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> Left And Right Hand Movements
djohnneay
post Apr 23 2009, 04:19 PM
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Hello GMC !

Right now, I'm trying to master this excersise : https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/solo-guit...ernate-picking1

Yes it's Pavel's horribly fast-picking excersise, don't laugh....
....

Finished laughing ? Allright then...

When I started it, I thought I was doing allright and I did the first video-excersise a few times, and quickly moved on to the scale-playing part. After playing this for a few weeks, a friend of mine came over yesterday and told me I needed to decrease the distance of my fingers to my fretboard and improve my picking technique.

I immediately realized he was right, and started practicing the excersise veeeeeeeeery slowly, but because I play the same way for over 2 years now, it's very hard to change this.

For example, on licks when I do not need the pinky, it automatically curles up inside my hand. The reason for this is, when I first started playing I seemed to hit alot of unwanted strings, so I figured I'd move the finger as far away as possible. Now I'm having a hard time to get the fingers to the strings close to the strings, when they actually don't need to be there. I guess this is also one of the main reasons why my improvisations always sound like scale runs, except for when I play very slow.

Another problem is the picking. I can pick quite fast, but I have the feeling that alot of it is from the elbow, although, like Pavel says, I don't get tired after 2,5 minutes, actually I don't at all get tired of it, and my hand IS relaxed. The problem is only that I can play fast at one set tempo, and cannot just play fast at the tempo's I like. My friend told me I had to accent 1 of the 4 notes (when playing 16ths, which seems reasonably fast enough). It's also like, that I need to "warm up" before tremolo picking, so I can't go from slow to fast immediately, my hand needs to "accelerate". I hope I explained this all well enough now...

Does anybody have any tips for doing this, besides practicing veeeeeeeeery slow WITH a metronome and moving my hands as little as possible??? I would surely appreciate it very much smile.gif

Thanks in advance guys !!
Oh, and sorry about this being such a long story, but I really could use some help with this.


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Artemus
post Apr 23 2009, 04:45 PM
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Sounds like you could use some finger independence exercises to get your pinky readjusted. Breaking old habits can be hard and take time but you're going about things the right way smile.gif Hopefully there'll be some finger independence exercises on here that someone can point out to you - if not I can supply you with some.
Some elbow movement does come into play at very high speeds - at least it does for me - but most of the movement stems from a relaxed wrist. Since you described being able to play at one tempo but not the others, it would seem that you're using the elbow to make the fast movements; the wrist can gain more control than the elbow for smaller movements that are needed in fast picking. Hopefully once you've worked up through the tempo ranges up to your desired speed, the problem should be eradicated and you'll be able to play at any tempo within the range you practise.
Good luck (that's a scary lesson btw)

This post has been edited by Artemus: Apr 23 2009, 04:46 PM


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djohnneay
post Apr 23 2009, 05:42 PM
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Thanks for you fast reply Artemus !

I have followed the finger independance lessons of Danilo Capezzuto, I think this helps in the process, so now I'm really glad I did them. I am currently practicing the lesson in quarter notes at 60 bpm, although I could play it at 160 bpm (8th notes) cleanly. I somewhere read that you've got to practice at 1/4 of your maximum speed.

I already encounterd the follow problem, which is that I hold my hand in a strange way when picking fast, which is :
Palm on the bridge saddles, and my pinky leans over the bridge, anchoring on one of my pickup edges. The hand in this position is not closed, and not open, but somewhere in between. When I pick normally, I've got my hand open, with the fingers kinda stretched out and the pinky on the pick guard (although in that position, seeing as I don't have a pick guard).

Mayby is this the reason I could't go from normal speed to fast speeds instantly ? How should I hold my hand when picking fast ? I tried the same way Pavel holds it, but it's not very comfertable, it feels like my hand is loose in the air (because it is) and I don't have any to hold on to. Is this normal ? Should I keep trying it this way or continue my own picking style and just make it faster? Will the problem solve itself ?

Sorry for asking this many questions, it's just that its unclear for me what to do, as I'm making some fundamental changes around here.


