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> Hand Position While Picking, Floating/Non floating, open/closed
Dave Rock
post Mar 11 2008, 11:30 AM
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llo all,

after my intro, now a short post about my current issue!

I've been playing 16th notes on 120-130bpm for a while now. It seems that I do not get any further then this and something mechanically is blocking me. Why do I think this? Well, I can play 16ths at 130 almost infinitely. I don't get tired doing this, but I can't play it any faster.

So I spoke with a guitar teacher that looked at my motion, and he told me NOT to put my hand to rest on the bridge, as this blocks free movement.

So my options are:

- Play with my hand open (so pick between thumb and index and the rest loose) but resting on the bridge
I am used to this, accuracy is good and muting works like a charm, but my other fingers tense up

- Play with my hand open and completly floating, support comes from my arm, which rests on the guitar
Accuracy is a lot less and muting is a bit more difficult, but I notice the freedom of movement

- Play with my hand closed (so pick between thumb and index and the other fingers tucked loosely in my hand) but resting on the bridge
Accuracy seems good, and my other fingers tense up less

- Play with my hand closed completly floating, support comes from my arm, which rests on the guitar
Accuracy is a lot less and muting is a bit more difficult, but I notice the freedom of movement

I can do 16ths at 120bpm with the 4 different ways. But since I am now trying to identify the ideal way to move on with, I am not sure which one is the better future wise.

Advice is appreciated!

Dave
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SLASH91
post Mar 11 2008, 02:42 PM
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I think that it's a REALLY bad idea to play with your hand floating above the bridge. I don't see how your even muting at all, unless your just playing with a completely clean sound. Try adding some gain and playing with your right hand not muting the strings, and just try to mute them with your left hand. Not easy. I quite honestly don't know why your guitar teacher told you this, but I would highly recommend not doing it any more.

As far as increasing speed goes, that just takes time and a metrenome. You really can't get to higher speeds without a metrenome.

As far as holding your hand open or not goes, just experiment and find which way feels better for you. It really doesn't matter. wink.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 11 2008, 08:05 PM
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Almost any technique can lead you to speed it just takes practice. But be careful to mute the strings with both your hands. Again it is a personal reference how many different techniques of picking and muting you have under your belt. The more the better, it makes you a versatile player. Just practice everything and it will come soon, very soon smile.gif


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Muris Varajic
post Mar 11 2008, 08:54 PM
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I prefer closed hand WITH resting on bridge.
But there are many ways and if your way brings you wanted results,then it's fine I guess. smile.gif


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John In Socal
post Mar 12 2008, 02:10 AM
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I got stuck at that speed for a while and it turns out I was picking with my arm more than wrist, it was very subtle and I didn't realize it and neither did my instructor. It's not like my arm was flying up and down at the elbow and it was very hard to tell by just looking at me picking a simple 16th pattern. So this might be something to look at. I first realized the issue when I was trying to tremelo pick playing misserlou and I just couldn't pick fast and steady and my instructor would tremlo pick it really quickly and when doing a tremelo pick he actually cocked his wrist back towards his forearm and then let it rip, when you do this you have no choice but to pick with wrist and not arm. Once I tried this I realized right away I had been picking with my arm and not wrist so I just worked on the wrist picking and it didn't take long at all before I broke past that speed and was up to picking simple patterns at 180, now moving on up to a goal of 200.

As for closed fist I don't totally close it as my volume knob gets in the way on a strat and most people I see playing strats do not use a strictly closed fist (probably becuase of the volume knob). So I kind of use somewhere between open and closed, more closed than open I would say.

And for increasing speed use the metronome and make sure you are not tense at all, if you are then slow down you are trying to play too fast and you will never get quicker by playing a passage tense. Just slow it down, try way slower than what you are attempting and get the muscle memory going then gradually increase tempo while remaining relaxed and smooth. This is really important and has helped me recently. Ever notice how when guys like Muris are playing smoking fast licks very clean and it just looks effortless ? Because it is for them, it's easy (for them). I have heard others talk about this before but it never really sunk in until recently. I progressed along to where I could play most songs, even some diffcult solos but still had trouble with some very fast licks and I realized that I simply was not playing relaxed enough and just really slowed everything way down so that I could play it flawlessly and effortlessly and do this repeatedly and then suddenly I discovered that my speed gains were much quicker and higher than trying the same lick over and over and hitting a wall at a top speed because I was tensing up and not really realizing it.

