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> Alternate Picking "tips And Tricks", Some Killer "Tips and Tricks" for those working on their AP
Todd Simpson
post May 27 2010, 12:58 AM
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Todd here smile.gif For Alternate Picking I'd suggest gripping the pick so that not much pick is sticking out. Try to get the point of the pick to point out at a 90 degre angle from your thumb. Here is a picture to demonstrate.



Also, here are some things to try.

ALTERNATE PICKING TIPS AND TRICKS
1.)Choke up on the pick. Only the point should be sticking out.
2.)Don't pick from the elbow! Control the motion from your wrist or fingers.
3.)Try a very heavy pick, 1.2 MM or greater so as to eliminate "flex" in the pick.
4.)Try to sharpen your pick to a point with sandpaper or dremmel or what not so that the surface area
striking the string is as small as possible. There are some "training" picks that are shaped this way on purpose.
5.)Work with a metronome ALWAYS so that you keep your picking even.

6.)MOST IMPORTANT: Join me this saturday and every saturday for a live VIDEO CHAT lesson on ALTERNATE PICKING. We have been doing a series on that very topic for several weeks now. Here are the notes so far. Many great workouts to try.

LESSON NOTES ON GMC FOR MY ALTERNATE PICKING SERIES

Above all
Practice!

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jun 19 2010, 11:11 PM


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Todd Simpson
post May 3 2011, 04:13 AM
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Introduction to the Pick / Pick Choice

Picks for "Alternate Picking"

I'd suggest you get a thick pick that doesn't bend/flex for working on your AP. Maybe 1.0 MM or thicker and then sharpen it to a bit of a point using sand paper. Don't make a weapon, just sharpen it up a bit. Even if you don't use this for your regular playing, it will help during these lessons. I use CLAYTON 1.2mm picks. I'm currently endorsed by Clayton but I was using their picks loooong before that.

It's important to use a pointed pick when practicing Alternate Picking. DUNLOP has some new picks (Dunlop Sharp's)that are well suited for practicing your "Alternate Picking". I just found these in my local guitar shop and I hadn't seem them before so hopefully they are widely available. Notice the shape of these picks.

Tear drop shape with a long, sharp, point. This is the shape that I've been creating by shaving/carving/sanding standard picks for years. Creating this fine point really helps to decrease the amount of "Pick Drag" and reduce the amount of pick striking the string at any given time. This will help you essentially play in a more accurate, consistent fashion and with increased speed.

This shape is becoming more and more popular as evidenced by it's adoption from a large distributor like DUNLOP where as for quite some time, these large picks in this shape were seen more from boutique vendors like V-Picks.

(Here is a link to the Dunlop site or more info on the "Sharp" picks)
http://www.jimdunlop.com/product/tortex-sharp

See the picture below. I've included a V-Pick Switchblade for reference on the left.
Attached Image


Check out these new dunlop picks. Get the thickest one you can find as thickness reduces flex and flex is your enemy when you are practicing your AP. Especially at first. These are "Tortex" picks, so they will have a pinch more "Flex" than the V-Pick Switchblade. But if you like Dunlop picks, these may be the pick for you.

If you don't like Tortex Picks, try the V-Picks I mentioned earlier. They have Zero Flex and are very stable. You can get a 3.0 MM "Trainer" pick called the DIMENSION that is pre sharpened, is hard to dull and will help train your hand to glance the string when Alternate Picking. V-Picks are Boutique/Custom picks and they are not cheap. But they are well worth it.

Here is a picture of the DIMENSION from V-Picks.
Attached Image

Here is a link to the V Picks Web Site with more info.
Vpicks Web Site

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: May 3 2011, 06:22 AM


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Ben Higgins
post May 3 2011, 09:09 AM
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Wow ! I use the purple 1.14 Dunlop on the right but I had no idea they did a sharp version.. biggrin.gif I sharpen mine on the carpet to get the point.. now I can get this shape without tempting the wrath of my significant other !! tongue.gif


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maharzan
post May 3 2011, 09:41 AM
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Since I have been doing AP for ages now, I want to share my experiences too. Hope you won't mind Todd.

Todd explained the what 90-95% guitarists hold their pick and its the correct way for most. I first learnt this method by looking at a video by Paul Gilbert. He explains how he used to hold it angled upwards for 8 years and then finally arrived to this way of picking and it was much easier. I also tried this method for quite sometime and its the correct way if you want to gain speed.

The only problem I had with this technique is my fingers got a bit tired or something, I couldn't play that well. Something was wrong. Either my fingers are thick and short or something. I then experiments many ways to hold the pick. While I was playing, I noticed when I hold my pick a certain way, it felt natural to me and was swifter. In my case, the index finger goes a bit back so you don't see the index finger in that first picture.

