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> Alternate Picking At Slower Tempos.
Grappa
post Oct 20 2016, 09:11 AM
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Hi all,

Just a question - does anyone find that they experience a level of AP picking tempo that is more difficult until you reach a certain tempo? OK - this may not make much sense so here is what happens to me.

I can play single string quarter notes up to a tempo of about 90 bpm and all feels loose and relaxed. Once I get to between 90 and 120 bpm things seem to tighten up - pushing through the string feels tough and my picking hand gets much more fatigued if I do this for extended periods of time. When I go past 120 bpm and upwards (until my technique breaks down) everything gets light again. It's as if there is a change in the way I pick at < 120bpm that doesn't scale well at the higher end (90 -120 bpm) and that I change my technique after that point.

Although the effort level feels different, for the life of me I can't see that I am doing anything different at all with my core picking technique.

It's a real issue for me as I spend most of my time trying to play at a tempo that feels most difficult to actually play!

Regards,

Si
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Kristofer Dahl
post Oct 20 2016, 09:43 AM
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Yes this is probably quite common. I would guess you use slightly different techniques for the different tempos.

Have you tried starting at 130 bpm - and then gradually back down to 100 bpm while making sure you don't alter your picking technique at all? (nothing should change: not hand/arm position, pick/hand angle etc. nothing! smile.gif )

It would be interesting to know how this works out for you.


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Grappa
post Oct 20 2016, 10:43 AM
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Thanks Kristofer,

I will give this a try and feed back on how it goes..

Regards,

Si

QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Oct 20 2016, 09:43 AM) *
Yes this is probably quite common. I would guess you use slightly different techniques for the different tempos.

Have you tried starting at 130 bpm - and then gradually back down to 100 bpm while making sure you don't alter your picking technique at all? (nothing should change: not hand/arm position, pick/hand angle etc. nothing! smile.gif )

It would be interesting to know how this works out for you.

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Darius Wave
post Oct 20 2016, 12:41 PM
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Hey Grappa!

As Kris said - it's very common issue. Actually if you ask many skilld players who can pick fast, they will tell you how different is meaning of word "relaxed" comparing to how we interpratate it at beginner or semi-advanced level.

Alternate picking or strong legato with no picking are both a kind of "sport disciplines". You get reasonably relaxed once you learn how to manage strength and hand tension in high speed. That means constantly pushing yourself to your limits - for example at some point 90bpm wil be your limit but pushing yourself even higher, after some time 90bpm will become a relaxed tempo for you. Sam as with making push-ups.

For slower tempo our right hands mechanics are slightly different due to a tonal demands. at high speeds we start to break thing appart into accents and fills, where the feels are being played softer. Fast picking is all about searching for tiniest moments to release hand tension for a while. I usually use a variation of wrist and circle picking. The faster I play, the more wrist movements I replace with circle picking....but only for fills, not for accents.

With alternate picking you have to work hard to make it work, and then keep working hard to keep it. That's why I call it "sport discipline".

Additional factor is how you focus on your hand shape, position, resting points. There is no "one and only" solution for this. That's why I made this lesson. If you haven't seen it yet I guess it may give you some guidence to rethink your current solutions.
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/ls/Altern...Picking-Basics/

There's a huge risk of not being able to play faster never, even with lots of practise, as long as you do not start to practise wisely, adjusting your hand and making experiments with it's placement. Like with any other part of life - making the same mistake all over again will not lead anyone to fix it. So....aside from giving honest amount of time for practise we need to constantly adjust things and put things into doubts - asking ourselfs a lot of questions "why" and being our own judge smile.gif



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Grappa
post Oct 21 2016, 12:38 PM
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Thanks for coming back to me with this Darius.

You are of course right and part of the reason for joining GMC was to try and reconstruct my technique from the ground up. It was actually a Google search that located the video you popped in this post that allowed me to uncover this great resource.

Painful though it is (not physically!), over the last couple of weeks I've fundamentally changed my picking hand position and even though it still feels a little strange I've already seen some improvements. I am realising however that we are obviously all unique and that whilst general principles apply there's lots of fine tuning to be done to get to an optimum for me. I now see that as an opportunity rather than an annoyance which helps reframe things in a more positive way..

Regards,

Si
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PosterBoy
post Oct 24 2016, 07:12 AM
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Ben has a video about using bursts of speed for short period when practicing to increase your speed, purely because the mechanics of picking fast are different to picking slowly.




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Grappa
post Oct 24 2016, 01:32 PM
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Thanks for this.

I will give it a go and see how I get on..

Regards,

Simon
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Todd Simpson
post Oct 30 2016, 01:38 AM
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It's important to try and stay as relaxed as possible and not "tense up" during high speed bits IMHO. Tensing up can lead to serious hand/arm problems and permanent injury/carpal tunnel syndrome. Not to mention it gets in the way of fluid playing imho smile.gif It's important to practice relaxing when playing at speed. Even just using a single note, try to pick with a beat/click/etc. and push the speed and focus on simply remaining relaxed. Tensing is natural, but you can overcome it. You don't need to tense to play briskly. In some cases it leads to the dreaded "Picking from the elbow" which is something I urge every student to avoid. Let your entire body remain loose and relaxed, no matter what speed you are playing. This takes as much practice as actual playing does, but it's quite possible smile.gif

Here is a quick demo. Notice that I'm not picking from the elbow and not tensing despite playing at a brisk pace. I'm playing a Golden Era MIJ Ibby of course (RG7620 7 string) so that helps a bit as well smile.gif




QUOTE (Grappa @ Oct 24 2016, 08:32 AM) *
Thanks for this.

I will give it a go and see how I get on..

Regards,

Simon


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Oct 30 2016, 01:39 AM


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Darius Wave
post Oct 30 2016, 10:21 AM
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QUOTE (Grappa @ Oct 21 2016, 11:38 AM) *
Painful though it is (not physically!), over the last couple of weeks I've fundamentally changed my picking hand position and even though it still feels a little strange I've already seen some improvements.



The problem is...things do not come as fast as we would like. Therefore it's not enough objective to judge any tweaks after such a short time. For example it took my 6 months to be able to play all thing I played before, once I decided to change my pick grip method. Through all those 6 months a had many doubts etc but...after this period, I've started to notice ability to make things work better.

My conclusion is...first we need to spend some time to be able to recover our skills. Everything that's new ,will make us doubt because...it's new and different from what we are used to do. Everything needs time. If we do not experiment, we may stuck at some point.


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