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> Grappa's Bootcamp, You Walk The Path of The Warrior!
Grappa
post Jan 9 2017, 10:54 AM
Post #41


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Thanks for the feedback Sarge.

I have to say that the multi-picking challenge certainly upped the anti in terms of difficulty. This mission was the toughest so far by some margin.

My challenge here is maintaining relaxation.. everything starts off all relaxed but the longer I pick for, the more my picking stiffens up. I start to feel this and the more I notice the feeling of stiffness, the more I stiffen; seems like I have a psychological challenge on my hands.. smile.gif

It also doesn't help that once the red button comes on everything seems to stiffen up anyway!!

Onwards and upwards..

Si

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Todd Simpson
post Jan 10 2017, 06:41 AM
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BINGO!!!! That is a key point indeed. Trainingi your arm/hand to stay relaxed, even at speed, just takes practice, like the other bits. Since it's something your doing while playing and not playing itself, it's almost like working on breathing excersizes or something. It's peripheral in a way, but it's crucial overall. Training yourself to stay relaxed is worth taking time for. Even if you have to focus on just that part of things, it's ok. Take something you know really well, like the last mission, and focus entirely on staying loose and not tensing, then keep bumping the metronome. The more you are familiar with what's being played, the better, as you just completed several versions of that last lick, I'm guessing you know it pretty well!!

Learning to play in a relaxed manner will keep you from burning out to quickly during a given solo and during a given practice session. Also, it will increase your overall playing stamina and reduce the likelihood of repetitive stress injury to your wrists/arms.

Also, it will keep you from "Picking from the Elbow", which is something that, though natural, is best avoided imho as it reduces endurance, increases fatigue, promotes carpal tunnel syndrome, and reduces dynamics in your picking.

The red button is also something that requires practice. The more time you spend in front of a camera, recording, the better, imho. It makes you numb to it after a while and you won't really care if your being recorded or not. Same thing for playing live. The more you do it, the less nerve wracking it gets smile.gif

Keep it up Soldier! That was your best Mission to date!

Sarge


QUOTE (Grappa @ Jan 9 2017, 05:54 AM) *
Thanks for the feedback Sarge.

I have to say that the multi-picking challenge certainly upped the anti in terms of difficulty. This mission was the toughest so far by some margin.

My challenge here is maintaining relaxation.. everything starts off all relaxed but the longer I pick for, the more my picking stiffens up. I start to feel this and the more I notice the feeling of stiffness, the more I stiffen; seems like I have a psychological challenge on my hands.. smile.gif

It also doesn't help that once the red button comes on everything seems to stiffen up anyway!!

Onwards and upwards..

Si


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Grappa
post Jan 12 2017, 09:10 AM
Post #43


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Sarge,

In my usual analytical way I've done some more work to try and understand the root cause of this tension build up with some interesting findings.

It seems that there are two cases where I am generating tension that is not released;

1. Where I am moving my picking mechanism in a descending direction i.e. from top E string to B string etc.
2. Where a play a pattern where the rhythmic accent falls on an up stroke i.e. I start a pattern picking on an up stroke

With number 1 it seems that when a play an ascending pattern (anything) every time I move to the next string any (very minor) tension that has built up picking is released as I move to play the pattern on the higher string. Repeating this from bottom E to top E by the time I have moved to the top E my picking mechanism is just as relaxed as it was when I started. When I do this descending however its very different; every time I descend to the lower string some minor tension remains and then this is aggregated at each string. By the time I get to the bottom E my mechanism feels tight. Seems like gravity helps the ascending movement but obviously not the descending as it's all muscle controlled. I think that this also relates to the fact that when I descend I am rotating the wrist (plus articulating my thumb/index finger on the pick) to initially hit the lower string first note but not resetting the position of my forearm properly to realign; this leads to a tightness in my forearm muscles over time as I move to the lower strings.

