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> Grappa's Bootcamp, You Walk The Path of The Warrior!
Todd Simpson
post Nov 14 2016, 07:02 AM
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Now you are really killing it Soldier!!! I think the clean recording addition was a killer idea and it's going to help on both ends of things. On to the debrief!!

There are a very specific set of skills that each Mission is meant to focus on and I gotta say Soldier, you zeroed in on them and TOOK EM OUT!!!!!

MEDALS OF HONOR

1.)Precise picking control: Nice tight pattern, not letting the pick get to far out on each strike

2.)Tight palm mute: Crucial for licks involving string traverse.

3.)Spiff right/left hand synch: Any deviation in synch would stick out like a sore thumb, especially on the clean version!

You are more than ready to move on to more DANGEROUS MISSIONS Soldier!!!

Congrats Soldier, you just ...

LEVELED UP!!
Attached Image



QUOTE (Grappa @ Nov 13 2016, 05:48 PM) *
Sarge,

And here you go with number 5. One clean and one dirty with dirty one up to a more reasonable speed!

Clean



Dirty



Still a bit noisy on the dirty one but much better than it was..

Regards,

Si


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Grappa
post Nov 27 2016, 03:39 PM
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Sorry for the delay Sarge - came under some suppressing fire from work over the last week!

See next mission. No time to record clean on this one but hopefully these will suffice.

Double picked;



Single picked;



Let me know.

Si

This post has been edited by Grappa: Nov 27 2016, 03:40 PM
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Todd Simpson
post Nov 27 2016, 08:26 PM
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I appreciate your aggressive style Soldier!! It was a bold attempt on the double picking, especially given that this is not an easy lick as it requires you to stick the landing with the pinky and there are no gaps for recovery. Your Double Pick version didn't get you any medals other than Valor in the face of Daunting Opposition, but I think you can add it to your routine and nail it. The single pick version was pretty much flawless and on the strength of that I think you are ready to move on. Let's debrief!!

CONGRATS SOLDIER!!!! Your hard work is continuing to pay off!!!!!


MEDALS OF HONOR

1.)Tight hand synch (the key to this entire mission, and on the single strike version it's killer!)
2.)Smooth looping (There is zero gap in this mission which throws off some soldiers, not you!)
3.)Precise pick control (Zero extra pick wag! Nice and tight control. All boxes ticked!)

Now this is what I'm talking about!! You are ready for MISSION 7!!!!

Congrats Soldier, you just ...

LEVELED UP!!
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QUOTE (Grappa @ Nov 27 2016, 10:39 AM) *
Sorry for the delay Sarge - came under some suppressing fire from work over the last week!

See next mission. No time to record clean on this one but hopefully these will suffice.

Double picked;



Single picked;



Let me know.

Si


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Grappa
post Dec 7 2016, 06:26 PM
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Todd,

Wanted to throw the thing away this week.... ever have those weeks when it seems that all of the hard work seems to be going nowhere?

Got my v-picks this week and had a go with these.. strange using a pick this thick and pointy... after picking it up, putting it down etc. etc, I'm sticking with it for a while to see how things go.

Seem's like this whole process is one of trial and error in cycles.. I've decided that I've got too much pick sticking out and have moved my grip so that I've only got the very tip poking out. With the v-pick and this grip it I certainly feel a lot more connected to the string/pick and although it feels strange I'm hopeful some investment in time will pay dividends (or at least I can eliminate this from the variables!). Has slowed me down a bit but unless I try it I'll never know I suppose..

I'm putting in on average 2.5 - 3 hours of picking practise in a night at the mo.. some nights it feels magic, others... I have great respect for those who have managed to work through this!

Will post the latest stuff tonight/tomorrow.

Regards,

Si

Oh and I'm also working in keeping my pick movement to an absolute minimum..

Watched a couple of Yngwie vids for inspiration (depression) yesterday and you can barely see his pick moving..amazing stuff.

Si
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Grappa
post Dec 7 2016, 10:14 PM
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Sarge,

See vids for this mission;

Inside picking



Outside picking



Double Pick



I stuck the outside picking one there as to be honest this is killing me.. I kid you not but the outside one is about 3 times harder to play than the inside one and I just never seem to be able to speed it up.. arghh...

Si
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Todd Simpson
post Dec 8 2016, 12:37 AM
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I really dig the Vpicks smile.gif Thick, stiff and pointy!! Those qualities in a pick are key for getting through these MISSIONS imho. The lack of bend/flex, increases precision as does the fine point/tip.

