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> Acoustic Strumming Made My Speed Picking Alot Faster
Mr T
post Mar 1 2011, 01:58 PM
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The last couple of months I've been mainly playing my acoustic guitar and I haven't been practicing seriously. I didn't have alot of time and I was tired alot, so I just kept to strumming chords while watching tv.

Recently I've been able to find alot more time to play guitar and picked up my electric again and I was quite surprised to find that I've become alot faster at speedpicking and I'm able to maintain high speeds for longer times. This got me thinking about how this could have happened and I think I have to conclude that all that strumming chords removed alot of tention (which is bad ofcourse!) from my playing and my muscles seem to have learned to relax. Speed picking almost seems effortless now.

Has anyone else had a similar experience?


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K1R
post Mar 1 2011, 03:22 PM
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I've experienced absolutely the same thing. This summer I went to a sport camp and I took my acoustic guitar with me to sing some songs near the campfire smile.gif When I returned home and picked up my electric guitar I realized that my playing level increased a lot! smile.gif


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badfingers93
post Mar 1 2011, 04:42 PM
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I know exactly what you feel wink.gif I practice almost everyday for about 3-4 hrs. Usually after weeks of practice, i get a little stressed out and i just refused to play for about a day or two. When i came back to the guitar, to my surprise, my playing improved! I guess sometimes we just need to let our brain process whatever we have practiced biggrin.gif
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Mr T
post Mar 1 2011, 09:52 PM
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Good to know I'm not the only one! Now I just have to make sure I don't play fast all the time just because I can... seems like a bit of a trap, especially at the moment.


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dark dude
post Mar 1 2011, 10:18 PM
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Yeah, if you use thicker strings, or learn to play with a higher action (string height), then it'll be easier to play on the electric.

Also, as badfingers said, your brain needs time to process these things. It's not a myth.


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Ben Higgins
post Mar 1 2011, 10:44 PM
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Really interesting post ! I've never had that actual experience but I can imagine how it would help and I think your theory about loosening up the surrounding muscles of your arm and getting rid of excess tension is correct.

When we over use certain muscle groups it's only natural they're going to complain somehow.. by varying our activities we improve our overall performance. It takes the focus off the over used muscles and gives them chance to recover and re learn to function normally again. Great to hear it's improved your playing smile.gif


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Justin Myrick
post Mar 2 2011, 09:32 AM
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It's like going to sleep, our minds and bodies need to have some time to re-cooperate.


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Rated Htr
post Mar 2 2011, 10:44 AM
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One thing that I can say about that is that constant strumming to be done correctly, according to my playing and perspective, requires you to have a loose wrist. That means that you don't tense up when you're strumming, which makes your muscles use to the feeling of moving without tensing up, which is exactly what's needed to achieve speed. smile.gif


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Bogdan Radovic
post Mar 3 2011, 10:45 PM
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Good to hear about your progress! This seems logical - you took some time off and played acoustic and practiced strumming at the same time which made you learn how to relax. We also need some time off after hard practice to grasp all the new techniques. This kind of feeling happened to me few times in the past and its a great feeling smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 4 2011, 02:11 PM
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That is definitely true. It seems that the brain starts to apply non-tensioned grip, and has more sense for weight of the hand after lots of strumming.


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Mr T
post Mar 4 2011, 09:30 PM
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It's been a pretty cool but also strange experience. In the past I have spend countless hours practicing purely for speed. And now that I care a little less for it (also one of the reasons I got alot more interested in playing the acoustic guitar), it finally comes to me. Seems a bit unfair wink.gif

Anyway, seems like it would be a good suggestion to those who hit a wall while practicing for speed to pick up the acoustic guitar, learn some chords and strum away for a while before returning to the speed practice. Not only does it seem to increase your speed, it makes you a more diverse player at the same time biggrin.gif


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