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> The Paper Pick Training, building speed with perfect timing!
Azzaboi
post Jun 30 2010, 12:52 AM
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The Paper Pick Training

This is one of the silly looking tricks but great ways to learn alternate picking with speed but keeping the control and timing down too!

Experience alternate picking at high speed and learn to develop it correctly.

Create the pick!
For the experiment, put your actual pick to the side for now. Take a piece of paper, glossy paper like the cover of a old magazine would work best, and cut some basic picks out of it. The 90 degrees corners of the paper edge work best for the pick tip, the rest can be ripped or whatever just so you have something to hold onto.

Note: A paper pick won't last long. As it get frayed throw away and grab another.

Pick Position
Everyone will hold the pick slightly different. Doesn't matter too much. What's important is the angle you hold the pick.If the pick leans too far towards the ceiling or the floor it will put one motion at an advantage but the opposite motion at a lost. Ensure you play holding the pick at 90 degrees (almost perpendicular to the strings) for alternate picking.

Start picking!
Start picking a single note with the paper pick using downstrokes only to get the feel.

Now change to alternate picking with the same note (down, up, down, up, down, etc).
Never lift the pick away from the string.

The paper pick should easily folds over the string and softly plays the note.

Get down the timing!
Set your amp for a clean, undistorted sound so that you can hear what your fingers and pick are doing.

Start at a slow speed and work up.
Listen to the paper clicks, use that for timing against a low volume Metronome.

Alternate picking speed should be double of downstroke only picking as there is no resistance using paper it shouldn't be too hard to work up speed.

Try a chromatic run or scale to workout both hands. They have to learn to be in perfect time with each other at high speed.

Don't do any large picking motion, the pick should only use the tip, never be raised, or move outside of inbetween the strings.

Regular picking!
After a while grab your actual pick and repeat the same process. Ouch! Quite a difference.

Aim to get the same control and minimum movement with the regular pick. You have penty of raw speed, just need strength and control against the pick resistance. Remember your pick should be moving up and down without any motion away from the strings.

Play slowly enough to play without mistakes and build up slowly. Get to your peak speed, but don't stop there, slow back off a bit.

For really fast picking, wrist movement is probably best. Some combinations of wrist and elbow. I recommend avoiding finger and thumb movement. Whatever picking motion used should be small and precise movements. (Distance = Time)

Not a daily exercise, but good for those to learn how it should feel while develop alternate picking and/or speed.

If you start messing up, return to the paper pick for a bit. It should be a lot easiler and you can concentrate more on getting the technique down.

More Tips:
Use a thicker pick to slice the string in high speed playing.

Sharpen the pick tip with sandpaper, a sharp knife, or even the carpet.

Keep the pick within a few millimeters of the string being played. The pick should never go as far or beyond the next string.

Use the tip of the pick only. Slow playing give time for the pick to elastically snap back into shape. At high speed this isn't an option as there's less time, it hasn't completely returned to it's original shape at the reverse direction.

Avoid playing at the same speed all the time or practicing from slow to fast only. This is a common error. The higher the speed, the more likely you are to make mistakes. If you don't slow down and correct them, they will stay with you resulting in sloppy playing. It's important to start at a controled speed, increase slowly to your peak (start making mistakes) and return back to a controled state.

Patiences is key. It will take a bit of time to retrain the muscles and build up on strength, stamina and precision. A few minutes a day practicing gives good results compared to just a burst of exercising every now and then. Don't play the same exercise too long!

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Jun 30 2010, 12:54 AM


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thefireball
post Jun 30 2010, 02:05 AM
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Interesting. At first I thought you meant like a piece of paper as thin as you would right on! tongue.gif

EDIT: I personally use thick picks. I don't go any lower than 1mm.

This post has been edited by thefireball: Jun 30 2010, 02:05 AM


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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Jun 30 2010, 06:52 PM
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This is actually reasonable idea. String thickness radically effect the picking technique, hand positions...
I will try that, and post my experience...


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 30 2010, 07:57 PM
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This approach sounds interesting. Anyone tried it in practice and had some results ? wink.gif


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Crazy_Diamond
post Jun 30 2010, 10:44 PM
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I am really curious about this technique... Any feddbacks ?


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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Jul 2 2010, 06:02 PM
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Tried this yesterday. At first it's very amusing, later the pick wears out. Maybe it's good to try with some thicker paper, I ripped this from magazine. But it's actually as I thought, it requires mobilization of some different muscles, it's almost unnecessary to pick from wrist...


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 3 2010, 04:07 PM
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Very interesting method of practicing, and some good advices here. Thanks for sharing smile.gif


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Daniel Realpe
post Jul 12 2010, 04:16 PM
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can you make a video ? smile.gif


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Azzaboi
post Jul 12 2010, 09:04 PM
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I don't have a webcam or camcorder sad.gif

Also this isn't something you should practice a lot, it just helps you understand the basics of pick control, then you go back to the pick to fully practice. It's really a temporary thing to try out a few times if struggling with the pick.

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Jul 12 2010, 09:05 PM


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audiopaal
post Aug 26 2010, 10:25 AM
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Interresting idea, thanks for sharing smile.gif
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Fre
post Aug 26 2010, 01:55 PM
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I tried it today with a lesson (://www.guitarmasterclass.net/solo-guitar/alternate-picking-thirds/) I didn't completed yet.
I never could do the whole run without making mistakes. Now I used paper picks from magazines to 'train'.
Later on I took my regular pick back and did the whole run without mistakes! ohmy.gif It feels comfortable too!

I'd suggest you all try it! laugh.gif

Thanks Azzaboi for the tip wink.gif
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