#1
Since the big sticky is locked, and I have some questions about what i've read and what is being preached here, I have to post my questions here. I'd like some input form knowledgeable and good guitar players. (How can you tell others how to play well, when you can't do it yourself?)

First of all, yes, I read the whole thing. And I'm not so sure I agree with all of it.

Specifically your picking principles. I've read Freepower's lessons, and they all seem to make a lot of sense. But when I look and listen to his playing, the only thing impressive about his technique is the lightning fast legato.

One of my personal goals is to have a very fluid and fast picking skillset, and I'm worried that if I follow these principles, I'll end up with lightning fast legato and deficient speed picking.

This is absolutely not a knock on Freepower at all. It's just a question. maybe you have great picking skills and I just aren't seeing them.

Thanks.
Last edited by shredder1223 at Dec 9, 2008,
#2
Quote by shredder1223
Since the big sticky is locked, and I have some questions about what i've read and what is being preached here, I have to post my questions here. I'd like some input form knowledgeable and good guitar players. (How can you tell others how to play well, when you can't do it yourself?)

First of all, yes, I read the whole thing. And I'm not so sure I agree with all of it.

Specifically your picking principles. I've read Freepower's lessons, and they all seem to make a lot of sense. But when I look and listen to his playing, the only thing impressive about his technique is the lightning fast legato.

One of my personal goals is to have a very fluid and fast picking skillset, and I'm worried that if I follow these principles, I'll end up with lightning fast legato and deficient speed picking.

This is absolutely not a knock on Freepower at all. It's just a question. maybe you have great picking skills and I just aren't seeing them.

Thanks.


FP just chooses to play legato, I assure you his picking is up to par. Either way, the principles of practice and the ideas about technique set out in the stickies are quite solid, as long as you follow them and practice things that you want to make up your style of playing you'll be fine.
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#3
Alright, thank you.

Now that I have these principles, I have to apply them to a daily practice routine.

Any help on that would be appreciated. One of my main goals is increasing my picking skill. But I also need to continue work on all other areas too.

What would be a good way to spend my practice time specifically?
#4
Man, the only thing impressive about my technique is my lightning fast legato?

Awesome!

Anyway, are there any particular picking priniciples you would disagree with, or are unsure about? If stuff needs clarification or some re-writing, then I'd certainly be up for it.

Okay, well, first - my own picking technique isn't anything like my legato technique because I had to totally scrap my picking technique at one point, as I was "spastic elbow picking". As a result, I had actually severely damaged my left/right hand co-ordination and hadn't developed the muscles that one needs to pick with control and accuracy.

D'oh!

Basically, I spent about a year just repairing my technique to what most people would consider normal, so I'm basically more than 2 years behind with my right hand . I've actually done a lot of practice on picking since my last uploads, it's getting a little nifty now.

Anyway, the reason I changed my technique was because I was a technique nut (I've actually studied Shawn Lane so much his right hand is burned onto my eyeballs) and because I realised that my technique was useless. I've been basing my playing since off the principles I learnt from my studies and from simple logic and I've seen huge dividends.


What would be a good way to spend my practice time specifically?


Okay, well, having read the sticky (thank you) and watched the lessons, you know the correct way to approach these exercises, so I'll give you what I use. (attached GP4 files in zip)

I'll describe what each exercise is for as well. If you download and open it you can see that the exercises are arranged in folders.

1 string - good for synching up your hands. However, this is best done at low tempos without backing so you can hear yourself clearly, rendering this folder practically empty.

2 note per string - Useful and tricky if you're used to rock and shred runs, but being able to pick 2nps well is important. Real proficient pickers, unlike the vast majority of youtube vibrating elbow "world record speed pickers" can handle large amounts of string crossings at speed. These also move through all the positions of the pentatonic scale, so they're good for memorisation as well.

3 nps - contains a few sextuplet exercises and features common co-ordinations, as well as ways of moving them around the whole fretboard, which is very important, as a lot of people can only play these licks in one position. Most of the exercises cover at least 3 full octaves, generally a bit more on either end. There's also some string skip exercises here too.

4nps - only contains a chromatic scale, as I can't play 4nps diatonic scales.

Odd - for weird exercises. Currently empty.

