Tips on fast-picking


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Dip
12-19-2005, 08:05 AM
Can anyone give me some tips on fast-picking, my fingers can move fast enough, but I just can't pick fast enough to play some of these things.
I know how to fast pick, but its so uncomfortable and I can't seem to control it well.

edawg
12-19-2005, 08:14 AM
the type of pick you use effects how fast you can pick. i use a jazz pick.(the small little red ones) and i can fly with it. then ill play the same thing with a dunlop tortex and its really hard.

Smokey Amp
12-19-2005, 08:34 AM
Keep practicing alternate picking scales up and down the guitar to a metronome. Gradually increase the speed and you'll start to progress/improve.

I'd advise 1mm+ picks for faster playing...Any lower than that are just too flimsy.

edg
12-19-2005, 10:26 AM
My tip: find out what you're doing wrong and fix it. Without knowing how you pick,
there's too many places you could be going wrong to help you with any specifics.
Most likely a new pick won't help. There isn't any magic exercise that will help.

SinisterLefty
12-19-2005, 05:19 PM
Sounds like your pick hand is not synchronized with your fret hand. Use a metronome and start off slow and work on making your finger hits the string as your pick does. The key to playing fast without sounding sloppy is have a good synchronization between both hands. Until both hands are moving together at the same speed you could throw in some legato runs here and there aswell.

shredfan
12-19-2005, 06:11 PM
I've recently struggled with fast picking myself, but I've realised that to get it right, you have to:

-RELAX
-pick from the wrist because it gives you far greater control over palm muting, how hard you pick, accuracy etc. Wrist picking is also inherently more relaxed and economical than arm picking and so you'll be able to do it for longer and without tensing up and making mistakes when you want to play fast.
- Make only small movements with the pick.
-Start slowly, so you can analyse any technical problems you might be having and pick up on any mistakes that you might be making. Never sacrifice accuracy for speed.
- Make sure you know exactly which notes you are using down/upstrokes for.
- Use a metronome to build up speed that you can control.
- Watch videos of good pickers like Paul Gilbert, Shawn Lane, John Petrucci etc, so you can see how it should be done.

Its probably best to build up speed and strength in your left hand before you start to pick fast licks. Theres no point in having machine gun like picking if your left hand can't keep up.

LrIeYhAmNiA
12-19-2005, 06:23 PM
1 question, to play fast on pick hand, is i need to float the pick hand? make it not touch board, or make it touch the board.

LrIeYhAmNiA
12-19-2005, 06:25 PM
and how to pick from the wrist? i cant find the right way how to cycling my wrist, is my pick hand need to float?

edg
12-19-2005, 06:29 PM
- .

"RELAX"

Yes!

"pick from the wrist because it gives you ...."

NOT! You HAVE to use your ENTIRE ARM. You can be VERY relaxed and accurate
with it. In fact, it's about the only way you can be fluid and do fast picking ACROSS
strings. Follow this advice and you may be able to pick fast. On a single string.
You'll have trouble with runs across strings.

" Make only small movements with the pick."

Yes.

"Start slowly, ..."
" Make sure you know exactly which notes you are using down/upstrokes for"
" Use a metronome to build up speed that you can control"

Yep yep yep

"Watch videos of good pickers like Paul Gilbert, Shawn Lane, John Petrucci etc, so you can see how it should be done."

Not so important. First off watching a pro PLAY is totally different than practice.
From a technical standpoint, they may be doing the worst things imaginable, but
it doesn't matter cuz they're focused on the MUSIC. They've already worked thier
technique in practice. Also, it'[s pretty hard to really tell what they're doing.
What might LOOK like picking from the wrist is actually picking from the elbow
or arm (it really doesn't look that much different).

edg
12-19-2005, 06:34 PM
and how to pick from the wrist? i cant find the right way how to cycling my wrist, is my pick hand need to float?

Yes floating hand. However FIRST learn to move the pick from string to string with
the elbow. That's really key to fluidity. And its hard at first. Once you get that down begin to focus on the wrist. You need BOTH to pick well.

shredfan
12-19-2005, 06:55 PM
^edg You've probably taken what i said too literally. Yes, you might need to use some arm movement to rellocate to other strings, but the majority of your picking movement should definitely come from the wrist. This is true of every good shredder I have seen. Even guys like Rusty Cooley and Michael Angelo who may look like they're arm picking are actually primarily picking from the wrist. I even asked Rusty Cooley about it and that is what he said. Arm picking is the quickest and best way to get fast...and sloppy.

