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> Getting That Speed, Improving Your Alternate Picking, Its not how fast you can play, Its the reverse!
maharzan
post May 5 2011, 03:35 PM
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Okay, I sent this particular video to one of my friends/student and he felt an improvement in his picking technique, clean, accurate. So just wanted to post this here too as I am super excited its working for others as it worked for me. While there are tonnes of exercises out there, I just compiled 3 basic Alternate Picking exercises that seems to work. smile.gif

Video:
++++



As you can see, these are super easy (as it looks) exercises and anyone should be able to do it. It doesn't have to be super duper fast but the main goal is to play SLOW, CLEAN and ACCURATE. Start with 60bpm (as in the video) or even 40bpm if you cannot do 60bpm. Once you REALLY MASTER it at that tempo, gradually increase it. I will love to see if you can actually get it to 130bpm or 150bpm.

These exercises tackles few hurdles that most AP lands into, such as odd picking (up down up on time and down up down next), inside / outside picking. You can try these exercises anywhere in the fretboard and you will notice they are actually different. Doing it in first 2 strings (E & cool.gif is very different from doing it in last 2 strings ( E & A). Similarly, doing it in first few frets is very different from say 12th few frets.

TABS
===

Ex 1.
CODE
------------5---------
---5--7--8-----8--7---



Ex 2.
CODE
---9--5--7--9--7--5---



Ex 2.
CODE
----------7---
---8--10------


Hope that helps you too. If you have any questions, let me know.

Thanks,
Chandra


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zen
post May 11 2011, 10:20 AM
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Hmm .. Where's the rest of it ? tongue.gif

I like it. AP exercises rock. Thanks for this.

This post has been edited by zen: May 11 2011, 10:33 AM


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maharzan
post May 11 2011, 11:17 AM
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Hey zen,

Howdy man? Great you like. I will gather few others that are specific to get rid of hurdles.

Thanks,
Chandra


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Fran
post May 11 2011, 12:26 PM
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Good stuff Chandra cool.gif


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maharzan
post May 11 2011, 12:44 PM
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Thank you Fran. I hope those who are struggling with AP with benefit from these simple licks. smile.gif


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quadrium
post May 11 2011, 04:09 PM
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Great lesson Chandra! I will definitely use those exercises smile.gif

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snackajacks
post May 11 2011, 05:36 PM
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Ive been following you for a while and read some of your stories, I give you much
respect for the discipline you made the last 2 years, you were really encouraged to become a master and in my eyes you are.
I got some questions, at first, what camera do you use because it always looks incredible and second,I know it's a joe satriani signature, but is it like a custom one or something ? Ive never seen one of these before..

love your work, keep it upp.

Grtz Marc


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Azzaboi
post May 11 2011, 09:22 PM
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Great lesson, Maharzan!

Some tips when learning alternative picking, playing fast to shredding:

Like Maharzan said, it's not about the speed at first. If you want to play fast, learn to play slow correctly. When playing slowly you should be attempting to reduce the amount of movement in both hands and synchronicing them in time with each other to be clean. If you practice messy trying to play at high speeds you will always be a sloppy player. Build up slowly to your 'breaking' point, practice just over the messy point and then end by reducing the speed back down to where comfortable and cleanly played.

First notice the picking hand position:

This is important: Remember it's all about less movement equals faster reponse.

1) When you build up speed playing, the picking thumb changes from flexable (which gives more feeling/emotion in slower rock/blues/bends/etc) to straight and rigid, locked in place (which gives way more control at speeds, but sounds more technical).

2) Use a pointed pick, generally thicker so there's minimin or no flex, and choke up on it so your just using the tip. Least amount of surface of the pick gliding (not digging into) the strings, means less resistants.

3) Minimise up and down angle on the pick to zero. If your angling the pick, it makes it a lot easiler to play in one direction (so this becomes a bad habit) but it makes it a lot harder in the opposite direction coming back! At speeds alternative picking, this causes the pick to attempt to flex on the way back, move position in your hand or even fly off across the room.

4) Rotate the pick (forward normally or backwards if perfered) around 45 degrees. Suddenly rather than playing flat picking to the strings, your playing up and down right on the edge of the pick. Giving even less surface area and a sharper attack sound to the picking. Results, better sounding and much faster playing in the future. Check out Paul Gilberts picking!


Then work on the fretboard hand:

This is important: Remember reduced distance equals faster reponse.

