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> Over Analyzed
jstcrsn
post Jun 12 2010, 02:16 PM
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Well, I over analyzed my holding of the pick to death.
I was increasing my alt. picking in ranges of 115 to some even at 160
After awhile of not progressing ,I noticed that my picking hand looked stressed
So I decided to try to focus on that to see if I could relieve the tension

Well just the reverse happened
I start fine but as soon as I change strings, the pick starts slipping out of my thumb,my index finger gets tense
Within a couple of notes,my thumb is tight against my finger and i am barely holding any of the pick and have to stop before the pick falls out altogether

I'm playing my scales slowed to 50 and still can't control the pick

i take brakes for a few days that doesn't WWWWWWork
every time i get done practicing all I want to do is throw the guitar against the wall,Don't worry I know how to repair the wall.
I am freaking feed up- and thoughts go through my head to give up the guitar
caause right now it isn't fun any more ,when you can't play something you use to play in your sleep

Has this happened to any one or does any one know what i need to do?
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Daniel Realpe
post Jun 12 2010, 04:22 PM
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Yes, it has happened to me,

The first thing that came to my mind is: Observe the picking of a good player. Try to imitate,

That's how I did it. And I went through stages. I remember I went through the Greg Howe stage. I just wouldn't support my hand with the pinky on the guitar. It felt all right for a while, but then I naturally came back.

Or the Marty Friedman stage even, I even tried to hold the pick like him for some months, I even got comfortable with that, but then I came back to my picking again.

Now I just don't think about that anymore. I just don't observe my hand and just listen. If it doesn't look cool or whatever, I don't care, I'm interested in being able to play whatever I want to play.

Look at Alexi Laiho or Vinnie Moore, their picking technique looks awful, uncomfortable and unorthodox imo. But they sound great!

Don't be too over analytic too, you'll get it, if you got it once.



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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 12 2010, 05:15 PM
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You have to be patient, the result (speed) won't come in couple of months. You have to rehearse for years to be able to play fast. Just be patient, and try to practice everything slowly. In the end, it doesn't matter that much what picking technique you use, as long as it provides you with best comfort and tone when playing.


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SirJamsalot
post Jun 13 2010, 08:37 AM
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Think of learning the guitar like chipping away at a mountain with a spoon. It literally takes years to develop technique - and that technique doesn't just one day pop into perfection. It goes thru levels of forward and backwards progress. You have high expectations for yourself, and you're getting frustrated because you're not reaching your goals fast enough - that's natural because people expect quick results - we don't naturally think in terms of months or years to achieve goals - we're more in the weeks camp. Everyone has expectations, but realistically speaking - you need to be thinking in terms of years, not months, especially for something like guitar.

The mind is willing, and the body has the physical strength, but coordination and mental aptitude rely on nerve-endings and fast-muscle tissue - those don't just develop overnight. A brand-new exercise, using areas of the mind / nervous system that your body has never done before takes a minimum of 2 weeks of regular observance just for the neural pathways for those signals to form. After that is the fine-tuning phase which takes a life time. If you've ever picked up something for the first time, and it seemed awkward at first, that's because you haven't developed the neural pathways for it yet.

Fine-tuning something as precise as alternate picking at a very fast speed is not something the body can achieve in a short period of time. Sure physically you can make the pick go up and down, but transitioning from string to string requires a lot of fine-tuned motor and neural pathways to fire perfectly to avoid the first string on the way over to the second string. Don't downplay the physics in that exercise. It really is an amazing task that the human hand has to achieve at high speeds.

Anyways - yes we all get frustrated. There are huge learning curve jags in the rise to perfection. The first jag is first starting out - you have 2 weeks of learning how to just hold the pick and it not feel completely awkward - those are your neuron pathways forming. Then the learning curve speeds up for a while - then you hit the base of the mountain - that's the threshold of your speed and coordination - now for the climb up the mountain. The climb up the mountain is a guaranteed number of years of pain and suffering.

Consider this: No athlete picks up a ball and becomes a major league player in less than 5 years. It just doesn't happen. Guitar is no less rigorous a sport - not physically - but agility wise it really is. Best thing you can do is stop thinking of your practice as a short-term "reach the major league" kind of exercise. Instead, think of it in terms of a life-long activity that gets better with age. As a guitarist, you have something professional athletes don't have - longevity. Take advantage of it. Athletes peeeter out at age 30 - 40 is much rarer. Les Paul and BB King --hahaha. you got an extra 40 years to get good man. Stop racing. All the hot rods on guitar started at age 9, 11, etc. They weren't famous til they hit 20. That's 9 years of practice to get fast. Just keep that in mind.

