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> Picks And Plectrums Problems
Mr Mayhem
post Dec 11 2010, 10:04 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

It seems that there are many guitarists on here who like the jazzIII picks. The V picks are a bit of a gimmick i think, as i didn't really find any real benefit to gripping the thing. I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the way grip changes when playing fast. I've noticed this too.

Generally i play fast a lot, and therefore find my pick moving around a lot. When i do slow down my pick tends to hit the strings at more of a perpendicular angle to the strings. When i speed up i tend to angle the pick a bit more, in order to get the pick to glide off the strings easier. This also changes the tone very slightly i've noticed, but when your hitting notes one after the other very quckly its not audilble really.

However my grip also becomes lighter i think when i speed up, because it also helps the pick's transition from string to string. Thing is we are all human and playing faster requires more concentration than normal. You have so much to concentrate on when playing that fast. You have to make sure you hit the right notes. Your trying to keep the notes clear and clean. Your trying to mute open strings. Your trying to keep notes evenly spaced (timing) and on top of all this your also thinking about where your going to go next. Its not surprising that something very subtle like your grip goes out the window a bit. Maybe its not a lack of concentration, maybe its more that your body automatically tries to adapt to a higher speed by cutting certain corners. Maybe i shouldn't be letting it.

Its food for thought though, so next practise session i will take yet another approach to see if it helps.

The fast fret stuff certainly is more trouble than its worth i think. I was using it along the entire string length, but that was because in the past sweat from my right hand also corroded the strings at the bridge etc. The original idea was to prevent that by using fast fret, but seeing its effect on turning my pick into a bar of soap its definately not worth the trade off.

Going back to V picks though, although some of their claims are a bit of a gimmick i do think that they have a fantastic selection. I still want to try some of their other picks, not because i think they have special attributes with regards to grip but because the ones ive tried do sound very good. You never know there might be one they do that does agree with me.

Another factor in all this might be thickness. The thicker a pick is the less it will flex, and therefore the more softly you have to grip it when playing fast? Maybe the right way to go is to strike a balance between a pick hard enough to be accurate, but soft enough so that it yields when playing quickly without you needing to relax your grip so much that it doesn't move in your fingers? Im using big stubbies that are 2.0mm thick and trust me there is no give in them whatsoever. Maybe thats the trick im missing?

The only real comfort im having is finding that im far from the only one experiencing this problem, and when i do find an answer i will share it with everyone. I don't want anyone else to go through this frustration.

My search goes on....... rolleyes.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 11 2010, 10:50 PM
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Happens to me to once in a while, but my hands are not sweating that much luckily. The solution is definitely to introduce the grip to your favorite pick. I think the ideal solution would be to make a grip surface on your favorite pick (or to change the pick). The thing you need with your pick is the tip, so it's not a problem if you glue some grip material to the sides. It's not ideal solution, but if you like your picks that much, and you need to keep them in place, it's worth it.


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Mr Mayhem
post Dec 12 2010, 09:24 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Dec 11 2010, 09:50 PM) *
Happens to me to once in a while, but my hands are not sweating that much luckily. The solution is definitely to introduce the grip to your favorite pick. I think the ideal solution would be to make a grip surface on your favorite pick (or to change the pick). The thing you need with your pick is the tip, so it's not a problem if you glue some grip material to the sides. It's not ideal solution, but if you like your picks that much, and you need to keep them in place, it's worth it.


Hi Ivan.

I did try adding some grip to my favourite pick. I stuck cork to both sides of one, and just for experimental purposes i stuck sandpaper type material to another. The strange thing is neither of them worked all that well. I have really noticed now that when i pick faster my grip does loosed slightly, and im starting to wonder if it matters how grippy my pick is at all!! If im not holding it tight enough it won't matter if its covered in sand paper. The other problem i found was that the material on the pick took away some of the feel. Normally i can feel the strings through the pick, but with cork on the pick i couldn't and it put me off.

Thinking about it, the problem does seem to come and go. Sometimes i think the more i think about my picking the worse it gets.

I think im just going to stick with my normal pick for a bit and simply try thinking a bit more about what im playing rather than how im picking it. So long as its sounds right of course.

Cheers.


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Ben Higgins
post Dec 13 2010, 10:14 AM
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QUOTE (Mr Mayhem @ Dec 12 2010, 08:24 PM) *
Hi Ivan.

I did try adding some grip to my favourite pick. I stuck cork to both sides of one, and just for experimental purposes i stuck sandpaper type material to another. The strange thing is neither of them worked all that well. I have really noticed now that when i pick faster my grip does loosed slightly, and im starting to wonder if it matters how grippy my pick is at all!! If im not holding it tight enough it won't matter if its covered in sand paper. The other problem i found was that the material on the pick took away some of the feel. Normally i can feel the strings through the pick, but with cork on the pick i couldn't and it put me off.

Thinking about it, the problem does seem to come and go. Sometimes i think the more i think about my picking the worse it gets.

I think im just going to stick with my normal pick for a bit and simply try thinking a bit more about what im playing rather than how im picking it. So long as its sounds right of course.

Cheers.


One thing I would say Jon, is that by seeming to loosen your grip when playing faster shows that you've actually got a relaxed style which is really good !! Now it's just a case of that damn pick moving about.