With number 2 I played some repeated single string patterns with the metronome starting on down strokes first and then repeated using upstrokes. Again the down stroke version feels effortless but not the up stroke. What is quite interesting is that although the mechanism is the same (alternate up/down) the exercise starting on the up stroke actually feels different! This must be psychological as I'm doing nothing physically different!

With this on mind I'm going to spend some time working on both of the above before moving on to the next mission to see if I can iron out the issues so that this feels the same irrespective of the direction and accent.

Onwards and upwards.. (or downwards in this case!)

Thanks,

Si



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Todd Simpson
post Jan 14 2017, 05:13 AM
Post #44


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Good instincts! As you encounter problems, it's a good idea to isolate them as much as possible and work only on the specific issue until you make some progress. You can then move back to play the full bit in question without the wonky bit getting in the way. Focusing on staying loose is a skill in and of itself and requires it's own practice, separate from your other drills. Sounds like you are heading the right direction smile.gif Which pick are you currently using?

Sarge



QUOTE (Grappa @ Jan 12 2017, 04:10 AM) *
Sarge,

In my usual analytical way I've done some more work to try and understand the root cause of this tension build up with some interesting findings.

It seems that there are two cases where I am generating tension that is not released;

1. Where I am moving my picking mechanism in a descending direction i.e. from top E string to B string etc.
2. Where a play a pattern where the rhythmic accent falls on an up stroke i.e. I start a pattern picking on an up stroke

With number 1 it seems that when a play an ascending pattern (anything) every time I move to the next string any (very minor) tension that has built up picking is released as I move to play the pattern on the higher string. Repeating this from bottom E to top E by the time I have moved to the top E my picking mechanism is just as relaxed as it was when I started. When I do this descending however its very different; every time I descend to the lower string some minor tension remains and then this is aggregated at each string. By the time I get to the bottom E my mechanism feels tight. Seems like gravity helps the ascending movement but obviously not the descending as it's all muscle controlled. I think that this also relates to the fact that when I descend I am rotating the wrist (plus articulating my thumb/index finger on the pick) to initially hit the lower string first note but not resetting the position of my forearm properly to realign; this leads to a tightness in my forearm muscles over time as I move to the lower strings.

With number 2 I played some repeated single string patterns with the metronome starting on down strokes first and then repeated using upstrokes. Again the down stroke version feels effortless but not the up stroke. What is quite interesting is that although the mechanism is the same (alternate up/down) the exercise starting on the up stroke actually feels different! This must be psychological as I'm doing nothing physically different!

With this on mind I'm going to spend some time working on both of the above before moving on to the next mission to see if I can iron out the issues so that this feels the same irrespective of the direction and accent.

Onwards and upwards.. (or downwards in this case!)

Thanks,

Si


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Grappa
post Jan 14 2017, 01:25 PM
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Thanks Sarge.

I'm running the VPick at the mo..

Si
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Todd Simpson
post Jan 14 2017, 05:10 PM
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Which Vpick model? Or more than one model?

Sarge

QUOTE (Grappa @ Jan 14 2017, 08:25 AM) *
Thanks Sarge.

I'm running the VPick at the mo..

Si



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Grappa
post Jan 15 2017, 09:43 PM
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I'm running a Stilleto at the mo.. These are difficult to get in the UK.. Very limited range and this was the only pointy one available.

Si
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Todd Simpson
post Jan 17 2017, 05:59 AM
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The stilleto is a fine choice smile.gif Stiff and pointy.

Todd



QUOTE (Grappa @ Jan 15 2017, 04:43 PM) *
I'm running a Stilleto at the mo.. These are difficult to get in the UK.. Very limited range and this was the only pointy one available.

Si



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Grappa
post Feb 1 2017, 12:25 AM
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Hi Sarge,

AP 11 for inspection.. pushing the ragged edge on this one again..

SP



DP



TP



QP



The fact that I tense up when the red light is on is driving me up the wall!!

Si
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Todd Simpson
post Feb 1 2017, 04:05 AM
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CONGRATS SOLDIER!!!! Your MULTIPICKING has come a LONG way in a SHORT time!!! Love seeing that kind of progress smile.gif I see some very good thing happening here. Let's debrief!