1) Thumb position is important, in the middle of the neck gets a lot more stretch. Ensure it's not creeping up the neck to the top (there's two good locations: top is best for controlling bends but limits your range, middle lets your have more stretch and speed which is better for playing fast). Try keeping the thumb in a mid position where you can reduce it's movement or have zero shift from it when playing from the top to bottom strings. Your'll notice the hand rotates a lot quicker than the thumb position can move, but you can still slide the thumb left and right quickly.

2) Finger positions should be targeted just behind each metal fret and just hover above them when not in use (all four of them). The closer you can get these fingers comfortable near the correct frets the better. When playing make sure the other fingers aren't flicking up too much specially the pinkie. Hammer-ons and pull-offs are good to practice for this. If it's already happened (and your finger is flicked up) it's too late, focus on correcting before it happens. It takes a lot of time to bring the fingers back in position, so to play faster you want them to be in position at all times.

3) Practice lifting fingers as soon as the the next goes down in timing with the pick. However, if it's a pattern when your coming back you might not need to lift a finger or two, anchor them to the fret already ready for the return if possible. Play smarter equals play faster.

4) Most of the time your playing just with the tips of your fingers. Make sure your not pressing down too hard on the strings, the more unnecessary force you apply, the slower your'll be. A good way to practice this is another trick I learnt from Todd, remove the fretboard thumb while playing for a while. It's really crazy at first, but when you get use to use to it, you can even shred without it. This teachs the fingers to use just the right amount of pressure.


Good luck and have fun!

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: May 11 2011, 09:36 PM


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Todd Simpson
post May 12 2011, 02:41 AM
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Very well done Azza! I'm so proud I can barely stand it! You've absorbed pretty much everything I"ve ever covered in our Video Chat lessons. Nice!

Todd
QUOTE (Azzaboi @ May 11 2011, 03:22 PM) *
Great lesson, Maharzan!

Some tips when learning alternative picking, playing fast to shredding:

Like Maharzan said, it's not about the speed at first. If you want to play fast, learn to play slow correctly. When playing slowly you should be attempting to reduce the amount of movement in both hands and synchronicing them in time with each other to be clean. If you practice messy trying to play at high speeds you will always be a sloppy player. Build up slowly to your 'breaking' point, practice just over the messy point and then end by reducing the speed back down to where comfortable and cleanly played.

First notice the picking hand position:

This is important: Remember it's all about less movement equals faster reponse.

1) When you build up speed playing, the picking thumb changes from flexable (which gives more feeling/emotion in slower rock/blues/bends/etc) to straight and rigid, locked in place (which gives way more control at speeds, but sounds more technical).

2) Use a pointed pick, generally thicker so there's minimin or no flex, and choke up on it so your just using the tip. Least amount of surface of the pick gliding (not digging into) the strings, means less resistants.

3) Minimise up and down angle on the pick to zero. If your angling the pick, it makes it a lot easiler to play in one direction (so this becomes a bad habit) but it makes it a lot harder in the opposite direction coming back! At speeds alternative picking, this causes the pick to attempt to flex on the way back, move position in your hand or even fly off across the room.

4) Rotate the pick (forward normally or backwards if perfered) around 45 degrees. Suddenly rather than playing flat picking to the strings, your playing up and down right on the edge of the pick. Giving even less surface area and a sharper attack sound to the picking. Results, better sounding and much faster playing in the future. Check out Paul Gilberts picking!


Then work on the fretboard hand:

This is important: Remember reduced distance equals faster reponse.

1) Thumb position is important, in the middle of the neck gets a lot more stretch. Ensure it's not creeping up the neck to the top (there's two good locations: top is best for controlling bends but limits your range, middle lets your have more stretch and speed which is better for playing fast). Try keeping the thumb in a mid position where you can reduce it's movement or have zero shift from it when playing from the top to bottom strings. Your'll notice the hand rotates a lot quicker than the thumb position can move, but you can still slide the thumb left and right quickly.

2) Finger positions should be targeted just behind each metal fret and just hover above them when not in use (all four of them). The closer you can get these fingers comfortable near the correct frets the better. When playing make sure the other fingers aren't flicking up too much specially the pinkie. Hammer-ons and pull-offs are good to practice for this. If it's already happened (and your finger is flicked up) it's too late, focus on correcting before it happens. It takes a lot of time to bring the fingers back in position, so to play faster you want them to be in position at all times.

