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> Fed Up With Alternate Picking! (video)
ConnorGilks
post Oct 17 2013, 04:45 AM
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I've had trouble with picking for as long as I can remember, where as legato came very easily to me. Most of my guitar heroes have been people who are really solid alternate pickers but no matter how hard I practice I make no progress. On the flip side, I can practice any other technique and have a lot of progress. There's just something about alternate picking I can't get! No matter what I do my right hand just feels awkward and clumsy. I feel maybe my right hand technique is the problem. I play with my palm resting (not anchored to the bridge and my pinky fingers resting (again, not anchored, they both move a bit when I change strings) on the body below the bridge pickup.

Oddly enough I can play triplets at 130bpm and it's quite clean, but the whole time my right hand feels very awkward and like I'm using up a ton of energy for every stroke, despite me always focusing on being relaxed and making very small movements. I should also note that I have no problem tremolo picking at high speeds for extended periods of time (very accurately in time with specific note groupings, note just a mush of fast picking), but I'm using a different technique for that that I see a lot of people use for trem picking, and NOT for alternate picking.

Here's some video of my technique, can anyone help me out?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=playe...p;v=ZmAsM3PYh4M

It has honestly gotten me so frustrated. I'm such a calm person and I rarely get angry, but alternate picking always gets me frustrated, despite my immense patience for practicing any other technique, and my experience with how to properly practice techniques and get them up to speed.


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Darius Wave
post Oct 17 2013, 09:13 AM
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Hey there! This is a video of mine that already helped some people. There a few different approaches to speed picking but it's worth trying each for some time, beofre You judge if it works for Ya:





First and most important thing is that alternate picking IS NOT a technique that You will feel comfortable andrelaxed at high speeds...at least not without regular practice and very good warm up all the time. A few of guys confirmed that - for exmaple Muris himself. You can also see John Petrucci having his wrist tensed while playing very fast. So first thin is to realize what exactly is happening with all the muscles.


You can try one of my lessons. Taking look at the right hand view might give You some new ideas to try

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Heavy-Funkin-Soloing-2/

Basicly I use sort of 3 mechanisms combo - fingers (circle picking), wrist and forearm. I switch between those to use other while the first one gets tired. Also...main problem with getting constant speed is that people tense instead of searching for every single moment that's possible for relax.


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Ben Higgins
post Oct 17 2013, 09:32 AM
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QUOTE (ConnorGilks @ Oct 17 2013, 04:45 AM) *
I should also note that I have no problem tremolo picking at high speeds for extended periods of time (very accurately in time with specific note groupings, note just a mush of fast picking), but I'm using a different technique for that that I see a lot of people use for trem picking, and NOT for alternate picking.


I would be interested to see what this approach is ?

If this is giving you you the speed on one single string, is there a possibility that you can use this approach to alternate picking ?

P.S. I always think it is strange that us guitarists use the term 'tremolo' picking when what we really mean is alternate picking really fast on one string. It's the same thing really. The pick moves up / down ! rolleyes.gif


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verciazghra
post Oct 17 2013, 10:18 AM
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YOU'RE A FREAK DARIUS!!! That is the best alternate picking I've seen.... Looks so damn controlled.


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Darius Wave
post Oct 17 2013, 11:53 AM
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QUOTE (verciazghra @ Oct 17 2013, 09:18 AM) *
YOU'RE A FREAK DARIUS!!! That is the best alternate picking I've seen.... Looks so damn controlled.



It's just the way I feel most comfortable with smile.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 17 2013, 05:09 PM
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Checking your video I can notice that you are starting the movement from your wrist but you have the rest of the arm a bit quiet/rigid. I think that you should relax your arm an also start the movement a bit from your elbow. I recommend you to check videos of the great alternate picking players and see how they move their hand / arm to get the fast alternate picking. I think that there is the main problem.

My right hand / arm movement is close to a mix of these two ones:





This is a short video showing you my right hand playing AP at fast and slow tempo.



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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 17 2013, 05:25 PM
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I think the guys have given you great advices and I would examine Darius video closely, as I think it's really well made and it speaks out loud regarding the way in which the AP Mechanics are functioning. Gabe's suggestion regarding the unwanted transition from the wrist to the arm is another thing which you need to take in to account. Probably you tense the arm as well and fatigue comes into play pretty quick, am I right?


