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> Correcting Bad Habits
Rated Htr
post Sep 4 2010, 07:49 PM
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Some days ago, I started experimenting new ways of picking, new hand positions, etc, because I sensed I was stuck at a certain speed. I know progress is slow, but still, I would like to know what would be your ways to correct bad habits if you felt you had some. smile.gif


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Azzaboi
post Sep 4 2010, 09:36 PM
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I had problems with a number of bad habits at first, the issue is once you develop habits, the harder they become to break.

Slow down:
Play slowly enough to play without any mistakes. Your fingers move how you train them to.

Check the two thumb position, this is sometimes overlooked, either the thumb behind the neck to give you a greater reach and fingers more evenly controlled or thumb hooked over the top to get more control and strength for bends, etc.

Ensure finger position land just behide their corresponding metal fret and not just anywhere on the fret. Play on your fingertips mostly.

Watch finger movement, remember distance equals time, keep your fingers as close to the strings as possible. When hammering, etc, check do fingers glue together or flick up too much? You must stop it from happening before it happens, else it's too late to correct. If you cannot comfortable keep them hovering in their unfretted positions then you are using too much pressure for playing which is slowing you down.

For fast picking, hold a pointed pick almost perpendicular to the strings (thumb facing downwards). Use wrist movement or wrist and elbow, not fingers. Practice smallest and precise movements rather than speed at first. Your trying to minimise the amount of moving required. Only small up and down movements with the pick.

Play with a metronome some of the time and work on keeping time with it. Start slowly, speed it up about two units at a time, puah yourself up to break point (starts to get too messy), bring it down and perfect it. Only end the exercise at a speed your confortable with playing perfectly (not at a high top speed slightly messed up).

Do exercises using only the left hand or the right hand, then merge them together and even out the timing between them. One hand might be a lot faster than the other, concentate on the slowest.


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MickeM
post Sep 4 2010, 09:40 PM
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Practice like a madman! It takes up to two weeks for your body and brain to make the new technique take over.
I did that with my own picking some years ago, the first few days feel hopeless since you'll fall back into the old way again and again. Just keep struggeling!


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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Sep 5 2010, 12:56 PM
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Been there. From bad legato, bad picking, bad right-hand position, tone, those are the things and habits I corrected. The answer is simple, play the simple stuff you already know with "new habit", it will be tricky at first but soon it becomes your second nature.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 14 2010, 01:49 PM
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Take it slowly step by step. It's an ongoing process, it can last for long time, but it's not that bad, if you start to play correctly right away. The initial results will come very soon, and complete technique change will come in several years.


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MickeM
post Sep 14 2010, 02:16 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Sep 14 2010, 02:49 PM) *
Take it slowly step by step. It's an ongoing process, it can last for long time, but it's not that bad, if you start to play correctly right away. The initial results will come very soon, and complete technique change will come in several years.

Ivan, are you standing before an Oblivion gate? biggrin.gif


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jstcrsn
post Sep 16 2010, 12:04 AM
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QUOTE (Rated Htr @ Sep 4 2010, 07:49 PM) *
Some days ago, I started experimenting new ways of picking, new hand positions, etc, because I sensed I was stuck at a certain speed. I know progress is slow, but still, I would like to know what would be your ways to correct bad habits if you felt you had some. smile.gif


i'm stuck right hear with you
i noticed i can't do upstrokes very well so i changed my style once again seeing how i work up to about 100 bpm 16 th notes and then stagnate
so now i am trying to do everything perfectly and i have had to slow down to 35 bpm half notes-- and it sucks and it is difficult not to go back to bad habits
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slash48
post Sep 16 2010, 12:45 AM
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One of my favorite things to do to correct bad habits is to record myself weekly. That way I can pin-point the problem areas of my playing for the week and fix them and have those new skills to my benefit. I.E.-Vibrato, phrasing, how fluidly I'm playing, and so on...
It's all based on turning your musical weaknesses into musical advantages.
Another is to just constantly stay aware of what your body is doing and make sure it is relaxed and doing the right thing.
Here is a list of bad habits so you can watch for them. I put a list of them in my room so I know what I'm doing wrong.

Left hand thumb tightly on fretboard (unless playing something that needs the thumb to play a note of coarse, moving left hand fingers to far away from the fretboard, Picking down or up farther than you need to instead of using economy of motion, Bending notes from the fingers and not the wrist, vibrato from the fingers and not the wrist (Unless your Eric Clapton biggrin.gif ...or playing classical vibrato) tensing any parts of your body, slugging over the guitar to see what notes your playing, bursting into high bpm practice without warming up, anchoring fingers on the pick guard is supposedly led to cause tension in the hand and making it unbalanced (lot's of instructors here play incredibly well and have used that technique for years though) , Picking using too much of the strength of the fingers to execute a pick stroke instead of the wrist (or elbow if you can control it.) This is as much as I can think of at the moment. I know you've probably heard this stuff before but I hope you learned (or relearned) something from my post. Have a good day, good bye!


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Tyson
post Oct 22 2010, 04:01 PM
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Hello GMC,
How (where) should we rest the right hand? Rest it over the bridge?... Rest your arm over the guitar body, leaving hand free?...
What's the best position, for alternate picking, to allow speed build up later on?
Thanks
Miguel


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Sollesnes
post Oct 22 2010, 04:24 PM
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Whats your bad habit?
Find out what it is, and it will correct itself.

..Arent I being kind. haha. But yes. If you know your problem, you wont be able to stand it, and itll fix itself as you will try to find ways to solve it. smile.gif
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Azzaboi
post Oct 25 2010, 07:48 PM
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Tyson -

For alternate picking, you should stop moving the fingers if you are (fingers movement is great for slower speeds, pinch harmonics and more expression, etc, but will limit your speed - so you should be aware and change when needed). Make them ridge and use small movements of the wrist to pick, move up and down the string with the arm. This will give much better speed. Practice smarter, remember to work on smaller movements and muscle memory first which will equal way more speed when you boost it later on.

Never angle the pick up or down, this will slow you down in the opposite direction! However, flat picking will also slow you down cutting through the strings at speed, rotate the pick almost perpendicular to the strings (up to 90%) and play with just the tip to get more aggresive and faster picking.

You can either anchor a finger onto the base of the guitar, lightly against the lower e string, or leave it floating. The anchoring can give more control to most when playing fast, but it can limit the movement up and down across strings. Find what is best for yourself without limiting too much.


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 25 2010, 10:39 PM
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Todd The Saturday Video Chat Instructor here smile.gif This is a great question. And there have been some replies! Here is a chunk from my picking notes in my instructor forum. Hope this helps!

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: Oct 25 2010, 10:40 PM


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