sw4l
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2012
400 IQ
#1
I have been working on getting faster and after a few weeks of steady practice with a metronome I'm seeing progress slowly but I am starting to notice my right hand tech is rather sloppy(and zaphod pointed it out so I really examined it). So I looked on YouTube and found different techniques used for "shred" or speed picking and I found the "twitch" method and various others.

What is the most efficient way to pick faster? Would switching from anchoring help with this? If so any tips on moving away from year of anchoring? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
My Last Words
Billions and billions!
Join date: Jul 2012
2,229 IQ
#2
Do you have a video of yourself playing? It's kinda hard for us to give directions when we can't really tell where the problem lies. Maybe you have a technique issue, or maybe it's just a lack of practice (or both!)?

Just some general advice regarding speed: Don't worry to much about it. The speed will come eventually, but you know what they say: "Speed is a byproduct of accuracy"
baab
Downfall93
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2008
1,893 IQ
#3
I don't think there is an ultimate way to pick fast. Everyone does what's most comfortable for them. If you look at Paul Gilbert, Yngwie, Zakk Wylde and other great pickers, they all have rather different techniques. Look at Marty Friedman for example!
Personally for me Zakk's picking technique looks pretty inefficient but it works great for him for picking pentatonics.

One thing you should pay attention to is moving your thumb (the joint). Rusty Cooley talked about this issue and he said you can pick from your wrist, your elbow or whatever you want but the thumb should stay still.
But if you look at Jason Becker he tends to flicks his thumb quite a lot so it's really about what's comfortable.
Just practice and like My Last Words said speed will come eventually.
Anon17
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2009
295 IQ
#6
I can't see very well but it seems like you're using your elbow instead of your wrist - I'd highly advise switching to your wrist as for the vast, vast majority of people it is much easier to play with more relaxation and economy of motion if you use your wrist to pick.

Other than that, slow down and record the lick cleanly - To me it seems pretty sloppy at that speed so if you want to get it cleaner you're going to have to slow down.
sw4l
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2012
400 IQ
#7
Quote by Anon17
I can't see very well but it seems like you're using your elbow instead of your wrist - I'd highly advise switching to your wrist as for the vast, vast majority of people it is much easier to play with more relaxation and economy of motion if you use your wrist to pick.

Other than that, slow down and record the lick cleanly - To me it seems pretty sloppy at that speed so if you want to get it cleaner you're going to have to slow down.


i try to use my wrist but i maybe putting some elbow in it when i pick faster. i recorded it at that speed to see if they were any major technical flaws. i can play it perfectly at 100 bpm triplets maybe a smidge faster but not much
harmony_melody_
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2009
23 IQ
#8
Quote by sw4l
I have been working on getting faster and after a few weeks of steady practice with a metronome I'm seeing progress slowly but I am starting to notice my right hand tech is rather sloppy(and zaphod pointed it out so I really examined it). So I looked on YouTube and found different techniques used for "shred" or speed picking and I found the "twitch" method and various others.

What is the most efficient way to pick faster? Would switching from anchoring help with this? If so any tips on moving away from year of anchoring? Any help would be greatly appreciated.



There's no easy answer, everybody's body and minds are different and that's enough to ensure that what works for someone may not, strangely, work for someone else.

Solid technique is not achieved by finding the 'wow' technique. It doesn't exists. Solid technique, whether is speed picking or not, is achieved by learning and practicing lots of different solos, runs, exercises, etc etc.
The hand will adjust and actually find the correct technique by itself, once you learned well all the basics such as being relaxed, playing in time with a metronome, etc

Also, don't practice what's way beyond your current abilities, as that will demotivate you. It's actually MUCH better to learn a lot of different, easier stuff than to learn the first half of two very fast solos.
Last edited by harmony_melody_ at Jun 1, 2013,
sw4l
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2012
400 IQ
#9
Quote by harmony_melody_
There's no easy answer, everybody's body and minds are different and that's enough to ensure that what works for someone may not, strangely, work for someone else.

Solid technique is not achieved by finding the 'wow' technique. It doesn't exists. Solid technique, whether is speed picking or not, is achieved by learning and practicing lots of different solos, runs, exercises, etc etc.
The hand will adjust and actually find the correct technique by itself, once you learned well all the basics such as being relaxed, playing in time with a metronome, etc

Also, don't practice what's way beyond your current abilities, as that will demotivate you. It's actually MUCH better to learn a lot of different, easier stuff than to learn the first half of two very fast solos.


im finding that out now.. my first song that i learned was bat country by A7X its a simple song until the solo and i gave up half way through the solo because of the sweeping part. i can half way decently sweep now slowly, im working on hells bells right now which is a very easy song the solo is whats taking the most time to nail.