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jstcrsn
post Oct 18 2013, 01:04 AM
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just my two cents , cause thats all its worth,I thought I heard some string slapping which would lead me to think your pick is not perpendicular to the strings or you might need another pick ( thicker),I practiced for years and have improved more now hat I have switched to a 2.0
Also something Todd does in the Saturday chats , is double picking each notes
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ConnorGilks
post Oct 18 2013, 03:06 AM
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It's crazy how all over the place the advice I'm getting is. I asked on several forums and I get people telling me not to pick perpendicular to the string, then people saying I should, people saying to play only from the wrist, people saying to play from the wrist AND the thumb, I'm so lost! Just goes to show how varied guitar technique is and how everyone does things differently. I'll try all the advice given here and see what I come up with, thanks everyone! smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 18 2013, 03:45 AM
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First off, your technique is quite good as is your synch!!!! Your on the right track imho smile.gif

As you might imagine, there is some truth in pretty much all of the advice you've been given. smile.gif The trouble with forums sometimes is that you get so many varied responses that it's difficult to glean the bits that would be most valuable to your situation.

To be honest, Alternate Picking is something I really enjoy, now. It was a HUGE stumbling block for me for quite some time. I was finally able to adapt all the various approaches in to a specific technique that works well for me and which I now try to teach others. It's a loooooooong slog to get there and you may have to spend a bit of time working solely on the actual physical technique and timing with a metronome which can get rather boring sad.gif To wit, I created the SHRED BOOTCAMP!! smile.gif Much like the other instructors mentoring threads, I have one as well and as you might guess it focuses quite a bit on picking.

While you're off to a good start here and have some great advice and vids to get you going, it's going to take more than a single forum thread to get your picking to where it sounds like you'd like it to be. To that end, I'd be more than happy to have you join BOOTCAMP (just shoot me a PM) and guide you through the process smile.gif You are also welcome to simply go through the series without "ranking up" after each lesson and just go at your own pace. But the feedback is a big part of it so no matter what you decide let me and everyone else know how much or how little help and follow up your looking for. Between the lot of us, I"m sure we can help guide you to Alternate Picking Nirvana smile.gif

Here is a quick demo video to demonstrate my typical approach that I try to share. Notice how little pressure/effort is being expended by the right hand and how little motion/stroke distance is involved. The good news is that I see very similar bits in your picking video so you have a good foundation on which to build!!



Todd



QUOTE (ConnorGilks @ Oct 17 2013, 10:06 PM) *
It's crazy how all over the place the advice I'm getting is. I asked on several forums and I get people telling me not to pick perpendicular to the string, then people saying I should, people saying to play only from the wrist, people saying to play from the wrist AND the thumb, I'm so lost! Just goes to show how varied guitar technique is and how everyone does things differently. I'll try all the advice given here and see what I come up with, thanks everyone! smile.gif



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Darius Wave
post Oct 18 2013, 09:08 AM
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QUOTE (ConnorGilks @ Oct 18 2013, 02:06 AM) *
It's crazy how all over the place the advice I'm getting is. I asked on several forums and I get people telling me not to pick perpendicular to the string, then people saying I should, people saying to play only from the wrist, people saying to play from the wrist AND the thumb, I'm so lost! Just goes to show how varied guitar technique is and how everyone does things differently. I'll try all the advice given here and see what I come up with, thanks everyone! smile.gif



Unfortunately this issue is not that easy to give You one BEST solution. Nothing ever guarantee success. In this particular case there is probably no advice that will make You able to improve Your picking in a second. Probably You will not be able to judge any of those in a short time perdiod but...You said You practice and feel like You can't make progress so...It's worth trying some new things.


Not so long ago I made a topic with a few different picking methods used by famous players. All of them seems to be efficient so my one and ONLY true advice is ...

DON'T LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHO SAY "YOU HAVE TO DO IT THAT WAY, DON'T DO IT OTHER WAY".

Here are the proves and concept You can try. You might also find some very tiny details to "borrow"from all those techniques and find Your best,

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=50098

This post has been edited by Darius Wave: Oct 18 2013, 09:08 AM


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verciazghra
post Oct 18 2013, 11:18 AM
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Yea nobody has the "right" picking technique for you. There are several out there, but they all have strengths and weaknesses. Try a little bit of all the techniques and see what your hand naturally gravitates toward. Here's a VERY in depth article about the different strengths and weaknesses of different picking techniques.

http://www.tuckandpatti.com/pick-finger_tech.html


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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 18 2013, 05:41 PM
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QUOTE (verciazghra @ Oct 18 2013, 10:18 AM) *
Yea nobody has the "right" picking technique for you. There are several out there, but they all have strengths and weaknesses. Try a little bit of all the techniques and see what your hand naturally gravitates toward. Here's a VERY in depth article about the different strengths and weaknesses of different picking techniques.

http://www.tuckandpatti.com/pick-finger_tech.html


Great article mate - thanks for sharing! Also, I remember someone telling me a very interesting thing one day - 'I can't teach you how to play the guitar, I can only show you how I do things and if my approach fits you and you get good results, not necessarily like mine, it means you are on a good path.'

