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Old 02-11-2013, 02:34 PM   #1
RBpunk
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Help with better picking please?

Okay so I've been playing acoustic for nearly a year, and I've had my electric for about two months. I have gotten pretty good with my electric, but one thing keeps bugging me: my picking. I know the answer to faster picking is just practice, but I find it hard to do things like: switching to far off strings quickly, finding a good grip on the new string as soon as I move to it, not accidentally hit other strings as I do more complicated combinations, etc. I'm not a bad guitarists, but picking is kind of my final frontier right now. Any help?
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:02 PM   #2
Drew-A
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I'm assuming your doing mostly alternate picking (down, up, down up,...).

I woud say one of the most important things is to do everything slowly at first. This is where I see players making mistakes, and trying to do more than they are really capable of. If you can't play something slowly and perfectly, you should not try to play it faster!

A lof of the things you pointed out (switching strings fluidly and cleanly) are the challenges. Try doing some simple scale patterns slowly, and really take note of how cleanly your playing, and concentrate of getting everything sounding uniform. Once your fingers get used to doing this correctly, it's just a matter of going a little faster over time.

Once your fingers "learn" certain patterns and you can exactly control what's going on, it will be relatively easy to learn new patterns which are similar.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:24 PM   #3
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBpunk
I know the answer to faster picking is just practice


Just pure hours of practice isn't enough, you have to be practicing the right way.

Make sure that at all times you are as relaxed as possible and also make your movements as small as you can.

That is much harder than it sounds. In order to make your movements small you have to practice a lot at a tempo where you can really control what you're doing, i.e. you're not playing from muscle memory. That's much slower than most people seem to think it is. If you put in 20-30 minutes a day of seriously focused practice for economy of motion and such you can actually make some pretty good improvements but you have to focus and practice really well.

You might not see much of an improvement at first but the more you do it the more you will see what you're doing filter through in to your every day playing.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:58 PM   #4
RBpunk
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Hm, I've tried that before but I can never seem to translate it to faster playing after getting it down on slower.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:59 PM   #5
RBpunk
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Thanks that actually makes a lot of sense.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:57 AM   #6
Drew-A
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBpunk
Hm, I've tried that before but I can never seem to translate it to faster playing after getting it down on slower.


Then maybe it's a consistency thing. If it sounds good slower (everything's clean and even), try a metronome (or a drum loop, which is my preference). Then you can really see where it's not working. For example, you may be trying to go from something at 80bpm straight to 120bpm, when you really need to spend some time working at 100bpm. Not a fun suggestion, I know, but it will be effective.

Also, remember speed is relative and a pretty small portion of what a player needs to concentrate on. I wouldn't get to hung up over it!
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:25 PM   #7
RBpunk
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Thanks, that could help. I have been going from very slow to normal speed, I guess I need an in between.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:53 PM   #8
JacobReedShred
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Your problem is right hand and left hand synchronization. It helps me to play scales very slowly and focus on picking at the same time. It also helps to build up finger dexterity. I have a warm up lesson on UG. Its great for finger dexterity. You can check it out.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:26 AM   #9
SimonJames
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Check out this vid by Al Di Meola, it's a good insight into picking techniques


Last edited by SimonJames : 02-14-2013 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:55 AM   #10
RyanStorm13
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Up, Down, Up, is the best rule ever, it helps with speed, sound and style. Lots of songs tell you which to play.

If your not challenging yourself you never advanced. Mastering something your already great at, doesn't help you get better.

In guitar, you got to keep moving onto new material. I use to study the same damn stuff all the time and never got anywhere. Playing the same scales faster and faster, and running down songs with metrenomes..etc...

The best advice I was given was to treat guitar like it were an instrument and to focus on what your doing. Like, Flute players don't just jump on their flutes and play whatever randomly, they read music and play according to traditional methods.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:38 PM   #11
RBpunk
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Awesome, thanks guys that's gonna help a lot!
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