good luck
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Dave Rock
post Mar 17 2008, 12:58 PM
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QUOTE (John In Socal @ Mar 12 2008, 02:10 AM) *
I got stuck at that speed for a while and it turns out I was picking with my arm more than wrist, it was very subtle and I didn't realize it and neither did my instructor. It's not like my arm was flying up and down at the elbow and it was very hard to tell by just looking at me picking a simple 16th pattern. So this might be something to look at. I first realized the issue when I was trying to tremelo pick playing misserlou and I just couldn't pick fast and steady and my instructor would tremlo pick it really quickly and when doing a tremelo pick he actually cocked his wrist back towards his forearm and then let it rip, when you do this you have no choice but to pick with wrist and not arm. Once I tried this I realized right away I had been picking with my arm and not wrist so I just worked on the wrist picking and it didn't take long at all before I broke past that speed and was up to picking simple patterns at 180, now moving on up to a goal of 200.


Well I figured out the same, I've been investigating my picking technique very closely since last week, and noticed that my picking motion includes a small turning motion of my wrist together with my forearm. It is a very small rotation that is made, but obviously this could bother my technique when playing fast.

What do you mean with the cocking part? (English isn't my native language) Could you explain a bit more how I can force myself to play with my wrist so I can notice the clear difference?

Cheers

D

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fkalich
post Mar 17 2008, 01:19 PM
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I float my hand on the bridge, and pick fast primarily with arm motion. so does Batio, and so do many others. It is clearly working well for me, I have no desire to change, nor any desire to take personal instruction. I can understand that the discipline of a teacher might be good for some people. But I don't need that, I practice enough, and i feel sensibly enough without somebody pushing me. GMC is all I need or want. Nobody knows it all. I like having a few dozen teachers, and taking what works for me, disregarding what does not. I don't want one guy telling me what to do.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Mar 17 2008, 02:41 PM
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fkalich
post Mar 17 2008, 01:43 PM
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QUOTE (Muris @ Mar 11 2008, 02:54 PM) *
I prefer closed hand WITH resting on bridge.
But there are many ways and if your way brings you wanted results,then it's fine I guess. smile.gif


i find my hand opening increasingly, on its own. Maybe that is just my body telling me something, something that works for me, in context of the physical motions i use. and for you, it does not work in your context. I think things are like that.

people talk about injuries, or how some motion can cause them. I don't agree with that for the most part. in this example, maybe this is my body telling me that with my motion, let the hand fingers extend.

some people are injury prone, some not. maybe it is a matter of listening to your body, even if you are doing it unconsciously. as I said, I don't try to extend my fingers, it just happens all on it's own. maybe it is the fact that I use arm motion, and my body says "fine, but if you are going to do that, let those fingers extend out on the pick guard".

This post has been edited by fkalich: Mar 17 2008, 01:45 PM
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Marcus Siepen
post Mar 17 2008, 09:46 PM
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Since palm muting is pretty common in rock guitar I don't really see any sense in having your hand floating all the time.


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fkalich
post Mar 17 2008, 10:01 PM
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QUOTE (Marcus Siepen @ Mar 17 2008, 03:46 PM) *
Since palm muting is pretty common in rock guitar I don't really see any sense in having your hand floating all the time.


what we had here was failure to communicate....

http://youtube.com/watch?v=1fuDDqU6n4o

by floating I mean floating on the bridge. not fixed on the bridge, but laying on it, shifting up and down on it as I play, according to my needs.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Mar 17 2008, 10:07 PM
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Juan M. Valero
post Mar 17 2008, 10:21 PM
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I know some players that use floating picking and it's as awesome as non floating... so it's your decision, there are infinite ways and both are correct, just feel comfortable and try all position to choose what's the best for you wink.gif


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RIP Dime
post Mar 17 2008, 11:30 PM
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QUOTE (Juan M. Valero @ Mar 17 2008, 10:21 PM) *
I know some players that use floating picking and it's as awesome as non floating... so it's your decision, there are infinite ways and both are correct, just feel comfortable and try all position to choose what's the best for you wink.gif


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Everybody plays differently, I think you just have to find what works for you.


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