Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Alternate Picking: The Hand Angle Factor
Ben Higgins
post Jun 16 2014, 01:00 PM
Post #1


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.792
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



Alternate Picking: The Hand Angle Factor

The 2 main factors that influence the physicality of our picking technique are 1. The angle / direction that the pick hits the strings and 2. The angle at which our hand approaches the strings.

Of those 2 factors, I believe the 2nd one has the most effect. The angle of the pick undoubtedly does have an affect but to me, it's more like fine tuning rather than something that dictates the whole technique.

Hand angle, I believe, has much more effect to whether we can achieve significant speeds. The direction at which your hand is approaching the strings can determine which types of movements are most effective in making the pick move rapidly.

For example, a side to side motion (that looks like waving) or a rotational movement where the wrist moves inwards and back (almost like shaking your wrist in a loose manner) are 2 movements that, on the surface, may appear to the observer to be the same thing but are not the same and do not feel the same at all. But only by feeling the difference for oneself can we determine how natural it feels or how effective the movements are.

To a guitarist who is trying to learn about alternate picking and is using someone else's visual playing as an example, they may try to copy the way someone else's hand looks but not realising just what physical mechanics are occurring. To refer to my previous 2 examples, the observer may think that the guitarist is using a side to side motion when in fact they may be using an inward / outward rotation. But such things are not always apparent just by observing a video of somebody else.

That's why it's necessary for the individual to experiment and find what feels natural instead of trying to ape somebody else's physical movements.

I've only mentioned 2 differing hand mechanics.. I haven't really touched upon the different hand positions themselves. Some players hands stay near the lowest strings and sort of dangle over the high strings. Their hand almost seems straight when they pick (see Steve Vai)

Rusty Cooley brings his hand very low so that his whole wrist and forearm are level with the bridge and keeps his hand parallel with the strings with little inward or outward angle.



Then you've got Marty Friedman, MAB, Yngwie, Paul Gilbert, John Petrucci. All very different players with differing hand positions. But all able to pick as fast as they need.

If we take anything from this, we can reasonably conclude that you can learn to make almost any hand position work for you at attaining faster speeds. Each adjustment of your hand will begin to yield a different set of mechanics that will appeal to you or not. Some might feel more comfortable than others. But experimenting and seeing what options are out there is key. Until you start seeing what your body is capable of you can be stuck thinking that you're not doing something right because you're not 'getting it'. It could just be that all you need is a little adjustment.

Of course, you'll still have to work for it but whilst you experiment with hand angles there will be something that just stands out to you above the rest and says 'this feels right, keep going with this'

Darius's methodical picking lesson looks at these factors and is a great point of study:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Altern...Picking-Basics/

I'd really like to hear your input on this, too. Who has experimented with different picking angles until they found one that works ? Who's still looking ? Maybe you haven't considered this yet ? Let's get some discussion going on this because let's face it.. the picking issue is the predominant issue that we see all the time so this should resonate with most of you !


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Darius Wave
post Jun 16 2014, 02:34 PM
Post #2


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 5.384
Joined: 29-November 12
From: Poland
Member No.: 17.069



Ha ha smile.gif Thanx for mentioning me, Ben smile.gif


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ben Higgins
post Jun 16 2014, 03:12 PM
Post #3


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.792
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Jun 16 2014, 02:34 PM) *
Ha ha smile.gif Thanx for mentioning me, Ben smile.gif


You put lot of work into that lesson ! It's very extensive smile.gif


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Todd Simpson
post Jun 16 2014, 06:30 PM
Post #4


GMC:er
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 15.149
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Member No.: 8.794



Great post!!!!! Some killer points smile.gif In the final equation, one really has to work it out for themselves as with many other things guitar related and life related. As instructors, a bit part of what we do is show you what works for us as players and try to guide our students to adapt what works for them.

Each of us has developed our own style of picking and playing over years and years practice and trial/failure/adjust/trial/etc. There isn't much you can do to avoid this process, just like you can't skip practice smile.gif You can take what we show you, and see how it might apply to what will become "Your Style". Hopefully, you guys can take all the best elements (for you) of what's offered and end up a better player than any of us who are showing you the ropes smile.gif

Todd



QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jun 16 2014, 08:00 AM) *
Alternate Picking: The Hand Angle Factor

The 2 main factors that influence the physicality of our picking technique are 1. The angle / direction that the pick hits the strings and 2. The angle at which our hand approaches the strings.

Of those 2 factors, I believe the 2nd one has the most effect. The angle of the pick undoubtedly does have an affect but to me, it's more like fine tuning rather than something that dictates the whole technique.

Hand angle, I believe, has much more effect to whether we can achieve significant speeds. The direction at which your hand is approaching the strings can determine which types of movements are most effective in making the pick move rapidly.

For example, a side to side motion (that looks like waving) or a rotational movement where the wrist moves inwards and back (almost like shaking your wrist in a loose manner) are 2 movements that, on the surface, may appear to the observer to be the same thing but are not the same and do not feel the same at all. But only by feeling the difference for oneself can we determine how natural it feels or how effective the movements are.

To a guitarist who is trying to learn about alternate picking and is using someone else's visual playing as an example, they may try to copy the way someone else's hand looks but not realising just what physical mechanics are occurring. To refer to my previous 2 examples, the observer may think that the guitarist is using a side to side motion when in fact they may be using an inward / outward rotation. But such things are not always apparent just by observing a video of somebody else.

That's why it's necessary for the individual to experiment and find what feels natural instead of trying to ape somebody else's physical movements.

