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Old 01-17-2013, 01:07 PM   #1
Brendan S312
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Question picking technique issues, ideas?

Fist of all I'm going to say thank-you for reading this, also, this being my first post, sorry if I've done something wrong,
Okay, so basically: I've had a good search around and haven't found much about my problem, when i pick, i hold my pick between the side of my index and flat of my thumb, (pictures can be taken if needed) since recently, i realized that my index and thumb sort of 'wiggle' when i play a lot of things, mostly for example 2-3 note per string scales (i could try to take a video if needed), i get a little bit of movement from my wrist, but it seems a lot is from my fingers, which at higher tempos is throwing me off a lot, as the 'wiggling' motion makes it hard to change strings, but i feel a little bit awkward picking from wrist only as i change thumb positions and sweep comfortably with my usual picking hand stance, but i would really like to switch to wrist only, I'm sure I'd be able to pick with more accuracy, also one last thing, how would i go about changing my technique, and how would a good wrist-picking stance be? because it seems I'll lose some muting ability. Thanks for reading, if I've done something wrong here I'm terribly sorry, just need a little advice, Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:20 PM   #2
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Well, you found the right forum.
You should never ever pick from the finger. ALWAYS use the wrist (or the elbow, if you're john petrucci).

Apart from that, it's hard to give any advice.. Could you make a video or something ? I find it a bit hard to imagine your situation..
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:23 PM   #3
Brendan S312
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Sure, here's a link , sorry for the delay, took a lot of messing uploading it from my phone, which is why there's quiet audio, and it's upside down, but you can still see the issue quite clearly, it's mainly when i do scales that you can really see it at it's worst, since i started I've been focused on left hand technique, letting the right just 'go along with it' so to say, and i always thought the inaccuracy would level out with the practice time i was putting in, but i noticed this, which is definitely the problem. Thanks a lot
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:46 PM   #4
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Ever thought of stiffing the grip of your pick a bit ? - not in a way that you are death gripping or tensing up, but just enough stiffness to avoid your fingers to move like that. Let all the motion come from the wrist. I don't know what else to say, never seen anything like this.

To be perfectly honest, I find it quite impressive how you managed to pick those scales like that, looks pretty tiring.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:05 PM   #5
Brendan S312
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alright, I'll try that, also, i think it may have originated from me alternate picking almost any riff i learn early on on the lower two strings, causing me to use my fingers to quickly swap between them, it's just hard trying to get my wrist moving without the fingers, probably just the way i hold it, but yeah, I'll give it an hour or two trying to grip a little firmer,
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:43 PM   #6
Brendan S312
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Wow, I've taken your idea in, also I've moved my thumb a little bit further down, i can sort of straighten it out, so i spent the last 20 minutes doing the scale slowly using wrist only, I'm seeing almost no movement from my thumb at sow paces, hopefully with time and lots of metronome practice i can get this sorted, only downside is that sweepings a little awkward now, but i adjusted my thumb weirdly when i reached the top of the sweep and began descending, so i guess it's just time, but yeah, thanks so much for the advice, my picking feels more stable already, there's a little bit of tension in the thumb and the outside of the palm, but i guess that's because I've made a loose fist, which I've never done I'll just get used to the stance after a while and avoid tension, regardless, is there any way i can rate your answers or something? cause you've helped me so much in so little time,
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan S312
Wow, I've taken your idea in, also I've moved my thumb a little bit further down, i can sort of straighten it out, so i spent the last 20 minutes doing the scale slowly using wrist only, I'm seeing almost no movement from my thumb at sow paces, hopefully with time and lots of metronome practice i can get this sorted, only downside is that sweepings a little awkward now, but i adjusted my thumb weirdly when i reached the top of the sweep and began descending, so i guess it's just time, but yeah, thanks so much for the advice, my picking feels more stable already, there's a little bit of tension in the thumb and the outside of the palm, but i guess that's because I've made a loose fist, which I've never done I'll just get used to the stance after a while and avoid tension, regardless, is there any way i can rate your answers or something? cause you've helped me so much in so little time,