So, the lesson here I guess, is you can start like this and if it feels a bit uncomfortable, you can always experiment with other positions. After all, it comes to personal experience and what feels best for you. smile.gif

I used to use very light 0.5mm picks as I used to play Acoustic guitar for a long time and it bended smoothly. When I shifted to Electric, something was not right. I tried thicker picks.. went from 0.5 to 0.75, 0.8, 1 and so on. I used to pick lightly as well. And when I started picking with thicker picks, I felt, it was trapped between strings. But after so much practice, thicker is the way to go and you have to strike hard for that clear note. I now use Jazz III picks. I tried thicker ones as well but they just didn't feel right. smile.gif


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Fran
post May 3 2011, 10:16 AM
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Just added this to the knowledge base smile.gif
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/wiki/inde...k_/_Pick_Choice


I've also tried many picks, and I've been using Jazz III Ultex for nearly a couple years now, and I'm happy with them. I get a bright sound from the string with them, and they are small so I can do pinch harmnics comfortably (there's something in teh way I hold the pick that prevents me from getting pinch h. with bigger picks, or so it seems after lots of trial and error)


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Todd Simpson
post May 5 2011, 01:19 AM
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They must be pretty new as I just now found them in my local guitar shop. I sharpen my picks as well, so finding them pre-sharpened is a great bonus wink.gif They make them in thickness all the way to 1.5! Let me know how it goes with them sharps, and my feliciations to your significant other and hope that this news doesn't come to late to save the carpet wink.gif

QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ May 3 2011, 03:09 AM) *
Wow ! I use the purple 1.14 Dunlop on the right but I had no idea they did a sharp version.. biggrin.gif I sharpen mine on the carpet to get the point.. now I can get this shape without tempting the wrath of my significant other !! tongue.gif



Thanks for the post wink.gif I couldn't agree more. My picking instruction here is intended for those starting out on the path and as you continue your journey, you will find your own way. It sounds like you have smile.gif

I agree on the thick picks and on the Jazz III for the pointed nature of the pick. I'm a big fan of the "pointy" pick. I used to have to sharpen mine by hand but now many vendors make them that way from the factory. The point really does help avoid that "caught in the strings".

Todd
QUOTE (maharzan @ May 3 2011, 03:41 AM) *
Since I have been doing AP for ages now, I want to share my experiences too. Hope you won't mind Todd.

Todd explained the what 90-95% guitarists hold their pick and its the correct way for most. I first learnt this method by looking at a video by Paul Gilbert. He explains how he used to hold it angled upwards for 8 years and then finally arrived to this way of picking and it was much easier. I also tried this method for quite sometime and its the correct way if you want to gain speed....



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Todd Simpson
post Jan 18 2013, 03:50 PM
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This is a post I created for a GMCer and I thought it would be perfect for the "Tips and Tricks" Picking Thread!!!!

I've recorded a quick little example of alternate picking while traversing strings. I start slow and speed up. Notice the following

1.) I over exaggerate the picking motion going slowly, then when speeding up, I reduce the distance the pick travels away from the string.

2.)I'm not "digging in" too deep. E.g. Letting the pick tip/point go to far below the string and towards the body of the guitar.

3.)I'm picking from the wrist (never from the elbow or shoulder)

4.)I'm using a really sharp pick (sharpened with a boot knife) so the point of contact between string and pick is as small as possible, only the very tip hits the strings.

5.)I"m using a really THICK pick as well. 1.5 MM clayton. Thin picks have flex, during training/learning, a thicker pick can help your hand understand what it needs to do IMHO. You can always go back to thin pick later smile.gif

Here is the vid.


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jan 18 2013, 03:51 PM


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mroberts70
post Jan 18 2013, 04:14 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ May 3 2011, 03:09 AM) *
Wow ! I use the purple 1.14 Dunlop on the right but I had no idea they did a sharp version.. biggrin.gif I sharpen mine on the carpet to get the point.. now I can get this shape without tempting the wrath of my significant other !! tongue.gif


I've never tried sharpening a pick on the carpet. I can see your (or any other) significant other having an issue with this.... I remember a buddy of mine using the carpet as a napkin and his significant other had an issue with that... I've also seen dogs use it as a scratching mechanism for their rear quarters, but never pick sharpening.

Did you do prison time? Sounds like you may know a think or two on making a shank....


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Todd Simpson
post Jan 21 2013, 05:54 AM
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Aside from BEN's making Shanks or Picks via Carpet rubbing, I'd say grab your favorite pocket/boot/xacto knife and shave your pick to a fine point with a bevel on each side smile.gif Or, go buy some sharp picks!!! smile.gif

Todd


QUOTE (mroberts70 @ Jan 18 2013, 10:14 AM) *
I've never tried sharpening a pick on the carpet. I can see your (or any other) significant other having an issue with this.... I remember a buddy of mine using the carpet as a napkin and his significant other had an issue with that... I've also seen dogs use it as a scratching mechanism for their rear quarters, but never pick sharpening.

Did you do prison time? Sounds like you may know a think or two on making a shank....



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