Improving Picking Among Strings
JohnMathew
Oct 19 2020, 10:00 AM
GMC:er
Posts: 95
Joined: 16-June 15
Hi,

I have struggled for many years with this problem but now that I have more time to play I would like to improve this. I guess a lot of guitarrists suffer from the same problem as me. We can tremolo picking at a decent and constat speed on a single string but when we want to do the same across several strings we are choppy.

I have tried to loose my hand. Tried several ways and angles for the prick grab, etc. and nothing have worked for me.

To give a bit more of information, this problems seems to be more obvious when there are less notes per string (I know it is ovious, less notes = more string changes smile.gif). For example, a simple minor pentatonic at root note. I can play it at 120/130 bpms at 4 notes per tick but I can't get any higher.

Are there any good exercises, tips, etc. to improve in this subject?

Thanks in advance.

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Gabriel Leopardi
Oct 19 2020, 01:46 PM
Instructor
Posts: 33.968
Joined: 3-March 07
From: Argentina
Hi John! This is the most difficult part when using alternate picking technique, so what's happening to you is normal. I've shared my favorite technique exercises at my personal forum, and many of them are specifically for this technique and issue.

RIGHT HAND III /ALTERNATE PICKING (Crossing strings)
RIGHT HAND IV /ALTERNATE PICKING (Crossing strings)
RIGHT HAND IV ALTERNATE PICKING (Crossing strings III)


The difficulty for crossing strings depends not only on if you are crossing with inside or outside picking, it is also felt different depending on how many notes you play on each string before crossing. That's why here I explain "outside" and "inside" and then I share here 5 exercises covering all the different possibilities:


INSIDE & OUTSIDE PICKING
INSIDE & OUTSIDE PICKING II


There you can find many exercises that helped me and some tips and explanation. The key is to be sure that you are playing correctly on one string following these "alternate picking" technique tips:

• It basically means alternation between downstrokes and upstrokes
• It can also help your timing for funk rhythms.
• It lets you use your mind to other things since the motion can be automated.
• Get in the habit of holding the pick between your thumb and your forefinger.
• Keep the exposed area of the pick to a minimum. (for precision)
• Try to do the movements the smaller than possible.

And also be sure to check this lesson: https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Altern...Picking-Basics/


Please check all this stuff and let me know if you have any question.




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JohnMathew
Oct 19 2020, 09:55 PM
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Posts: 95
Joined: 16-June 15
Thanks a lot! I will review all the info tomorrow. Again, thanks for this exhaustive post.

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Todd Simpson
Oct 19 2020, 10:41 PM
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Posts: 21.428
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Todd here! This is a common problem. Gabe has given you some great resources to work on it!! I've developed a curated series of lessons called BOOTCAMP where we work a LOT on string traverse (moving between strings) with good hand synch and focused on increasing speed/precision. If you want to try bootcamp, just send me a P.M here on GMC!!

Todd

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Gabriel Leopardi
Oct 20 2020, 12:00 AM
Instructor
Posts: 33.968
Joined: 3-March 07
From: Argentina
QUOTE (JohnMathew @ Oct 19 2020, 05:55 PM) *
Thanks a lot! I will review all the info tomorrow. Again, thanks for this exhaustive post.



You're welcome!! Keep me updated!

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


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zen
Oct 21 2020, 10:47 PM
Learning Tone Seeker
Posts: 1.135
Joined: 26-January 08
From: Melbourne, Australia
QUOTE (JohnMathew @ Oct 19 2020, 08:00 PM) *
Hi,

I have struggled for many years with this problem but now that I have more time to play I would like to improve this. I guess a lot of guitarrists suffer from the same problem as me. We can tremolo picking at a decent and constat speed on a single string but when we want to do the same across several strings we are choppy.

I have tried to loose my hand. Tried several ways and angles for the prick grab, etc. and nothing have worked for me.

To give a bit more of information, this problems seems to be more obvious when there are less notes per string (I know it is ovious, less notes = more string changes smile.gif). For example, a simple minor pentatonic at root note. I can play it at 120/130 bpms at 4 notes per tick but I can't get any higher.