When I had some picking issues (for me, I was over focusing on my picking hand and tensing up) I actually shifted all my focus onto my fretting hand, to the point where I was imagining that all the sound was coming directly from that hand only, and that my pick hand was somehow attached to my fret hand via rubber bands or something (!!) so whenever my left hand played something, my right hand would move automatically as if on a lever attached to my fret hand. This took all focus away from my pick hand and helped me loosen up and trust more.

It's a strange concept, but do try 'leading' with your fretting hand. Don't think of pushing the rhythm along with your pick hand, pretend it all starts and ends with the fretting hand. See how you get on. Over focusing on a specific body part always makes us mess up and make more mistakes than we would normally.


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Mr Mayhem
post Dec 13 2010, 11:52 AM
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It's a strange concept, but do try 'leading' with your fretting hand. Don't think of pushing the rhythm along with your pick hand, pretend it all starts and ends with the fretting hand. See how you get on. Over focusing on a specific body part always makes us mess up and make more mistakes than we would normally.
[/quote]

Thanks Ben.

It never ceases to amaze me how much our minds effect our bodies. Good advice i think here, i reckon im just focusing too much on my pick. I get very obsessed about the guitar in general and in some ways i think its a bad thing. You can't get obsessed with any one thing because it makes you screw up as you say.

Im going to give it a new train of thought and see what happens. Wish me luck. wink.gif


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slash48
post Dec 13 2010, 02:06 PM
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Another thought to take in to consideration is are you an open hand picker, or a closed hand picker. Closed hand picking is going to get your hand a lot sweatier faster then open hand picking...and if changing your picking style means the pick won't come out of your hand all the time, then I think it might be a great adjustment. If you could post some pictures of how you hold the pick I think it would be much easier for everybody here to help. Good luck!


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maharzan
post Dec 13 2010, 02:32 PM
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The problem with me is/was when I practice slowly, I tend to hit each note well and when I practice faster, I tend to miss notes. Analyzing slowly gives me what I am doing wrong. Most of the time, its the way you play at slow speed and at high speed. something changes in between and the way you pick doesn't work as you tend to. I have to keep practicing at slower speed as if I m playing at faster speed. (such as set the right hand loose and let it flow as I do when picking fast). Otherwise no matter how much I practice at faster speed, the same problem keeps me from play at that speed. You might probably want to do that too. smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 14 2010, 12:08 AM
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Then you should definitely consider changing your picking technique. The pick can have tendency to go to side if you are not holding it at the right angle. Try to correct the angle of the pick so it is 90 degrees angle to the strings, and do not change the angle. If you change it, it is possible that you are pressuring the pick, and that pressure creates reaction, so that the pick tip goes off more and more, as it grinds to the strings. I didn't explain quite well, but I think you know what I'm talking about. It happened to me as well before, and the only way against this is to slowly adapt the pick angle and not to pressure the pick while playing, specially on the higher tempos (this is when the picking hand has tendency to pressure things, although it definitely shouldn't).


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Mr Mayhem
post Dec 15 2010, 08:55 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Dec 13 2010, 11:08 PM) *
Then you should definitely consider changing your picking technique. The pick can have tendency to go to side if you are not holding it at the right angle. Try to correct the angle of the pick so it is 90 degrees angle to the strings, and do not change the angle. If you change it, it is possible that you are pressuring the pick, and that pressure creates reaction, so that the pick tip goes off more and more, as it grinds to the strings. I didn't explain quite well, but I think you know what I'm talking about. It happened to me as well before, and the only way against this is to slowly adapt the pick angle and not to pressure the pick while playing, specially on the higher tempos (this is when the picking hand has tendency to pressure things, although it definitely shouldn't).

I've managed to improve things a bit. Firstly not using "fast fret" has really helped. Secondly i figured out that i was holding the pick not quite 90 degrees to the strings. Or more precisley i wasn't on the bottom e string while my palm is kind of half on half off the bridge. As my palm moves more and more across the bridge it was then at the right picking angle, but noticing this and correcting it really helped me hit notes i was missing on the A string.

Im still getting some slipping of the pick, but i will try to adjust some more to make sure the pick isn't being pressured in any way. I think one of the hardest things to deal with, is that on some days you play really really well but on others something somewhere goes wrong and you can't figure out why your making those mistakes. Maybe at some point i got into a bad habit and didn't notice it, and been practising like that ever since. All i know is when trying to speed pick well..... minor mistakes in the way you hold your pick can cause huge problems.

Thanks for the help guys. I will persevere for a bit and try the suggestions, but any more probs and ill post a pic on here or a video so maybe someone can see whats going wrong. wink.gif


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maharzan
post Dec 17 2010, 03:34 AM
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Cool. You just have to keep practicing that 'right' way for you. It took me a year and half to get that right position and the picks don't slip away now. It feels good. smile.gif

I tend to reposition picks whenever I have some 'space' in playing. I realized that when I saw my videos after recording. smile.gif


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Mr Mayhem
post Dec 19 2010, 03:05 AM
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QUOTE (maharzan @ Dec 17 2010, 02:34 AM) *
Cool. You just have to keep practicing that 'right' way for you. It took me a year and half to get that right position and the picks don't slip away now. It feels good. smile.gif

I tend to reposition picks whenever I have some 'space' in playing. I realized that when I saw my videos after recording. smile.gif



Yeah i guess your always going to get a bit of pick slippage. Nobody's perfect, besides there are so many variables. For example the guitar moves a bit on its strap or on your knee. Its never going to be exactly in the same position relative to your hand and pick, no matter what you do.


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