It is important to try to "choke up" on the pick and let just the tip stick out if possible. It will feel odd at first, but like everything, it's a give and take, and takes some time smile.gif

I have had the "throw it away" moments on guitar to be sure smile.gif When I first got a stylus pick trainer and just couldn't make it work, I almost quit guitar. After a week, it made sense, then I applied it to regular picks that I would sharpen with a pocket knife. Now, they build em sharp smile.gif

Don't be afraid to take a break now and then as stepping away for a day or so and coming back can allow your brain to chew on stuff and sort it a bit. Some folks swear by it, some folks say, it just makes them slip. Again, trial and error smile.gif Keep fighting Soldier!

Sarge


QUOTE (Grappa @ Dec 7 2016, 01:26 PM) *
Todd,

Wanted to throw the thing away this week.... ever have those weeks when it seems that all of the hard work seems to be going nowhere?

Got my v-picks this week and had a go with these.. strange using a pick this thick and pointy... after picking it up, putting it down etc. etc, I'm sticking with it for a while to see how things go.

Seem's like this whole process is one of trial and error in cycles.. I've decided that I've got too much pick sticking out and have moved my grip so that I've only got the very tip poking out. With the v-pick and this grip it I certainly feel a lot more connected to the string/pick and although it feels strange I'm hopeful some investment in time will pay dividends (or at least I can eliminate this from the variables!). Has slowed me down a bit but unless I try it I'll never know I suppose..

I'm putting in on average 2.5 - 3 hours of picking practise in a night at the mo.. some nights it feels magic, others... I have great respect for those who have managed to work through this!

Will post the latest stuff tonight/tomorrow.

Regards,

Si

Oh and I'm also working in keeping my pick movement to an absolute minimum..

Watched a couple of Yngwie vids for inspiration (depression) yesterday and you can barely see his pick moving..amazing stuff.

Si


MEDALS OF HONOR

1.)Tight Picking! Very little hand wag, and very little travel beyond the strike point. Nice and precise!!

2.)Right and left hand TALKING in SYNCH. These licks are designed to show you any gaps in your synch. If you rush or lag on either hand, it shows up. You nailed it wink.gif

3.)Articulating the pick with the fingers then wrist, very little from the arm/elbow. This is exactly what I like to see!

You are really getting a good handle on picking soldier!!! This is a BIG hump that some players just never make it past. You are going to make it past it just fine. smile.gif

Congrats Soldier, you just ...

LEVELED UP!!

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QUOTE (Grappa @ Dec 7 2016, 05:14 PM) *
Sarge,

See vids for this mission;

Inside picking



Outside picking



Double Pick



I stuck the outside picking one there as to be honest this is killing me.. I kid you not but the outside one is about 3 times harder to play than the inside one and I just never seem to be able to speed it up.. arghh...

Si


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Grappa
post Dec 8 2016, 12:19 PM
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Sarge,

Thanks for this.

Can I ask how much of the pick you have protruding from your finger/thumb?

Regards,

Si
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Todd Simpson
post Dec 9 2016, 08:03 PM
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Sure smile.gif The easy answer is "As little as possible". E.g. I choke up on the pick, like a batter might choke up on the Baseball Bat, and for many of the same reasons. Simple physics really. I want the fulcrum point between thumb and pick to be as close as possible. That way, when I go for a pinch harmonic, I don't have to adjust the pick at all, the thumb is right there so the technique is always "to hand" so to speak.

Also, the further I choke up, the more control I get over the contact point of the pick. E.G. Where the pick contacts that string. I want this contact point kept small for the purpose of precision which is why I suggest pointy/sharp picks. Un sharp picks reduce precision IMHO. They create a larger surface area. Thus, there is simply more pick that can hit the string. This reduces control/precision IMHO.

Further, pick "flex" or pick bend, reduces precision IMHO. When playing at speed, you are dealing in milliseconds. The time it takes for a thin pick to recover to straight after striking a string, can get in your way. You may be trying to strike while the pick is still recovering. However, if your pick has zero flex, like the VonHotch (which are made of metal) you have zero wait time. The pick is always ready. The pick he designed for me is 4mm thick which is huge. However, the pick is shaped to a point and beveled along a curve. This makes it slide across strings very easily. It almost plays itself.

Vpicks are a good place to start, as they are stiff and pointy, if you pick the right ones smile.gif I have my own Vpick design as we talked about and It makes a great "gateway" pick. Jumping directly to a vonhotch is sometimes a bit much for folks. Sometimes not though. smile.gif

The Jazz picks are also a good "gateway" pick. They are pointy, but they are also prone to a pinch more flex than is ideal imho. Any plastic pick under 1.0mm is prone to some degree of flex imho. The vpicks are made from a very stiff plastic and run about 1.0mm or bigger for most of the product line. So they make fine picks. smile.gif



QUOTE (Grappa @ Dec 8 2016, 07:19 AM) *
Sarge,

Thanks for this.

