Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Chasing More Picking Speed, 2 ideas that may help
Ben Higgins
post May 17 2015, 07:08 PM
Post #1


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.785
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



I've done a few speed / technique related posts lately and it kind of plays into the hands of all those who have the impression that guitarists are obsessed with speed and ability.

This post is going to do our reputation no favours in that regard but who cares? Whether you admit it or not, we all want to get better at playing the plank of wood and building technique is a major part of that. Speed, for better or worse, plays a part as well.

Attached Image

So, whether you're chasing Rusty Cooley levels of hyper speed or whether you just want to add a bit of extra chilli to your guitar sauce, here's a couple of things you may not have thought of that can help give you a boost... and help conjure up some of your own ideas.

1. Use linear speed to your advantage. What the heck does this mean? Ok. I think we can all be in agreement when we say that any person will always be able to pick at their highest potential whilst they are on one string. The reason for this is simple and we all know it...... changing strings uses energy and disrupts motion.

It's like a car braking for a corner versus a car that's accelerating down a 1/4 mile.

Obviously, the idea is that we develop our technique so that changing strings doesn't make us stop or slow down. But the undeniable fact is that once you've got the pick melting away the metal, introducing a slightly more complex string changing movement is asking your brain and body to do something else so it's always going to have at least some affect on your speed.

This doesn't mean we should avoid string changes. That would be ludicrous. But we could play more notes on one string before moving on to another. The easiest way is just to repeat the same pattern again but that gets a bit predictable and can sound a bit naive if overused. What people like Rusty Cooley and Shawn Lane have done is play higher groupings of notes like 7 or more which means they're getting more bang for their buck and having to do less string changing.

Look at this bad boy for an example.

Attached File  7_Note_Picking.gp5 ( 1.81K ) Number of downloads: 75


Attached Image

Playing odd note groupings like this will feel very weird at first but just concentrate on how the 7 note pattern works. Regardless of the actual notes being played it always starts at the highest note and works its way to the lowest before going back up and down again. The pick stroke that you end up on at the start of each new group of 7 will change as well. This can be used to your advantage, as you will find out next......

2. Plan your licks around your easiest string crossing pick stroke. Depending on how you hold your hand when you play you will either prefer to cross strings after playing a downstroke or an upstroke. It's perfectly natural to prefer one way over the other and even the picking greats will have their preference. And here's the secret. All the picking greats have worked their licks to favour their strengths, not their weaknesses and if you asked one guy to try and use the exact same finger positions and pick stroke patterns as another guy, chances are he'll struggle. So, you don't have to be a master of every single pick configuration. You just have to work out the best way for you to navigate the neck and stick to it. Work with it. You'll make greater progress that way.

If you play a 7 note sequence and it ends on a pick stroke that makes string changing awkward then you can do 2 things. 1. You can add another group of 7 on the same string, shifting it down the scale. This will put you in the opposite pick position when it ends. Look at the example above. On the E string you see the 7 note pattern on its own. On the B string I move the 7 pattern down through two more scale positions. You can move it as many times as you like on one string before deciding to change. 2. The second thing you can do is play the sequence using the opposite pick stroke to start.

It will make more sense if you physically try it.. reading it can be confusing. The basic idea, though, is start looking at your picking runs and thinking of ways in which you can optimise them so that they take advantage of your strengths. If you find that a lick has an awkward string change then you will find that adding an odd (at least 1 or 3) number of notes onto the same string will put your pick in the opposite direction. So, if you hate trying to move from an upstroke on the E string to a downstroke on the A string (what we know as inside picking) then rearrange the lick either by repeating or adding an ODD number of notes so that the pick direction will be the desirable one. Or just begin the lick using the opposite pick stroke.

So, to recap. Have a look at doing more stuff on one string before changing. This will save energy. Optimise the licks for your favoured string crossing pick strokes. Both of these things will help you tap into more speed. Speed that you already possess but haven't been able to put into use!

Enjoy!


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
metalriffer
post May 17 2015, 11:45 PM
Post #2


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 19
Joined: 16-May 14
Member No.: 19.810



Awesome, Ben! I just applied that to an A Harmonic Minor Sequence and wanted to share it with the forum. Here is the GP file. Seven note groupings are marked with the letter X. :-)
P.S.- The sound is so "unpredictable" that it will take some practice for me to get this one up to speed!

This post has been edited by metalriffer: May 17 2015, 11:55 PM
Attached File(s)
Attached File  7_Note_Picking_Harmonic_Minor.gpx ( 16.02K ) Number of downloads: 52
 
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ben Higgins
post May 18 2015, 04:51 PM
Post #3


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.785
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



QUOTE (metalriffer @ May 17 2015, 10:45 PM) *
Awesome, Ben! I just applied that to an A Harmonic Minor Sequence and wanted to share it with the forum. Here is the GP file. Seven note groupings are marked with the letter X. :-)
P.S.- The sound is so "unpredictable" that it will take some practice for me to get this one up to speed!


I can't open it sadly but it's good that you're applying it already! biggrin.gif

Unusual note groupings definitely take time for our brain and hands to get used to. It's easy to begin and have it all fall apart by the 2nd shape! tongue.gif


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
metalriffer
post May 18 2015, 05:32 PM
Post #4


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 19
Joined: 16-May 14
Member No.: 19.810



QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ May 18 2015, 03:51 PM) *
I can't open it sadly...


Sorry, Ben! Here is a GP5 file for you and our friends who don't have GP6. :-)
Attached File(s)
Attached File  7_Note_Picking_Harmonic_Minor.gp5 ( 2.26K ) Number of downloads: 37
 
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ben Higgins
post May 18 2015, 07:24 PM
Post #5


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.785
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



QUOTE (metalriffer @ May 18 2015, 04:32 PM) *
Sorry, Ben! Here is a GP5 file for you and our friends who don't have GP6. :-)


Very cool!


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
metalriffer
post May 18 2015, 11:22 PM
Post #6


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 19
Joined: 16-May 14
Member No.: 19.810



Here's a blues scale version in GP5. :-)
Attached File(s)
Attached File  7_Note_Blues_Scale.gp5 ( 1.89K ) Number of downloads: 34
 
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
metalriffer
post May 18 2015, 11:54 PM
Post #7


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 19
Joined: 16-May 14
Member No.: 19.810



Tapping in A minor pentatonic. Thanks Ben- I'm lovin' the sevens! ;-)
Attached File(s)
Attached File  7_Note_Tappping.gpx ( 15.45K ) Number of downloads: 40
 
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ben Higgins
post May 19 2015, 08:56 AM
Post #8


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.785
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



QUOTE (metalriffer @ May 18 2015, 10:22 PM) *
Here's a blues scale version in GP5. :-)


Haha, that sounds great.

The 7 pattern works really well with legato too. In fact, that's how I first came up with it. I noticed that I automatically gravitated towards this pattern when using legato to cross strings so I just applied picking to it. With legato you can let it flow all over the beat and cram in more cheeky notes but with picking you can't get away with it as much.


--------------------
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: 26th March 2017 - 06:37 AM