Are there any good exercises, tips, etc. to improve in this subject?

Thanks in advance.


if you're struggling with a lick/exercise, try starting that lick on an upstroke (if you were initially starting on a downstroke) and see if it fixes the issue

QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Oct 19 2020, 11:46 PM) *
Hi John! This is the most difficult part when using alternate picking technique, so what's happening to you is normal. I've shared my favorite technique exercises at my personal forum, and many of them are specifically for this technique and issue.

RIGHT HAND III /ALTERNATE PICKING (Crossing strings)
RIGHT HAND IV /ALTERNATE PICKING (Crossing strings)
RIGHT HAND IV ALTERNATE PICKING (Crossing strings III)


The difficulty for crossing strings depends not only on if you are crossing with inside or outside picking, it is also felt different depending on how many notes you play on each string before crossing. That's why here I explain "outside" and "inside" and then I share here 5 exercises covering all the different possibilities:


INSIDE & OUTSIDE PICKING
INSIDE & OUTSIDE PICKING II


There you can find many exercises that helped me and some tips and explanation. The key is to be sure that you are playing correctly on one string following these "alternate picking" technique tips:

• It basically means alternation between downstrokes and upstrokes
• It can also help your timing for funk rhythms.
• It lets you use your mind to other things since the motion can be automated.
• Get in the habit of holding the pick between your thumb and your forefinger.
• Keep the exposed area of the pick to a minimum. (for precision)
• Try to do the movements the smaller than possible.

And also be sure to check this lesson: https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Altern...Picking-Basics/


Please check all this stuff and let me know if you have any question.



QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 20 2020, 08:41 AM) *
Todd here! This is a common problem. Gabe has given you some great resources to work on it!! I've developed a curated series of lessons called BOOTCAMP where we work a LOT on string traverse (moving between strings) with good hand synch and focused on increasing speed/precision. If you want to try bootcamp, just send me a P.M here on GMC!!

Todd


Gab, Todd, do you believe in pickslanting (downward or upward) or think it's all nonsense? would be great to get your views on it. I've struggled with this for ages now. Relearning to either become a downward or upward pickslanter is quite hard but i've noticed I can find a workaround usually by (1)either starting on upstrokes or (2) hammer on the last note prior to string switching, so give the picking hand enough time to cross over (some might consider this cheating lol)

thanks



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Todd Simpson
Oct 22 2020, 12:49 AM
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Posts: 21.428
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
I always use very sharp picks so only the very tip of my pick hits the strings. This makes the angle a bit less of an issue since just the very tip would be striking no matter what the angle. That said, I do point my thumb down just a bit to create a forward angle on the pick. This is just what has happened naturally over time. I never forced it this way, it was just organic.

As for changing strings, I always try to move in the direction the pick wants to go. E.G. If going from a low string to a higher string, I use a down stroke. If going from a high string to a lower string I try to use an upstroke. I don't always manage to do this but I do it most of the time as it just makes things easier. It's often called economic picking. It's just letting the pick move in the direction the hand is traveling.

We do a LOT of this type of work in SHRED BOOTCAMP of course as picking is a crucial part of shredding smile.gif I've seen folks make great strikes in picking after some time in trenches!

Todd

QUOTE (zen @ Oct 21 2020, 05:47 PM) *
if you're struggling with a lick/exercise, try starting that lick on an upstroke (if you were initially starting on a downstroke) and see if it fixes the issue

Gab, Todd, do you believe in pickslanting (downward or upward) or think it's all nonsense? would be great to get your views on it. I've struggled with this for ages now. Relearning to either become a downward or upward pickslanter is quite hard but i've noticed I can find a workaround usually by (1)either starting on upstrokes or (2) hammer on the last note prior to string switching, so give the picking hand enough time to cross over (some might consider this cheating lol)

thanks

You are at GuitarMasterClass.net


Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Oct 22 2020, 02:10 AM
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