Can I ask how much of the pick you have protruding from your finger/thumb?

Regards,

Si


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Grappa
post Dec 12 2016, 10:59 AM
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Todd,

You are a legend..

You made a throw away comment in a recent post that piqued my interest... Stylus Pick! Now I remember a friend of mine had one of these years ago and I had a play with it but never took it any further..

I thought it might be good to have another go with one of these and ordered some. The outcome has been somewhat of a revelation.

I've mentioned this in the past but I've long suffered with two issues when I am outside picking;

1. The fact that this motion feels physically very demanding - inside picking is light and somewhat effortless but outside has always felt very difficult physically
2. The fact that despite lots of effort I've never really managed to increase my speed when doing this. My inside picking has always been probably 50 - 100% faster than outside.

The Stylus Pick has finally enlightened me as to the root cause of both of these issues.

Quite simply when outside picking and traversing the strings I have been digging the pick in way to far. Furthermore when I try and speed up it seems I dig further and further into the string. This explains both why it 'feels' more difficult physically and why I have simply been unable to get any faster!

I've been working the pick for a couple of days and hey presto things are already improving! It's torture but in a good way..

Eureka!

Thanks,

Si
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Todd Simpson
post Dec 13 2016, 03:41 AM
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Happy to help! smile.gif I have been a big fan of the stylus ever since I borrowed one from a friend many years ago and it taught me the same lessons it's teaching you smile.gif Not to dig in to deep past the strike point, not to wag to far in or out side of the strike point, to keep a consistent angle, etc. These things are very physical and imho best learned in a physical manner which sharp/stiff picks head you toward, but which the stylus literally forces you toward.

It's impossible to pick using the stylus and not figure out a few things about your technique. Very handy tool smile.gif I've been mentioning it in the forums now for more than half a decade, believe it or not smile.gif Folks usually try one and then transition to a very sharp very stiff pick, since the lessons are transferable to actualy picking, the stylus makes a great tool of learning.

I still think a stylus should come with every guitar smile.gif As well as one of my vpick signature picks and von hotch signature pick. At that point folks could make the same journey I did essentially, and end up in hopefully the same spot, where picking gets to be easy and instinctual. smile.gif

Keep using it, especially during warm up. Don't worry about using it for chords/rythm. It's not really for that. It's just to train your hand to prep it for real world picking smile.gif Don't dig too deep, don't wang to far, articulate with your thumb/finger then your wrist, never with the elbow, and bam. Picking Nirvana smile.gif Folks will be shocked at the improvement in your picking when you show them smile.gif

Congrats!
Todd

QUOTE (Grappa @ Dec 12 2016, 05:59 AM) *
Todd,

You are a legend..

You made a throw away comment in a recent post that piqued my interest... Stylus Pick! Now I remember a friend of mine had one of these years ago and I had a play with it but never took it any further..

I thought it might be good to have another go with one of these and ordered some. The outcome has been somewhat of a revelation.

I've mentioned this in the past but I've long suffered with two issues when I am outside picking;

1. The fact that this motion feels physically very demanding - inside picking is light and somewhat effortless but outside has always felt very difficult physically
2. The fact that despite lots of effort I've never really managed to increase my speed when doing this. My inside picking has always been probably 50 - 100% faster than outside.

The Stylus Pick has finally enlightened me as to the root cause of both of these issues.

Quite simply when outside picking and traversing the strings I have been digging the pick in way to far. Furthermore when I try and speed up it seems I dig further and further into the string. This explains both why it 'feels' more difficult physically and why I have simply been unable to get any faster!

I've been working the pick for a couple of days and hey presto things are already improving! It's torture but in a good way..

Eureka!

Thanks,

Si


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Grappa
post Dec 22 2016, 03:16 PM
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Todd,

Just to say I'm still on the case with this but have had to make a few adjustments to my technique based on experiments over the last week and the following issue;

I've started to develop quite a bit of pain in the knuckle joint of my index finger on my picking hand. I seem to have been holding the pick between my thumb and finger whilst angling my thumb which has lead to lateral pressure on my index finger and the pain I have been experiencing. I've now changed this so that my thumb is a little straighter and my grip more like I am holding a pencil which means the pressure is more forward/backwards than sideways. This seems to help but feels pretty strange at the mo..