So should i not attempt the beyond my ability solos? I was thinking about learning two weeks by all that remains next it inst a super fast solo and the major parts of the song are the same notes and rhythm all except for the short solo.

i thought it was normal not being able to get something down and wanting to throw your guitar through the wall sometimes?
The.new.guy
UG Freak
Join date: Jun 2008
3,067 IQ
#10
Okay, I'm too lazy to read the whole thread, but I read the first couple of posts, so I hope I can help some...

First off, alternate picking is something that you've got to find your own technique in. There's no one way to do it, really. Everyone is going to find that their technique is SLIGHTLY different from someone else's. Paul Gilbert's technique is in NO WAY the same as Rusty Cooley's, as an example.

However, there are many similarities in people that pick fast. These similarities are generalizations of "good/perfect" technique. My personal opinion for you would be to ditch the anchoring. It might feel weird and sloppy at first, but once you get used to not doing it, it's an amazing, relaxed feeling. I've noticed that I actually can get sort of a high from just playing in a very relaxed manner.

Anyways, a nice exercise that I swear by that is going to help tremendously comes from Allen Van Wert over at Jam Play's website. I know, I know, you've got to pay for it, etc. I'll try to explain it the best I can, but without being able to show you, I'm afraid you might get confused. Let's give it our best shot, shall we?

Basically, the idea of this exercise is to increase the strength, but even more so, the CONTROL of the small muscles that move your picking hand. What you want to do is hold the pick way down by the bridge and pick there. It's going to sound like shit, but bare with me for a minute...

While you pick down there, the string is much stiffer, and there's not as much "play" in it. This means that your pick is either going to displace the string, or the string is going to displace the pick. It's generally a combination of both, but try not to get the string displace the pick too much. This is where the "strength" part of it. I'm not, in any way saying that you should tense up your hand and force the pick over the string. I'm saying you should hold the pick sturdy enough so as not to drop it.

Back to the actual exercise; When you're doing this, you should make sure that the majority of the motion, if not all of it is coming from your wrist. You should also stop the pick at the same time that it leaves the string after a stroke. What you should be hearing is the pick attack and very little note being played before the pick mutes the string. This is going to help with your economy of motion tremendously, which, as we all know, is one of the biggest keys to speed.

When you're first starting this exercise, do it on one string, and don't use your left hand at all. Maybe mute the string with your left hand, but other than that, you shouldn't be playing any particular pattern at first. I would suggest you do this on your low E string first, as this will help with the "strength" part of it most. After you get the hang of doing this on one string, start switching strings that are side-by-side. For example; do four strokes on the low E, then four on the A, and back to the low E. After you get the hang of that, do three. Then, four, five, etc. Once you get the hang of this exercise across all the strings with your picking hand, you can start throwing in patterns and you can also stop picking so close to the bridge. What we don't want to do is essentially change your technique to where you can't play anywhere but right by the bridge, so make it a habit of picking where the tone sounds best, but using the same "pick/mute" thing that I described above.

I really hope this helps! Feel free to message me if you have any questions, or if this interests you and you can't figure out what I'm telling you to do. I'll be able to add you on Skype or something where we can do a video chat/lesson thing.

/book

sw4l
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2012
400 IQ
#11
im pretty sure i get what your saying i have tried some unachored picking and it feels so normal to leave my hand open but i will try to do it that way since i see so many people encouraging people to ditch it. so should i just do this exersis then go back to my normal routine or cut the speed on all my exersises and try using no anchor?
sw4l
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2012
400 IQ
#12
its not as hard as i thought but there's a weird but almost pleasurable sensation going on in my wrist. is that normal? i kinda play unanchored alot i just have my hand open which the biggest challenge for me atm is figure out another way my hand is comfortable.
Geldin
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2008
1,677 IQ
#13
Quote by sw4l
So should i not attempt the beyond my ability solos? I was thinking about learning two weeks by all that remains next it inst a super fast solo and the major parts of the song are the same notes and rhythm all except for the short solo.

Never. The only way to get better is to learn to do things you can't do already.

im pretty sure i get what your saying i have tried some unachored picking and it feels so normal to leave my hand open but i will try to do it that way since i see so many people encouraging people to ditch it. so should i just do this exersis then go back to my normal routine or cut the speed on all my exersises and try using no anchor?