Christian A.

Let me add this - I also experienced having alternate picking down really well once when I first started playing when I was about 20. I took a 15-20 year haiatus because I got married and suddenly busy lol. - I picked up my guitar again about 2 years ago, and was able to AP just fine - for about a month. Then I tried doing scales with AP and I could not for the life of me do it faster than about 50 bpm I kid you not. I was fumbling around - it was really frustrating so yeah I hear you on that front. I stuck with it and within a few months I'm back up to doing full 2 octave scales fairly cleanly at a good pace. So patience and perserverence won. I'm sure it will with you too. Just keep at it and don't toss your guitar out the window! biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by SirJamsalot: Jun 13 2010, 10:16 AM


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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Jun 13 2010, 01:23 PM
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Well, seems to me that you need to work on your right hand control a bit. Find out what is the exact thing that make you problems, exact string skipping moment, exact phrase, find it, isolate it and repeat it until you get some comfort.
Also, changing pick sizes and types might help, but in these cases, it's mostly technique.
Tension in right hand is normal, necessary, although if you're forcing it, and if you're not prepared for certain speeds, you''re adding unnecessary stress, and that should be avoided.


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maharzan
post Jul 11 2010, 06:57 AM
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Wow, I thought I was the only one having problems. smile.gif Since I have started speeding things up, from the very beginning I have had problem holding the pick correctly. To this date too I am still searching on what works best. There are times when I feel ok this works best and then next time I can't get the same position, something goes wrong.

My main problem was also pick slipping by. At first i can hold it right then after some time, it starts to slip off my thumb/index fingers and finally falls off or I have to stop a beat and grab the pick properly again. I thought this was to do with 'stamina' so longer than 2 bars of 16th notes wasn't working. I then practiced stamina lessons and lessons which has 16th notes all over 30-40secs. This has helped a LOT and pick finally doesn't fall off but still I play around with the pick, relaxing the thumb/index in between rests while playing a song. You can't just hold it all the way for a minute, it starts to hurt. smile.gif Its been a year if you ask me.

I kept looking at videos on YouTube about holding the pick properly. I guess Gilbert's video did help a bit, hold it in angle to gain more speed but I don't hold it at angle now though it is easy to play with angle.

Thanks for sharing. I think this is a universal problem and will be solved with time and practice as everything else. biggrin.gif


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Staffy
post Jul 11 2010, 10:18 AM
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Well, I took the easy way out. Instead of practicing AP, Im using legato and writing songs. I found practicing AP most boring and never found any use for it in my music anyway....

//Staffay


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maharzan
post Jul 11 2010, 10:43 AM
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Yea Staffay, you just need to learn what you use really.. I am not sure why I am practicing so much AP stuff. :-S

I am learning some grace notes stuff now. I did learn much legatos before GMC so I haven't been concentrating on that this time.. will do a lesson about it soon though.


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Staffy
post Jul 11 2010, 11:50 AM
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QUOTE (maharzan @ Jul 11 2010, 11:43 AM) *
Yea Staffay, you just need to learn what you use really.. I am not sure why I am practicing so much AP stuff. :-S

I am learning some grace notes stuff now. I did learn much legatos before GMC so I haven't been concentrating on that this time.. will do a lesson about it soon though.


Grace notes are grace !!! (or great...) biggrin.gif
I use it a lot when playing jazz, it gives some motion in the music that haven't been there else. Looking forward to those lessons! smile.gif

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emirb
post Aug 5 2010, 03:57 PM
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just a quick share: don't know if anyone of you experienced something like this but I find it really nice (can't find a better word) to change picks all the time. like for instance, if I practice something, a lick, tune whatever, I play it like 30-50 times slowly just to learn it. then I change the pick, and play it again. if it's a lick I change the position(chord?) it helps me to memorize it even faster/better. and then rest a bit, surf, drink beer smile.gif and then change pick again and play again. it feels a bit like when you 'sleep on it'. not that much like when you actually try to play it next day and it just 'works' but almost. playing electric with everything from 0.83 to 2mmm, different shapes, sizes etc. still, I find some picks better suited for some songs (styles) then other, doesn't have anything with metrics to do, just the feeling.. still, it would be nice to find some pick that really feels 'best'.


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