Whilst its not essential to watch pros play, its very helpful IMO. Its kind of the whole point of instructional videos.

I would advise you to float your hand, but some shredders do rest a finger on the body or pickup to give them a point of reference. It feels unatural to float at first, but only after a couple of days you'll wonder why you ever needed to support your hand.

edg
12-19-2005, 07:16 PM
Well, I look at it as the WHOLE arm plays a role in picking. Lots of people focus
just on the wrist. You can't pick well that way. It's not a matter of "majority".
The wrist plays a role, but lets not forget about the rest of the machine! The
larger muscles need to be developed to control moving the hand AND wrist
into position to the string to be played.

The best way to develop this is start with the larger muscles first. Learn to
control them, then begin incorporating the wrist.

What happens when learning to pick, people plonk the hand down on the guitar
to anchor and steady it. Then they ONLY develop the wrist and totally ignore
the elbow and shoulder. Probably due to lack of attention the elbow and shoulder
are constantly tense. Picking suffers. They never get better.

If you make the elbow and shoulder the FOUNDATION of your pick control -- controlling the pick w/o anchoring -- and THEN learn the wrist movement, you're
playing will be in much better shape.

Eliort88
12-19-2005, 10:58 PM
some of you seem to have an issue with wrist picking
isnt it supposed to develope stamina to your wrist

"putnamehere"
12-20-2005, 11:14 PM
use masturbation, its the best way to practice fastpicking with your hand, but without the pick, and it also helps for your hand (and/or arm) to be used to fast up-and-down motions with out your arm muscles being tightened so easily

but thats just my clean opinion

samcim
12-21-2005, 01:05 PM
Hmm im confused... wrist, arm,....whats the best way to start fast picking???

linksmaker
12-21-2005, 01:35 PM
in my observation, shredding and picking are 2 different things. Use majority wrist when picking, majority arm when shredding?

mr. cool
12-21-2005, 02:28 PM
i like that masterbating idea acutally but try doing it resting you arm on something (probally your body), use only the wrist and only the first finger and thumb...sure its not as fun but its not about that is it its about picking remember that and try to keep your whole body relaxed (as much as will be possible) the whole time

so basically what you do with picking but masterbating instead


and to help your picking do not float your hand...i used to do that to then i realized that by setting my hand on the bridge and picking lower to the bridge it went faster and made it easier to pick with my hand spread out and you will find that you can get different tones depending on where you pick

Righteous
12-21-2005, 03:38 PM
One piece of advice from me is to go to the shred forum and look around there some. Don't be afraid to go back a few pages too until you find a thread that'll help you, because there are a lot of them.

Freepower
12-21-2005, 03:40 PM
edg, you've got it sorted, but be aware you'll need to explain yourself every time you mention arm movement or people will take it to the other extreme. The wrist is the fine motor on top of a crane. You cant abuse your fine motors by making them pull your whole arm back and forth, you cant get th perfect definition and control with the crane.

Thats how i see it, anyhoo

Adrock1795
12-21-2005, 09:24 PM
using the wrist, forearm or both is all preference just play one note repeatedly like the 12 fret D string and expirement with your picking, and you should have your plam resting in the bridge area to do light plam muting and stablize your picking, so you dont get a sloppy sound

edg
12-21-2005, 09:45 PM
edg, you've got it sorted, but be aware you'll need to explain yourself every time you mention arm movement or people will take it to the other extreme. The wrist is the fine motor on top of a crane. You cant abuse your fine motors by making them pull your whole arm back and forth, you cant get th perfect definition and control with the crane.

Thats how i see it, anyhoo

:cheers: :cheers:

Cheers Mate!

Yeah, it's pretty much like trying to push water uphill with a fork around here!

One final time:

If you HAVE to rest your hand on the guitar to pick accurately, your picking WILL be crippled.

You don't JUST use the wrist. You don't JUST use your elbow.
You HAVE TO USE BOTH.

Most people anchor thier hand and just use thier wrist and they will seemingly
FIGHT TO THE DEATH before they would change this comfortable, yet
totally crippling, way of picking. This is only a "preference" if you never want to
make a lot of progress with your picking.

If your preference is to become really good at picking, you'll absolutely need
the freedom and control of a floating hand and elbow movement. At first,
this is VERY UNCOMFORTABLE AND AWKWARD. But, you must TEMPORARILY
set aside working on your wrist and touching the guitar, until you LEARN it.