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Power to the people, eat more cheese.
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45 years old
Born Sep-28-1976
Playing guitar, building guitars, Xboxing, cycling...
Joined: 28-August 07
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Last Seen: 11th March 2009 - 12:11 PM
Local Time: Oct 23 2021, 07:49 PM
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10 Mar 2009
Yo guys,

Ever since I started playing few years ago I have not really got the hang (or even started to get the hang for that matter) of proper strumming i.e. getting a nice smooth and even action and sound. That has not been much of an issue since it is not required for the kinda music I play which is more of a heavy metally type stuff.

Anyhooo, today I started to learn Holiday by Green Day and that doesn't go too well if u can't strum tongue.gif I use dunlop Jazz III picks, .88 and 1mm, but have also tried with normal dunlops of various thickness but they were worse if anthing. I am trying to use both wrist and forearm and am trying not to grip the pick too hard, but that just ends up in the pick twisting in my fingers. My main problem is digging into the strings too much. I developed a new technique with which I managed to get fairly good results: resting my arm near the elbow on the top of the guitar, using arm and wrist with quite a wide motion (starting and stopping the strum well clear of low and high Es), turning the pick sideways and angling down a bit, and strumming nearer the bridge. I turn the pick sideways so that 1 of the big blunt corners (the corners Mr Jim did not intend u to pick with) strike the strings and this seems to prevent dig-in compared to using the proper point (Jazz picks are really pointy) and I think I prefer the sound too. Strumming nearer the bridge also seems to help with dig-in cos the strings are more taught there.

Anyone got any comments on this technique? Advice on how to practice? I know I am supposed to try to strike with only the lightest of touches, and then alot of these measures I mention above would not be needed perhaps, but at the moment that light touch eludes me and I am either digging in or missing altogether... mad.gif At least the above technique seems to allow me to be fairly heavy handed and still get a reasonably flowing and rhthymic action.

22 Jan 2009
Yo gmc,

I wondering if I have picked up some bad picking habits. One of the first things I remembered from Kris' first DVDs and vids was something he said about always using some sort of consitent picking so, either do all down picking, or do all alrernate pick or whatever, I got the impression that hybrid picking was bad (controversial probably). Since then I tried use alternate picking for everything...

When playing runs pretty much anywhere on the fret board I naturally do strict alternate picking, at least for solo stuff I think this is a good thing. By alternate picking I mean that regardless of the rhythm and interval between notes, the sequence is always down up down up. But now the strange part, I recently realised I have been doing some weird things when it comes to single note rhythm playing up at the nut end of the neck. where there are other priorities like wanting always down pick the big E.

Example. A rhythm with alot of big E bass line, and then a few other note on the D and A strings. I tend to down pick all the Es, and then when there is a transitiion from the E string to another string I extend the down stroke of the last E so that my pick is past the next string (say the A string) and then the next A will be up-picked and then that stroke is continued up past the E so I can down pick the E again. There is something about this in technique that feels right and creates a fluid right hand motion. But this is surely wrong in some sense.

If we take for example Gabriel's rhythm work here, he does I think strict down picking except when the rhythm double times and then it is strict alternate until it goes back to normal rhythm again. So in a sense the way the string is picked is mirroring the rhythm i.e. all normal notes are down picked but if there is a half note interval between 2 notes they are always alternate picked.

So, should I continue with strict alternate picking for solo/melody stuff and try to use something more like Gabriels technique for rythym? What are the downside to what I am doing and is it a habit I should get out of?
4 Sep 2008

I have been learning the intro to sweet child and all the different variations of that riff and stringing them together in different orders, and can pretty much do it cleanly, reliably and up to speed which I am quite pleased with:)

I now notice (when riding my bike for some reason) that there is a dull pain in my picking hand wrist just about where the side of the thumb meets the wrist) and I am pretty sure it is from the wrist action of playing all those string skips. Anyways, it deosn't hurt when I play but I do notice it some times doing other things. This has been going on for about a wk, I normally play a bit every day.

So, should I just keep going or stop for a few days? I play this with strict alternate picking and it is all done with my hand pretty much stationary and just using wrist action, wondering if there is bit of bad technique causing this as well...tho I would guess that the technique is OK but I am just using too much tension in my hand.
19 Aug 2008
Yo dudettes and dudes,

Is vibrato supposed to be a 1 way only bend i.e. are u just supposed to go from normal, then bend up a bit (say), then back to normal, then bend up again, rather than normal, up, normal, down, normal up.....? If u get what I mean?

Should vibrato be really a wrist only action?

2 Aug 2008
Hi guys,

Am learning some new scale boxes, but when learning boxes should I try to learn to finger them strictly according to the 'position' they fall into? What I mean by this is that for example, pentatonic boxes are by and large no wider than 4 frets, so if you are playing a box whose notes are between frets 1 and 4 say, you can play it in first position where ur 1st finger does all notes on 1st fret, 2nd finger all notes on 2nd fret and so on. This makes sense up to a point, until you think about boxes that are not so easy to finger with strict positioning cos they span more than 4 frets, or when you consider that songs don't "care" necessarily about boxes and there are often passages that it makes more sense to play with different fingering than you may have learned when learning ur boxes e.g. if you have some big bends to do which you can't manage with your little finger...

Of course I know that boxes are only a tool for getting to grips with scales and ideally you should be able to transcend all this and play any scale with any fingers and probably with your toes as well:)...but it would be good to get some pointers on what is a good way to tackle this from learning perspective, don't want to cultivate bad habits.

Is there an acknowledged standard for the way to finger boxes? If so anyone got any links?

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