Happy days.

Simon
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Todd Simpson
post Dec 22 2016, 10:28 PM
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PAIN is just never a good thing for the hands where guitar players are concerned IMHO. I fear you may be "squeezing the bird" to hard, as it were. It's a natural reflex to "Tense Up" at speed, and something that you have to train yourself out of before you end up playing stiff armed tremelo and picking from the elbow.

Try to use as little tension as possible where the picking hand/fingers are concerned. Just enough to grip the pick. The ideal pick will glide across the strings and require minimal effort. Also, don't dig to deep past the strike point, this requires the fingers to make up the difference and pull the pick back out before it can make another strike.

Also, any pick flex can play a factor. So a very sharp, very point, very beveled, pick is ideal for the bootcamp and for effortless picking at speed in general imho. If you are having to tense your hand, it's possible one of the issues could be with the pick. Either way, relax your hand. Practice playing at a speed that allows you to play with as little force as humanly possible to try to train your hand not to "muscle it".

Adjusting the thumb is a good idea smile.gif At speed, my thumb barely moves at all and is mostly straight. I'm mostly tilting part of the hand for pick motion as I have the back half of my hand planted on the bridge for a mute. Being able to pick with precision, at speed, while muting, is really 3 separate skills that come together to result in a very specific Gilbert/Nuno sort of tone.

Try to see if you can take a similar approach and play slowly and with as little pressure as possible.

Here is a good example. Once he stops talking and starts playing, notice how he never lets go of his palm mute despite playing at speed. As if the hand is cut in the center and only half is picking, the other half is muting. His fingers are pretty straight most of the time as he's playing briskly. It's a good example smile.gif


QUOTE (Grappa @ Dec 22 2016, 10:16 AM) *
Todd,

Just to say I'm still on the case with this but have had to make a few adjustments to my technique based on experiments over the last week and the following issue;

I've started to develop quite a bit of pain in the knuckle joint of my index finger on my picking hand. I seem to have been holding the pick between my thumb and finger whilst angling my thumb which has lead to lateral pressure on my index finger and the pain I have been experiencing. I've now changed this so that my thumb is a little straighter and my grip more like I am holding a pencil which means the pressure is more forward/backwards than sideways. This seems to help but feels pretty strange at the mo..

Happy days.

Simon



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Grappa
post Dec 23 2016, 11:07 AM
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Thanks for this Todd.

I am defo tensing up as I try and increase the speed but as you quickly identified this is largely in my grip of the pick. I don't tend to tense up my wrist or arm but can feel my thumb/finger tighten up considerably which is leading to the pain.

Hopefully the thumb/grip change will help and I will defo be focusing on slowing it all down again to try and eliminate the issues. I'm also going to round of my V Pick a little as whilst it is nice and pointy it's quite thick all the way to the edge. I'm going to roughen up the pick surface as well as I think part of the problem is it feels a little slippery leading me to tighten up to retain control.

Thanks as always.

Simon
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Todd Simpson
post Dec 23 2016, 06:58 PM
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Happy to help smile.gif Notice in the vid how Nuno never "tenses"? He plays quite briskly while maintaining a very relaxed grip on the guitar and pick. He can keep this up for hours without pain. This is the goal I want you to work toward. To find that spot of minimal effort that allows you to keep your tone and play for hours without pain. smile.gif

Did you get the V PICK SWITCHBLADE BUFFED? If so, the sides should already be buffed/beveled and reduce string drag. Can you shoot me a picture of which vpicks you have? Also, running a sharp knife in a hash pattern over the part where you fingers touch the pick will create better grip. I got around this issue with VOnHotch by using a large hole in the center of the pick which prevents slippage even when very lightly gripping the pick. Also the edges are rounded which makes traverse very easy.
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Todd

QUOTE (Grappa @ Dec 23 2016, 06:07 AM) *
Thanks for this Todd.

I am defo tensing up as I try and increase the speed but as you quickly identified this is largely in my grip of the pick. I don't tend to tense up my wrist or arm but can feel my thumb/finger tighten up considerably which is leading to the pain.

Hopefully the thumb/grip change will help and I will defo be focusing on slowing it all down again to try and eliminate the issues. I'm also going to round of my V Pick a little as whilst it is nice and pointy it's quite thick all the way to the edge. I'm going to roughen up the pick surface as well as I think part of the problem is it feels a little slippery leading me to tighten up to retain control.

Thanks as always.

Simon



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Grappa
post Dec 27 2016, 02:21 PM
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Sarge,

Number 9 for your perusal.

Two takes as I did finger combo 1,2,4 and 1,3,4.