Thing is that, exploring your playing while keeping in mind the various advices coming from everyone, should help you in discovering what works for you and what doesn't. It's all a matter of trying smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 19 2013, 02:13 AM
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BINGO!!!! smile.gif As I mentioned in my post, I have found a way that works for "me" and that's what I show/teach others. It's certainly not the only way, much less the "best" way (I don't believe in the concept of "best" where guitar is concerned since it's just to generic). So as folks are saying, take the Bruce Lee approach,

"Listen to everything, Absorb what is useful" smile.gif

Todd




QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Oct 18 2013, 12:41 PM) *
Great article mate - thanks for sharing! Also, I remember someone telling me a very interesting thing one day - 'I can't teach you how to play the guitar, I can only show you how I do things and if my approach fits you and you get good results, not necessarily like mine, it means you are on a good path.'

Thing is that, exploring your playing while keeping in mind the various advices coming from everyone, should help you in discovering what works for you and what doesn't. It's all a matter of trying smile.gif


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Oct 19 2013, 02:14 AM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 19 2013, 08:54 AM
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The Bruce Lee quote is by far the best one biggrin.gif I would also add - 'Be like water' - by that, I think you should keep in mind that not everyone of us can be Guthrie Govan and thus, proficient in every technique smile.gif Some can be better at legato, while others can be good at alternate picking and so on - the main point is, don't be stubborn and neglect a natural ability while struggling to develop another which maybe was not meant for you smile.gif



Steve Vai for instance, speaks about this idea around 01:15 smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 23 2013, 05:13 AM
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This is perhaps the best advice in this entire thread (which of course means someone has to post an immediate contradiction). Per usual, Cosmin has provided the wisdom and balance that I've come to expect from him. I can't tell you how many times I've seen students beat their heads against a given wall/technique, while ignoring the things that they can actually do well. I"m not saying folks should give up on things when they are hard, I"m just saying Cosmin a GREAT point here. It's often easy to get "fixated" on something like a certain technique to the exclusion of other things. I briefly became fixated on playing "sweep picking/arpeggios" and I quickly realized I didn't really enjoy playing them, so I started focusing on things that seemed more natural. In my case, it was right/left synch, alternate picking, palm muting etc. I had to struggle with those things as well, but they always felt "better" when I was working on them. Now they are a BIG part of my overall style and I barely sweep pick at all which is fine because there's not shortage of guys out there like Rusy Cooley smile.gif

Todd




QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Oct 19 2013, 03:54 AM) *
The Bruce Lee quote is by far the best one biggrin.gif I would also add - 'Be like water' - by that, I think you should keep in mind that not everyone of us can be Guthrie Govan and thus, proficient in every technique smile.gif Some can be better at legato, while others can be good at alternate picking and so on - the main point is, don't be stubborn and neglect a natural ability while struggling to develop another which maybe was not meant for you smile.gif



Steve Vai for instance, speaks about this idea around 01:15 smile.gif


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Oct 23 2013, 05:14 AM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 23 2013, 08:51 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 23 2013, 04:13 AM) *
This is perhaps the best advice in this entire thread (which of course means someone has to post an immediate contradiction). Per usual, Cosmin has provided the wisdom and balance that I've come to expect from him. I can't tell you how many times I've seen students beat their heads against a given wall/technique, while ignoring the things that they can actually do well. I"m not saying folks should give up on things when they are hard, I"m just saying Cosmin a GREAT point here. It's often easy to get "fixated" on something like a certain technique to the exclusion of other things. I briefly became fixated on playing "sweep picking/arpeggios" and I quickly realized I didn't really enjoy playing them, so I started focusing on things that seemed more natural. In my case, it was right/left synch, alternate picking, palm muting etc. I had to struggle with those things as well, but they always felt "better" when I was working on them. Now they are a BIG part of my overall style and I barely sweep pick at all which is fine because there's not shortage of guys out there like Rusy Cooley smile.gif

Todd


Thank you very much Todd smile.gif I am no shredder, for instance - I like to see myself as a free speech player - does that make any sense? Choosing my words (notes), rhythm, stance, attitude and tempo as wisely as possible to get my message through.

This post has been edited by Cosmin Lupu: Oct 23 2013, 08:52 AM


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