I've only mentioned 2 differing hand mechanics.. I haven't really touched upon the different hand positions themselves. Some players hands stay near the lowest strings and sort of dangle over the high strings. Their hand almost seems straight when they pick (see Steve Vai)

Rusty Cooley brings his hand very low so that his whole wrist and forearm are level with the bridge and keeps his hand parallel with the strings with little inward or outward angle.



Then you've got Marty Friedman, MAB, Yngwie, Paul Gilbert, John Petrucci. All very different players with differing hand positions. But all able to pick as fast as they need.

If we take anything from this, we can reasonably conclude that you can learn to make almost any hand position work for you at attaining faster speeds. Each adjustment of your hand will begin to yield a different set of mechanics that will appeal to you or not. Some might feel more comfortable than others. But experimenting and seeing what options are out there is key. Until you start seeing what your body is capable of you can be stuck thinking that you're not doing something right because you're not 'getting it'. It could just be that all you need is a little adjustment.

Of course, you'll still have to work for it but whilst you experiment with hand angles there will be something that just stands out to you above the rest and says 'this feels right, keep going with this'

Darius's methodical picking lesson looks at these factors and is a great point of study:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Altern...Picking-Basics/

I'd really like to hear your input on this, too. Who has experimented with different picking angles until they found one that works ? Who's still looking ? Maybe you haven't considered this yet ? Let's get some discussion going on this because let's face it.. the picking issue is the predominant issue that we see all the time so this should resonate with most of you !



--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
TreyDeschamp
post Jun 16 2014, 06:42 PM
Post #5


Learning Apprentice Player
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2.093
Joined: 1-May 08
From: Diamondhead, MS
Member No.: 5.023



I've definitely experienced this.

Maybe what I'm about to say wont necessarily be right but I think I'm in the ballpark. A lot of times when I've tried developing alternate picking speed I've been told "don't use so much wrist" or "put more wrist in to it."

I've also heard the common "angle your pick so that its fluidly cutting into the strings" scenario.

What I've started to notice for me though is that when I take others advice I learn a little more about what is more comfortable for me. The hand mechanics of one person can be completely different to that of someone else. The bottom line is that it's all subjective. I've found that now-a-days when someone tells me about how to angle my pick or my hand, I don't necessarily change the way I do things as a whole, but it helps me fine tune my picking to find whats good for me.



--------------------
Check out my Youtube!
Add me on Facebook!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ben Higgins
post Jun 16 2014, 06:46 PM
Post #6


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.792
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



QUOTE (TreyDeschamp @ Jun 16 2014, 06:42 PM) *
I've definitely experienced this.

Maybe what I'm about to say wont necessarily be right but I think I'm in the ballpark. A lot of times when I've tried developing alternate picking speed I've been told "don't use so much wrist" or "put more wrist in to it."

I've also heard the common "angle your pick so that its fluidly cutting into the strings" scenario.

What I've started to notice for me though is that when I take others advice I learn a little more about what is more comfortable for me. The hand mechanics of one person can be completely different to that of someone else. The bottom line is that it's all subjective. I've found that now-a-days when someone tells me about how to angle my pick or my hand, I don't necessarily change the way I do things as a whole, but it helps me fine tune my picking to find whats good for me.


That's very valid.. advice is only good for you if it actually works !



--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Todd Simpson
post Jun 16 2014, 06:59 PM
Post #7


GMC:er
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 15.149
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Member No.: 8.794



BINGO!!!

QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jun 16 2014, 01:46 PM) *
That's very valid.. advice is only good for you if it actually works !



--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
jstcrsn
post Jun 17 2014, 01:13 AM
Post #8


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2.866
Joined: 29-March 08
From: kansas, USA
Member No.: 4.733



QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jun 16 2014, 06:46 PM) *
That's very valid.. advice is only good for you if it actually works !

and to add, every hand is different , you might need try try many ways until you find what works for you.some plateaus you need to climb . others you just need to try a different path
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ben Higgins
post Jun 17 2014, 08:59 AM
Post #9


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.792
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Jun 17 2014, 01:13 AM) *
and to add, every hand is different , you might need try try many ways until you find what works for you.some plateaus you need to climb . others you just need to try a different path


Exactly.... we're all built slightly differently and need to find what works for us.

So, has anybody got any stories to share about this subject ? Have you experimented with loads of different picking positions until you found one that worked ?


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 17 2014, 12:21 PM
Post #10


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 22.808
Joined: 14-June 10
From: Bucharest
Member No.: 10.636



It's a matter of principle smile.gif We have a result and we need to find ways to get there - this is one of the reason why my approach is based on suggesting people to explore all the time.

I show them how I do something and then they are free to experiment - I was just having a discussion today with a student here in Bucharest and he was very curious on how to approach tapping:

- first hand you need to have good legato skills
- holding the pick: either caught with the index or maybe under the thumb and pressed against the superior part of the neck if you feel like you need to use all 4 fingers when tapping.
- being able to play each note equally in terms of length and intensity is also a necessary trait
- moving as little as possible with both hands, when it comes to the distance between the fretboard and fingers
- being able to tap with the right hand fingers in such a way that every note is audible

Pretty much a lot of details, BUT smile.gif Nothing about the 'correct' way wink.gif I allowed him to figure out what feels natural FOR HIM and from that point on, things went smooth because all that separates him from his goal, is hard work.


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Fast ReplyReply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 


RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 19th October 2017 - 07:26 PM