ONPS - the most challenging part of alternate picking is crossing strings. So the most effective exercises for string crossings will feature both inside and outside string crossings (and in/out skips). These exercises will brutally redefine how fast you think you can actually play. Check out the spiders. I wrote some backing to a few just for the lulz and to make them more entertaining to play for aaaaaaages. These are imo, pound for pound and all around, the most effective single group of exercises for picking and for finger independence. While they won't navigate the fretboard, they are brilliant physically, and I have a few different patterns tabbed, 1324, 3214, and such as well as just 1234, so that you develop some finger independence.

Etudes and pieces - what it says on the tin.

By the way, speaking of impressive picking, the most impressive thing I ever did was the "ONPS spider SS" exercise at 90bpm for about a minute. If you can get that down, I salute you.

Take an exercise that'll develop your fretboard knowledge, a spider for string crossings and Moto Perpetuo and then spend at least 40 mins a day on it, 6 days a week, and practice it correctly.

Hope that helps.
Attachments:
Picking.zip
#5
Quote by Freepower
are there any particular picking priniciples you would disagree with, or are unsure about? If stuff needs clarification or some re-writing, then I'd certainly be up for it.


Well the main thing is, I don't think any one style is going to work for everybody. Everyone is different, and If you ask 10 professional guitar players how they hold their pick, you will probably get 10 different answers. As long as their technique isn't restricting them from playing what they want and getting the tone they want, its fine.

There are so any great guitar players out there, and many of them have a lot of character in their sound that defines them. From Steve Vai to Django Reinhardt, they all have their special color that they add to their playing, an I think its great.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXL--dDhrk0

I think we should encourage players to play towards the sound THEY want, instead of trying to turn everyone into Shawn Lane clones.

Thank you for the GP exercises. That should keep me busy for a while.
Last edited by shredder1223 at Dec 10, 2008,
#6
Well, the point of the sticky is to set out general guidelines based on simple and fairly absolute principles. It's designed to help most people as much as possible, if you follow. The sticky doesn't set out any Shawn Lane DNA, but it sets out the DNA of pretty much every virtuosic picking skillset.

Looseness, strong string crossing skills, motion primarily from the wrist, dynamic and tonal control.

The other thing is, guitarists hide behind "one style may work for one person, etc", but in reality, we all have pretty much identical arm and hand musculature and bone structure. What will work for one person will almost always work in the same way for another person, for hundreds of others, even. Indeed, that's the whole point of going to teachers in the first place.

If you start asking people "why?" then you start getting interesting answers, though. If you have any queries regarding anything I recommend, I won't back it up with "Petrucci does it", or "It feels good for me". I will back it up with anatomy and physics, with exemplary players as examples. Speaking of which, do you have any issues with anything I recommend?
#7
Many professional guitarists have different technique than what you consider to be "correct technique."

It comes down to music. If a guitarist plays they way he/she does because they like the tone they are getting from a technique, then who are you to tell them they are wrong?

When Michael Angelo Batio used to teach, he always used to say that there are many different ways to play, and ultimately it comes down to personal preference.

Vinnie Moore picks from the elbow, Rustly Cooley picks from a elbow sometimes and he has ridiculous chops. Chris Broderick anchors. John Petrucci anchors. Al Di Meola Anchors. Joe Satriani does a combo of both, Steve Vai occasionally anchors, MAB anchors, I could go on and on all day. Kevin Eubanks dosent even use a pick. Marty Friedmans picking hand is positioned weird.

Then we have some kid with a guitar and webcam telling everyone that all those mentioned above do not have "correct technique."

Nonsense. All can be good techniques and all are exceptional players.
Last edited by shredder1223 at Dec 10, 2008,
#8
^ Man, you're rude.
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#9
Quote by shredder1223

