My Weird Picking Technique, What are your thoughts on it?
thefireball
Apr 9 2016, 05:45 PM
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Hey guys,

I started a discussion on my YouTube channel about my unique but weird picking technique. In short, I tend to use upstrokes often instead of the usual downstrokes. I demonstrate it in the video below and go into detail. Comments so far on the video say it shouldn't matter if it feels comfortable. I would like some instructors to chime in on this please. smile.gif Thanks.



Brandon

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Todd Simpson
Apr 9 2016, 08:21 PM
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Marty Friedman does something similar so you are in good company smile.gif I tend to use downstrokes more, but whatever works!

Todd

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SirJamsalot
Apr 10 2016, 02:34 AM
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Brandon! Long time bud!
Not an instructor, but here's my 2 cents.

1. tone is you. how you achieve tone is personal.
2. upstroke is the opposite of down stroke - everyone who downstrokes, at some point or another, upstrokes - what's the difference, reallY? direction? so what?
3. pinch harmonics - you've got flesh on either side of the pick - I can get pinch in either direction, makes no difference - the tone will be different because of direction & mechancis, - fingers pulling up will be slightly different than fingers pushing down, but ?? so??

my 2 cents - I didn't even notice without looking at your video you sometimes start a phrase with an upstroke - but take a tip from John Petrucci - being ambipickstrous is a good thing!

I'm really exited for what I see you doing. Keep playing! Keep recording! Keep up-picking!

SirJamsalot!

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thefireball
Apr 10 2016, 05:35 AM
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Thanks guys. Glad to hear someone like Friedman does it. I will check him out. Wasn't aware he did something similar. Funny you mention pinch harmonics SirJamsalot. I can indeed catch them on upstrokes. smile.gif

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Phil66
Apr 10 2016, 08:47 AM
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Well it obviously isn't detrimental to your playing so go with it.
On another note, have you noticed any changes in yourself with your Himalayan salt lamp?
smile.gif

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Ben Higgins
Apr 10 2016, 10:39 AM
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Hi Brandon, I also do this a lot. I like to use upstrokes depending on a few things:

-The rhythm. Sometimes the rhythm can dictate whether an upstroke or downstroke is the most natural to go for and I find this takes effect mostly in riffs, especially if they're staccato / odd meter.

- Velocity. A downstroke has gravity on its side but it can be easier to make an upstroke sound more subtle and have less attack, which might be more preferable sometimes than a heavier downstroke.

- Note length. I find it much easier to achieve short, choppy staccato notes when using upstrokes, for some reason.

I say not to worry about it, you know how to alternate pick. Anything that doesn't require you to alternate pick can be picked however you like smile.gif

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Chris S.
Apr 10 2016, 11:38 AM
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Mr. Gilbert favors starting with an upstroke, as well as using fairly thin picks - pretty much dispelling a lot of myths haha

smile.gif

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This post has been edited by Chris S.: Apr 10 2016, 11:40 AM
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thefireball
Apr 11 2016, 04:42 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Apr 10 2016, 01:47 AM) *
Well it obviously isn't detrimental to your playing so go with it.
On another note, have you noticed any changes in yourself with your Himalayan salt lamp?
smile.gif

It's relaxing to have the salt lamp in my area. smile.gif Feels inspiring.

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Phil66
Apr 11 2016, 05:42 PM
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Aren't they supposed to make the air better because of producing negative ions and make you feel better? smile.gif

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SirJamsalot
Apr 11 2016, 06:56 PM
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QUOTE (Chris S. @ Apr 10 2016, 02:38 AM) *
Mr. Gilbert favors starting with an upstroke, as well as using fairly thin picks - pretty much dispelling a lot of myths haha

smile.gif


he uses thin picks? I did't realize that. All this time I thought he was a jazz pick user. hmmmm. shows how in-attentive i am!

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Chris S.
Apr 11 2016, 07:17 PM
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QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ Apr 11 2016, 05:56 PM) *
he uses thin picks? I did't realize that. All this time I thought he was a jazz pick user. hmmmm. shows how in-attentive i am!

He might now, in an interview I watched some time ago he used the Orange Dunlops which are .60mm

That might have changed since then tongue.gif

Something about how he liked the "floppy" tone it gave

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Todd Simpson
Apr 12 2016, 04:44 PM
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I've seen older vids with him using thin picks then later vids with him using way thick picks. I don't know what he uses now on tour and such.

Todd

QUOTE (Chris S. @ Apr 11 2016, 01:17 PM) *
He might now, in an interview I watched some time ago he used the Orange Dunlops which are .60mm

That might have changed since then tongue.gif

Something about how he liked the "floppy" tone it gave

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Arpeggio
Apr 12 2016, 11:21 PM
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If you had to hammer a nail into the underneath of a table what would you do? Stay as you are and hammer in an upward motion to get the nail in? meaning your hand goes in the direction so the thumb is leading......or do you go underneath the table and / or lie down so that you can use a downward motion in your arm (relative to your body). Meaning your hand goes in the direction that your little finger leads.

Most people would choose the latter. My theory is that downward picking is often preferred because in everyday life throughout history, we often do things in this direction with our hand, hence the stronger association.

Cave man - hitting rocks downward / throwing spear overarm (downward arm motion) / hitting flint downward.

Knights - swiping sword downward / hitting table downward with clenched fist demanding more ale & roast boar.

Tennis - always approaching hit with the little finger or fingers going first, be that forearm or backhand shot. The thumb rarely leads.

Perhaps thefireball is wired differently?

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This post has been edited by Arpeggio: Apr 12 2016, 11:22 PM


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thefireball
Apr 15 2016, 09:59 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Apr 11 2016, 10:42 AM) *
Aren't they supposed to make the air better because of producing negative ions and make you feel better? smile.gif

Yes, it does produce those negative ions. I'm sure that's where a lot of the relaxation is from. I also have a couple on either side of my TV but they are pyramid shaped. smile.gif

QUOTE (Arpeggio @ Apr 12 2016, 04:21 PM) *
If you had to hammer a nail into the underneath of a table what would you do? Stay as you are and hammer in an upward motion to get the nail in? meaning your hand goes in the direction so the thumb is leading......or do you go underneath the table and / or lie down so that you can use a downward motion in your arm (relative to your body). Meaning your hand goes in the direction that your little finger leads.

Most people would choose the latter. My theory is that downward picking is often preferred because in everyday life throughout history, we often do things in this direction with our hand, hence the stronger association.

Cave man - hitting rocks downward / throwing spear overarm (downward arm motion) / hitting flint downward.

Knights - swiping sword downward / hitting table downward with clenched fist demanding more ale & roast boar.

Tennis - always approaching hit with the little finger or fingers going first, be that forearm or backhand shot. The thumb rarely leads.

Perhaps thefireball is wired differently?

Yeah, I would be the one who stays as I am and hammers in an upward motion. tongue.gif

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Chris S.
Apr 15 2016, 10:25 PM
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Not to go way off topic but... your beard is pretty awesome.

I just had to get that out there tongue.gif

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thefireball
Apr 16 2016, 07:06 AM
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QUOTE (Chris S. @ Apr 15 2016, 03:25 PM) *
Not to go way off topic but... your beard is pretty awesome.

I just had to get that out there tongue.gif

Haha! Thanks! biggrin.gif

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