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Artemus
post Apr 23 2009, 06:32 PM
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Those Danilo Capezzuto lessons definately work wonders. I've not done the lessons myself but I took a look and it's very comprehensive. Regarding your picking - it's one of those "whichever you find most comfortable". Try every position you can and choose the one thing that works for you.
I used to play by anchoring my picking hand pinky but find I couldn't get much speed/enough control at higher tempos, so I changed to a "floating" style with a semi open/closed fist. However, the picking you describe yourself preferring sounds similar to how I've seen Petrucci play, so you're in good company smile.gif


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djohnneay
post Apr 23 2009, 09:06 PM
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I'll just take the picking style I use for "slow picking" at the moment... Mayby it will gradually change to something diffrent, as long as it's in the comfort zone, I'm good smile.gif

Just been practicing a little, noticed some improvement, but also that in some cases, particulairly when I don't use the pinky, it seems to move around at random. Even when I try very hard, I can't control my own pinky.... dry.gif

When I try a lick like

e 13-12-10-----------
B ---------13-12-10--
G -------------------
D -------------------
A -------------------
E -------------------

The pinky curles in when I put my ring finger on the 4th note and extends when I put my index finger on the 6th and 3rd notes of the lick.

But in other licks, I CAN control my pinky, so I think it's just something I have to try very, very, very hard, and it will get better with time and practicing slowly.

I'll stop practicing for now, the neighbours are probably already asleep and I don't want to wake 'em up.

G'night !

This post has been edited by djohnneay: Apr 23 2009, 09:06 PM


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Apr 23 2009, 09:13 PM
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It seems to me that you have some habits and not sure if they are good or bad. Any technique can be rehearsed, so it doesn't really matter how you hold your hands. As long as you are comfortable using your hands like that, and you achieve a good tone - it is OK! smile.gif
So whatever you do, pay attention to what your fingers are doing, and try to find new ways to pick if your tone or muscles suffer.
BTW Breaking old habits may seem like impossible task at first, but don't worry, you'll get over them soon, just keep practicing.


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Muris Varajic
post Apr 23 2009, 09:15 PM
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Hello!

IMO there is nothing wrong with holding your pinky away
from fretboard when you don't need it
but the idea is to have it ready to rock and roll and jump in when needed.
Here's one example of what I'm talking about,
in this video I made few days you can clearly see
how pinky is faaar away at certain points but then
it rolls in when I need it, then go back again etc.



As for picking hand, I recommend you NOT to anchor it on
pickup or pickguard, that way hand'll be free. smile.gif


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Startear
post Apr 23 2009, 09:21 PM
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QUOTE (Muris Varajic @ Apr 23 2009, 09:15 PM) *
Hello!

IMO there is nothing wrong with holding your pinky away
from fretboard when you don't need it
but the idea is to have it ready to rock and roll and jump in when needed.
Here's one example of what I'm talking about,
in this video I made few days you can clearly see
how pinky is faaar away at certain points but then
it rolls in when I need it, then go back again etc.



As for picking hand, I recommend you NOT to anchor it on
pickup or pickguard, that way hand'll be free. smile.gif


nice clip, but it feels like something is missing, but that's just my opinion wink.gif
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Muris Varajic
post Apr 23 2009, 09:24 PM
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QUOTE (Startear @ Apr 23 2009, 10:21 PM) *
nice clip, but it feels like something is missing, but that's just my opinion wink.gif


You seem to always have your opinion but honestly
I have no clue what is it about this time. laugh.gif

Anyhow, I though it was fine example
of how to approach your pinky
since there is no general way of holding/keeping it,
it should be adapted to situation IMO.


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Artemus
post Apr 23 2009, 10:50 PM
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QUOTE (Muris Varajic @ Apr 23 2009, 09:24 PM) *
You seem to always have your opinion but honestly
I have no clue what is it about this time. laugh.gif

Anyhow, I though it was fine example
of how to approach your pinky
since there is no general way of holding/keeping it,
it should be adapted to situation IMO.


I know what it's missing Muris.. mistakes, or examples of bad technique.
Perhaps you could do a "Les Dawson" take someday - make everyone happy laugh.gif

My pinky is never under complete control, but the main thing is that it is there when needed. Also, the naturally limited independence of ring finger can mean that lick with the ring finger make the pinky more difficult to control
Also - just thought. The way you feel when not achoring your picking hand.. Try focusing on holding the guitar close to you and secure with the elbow, resting the side of your palm around the bridge. So consider arm, as a whole, anchoring your hand to the guitar. Obviously not in tense way though smile.gif


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djohnneay
post Apr 24 2009, 04:30 PM
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Allright, I'm a little confused now about what to do, some of the awnsers i get here seem to contradict each other.