MEDALS OF HONOR

1.)NOT TENSING!!!: This is one of the toughest bits. It's natural to "Tense" up, especially at speed. But I can see you taking control of your pick hand and trying to force it to relax and keep a nice mute and or potential mute above the bridge.

2.)MULTI PICKING FROM HELL! Some very Spiff Multi Picking Indeed! Doubles, Quads, you are just killing it Soldier!!! The best part is that you keep it tight and on the beat. It doesn't drift when you have to traverse strings which is where it gets trick for most folks.

3.)TIGHT HAND SYNCH!! Your right and left hands, half to "talk" to each other, or the entire thing falls apart. When you hear folks doing "Tremelo" or (TREMEL NO as I call it) they are mostly picking at speed and hoping for the best in terms of the fretting. This is the exact reverse of what this lesson is trying to teach. In this Mission, Each pick Strike is tight to a fretted note. Being able to keep that synch happening, even at speed, is quite an achievement.



Congrats Soldier, you just ...

LEVELED UP!!
Attached Image

You are ready for what lies ahead Soldier. You have a strong grasp of some very tough bits that are required to play the even tougher bits that are coming up. Onward Soldier!!!

Sarge


QUOTE (Grappa @ Jan 31 2017, 07:25 PM) *
Hi Sarge,

AP 11 for inspection.. pushing the ragged edge on this one again..

SP



DP



TP



QP



The fact that I tense up when the red light is on is driving me up the wall!!

Si


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Grappa
post Feb 4 2017, 01:07 PM
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Sarge,

Mission 12 attempted for your review;

SP



DP



TP



QP



Regards,

Si
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Todd Simpson
post Feb 5 2017, 08:56 PM
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WELL FOUGHT SOLDIER!! You really crushed it. Single all the way through quad picking. An impressive performance all the way through. Very clean on technique and timing. Let's debrief!

MEDALS OF HONOR

1.)Very even and steady timing

2.)Great palm mute ( never lifted once)

3.)Smooth precision/speed.

In short you just killed it. Made it look easy! Not something I see often in this lesson or the ones that follow is folks making it look like they didn't break a sweat all the way through quads. You have developed very good endurance and technique. Nice smile.gif Also, this is your last single chevron badge. Your next mission will take you in to the double chevron class.

For now, you just ...

LEVELED UP!!!


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QUOTE (Grappa @ Feb 4 2017, 08:07 AM) *
Sarge,

Mission 12 attempted for your review;

SP



DP



TP



QP



Regards,

Si


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Grappa
post Feb 19 2017, 12:25 AM
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Sarge,

My go at number 13 - the toughest one by some margin so far;

SP



DP



TP



QP



Regards,

Si
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Todd Simpson
post Feb 19 2017, 03:36 AM
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IMPRESSIVE!! Soldier, this is what I call a "Scale Inversion" and this is a "Full Scale Inversion" where we both ascend and descend the entire scale. The goal of this is to teach you a new way to run a given scale. This same method can be used on ANY scale. Major, Minor, even Blues. I challenge you to take this and apply it to any other scale you like just to see if you can fight your way through it. if you have the general idea of this pattern down, you can sort of "ear ball" your way through other scales using the same approach. In subsequent lessons we will do just that smile.gif

For now, let's debrief!!!....


MEDALS OF HONOR

*KILLER RIGHT HAND CENTER/MUTE TECHNIQUE: You are keeping your right hand nice and centered which can take a lifetime to get right. You already have a very good handle on it. It's not right for every situation but it's ideal for these missions and many other things and you are really killing it!

*KILLER PICKING TECHNIQUE: You are using very tight pick strikes which work perfect for this Mission and are almost required to make it play smoothly. If you overcommit to any one pick strike, it ruins the flow of this lick. It sounds like a glitch. The lick is very long and has a lot of notes, so it's hard to play it start to finish without any hiccups which is the lesson to be learned from this mission. E.G. being able to play complex bits in a sustained fashion. Again you killed it.