Vinnie Moore picks from the elbow, Based on watching videos from him, he actually uses predominantely wrist, but relies on the elbow to switch strings, which at times causes it to appear that he elbow picks. Regardless, his picking is quite loose, and he doesn't anchor, which supports multiple of FP's points.
Rustly Cooley picks from a elbow sometimes and he has ridiculous chops. He uses a combination of wrist and elbow picking from what he's personally said.
Chris Broderick anchors. http://video.google.com/videosearch?client=safari&rls=en-us&q=chris%20broderick&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&um=1&sa=N&tab=wv# oh really?
ohn Petrucci anchors.
Al Di Meola Anchors. http://video.google.com/videosearch?client=safari&rls=en-us&q=chris%20broderick&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&um=1&sa=N&tab=wv#q=al%20di%20meola&emb=0 In this it doesn't really appear that he is....
Joe Satriani does a combo of both Though he's not typically noted for his amazing Alt. picking--not saying he can't, just saying it's not his forte, and thus makes him not the best example for someone to look up to picking technique wise.
Steve Vai occasionally anchors Anchors, or touches the guitar with his finger? There's a difference. Also, during the main alt. picking run in For The Love Of God, in the Visual Sound Theories video, he's not anchoring during the alt. picking.
MAB anchors, And he has a very unique picking motion that keeps his hand relatively loose despite this.
I could go on and on all day. And I could to from the opposite side of the viewpoint.
Kevin Eubanks dosent even use a pick Then how does he serve as an example that not all picking techniques are the same, which is the focus of your point. .
Marty Friedmans picking hand is positioned weird.

Then we have some kid with a guitar and webcam telling everyone that all those mentioned above do not have "correct technique."

Nonsense. All can be good techniques and all are exceptional players.


First off, I'm not saying you're wrong, just saying I disagree with your examples, and in general in the AT forum an argument of _____ does it won't get you very far.
A. Regarding Friedman, Trooch, and somewhat Cooley--First, there can be exceptions to rules, but an important point lies. With guys like Friedman and Trooch, it's impossible to say how they'd be if they DID pick without anchoring, a loose, wrist motion, etc. It's entirely possible that they'd be better. There's a difference between wrong and not necessarily ideal. And from what I've seen, FP typically doesn't just say "This is wrong," it's generally more of "That frequently leads to X, X, and X problems, and generally _____ will work better."
B. If you want to pull the X guitarist does it card, Shawn lane=Best alt. picker ever--loose, predominantly wrist motion. Guthrie Govan=probably the next best alt. picker ever--his finger touches the guitar but I don't know that I'd consider it anchoring--it doesn't seem to really cause a fixed point that his hand stays at, and regardless he has a VERY loose, wrist dominant picking motion. There's a difference between the good and the best. Based on the fact that the best alt. pickers ever have various aspects of technique in support of FP's findings, and many of the guitarists you mentioned have at least some of them (Looseness, Dynamic Control, String Crossing Accuracy, Wrist dominant motion, and tonal control are the ones he mentioned in this thread), they're probably at least a good starting point to look for in your own technique.
C. If you've got any critiques of my sweeping writing, please let me know (the more complete version is in the sweeping thread, not the main sticky).
D. Again, I'm not saying you're wrong and I'm not necessarily saying FP is right, just giving evidence that FP's advice is generally pretty sound.

If I think of the other stuff I wanted to say I'll let you know.
Last edited by TheShred201 at Dec 10, 2008,
#10
Quote by shredder1223
Many professional guitarists have different technique than what you consider to be "correct technique."


I stopped reading here. How other people play has fuck all to do with your technique. There is a such thing as right and wrong technique, and it's based off very simple, yet all too often overlooked principles. Many "professional" guitar players have relatively poor technique from a physics standpoint, but like you said in the post I didn't read ( ), have amazing chops. BUT, they went through a lot of frustration and unneeded hard work because their technique was limiting their progress. It boggles my mind how many people are in denial of how bad their technique is and use x famous awesome player as their example. Instead of admitting their problems and fixing them, they ignore it. Quite sad, really.

I will repeat my second sentence; How other people play has fuck all to do with your technique. Good technique is a tangible thing, it's just up to you to realize it.
#11
Dude, just because Steve Morse and John Petrucci anchor doesnt mean that it's a good thing to do! Steve Morse has Carpal Tunnel in both hands. Is that would you want? JP is an amazing player but is super tense during fast runs? Do you love to feel burning sensations in your muscles? FFS, if you want to be a rude arsehole than that's fine, but having correct technique is fundamental to being able to play decently.
I know arrogant and impatient people like you, there's heaps of them at my school, and I realise that you're probably not going to cooperate with the regs at this forum so all I can say is-
Have fun with your RSI!
and regardless of what you think I bet Freepower's picking technique beats yours by miles.
#12
Quote by Myung-trucci

and regardless of what you think I bet Freepower's picking technique beats yours by miles.


Why would it be? I pick with my wrist, I don't anchor anywhere, and I relax my picking arm.