Muris, as I can see in your video, your pinky on some licks is like meters away from the fretboard and sometimes doing very spastic movements. Yet, in the next lick it's under control and you can use when needed.

As told, I have about the same thing. Mayby it sounds strange, but when do you know you're in control of your pinky ? Only in the licks you have to use it ? And you're right about the ring finger independance Artemus, but it would be more logical for the pinky to move along with the ring finger, instead of making totally random motions. Is it impossible to get your pinky under complete control ? Or is it just not worth it ?

I think for now, I'll just try to get the fingers needed to complete the lick as close as possible to the fretboard, and worry about that annoying little finger later. It will be enough work getting that straight.

I'll also try to get my picking hand in a better position, also that will be quite some work too. You think the way Pavel and Muris hold their hand will be good guidelines ? The 'what feels most comfertable'-rule doesn't work now, because the picking style I use now is very comfertable, but obviously doesn't do the trick. In the beginning having my fingers stretched out seemed comfertable, but that way I started to develop my anchor so I'll not try to do that again.

It's not that my tone or muscles suffer, Ivan, but my speed doesn't seem to increase very much lately so I guessed having a better technique might help in this case. And if I have to learn to play another way, I might as well do it totally correct this time smile.gif

Anyways, thanks already for all the help guys, this really shows what GMC is all about smile.gif


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berko
post Apr 24 2009, 04:54 PM
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QUOTE (djohnneay @ Apr 24 2009, 05:30 PM) *
As told, I have about the same thing. Mayby it sounds strange, but when do you know you're in control of your pinky ? Only in the licks you have to use it ? And you're right about the ring finger independance Artemus, but it would be more logical for the pinky to move along with the ring finger, instead of making totally random motions. Is it impossible to get your pinky under complete control ? Or is it just not worth it ?


Hi!

You don't have to worry about the pinky when you're not using it. I mean, if there is a faster passage and instantly you start using the pinky but it's well coordinated then it's no use worrying about it until you don't make any unwanted noise with it. It's all about coordination when you're using it. If you watch John Petrucci for example, even after years of playing he curls his pinky, but he can start using it whenever he wants it. His pinky just slaps onto the fretboard and from then on he has full control over it.

And the position of your hand (other 3 fingers) over the fretboard greatly influences the muscle movements in your hand. Your hand has to get adjusted to different positions on the fretboard, different neck radiuses and so forth. As long as you're comfortable with your pinky while using it, there's no problem. When it makes "random" movements or curls up, it may seem "unprofessional" or something, but it has actually nothing to do with your technique. Don't get your hands tensed up and work on finger independence (between ring finger and pinky) to get a precise technique.


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Artemus
post Apr 24 2009, 06:18 PM
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QUOTE (djohnneay @ Apr 24 2009, 04:30 PM) *
Is it impossible to get your pinky under complete control ? Or is it just not worth it ?


It is possible to an extent but as Berko's pointed out, there's no need to worry about it at all if it's able to get to where it's needed. I've seen players that are smokin' all over the fretboard and their pinky can be tucked away or miles from the fretboard as though holding a very British cup of tea, but it's there when it's needed. That sort of control can be obtained the usual, tried and tested, way of building up from slow control to fast control with diligent and thoughtful practise.

QUOTE (djohnneay @ Apr 24 2009, 04:30 PM) *
The 'what feels most comfertable'-rule doesn't work now, because the picking style I use now is very comfertable, but obviously doesn't do the trick.


I think it'd be best to follow Muris/Pavel example. After some initial discomfort it may start to feel more and more natural in too much time smile.gif
I just want to clarify one thing though. When I suggest "what feels most comfortable", I don't say that as a cop out. I say this to many guitarists to make them be more analytical of their technique and how they play. I believe progress comes faster when you're more self-aware than when just going through the numbers and blindly following someone's advice without understanding.
Good luck with your playing man. All the best smile.gif


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djohnneay
post Apr 24 2009, 06:43 PM
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Thanks everybody, I now know what to do.

@ Artemus : I know you say "what feels most comfortable" for a reason, but I just needed a little more specific advice. It's important that it feels comfertable and relaxed, but there's alot of ways to pick and I needed some sense of direction here. No offense though wink.gif


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