*KILLER LEFT HAND TECHNIQUE: There is a good size stretch in this in addition to very awkward finger placement. This is a "Finger Twister". Again, part of the "Playing long complex bits in a sustained fashion" and you killed it on the left hand as well as the right. Congrats!!

In other words, you just..

LEVELED UP!!!!
*Also you got your first DOUBLE CHEVRON BADGE
Attached Image



QUOTE (Grappa @ Feb 18 2017, 07:25 PM) *
Sarge,

My go at number 13 - the toughest one by some margin so far;

SP



DP



TP



QP



Regards,

Si


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Feb 19 2017, 04:19 AM


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Grappa
post Feb 20 2017, 11:34 AM
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Thanks Sarge.

Using the inversion on pentatonic shapes has tuned me into Eric Johnson! Well not quite sadly...Never realised he was doing this!

Regard,

Si
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Todd Simpson
post Feb 20 2017, 09:54 PM
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Eric Johnson uses this technique on pentatonic/blues scales a LOT smile.gif It's one of the things that makes him sound like "him". smile.gif He is one of the few folks I've heard do it really well on blues scales, as it's a bit awkward to play on blues scales. Then again, it's a bit awkward to play on any scale smile.gif Once you have a handle on it, I say try it on every scale you know smile.gif It can help you sound like "you" and begin to develop your own signature style smile.gif

I LOVE the way it works on blues scales. Also on Harmonic minor. Not easy but cool sounding smile.gif

Sarge


QUOTE (Grappa @ Feb 20 2017, 06:34 AM) *
Thanks Sarge.

Using the inversion on pentatonic shapes has tuned me into Eric Johnson! Well not quite sadly...Never realised he was doing this!

Regard,

Si



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Grappa
post Mar 5 2017, 04:41 PM
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Sarge,

AP 14 up for your review.

SP



DP



TP



Ran out of time for QP version but will post at some point soon.

Regards,

Si
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Todd Simpson
post Mar 6 2017, 12:22 AM
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WOW!! I gotta say this is impressive Soldier!!! Such control! Let's debrief.

MEDALS OF HONOR

*PICK CONTROL/SYNCH: You have great alternate picking technique going on here. Also, the right left hand synch is spot on as well. This is not an easy lick to get the hang of for many folks. You make it look easy. Nice!

*TEMPO/PRECISION: Each string lines up with the metronome which gets tougher as you start multi picking with this type of lick. You killed it!! Nice and tight.

*PALM MUTE: One of the hardest things to teach and learn, you maintain a very solid palm mute without shifting your hand which allows you to keep the mute solid on all strings no matter which one you are playing. This is the entire point of this Mission. To almost force your hand to mute all the strings. That's why the pattern is played on each string while leaving the other open. If there is a gap in your mute, you will hearing. Not for you, zero gap.

In short this is one of the best I've ever seen on this Mission and I'll be pointing other students to it as an example of how it's done. Well fought soldier!

In other words you just....

LEVELED UP!!!


Attached Image








QUOTE (Grappa @ Mar 5 2017, 11:41 AM) *
Sarge,

AP 14 up for your review.

SP



DP



TP



Ran out of time for QP version but will post at some point soon.

Regards,

Si


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Mar 6 2017, 12:22 AM


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Grappa
post May 8 2017, 08:22 PM
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Sarge,

Hope all is well and apologies I've been MIA for a while...

Please find my go at AP15. Tough this as I've never tried economy picking before and trying to get the timing of this right with both alternate, economy and legato (to make the lick work for crossing strings with economy) is a pig!

Low



High



Let me know.

Si

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Todd Simpson
post May 8 2017, 09:47 PM
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Very well Fought Soldier!! Good to see you back in the game! This lick combines a LOT of things together at once and you nailed it smile.gif I can tell you put the work in. I would like to see you do this also as a DOUBLE PICKING lick where you don' use legato on the first Triad bit, instead, pick every single note twice. You may have to slow it down a pinch, but it will feel very different doing it this way.

Sarge



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