Before you go making radical changes to your technique, answer me this - is your touching the guitar causing any tension? If it is, then change it. If it isn't, then don't bother. My ring and pinkie fingers are usually touching my guitar's body, but there's no tension, so it isn't a problem.
sw4l
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2012
400 IQ
#14
Quote by Geldin
Never. The only way to get better is to learn to do things you can't do already.


Before you go making radical changes to your technique, answer me this - is your touching the guitar causing any tension? If it is, then change it. If it isn't, then don't bother. My ring and pinkie fingers are usually touching my guitar's body, but there's no tension, so it isn't a problem.


well no its not i barely touch the guitar with my pinky it doesnt stay in one spot it moves with my hand up and down but i can pick a little faster with the floating hand.
The.new.guy
UG Freak
Join date: Jun 2008
3,067 IQ
#16
Quote by sw4l
im pretty sure i get what your saying i have tried some unachored picking and it feels so normal to leave my hand open but i will try to do it that way since i see so many people encouraging people to ditch it. so should i just do this exersis then go back to my normal routine or cut the speed on all my exersises and try using no anchor?

Cut your speed with EVERYTHING and stop anchoring. If you don't cut down on the speed when you quit anchoring, it's probably going to be sloppy as hell.

Also, if it feels easy for you, that's probably all the more reason to go ahead and do it.
The.new.guy
UG Freak
Join date: Jun 2008
3,067 IQ
#18
Quote by joelnorthridge
9 times out of 10 you will find its the left hand slowing you down

I see what you're saying, but I don't think it's 9/10. More of a 50-50 thing. Your left hand can generally go a lot faster than your right hand. For example, I can play 170-ish BPM, 16th notes with my left, but only 130-ish BPM, 16th notes with my picking hand.

With this brought up, it's a good thing to mention that your arms, hands, and wrists like to "copy" each other. Your right hand is going to want to copy the tension that's in your left hand and vise-versa. I've found that, occasionally, focusing on loosening up my fretting hand/arm helps with my right hand, also.
Downfall93
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2008
1,893 IQ
#19
Quote by joelnorthridge
9 times out of 10 you will find its the left hand slowing you down


Definitely not for me. I can play legato fast, when I try to pick certain things I must slow down because of inside picking. That's the biggest problem for me.
sw4l
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2012
400 IQ
#20
Quote by The.new.guy
I see what you're saying, but I don't think it's 9/10. More of a 50-50 thing. Your left hand can generally go a lot faster than your right hand. For example, I can play 170-ish BPM, 16th notes with my left, but only 130-ish BPM, 16th notes with my picking hand.

With this brought up, it's a good thing to mention that your arms, hands, and wrists like to "copy" each other. Your right hand is going to want to copy the tension that's in your left hand and vise-versa. I've found that, occasionally, focusing on loosening up my fretting hand/arm helps with my right hand, also.


My issue is that my left hand is movin faster than my right hand can pick I can use a sort of sweep thing where you pluck the string and run triplets or what ever variation of faster playing I got it from syn gates but I think rusty cooly uses it too. I just don't like to use it I want the definition in the notes or more pick attack just sounds better to my ears. The only issues I'm having with it so far is my upstrokes from not being supported from my anchor I had it perfect one set of backing tracks that I play my scale sequences to and when I hit repeate I lost the feel. But when I use my anchor after 3 days of drilling I feel like I have more control when I anchor so I know it's helping my right hand tech. It's just finding that sweet spot for my hand.
sw4l
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2012
400 IQ
#22
Quote by joelnorthridge
not that your left is faster, its feeding the right the wrong information

check the timing of your left


Well I'm constantly using a metronome when I do my technique and scale sequences so I don't see how my timing would be off but I have only been playing for 11 months so I may just not realize it but I don't think so. Now examining my picking technique and focusing on it my right hand is pretty sloppy when I get it corrected then I will examine my left hand again. I appreciate the heads up though. Does anyone have any pointers about the floating hand? I can't find any real lesson on what my hands supposed to be doing so idk if my right hand is still atrociously in a bad spot or what? Floating does help my muting though. Like I put my lower ha on lower strings when I'm playing higher notes and vise versa is there anything wrong with that like I have to change my wrist angle slightly. Bad?
Anon17
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2009
295 IQ
#23
For picking, both hands will be letting you down - The thing that makes picking so hard is synchronizing the hands so well, meaning you need both hands to be relaxed/economical etc...