3) Practice lifting fingers as soon as the the next goes down in timing with the pick. However, if it's a pattern when your coming back you might not need to lift a finger or two, anchor them to the fret already ready for the return if possible. Play smarter equals play faster.

4) Most of the time your playing just with the tips of your fingers. Make sure your not pressing down too hard on the strings, the more unnecessary force you apply, the slower your'll be. A good way to practice this is another trick I learnt from Todd, remove the fretboard thumb while playing for a while. It's really crazy at first, but when you get use to use to it, you can even shred without it. This teachs the fingers to use just the right amount of pressure.


Good luck and have fun!



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maharzan
post May 12 2011, 05:48 AM
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Thanks Quad.

@snackajacks -- Thanks. I am using a Canon 7D with 35mm 1.4L lens. For the guitar, its a custom built JS body with graphite neck. The pickups are Steve Special and Air Norton.

@Azzaboi - Wow, you added more to that. Thanks so much for your input. smile.gif

Thanks Todd. Your feedback is very welcome as you are the master of AP.

Cheers all!


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Fran
post May 13 2011, 01:07 PM
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Excellent thread smile.gif

By the way I just added this new SI lesson to the knowledge base:
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/wiki/inde...cking_SI_Lesson

Keep rocking


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maharzan
post May 13 2011, 02:03 PM
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Thank you Fran. smile.gif


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Sean_1234
post May 17 2011, 06:41 PM
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Hey Chandra,

very nice lesson, thanks a lot!

One thingy I found in your playing to improve is your timing, especially the first exercise, it's a tiny bit off beat wink.gif

And a little question... Does anyone know a program that can play a metronome on say 60 bpm and gradually go up? Like a you can program it to slowly go faster and faster, untill just over the point where you still play perfect, then slow down to about 10 bpm under your limit and then stops. Would be very handy wink.gif

QUOTE (snackajacks @ May 11 2011, 06:36 PM) *
I got some questions, at first, what camera do you use because it always looks incredible and second,I know it's a joe satriani signature, but is it like a custom one or something ? Ive never seen one of these before..

love your work, keep it upp.

Grtz Marc


That's something that struck me as well. You've got this cool camera image, which focusses on the guitar and makes the background blurry, very nice wink.gif
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maharzan
post May 22 2011, 02:38 AM
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Thanks Sean. Its a lesson on how you need practice slowly at first and later increase the speed. I am just trying to show the lick at one of the slowest speed, not trying to show I am perfect. smile.gif This was how I got my motivation. I absolutely hate how pro people do ok heres at slow speed (its faster) and now at normal tempo (which is extremely fast). Great you noticed the timing (which means you are better than me and do not need to do these exercises) wink.gif

Cheers!!


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Todd Simpson
post May 22 2011, 07:44 AM
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Very well done on your technique here wink.gif This is quite an AP thread! All of the tips/tricks/techniques mentioned so far have serious merit. Your far too kind Marharzan smile.gif I'm still learning/working/pushing speed on my alternate/economic picking, but It is something I"ve worked at diligently and as KRIS DAHL always says, "I don't have any special talent, it's just practice". Looks like you are putting in serious "woodshed" time! Cheers to that!

Todd

QUOTE (maharzan @ May 11 2011, 11:48 PM) *
Thanks Quad.

@snackajacks -- Thanks. I am using a Canon 7D with 35mm 1.4L lens. For the guitar, its a custom built JS body with graphite neck. The pickups are Steve Special and Air Norton.

@Azzaboi - Wow, you added more to that. Thanks so much for your input. smile.gif

Thanks Todd. Your feedback is very welcome as you are the master of AP.

Cheers all!



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maharzan
post May 23 2011, 03:09 PM
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Absolutely, its just practice! Thats how I got mine to ok from bad. Still not good yet, I keep missing notes at times. smile.gif Thanks Todd.


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Mudbone
post May 23 2011, 07:39 PM
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Another great post by maharzan biggrin.gif


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maharzan
post May 29 2011, 10:20 AM
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Thanks Mudbone. smile.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 28 2011, 04:39 PM
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Great exercises in the video! I use to practice a lot this type of exercises! I recomend you Vinnie Moore a Paul Gilbert clinics + Troy Stetina Speed Mechanics where you'll find many more exercises to develop your AP technique...


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 31 2011, 09:50 PM
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How could I miss this awesome lesson!! Well done man, very nicely explained! smile.gif


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