I don't want you to rate anything just yet. Fiddle around with it for some time and when you see some actual results without encountering any problems like tension then you're good. Glad I could be of any help tho
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:34 PM   #8
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I've been practicing a few solos and scales to a metronome, just warming my hands from the snow and cold, the thumb movement is basically sorted now, and the tension is just my hand getting used to the change i think, as i can make myself drop the tension without losing much efficiency, the only thing i need to iron out it that i still dip my hand a little when i change strings in the direction that the adjacent string is, so I'm slowing it down and trying to make it so my string crossing feels the same as if i alternate picked one note on the same string, it's now that i noticed how much energy i was wasting before, Thanks so much for all the help you've given me, all i need now is time and a lot of metronome practice,
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:40 PM   #9
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I don't want to take this thread from you but I too am having picking issues. I can tremelo pick pretty fast just single noted which I'm sure isn't any achievement. But as soon as I try alternate picking a chord it gets rough for me.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:41 PM   #10
Brendan S312
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hey, I'd be happy to attempt at some advice, but until i sort my technique out properly then I'd probably ignore my advice on this matter. I have a feeling that your not having problems similar to mine, am i right? or if you are I'd just follow My Last Words helpful advice, if you don't have the same problem I'd suggest making a new thread if you can't find any ready made ones with your issue of course, anyways, if you describe your issue along with grip type and stuff like that you'll probably get a lot more answers, i think the only people who will scroll down on this thread will be the ones with this problem, regardless, your issue sounds like it could be sorted be slowing down and using a metronome, (as boring as it is, i know) but that's what i'm doing, and after some time you'll notice serious improvement hope i helped some,
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dragulan
I don't want to take this thread from you but I too am having picking issues. I can tremelo pick pretty fast just single noted which I'm sure isn't any achievement. But as soon as I try alternate picking a chord it gets rough for me.


It's pretty hard to chug on on two or three strings; most people just tend to pick down when chugging whole chords and alternate pick the inbetween notes. Could you gvie me an example, like a song you're struggling with because of this ?

edit: Try not to dig into the strings as you would normally do.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:30 PM   #12
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I've had a lot of students with this same issue (if what I'm getting from you is correct), and it seems to worsen at faster tempos too. It starts to get worse as speed increases, and they often try and overcompensate by tensing up too much, which leads to some other problems. I think the advice given in this thread is great, and to me, this issue can arise due to a misinterpretation of the economy of movement principle (don't move more than you have to): if we minimize too much, it can lead to unstable finger-wiggling. Keeping the index finger's smallest knuckle (closest to the tip) more bent without being too tense can help make you pick more from the wrist and/or elbow, and gripping closer to the pick's tip and a little more tightly can help too. My personal technique is mostly from the wrist for single notes, while using the elbow to "drive" the movement when crossing from one string to the next, if that makes any sense. Ultimately, sticking with something that works will get you more bang for the buck than switching stuff up a lot, but you should really get that taken care of first. That said, some knuckle movement can add subtle nuance to your phrasing, but I wouldn't rely on it as a fundamental groundwork for overall picking technique. Good luck!

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Old 01-18-2013, 11:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My Last Words
It's pretty hard to chug on on two or three strings; most people just tend to pick down when chugging whole chords and alternate pick the inbetween notes. Could you gvie me an example, like a song you're struggling with because of this ?

edit: Try not to dig into the strings as you would normally do.


Angling the pick a bit (not into the strings, but horizontally) can help with strumming overall, and with alternation too. I agree that you don't want to dig in as much as with single notes, so maybe try backing off a bit in relation to where you're gripping the pick: more of the pick contacting the string is favorable for multiple strings, whereas less seems to be better for individual notes. Also, loosening up a bit might be needed, as you may have excess tension coming from the shoulder on down through your fingers and the pick.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:33 AM   #14
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I've seen a couple people do it but it springs to mind this video..

www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCbpoHBa10o#t=0m50s

The palm muting around 55seconds in it is most obvious.

I don't know how he does it at those higher tempo's. It seems so awkward.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:54 PM   #15
Brendan S312
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I probably shouldn't keep bring this post back up, might post this on one of the bigger picking threads, but i found this which is great, there's two parts too it, now I'm not saying completely build your technique off of what this guy is saying, but you may take a few helpful pointers from this, he has other videos on other techniques, real helpful, enjoy, i hope others end their picking frustrations soon, and play on,
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:28 PM   #16
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Pick using your wrist and with your fingers clenched into a fist. Your fingers flopping around like that actually make noise because they brush the strings as you play, it's less comfortable and makes your wrist and forearm tense. Plus, anchoring will slow you down in the long run. I used to pick like you do a lot of the time, eventually changed my habits a few years ago. Good decision.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:43 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Brendan S312
I probably shouldn't keep bring this post back up, might post this on one of the bigger picking threads, but i found this which is great, there's two parts too it, now I'm not saying completely build your technique off of what this guy is saying, but you may take a few helpful pointers from this, he has other videos on other techniques, real helpful, enjoy, i hope others end their picking frustrations soon, and play on,


Lol, pretty much my entire "pick with the wrist change strings with the arm/elbow" technique is based on this video
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