Worked on my hand position, thumb control and relaxation...

No 1



And No 2



Let me know.

Si

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Todd Simpson
post Jan 2 2017, 02:02 AM
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Soldier!!! This is great!!! I gotta say though I wanna see you earn it!!!!! This just looks far, far, far, to easy Soldier!!

I am hereby putting you on BLACK OPS DUTY


i want you to do these same two videos one more time. This time do each pass as QUAD PICKING!!! That's right. QUAD PICKING. E.G PIck each and every note FOUR TIMES. This will seem odd at first, but you will get the hang of it VERY quickly.


So TWO MORE VIDS!! QUAD PICKING!!!!!


SARGE




QUOTE (Grappa @ Dec 27 2016, 09:21 AM) *
Sarge,

Number 9 for your perusal.

Two takes as I did finger combo 1,2,4 and 1,3,4.

Worked on my hand position, thumb control and relaxation...

No 1



And No 2



Let me know.

Si



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Grappa
post Jan 2 2017, 09:53 PM
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Sarge,

As per your updated mission orders please find the quad picked versions;

1,2, 4



1,3, 4



I've run these about as fast as I currently can and the real challenge at the mo (other than getting them faster) is to keep the noise to a minimum and stop tension creeping in over time..

Let me know your thoughts,

Si

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Todd Simpson
post Jan 2 2017, 10:27 PM
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CONGRATS SOLDIER!!!! Now your talking!!! I can see that you are walking the fine line between keeping it under control and having it explode in a fire breathing dash of fury and carnage. Just what I like to see smile.gif

On to the debrief!!!

You are making good use of the minimalist picking approach which is great news. At speed, the pick doesn't need to wag very far from the strike point. That way, t's all prepped for the position coming up. Also, you are making good use of articulating the pick with finger and hand/wrist and no picking from the elbow. This is something that takes a bit of doing a first. As picking from the elbow, using the entire forearm as a fulcrum, can feel very natural, despite it's many drawbacks.

Well then!!!!!

MEDALS OF HONOR

1.)MULTI PICKING FROM HELL while maintaining all the bits that make your missions stand out to begin with!!

2.)E.G. Solid Right / Left Hand Synch

3.)E.G. Solid Palm Mute / Lack off String noise.

In short, exactly what I like to see and a little blood on the fretboard doesn't hurt either!!! I'd encourage you to try to add multi picking in to your missions from here on out as it's a way to further challenge your hand and your synch/recision/timing as you continue to walk the PATH OF BLOOD!!!

Congrats Soldier, you just ...

LEVELED UP!!


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QUOTE (Grappa @ Jan 2 2017, 04:53 PM) *
Sarge,

As per your updated mission orders please find the quad picked versions;

1,2, 4



1,3, 4



I've run these about as fast as I currently can and the real challenge at the mo (other than getting them faster) is to keep the noise to a minimum and stop tension creeping in over time..

Let me know your thoughts,

Si



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Grappa
post Jan 8 2017, 07:24 PM
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Sarge,

Please find AP 10 - I'm trying to push myself so some (most!) of these are on the ragged edge!

SP



DP



TP



QP



Let me know your thoughts!

Si
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Todd Simpson
post Jan 9 2017, 06:01 AM
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NICE!!! Soldier, this is what I want to see!! You took a tough Mission and then did it at speed while attacking from every type of picking approach, singles, doubles, triples, quads!!! Let's debrief...

Before we get to far in to the debrief, I want to ask you to consider how this Mission was, in terms of work required and lessons learned/skills gained, compared to previous Missions. I"m willing to bet that you got quite a bit more out of it simply from having to adjust your picking a bit due to each type of "Multi Picking". This is the reason I wanted you to give this approach a whirl!!

I can tell that you are playing near the ragged edge of your ability on these and yet holding it together which is always great to see smile.gif Earning it!!!!!!


MEDALS OF HONOR

1.)Tight Precision on a very tough pattern and really well done on the Multi Picking, despite it being a very tough Mission.

2.)Very tight right/left synch, again on a difficult lick, not to mention keeping synch on all the Multi Picking!!!

3.)No extra string noise at all! Despite the mult picking, you keep tight control of your palm mute. Nice.

In short, you tick every box that I want to see on this mission and then some!! It's not every player that can pull this mission off with every form of multi picking that we typically cover, much less pull it off with grace and naked aggression!!! Score!!!
P.S. You are only a couple of Missions away from your first Rank upgrade to a DualChevron Badge.

Congrats Soldier, you just ...

LEVELED UP!!!!
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