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> Speed picking problems!
Why
post Jan 17 2007, 12:29 PM
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Hello,

I've been playing for about a year and a half now, and I get quite decent alternate picking speeds. I was already speed picking before I joined the site but I wanted to fine tune my skills.

I'm alright till a point where it all goes wrong.

I have a couple of questions I'd like answered.

1) According to this site, you should hold the pick at an angle to the strings. When I do that, the tone becomes really thin and the pick is scraping the string not picking it.

2) If I'm alternate picking, the notes won't be in smooth succession all the time. It's like one or two notes are out of place and timing and don't flow smoothly as I play a descending run. How do I correct this?

3) Thirdly, sometimes my right and left hands aren't synchronised correctly (Specially at higher speeds) and I usually play a run in a completely broken manner, again not smoothly. I desperately want to make my run sound smooth and without a hitch. Ie. Non-beginner-ish.

4) Damping the strings, How exactly do you do this? The way I'm doing it now I'm almost palm muting, which makes the tone basically nil and inaudible and not professional at all.

If anyone could help me, I'd appreciate it alot! So Kris, Help!

This post has been edited by Why: Jan 18 2007, 05:36 AM
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Pavel
post Jan 17 2007, 11:04 PM
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Hey man!

Well all of your problems are caused by only one thing: you try to play too fast - the problem with speed pickng is to make hands synchronized and that CAN'T be done by fast playing. And i think you got it wrong about the pick. Kris shows how to hold the pick the right way so i think you just have to work on it a bit.

If you pick fast with your right hand - that doesn't mean you can actually play fast - because you have to achieve same speed with your left hand.

If it was so easy to shred - than every man in the world would play guitar! But only the most dedicated players get to the top of shred skills - it is not easy - and you have to spend many many hours a day to make it to high skills.

Keep working and you'll get it going!

Good luck.


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Kristofer Dahl
post Jan 17 2007, 11:24 PM
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QUOTE (Pavel @ Jan 18 2007, 01:04 AM) *
Hey man!

Well all of your problems are caused by only one thing: you try to play too fast - the problem with speed pickng is to make hands synchronized and that CAN'T be done by fast playing. And i think you got it wrong about the pick. Kris shows how to hold the pick the right way so i think you just have to work on it a bit.

If you pick fast with your right hand - that doesn't mean you can actually play fast - because you have to achieve same speed with your left hand.

If it was so easy to shred - than every man in the world would play guitar! But only the most dedicated players get to the top of shred skills - it is not easy - and you have to spend many many hours a day to make it to high skills.

Keep working and you'll get it going!

Good luck.


Excellent answer!! biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

My only addition would be - I can also get a slight scratch sound when angling the pick (depending on whitch pick I use), but that only happens when playing slowly.

So if I am not practicing speepicking, and just playing a slow blues phrase, then I won't angle the pick, as mentioned in the first speed picking video.

rock on,
Kris


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moorkop
post Jan 18 2007, 12:35 AM
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I hope i can clearify the previous responses

If you want to get equal strikes with your alternate picking, you should practice this with a mentronome, at like 1 strike per 2 seconds and listen very careful to make the upstrokes sound thesame as your downstokes
I have the same problem, but then with playing bass guitar, the key is very low speeds and very careful listening, this also when you try to synchronise your hands

When damping strings, i lift my left finger so the sound goes away (but i don't think you mean this)
I think you mean palm muting, which creates cool effects,
you must put the palm of your hand on your bridge, and strike the string so that it still sounds normal, then shift little by litte and still hitting the string until you get the sound you want, you can palm mute very hard, or just a little depending on the position of your hand

you can make your notes sound softer by hitting them softer, this sounds great in speedrun, this kinda change in dynamics


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Why
post Jan 18 2007, 04:23 AM
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Thanks for the responses!

When talking about damping the strings I'm talking about when playing a descending/ascending run. I've heard that you shouldn't play a completely open string even when playing runs because you'll get alot of excessive noise and it'll sound beginner-ish. So how are you supposed to do that?

This post has been edited by Why: Jan 18 2007, 04:36 AM
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InstruMental Cas...
post Jan 18 2007, 10:29 AM
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Just to run through some of this once more:

1) According to this site, you should hold the pick at an angle to the strings. When I do that, the tone becomes really thin and the pick is scraping the string not picking it.

One of the fastest players in the world, Rusty Cooley, has discussed this with me. If you’re getting a lot of pick-scraping noises then the problem is that you’re over exaggerating the angle of the pick. You only slightly angle the pick – you’re not supposed to be picking completely on the “sides” of the pick or anything like that. Finding the right balance should be fairly easy if you don’t even think about it. Most people naturally angle the pick already, because it helps slice through the string a little better if you’re not attacking it completely horizontally.

2) If I'm alternate picking, the notes won't be in smooth succession all the time. It's like one or two notes are out of place and timing and don't flow smoothly as I play a descending run. How do I correct this?

Start by practicing to a metronome. Watch the GMC lesson on that if you haven’t. Say for example you were doing a three note per string scale up and down the neck… get the metronome clicking at a slow pace, and practice slowly and evenly playing each set of three notes between ever beep of the metronome (starting on the beep). You can adapt this same concept to any runs you like to play. Simply count the number of notes in whatever it is you’re playing, and then see what small numbers that’s divisible by. Say you wanted to practice a run that was 12 notes long… you could break it into 4 sets of playing 3 notes between every beep.

3) Thirdly, sometimes my right and left hands aren't synchronised correctly (Specially at higher speeds) and I usually play a run in a completely broken manner, again not smoothly. I desperately want to make my run sound smooth and without a hitch. Ie. Non-beginner-ish.

Sloppy unsynchronized fast picking is a big pet peeve of mine. Note to be harsh, but my number one advice is to slow down immediately and don’t fool yourself into believing you’re a faster player than you really are. If you can’t play it synchronized, then you can’t play it. I suggest that you read the bottom Impellitteri part of this Troy Grady article. A great example of a well-known shredder who was playing fast but unclean, but managed to overcome and be a superb technician of speed-picking. Just slow things down and work on the fundamentals. As Troy says, “you have to descend before you can ascend!”


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Why
post Jan 18 2007, 11:22 AM
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Thanks alot InstruMentalCase. That was a really good answer! I'll just have to go down the Imp. road then and go back the basics. You'll see where the problem in my speed picking lies in the 'Guitar uploads' section where I've uploaded two files.
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Kristofer Dahl
post Jan 18 2007, 04:22 PM
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Yes great answer IC!

QUOTE
1) According to this site, you should hold the pick at an angle to the strings. When I do that, the tone becomes really thin and the pick is scraping the string not picking it.


Another reason could be sharp edges of a pick coming from the factory - many people use sandpaper (right word?) on the edges to avoid this.


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Steelkonsum
post Jan 18 2007, 05:23 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Jan 18 2007, 04:22 PM) *
Another reason could be sharp edges of a pick coming from the factory - many people use sandpaper (right word) on the edges to avoid this.



How and what do you sandpaper?
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