I don't anchor. But I'm not going to say that Petrucci has bad technique either.
#13
Quote by shredder1223
Why would it be? I pick with my wrist, I don't anchor anywhere, and I relax my picking arm.

I don't anchor. But I'm not going to say that Petrucci has bad technique either.


No, he does have poor technique. He has mad chops, but chops and technique are two separate categories. Technique is defined as the way you do something, while chops are how well you can do it. I like to think that my technique is decent, but I'm not a great shredder or whatever.

There have been many people come on here and try to justify bad technique, whether it be theirs or their idol's. Every single time their closed-minded ideas are shot down with logic and physics. This time is no different.
#14
Quote by shredder1223
Why would it be? I pick with my wrist, I don't anchor anywhere, and I relax my picking arm.

I don't anchor. But I'm not going to say that Petrucci has bad technique either.

If you pick with just your wrist, your technique is flawed already
#15
I had a hard time understanding this thread, you basically made a thread to disagree with almost everything that was said in the sticky? Your arrogance astounds me.

I found the sticky extremely informative, I'm not saying it is the gospel obey it or die but why is it beyond you to use it as a guide for correct technique? Like many others around here I too have grown weary of the "X plays with anchoring so it must be good" etc statements made by people who quite frankly sound a little lazy to me to change their own technique.

I have not been playing for a great length of time (by some other players standards around here), just 4 years. In those 4 years I've encountered quite a few problems regarding picking (and plenty more to come im sure). Problems started out by not knowing how to hold a pick, then taking a long time to learn to alternate pick, then thinking I was progressing really well with alternate picking to find out later I was actually economy picking, watched tons of paul gilbert licks and really worked at alternate picking. Now i'm at a point where i'm reasonably happy with my progress but want to improve my technique so i'n starting again to break it down and see what can be improved upon.

(This is all aimed at ts)

Your posts seem very blunt and rude, you don't seem the type to take criticism or advice on board. Just to reinforce a point to anyone else who browses this thread, the sticky (compiled by i think both freepower and the shred if i'm correct) is really useful, give it a thorough read.
#16
Many professional guitarists have different technique than what you consider to be "correct technique."


So you can make money with incorrect technique. Tell Coldplay.


It comes down to music. If a guitarist plays they way he/she does because they like the tone they are getting from a technique, then who are you to tell them they are wrong?


I don't... That's exactly why I'm down with palm muting and not with anchoring. Most of the time the elements of a preferred tone are just as/more accessable with correct technique. Name one tonal effect that a guitarist can't get when not following what I would call correct technique.
When Michael Angelo Batio used to teach, he always used to say that there are many different ways to play, and ultimately it comes down to personal preference.


Vinnie Moore picks from the elbow, Rustly Cooley picks from a elbow sometimes and he has ridiculous chops. Chris Broderick anchors. John Petrucci anchors. Al Di Meola Anchors. Joe Satriani does a combo of both, Steve Vai occasionally anchors, MAB anchors, I could go on and on all day. Kevin Eubanks dosent even use a pick. Marty Friedmans picking hand is positioned weird.


Sure, but I can tell you why Marty's technique works, how MAB gets away so much with anchoring, and much more importantly, you actually don't have any reason to recommend anchoring other than that some players do it. Great. I have reasons for recommending unanchored. With simple, logical justifications that anyone can follow, question and analyse.

Can you actually tell me any reason why anyone should anchor? Hold their pick like Marty Freidman?

Then we have some kid with a guitar and webcam telling everyone that all those mentioned above do not have "correct technique."


Sure, based on principles that those players agree on, and simple physics and anatomy. If you can find a reasoned response to anything I've said on picking that would prove it anything but correct, I'd be suprised.

Would you expect any of those guys to be suprised they don't have perfect technique? They aren't getting butthurt over what I have to say, and they don't need to. What I always find funny is that people get so insulted on the behalf of various players because I say they don't have perfect technique - despite the fact that it's pretty obvious.

