I need thoughts and advice on a problem i feel has been holding back my progress for years, and that is picks slipping and/or rotating in my fingers.

It results in missing notes or even worse the string altogether, simply because the pick has rotated around to point the wrong way and im then trying to pick with the side instead of the point of the pick.

Usually this happens after i have been playing for some time and my hands have started to get hot and sweat a little. But once it starts its so frustrating. I end up having to reposition my pick after every run or even just practising scales i can usually count on it moving out of place before i finish a whole exercise. I can temporarily fix the problem by going and washing my hands with warm water and soap, and usually washing the pick too helps. This restores grip perfectly and i can play accuratley again for about 30 mins, but eventually my hands build up perspiration on the pick and hey presto i can't play properly again. It really damages your confidence if half way through a solo or something you feel the pick moving out of position and you begin to struggle hitting the notes. The thing is when i get to play on stage, i can't really have a bowl of warm water on stand by so if during a song i need to wash the sweat of my hands!

Now i have spent considerable time over the years trying to sort this problem out. Some people i have spoken to say that its a technique issue and if the pick is moving im not holding it right. I have spend years trying different approaches to ways to hold the pick, and never found a way that prevents the problem. I've also spoken to guitarists that say its the angle you hit the string at, and hitting the string incorrectly will make the pick rotate. Again i have over the years tried different angle's and not found a cure. Different angles seem to make a difference to the sound you get, but not really any difference to the pick trying to move around. For a while i tried simply gripping the pick tighter, but quickly found this locked up my wrist and slowed me down to such an extent it was like going back to being a begginer.

Other people ive spoken to about this problem say that its something you just learn to live with, and you just get better at repositioning the pick part way through a piece of music? While other come up with all sort of suggestions about how to modify your pick to prevent it from moving, including drilling holes in it, using gorilla snot, and even sticking double sided tape on both sides of the pick! I've tried some of these idea's with limited results. Ive also had people say that gripping it too tight has the opposite effect and makes you perspire more, and the key is to loosen your grip a bit. Again i have tried this over extended periods of time and with different amounts of grip tightness, but it doesn't fix the problem. If i grip looser the problem is magnified and the pick is all over the place. If i hold it tighter then my finger sweat even more and its all over the place again. Im very sure that my grip is about right and it hasn't got anything to do with it. (in my case anyway.)

At the moment i am testing out some very expensive picks that claim to fix the problem, and when/if one cures the problem for me i will let the forum know. However i wanted to get the view of the guitarists, and especially the teachers on here. Is this a common problem? Have i been playing wrong for all these years and there is some secret to holding a pick? Or does everyone accept its a problem and learn ways around it?

Personally i think it might be more of a personal thing. Some people sweat a lot on their hands (like me) and some people are lucky and don't hardly at all. Therefore it would make sense that some guitarist say its how you play it, and can use virtually any pick they want. And then there are others maybe like me who sometimes find this problem so frustrating that they want to super glue a pick permanently to their fingers!!

Please comment and give me your views.

Jon Mayhem.

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27 Dec 2010 - 22:45


9 Dec 2010 - 21:53


8 Dec 2010 - 22:12


8 Dec 2010 - 12:55

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