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> Picking Techniques, Why does it matter?
Phil66
post Jan 2 2016, 10:08 PM
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Hello folks,
OK, I've never really thought about picking technique in all my years of aimless noodling. I've always just hit the string without thinking about which direction. I've just had a bit of a noodle after a few days away and I've been watching my picking. Sometimes it's alternate, sometimes I pick in the direction I'm travelling but there is no pattern to it, it seems to depend on the speed of the lick I'm playing or where I'm going next, so, my question is.
Why do so many guitar magazines say that strict alternate picking is necessary, or hybrid picking, or some other style of picking? They say each style should be practised. I'm just wondering why it matters so much and do top guitarists actually pay much attention to it in the real world? Is it essential? If so why? smile.gif
Thanks for you answers folks smile.gif


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Kristofer Dahl
post Jan 2 2016, 11:08 PM
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Picking is important! To me - the main reason is because picking controls the dynamics on the guitar.

dynamics = how soft / loud you play

Take any famous vocal line, and remove dynamics - and what remains does not sound good any more. And on a side note, this is probably the reason why I cannot appreciate most growl based music - it's often very flat dynamics wise.

So in a way - if you don't make use of dynamics, it's a bit like you only played one single note on the guitar all the time. Think of how limiting that would be!

So the more control you have over your picking, the better you will be able to make use of dynamics - and the better you will sound.


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Phil66
post Jan 2 2016, 11:23 PM
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Thanks Kris,
I understand dynamics but I don't really understand how all the picking techniques affect anything. I'm not saying you're wrong I'm just saying I don't understand how. What can strict alternate picking do for your dynamics that hybrid or economy can't?
Cheers
smile.gif


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Monica Gheorghev...
post Jan 3 2016, 10:22 AM
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For me the picking has a priority and it's on the same place with finding the best melodic line. As already Kris said and how you already know, picking controls the dynamics. A wide dynamics range will make your music to have soul. It's like cream from a cake biggrin.gif
When I work at an improv and I have done the melodic line, I will spend a whole day to decide myself about the way I pick. I analyze each note to be sure that I chose the best way for a good result.
BTW listen the last improvisations made by Kris on his FB and analyze his choice of picking. He made some great demonstrations about what it means to play with a wide dynamics range.

Also to understand better how different picking techniques affect the playing, try to make your own experiments. Record the same lick using different ways of picking. Then listen how huge is the difference between them. Some of techniques can sound better in a particular style of music, some can help you when you need to play fast, etc.
From my point of view not even a perfect explanation can not replace your own experiments. Making million of experiments is what works for me wink.gif

It's always good to learn and use a combination from all the techniques. You just need to find the key, where is the perfect place in your improv to use them wink.gif
A nice improv can sounds badly played without dynamics but for a good dynamic, beside the way you choose the picking (direction, how soft or loud you pick, etc) you need a guitar tone which will not kill the dynamic. Too much gain in tone destroy the dynamic and less gain in tone will make the playing twice as hard. For me the hard way it's always the best choice because will make you to have a good control over your picking.
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jstcrsn
post Jan 3 2016, 01:26 PM
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for me , I cheated and did nothing but economy for too many years . This had a negative affect when I tried to learn strict alt picking. So I would encourage peolpe to learn alt picking before or at least the same time as other styles. That being said I agree with kris's and monica's post as well as I.usually learn something these days and want to be able to play it in as many styles as i can, I believe you will be more comfortable with a song if can see the notes clearly enough to change picking styles within that piece .
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Phil66
post Jan 3 2016, 07:48 PM
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Thanks for your answers folks smile.gif
I find when I'm improvising I don't have time to think about picking direction, is enough to stop my left hand being tangled up with itself laugh.gif
Cheers


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Rhida
post Jan 3 2016, 08:01 PM
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This guy seems to have a strong opinion about which picking technique is the best.

https://youtu.be/q1Tz-BDmDSA



And what about Marshall Harrison?

https://youtu.be/zPt6-f7W1Co


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Phil66
post Jan 3 2016, 08:37 PM
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Hey, thanks Rhida,

Great to see you back my friend smile.gif

Phil


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Rhida
post Jan 3 2016, 08:42 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Jan 3 2016, 08:37 PM) *
Hey, thanks Rhida,

Great to see you back my friend smile.gif

Phil



You're welcome.
Glad to be back.
Thanks bro!
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Kristofer Dahl
post Jan 4 2016, 02:46 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Jan 3 2016, 12:23 AM) *
Thanks Kris,
I understand dynamics but I don't really understand how all the picking techniques affect anything. I'm not saying you're wrong I'm just saying I don't understand how. What can strict alternate picking do for your dynamics that hybrid or economy can't?
Cheers
smile.gif


As explained in the video chat - this is mostly a matter of preference.

Personally - I find that economy picking does not give me as much control as alternate picking. I need the steady and consistent flow of ups and downs in order to also be able to play with dynamics.


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Darius Wave
post Jan 4 2016, 05:31 PM
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I think people say all aproaches to picking are important because each of us has different body built, different physical limitations. Without trying different ways of picking you might find yourself not being able to play stuff you want because your current picking concepts makes you limited at this point. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE TONE...at least the one that sit somewhere in your head. Basic idea is to be able to execute what you hear in your head, using every available tool that's outthere smile.gif


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