If you want to preach do "do whatever feels comfortable to you" you essentially enter a lottery. If you're lucky you do the right things and do well. If you get "comfortable" with really bad habits, you're totally ****ed. A particular regular of these forums used to actually anchor his right hand to the top of the neck of the guitar, IIRC, and was simply not corrected because his teachers fell into the "do what's comfortable" camp. Was he ever going to develop any picking skills like that? We both know the answer.
#17
I hate the do what is comfortable approach, I always gauged my picking technique on "If it's uncomfortable, you need to work until it's comfortable, and if it doesn't become comfortable after applying yourself, you're doing it wrong"
#19
Quote by shredder1223
Then we have some kid with a guitar and webcam telling everyone that all those mentioned above do not have "correct technique."


No, you have a guitar teacher with a webcam, several other guitar teachers who don't record themselves and a great many hugely skilled players telling you about incorrect technique and you denying it because you don't accept logic and valid points.
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#21
Quote by Freepower
^ chill out. I have some kid without a webcam telling me that some guys do have correct technique and that I'm just a kid with a webcam. Pretty funny, no?


I'm sure it was to begin with but after a while I just get fed up of people making wild claims and not listening to logic...


...I'll get my coat
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#22
You guys are hilarious. A bunch of teenagers that know EVERYTHING there is to know about guitar playing.

You definitely wouldn't know it if you heard their recordings though
#23
Quote by shredder1223
You guys are hilarious. A bunch of teenagers that know EVERYTHING there is to know about guitar playing.

You definitely wouldn't know it if you heard their recordings though


*isn't a teenager*

Have you actually tried thinking about the biomechanics of the whole thing? The second you actually apply logic to the whole argument you can clearly see that FPs FAQ makes sense.

Oh and try backing yourself up for once, attacking others is all very well and good but where are your recordings? At least have the testicular fortitude to put yourself out there as well.

Besides, I'm well aware that my technique is far from perfect but I'm working on it.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Dec 11, 2008,
#24
Quote by shredder1223
You guys are hilarious. A bunch of teenagers that know EVERYTHING there is to know about guitar playing.

You definitely wouldn't know it if you heard their recordings though

They try to help you. You insult them. They try to explain things to you more, then you insult them futher. If you know everything just leave. Go no one here will care if you play with terrible technique.
#25
Quote by shredder1223
You guys are hilarious. A bunch of teenagers that know EVERYTHING there is to know about guitar playing.

You definitely wouldn't know it if you heard their recordings though


Well, I'm not a teenager either, but anyway -

Talk all the smack you like. It's pretty clear to everyone that while I may be a "kid with a webcam" who "knows EVERYTHING there is to know about guitar playing" you are clearly a kid without a webcam (and I'd bet a teenager), who knows less and doesn't listen, and funnily enough, hasn't actually raised a single point on which he disagrees with me other than

Lots of professional guitarists don't do what you say, Freepower!


Well, whoop de ****ing doo. Why not? Should they? Maybe they're happy where they are. Maybe they can draw their own conclusions. That's all I'm asking anyone to do, and hence why I tend to present evidence and reasoning.

And as for the cheap shot with the "wouldn't know it if you heard the recordings", it turns out you DO have a webcam (apologies), and if you want start throwing **** around about people's playing I suggest you learn to play a little better. I'd actually be pretty happy to help if you want to upload a fresher vid.

Oh, that's right - that vids "ancient" and you've "improved so much since then". Perhaps some of the people you've just been slamming have as well?

Anyway, thanks for dropping the tone further. Try and keep it a little classier if you choose to respond.
#26
Shredder1223, first off, as I said in my above post (that everyone seems to have ignored ) I'd love critiques on my sweep picking writing that I've done. Then again, that's only if you actually make logical points with decent evidence/arguments/reasoning, which initially in this thread I thought you may have actually used, but you ended up resorting essentially to name calling and judgements about people you've never met and now next to nothing about.....
Last edited by TheShred201 at Dec 11, 2008,
#27
Quote by shredder1223
You guys are hilarious. A bunch of teenagers that know EVERYTHING there is to know about guitar playing.

You definitely wouldn't know it if you heard their recordings though


Why are getting so ****ty about this? There's some info in the sticky. Read it if you want, don't read it if you don't want. If it makes sense to you, use it. If it doesn't, then don't. Nobody's putting a gun to anybody's head here.

Besides, a lot of the material in the sticky has to deal with absolute principles, like avoiding tension, and playing with economy of motion. That stuff is pretty hard to argue against, regardless of how guitarist X plays. I don't think there's ever really a point in the sticky where it says "this exact way is the only way to play". The only things that are presented as absolutes are the underlying principles I just mentioned.