ok so i've been playing casually for a while and now want to get serious, two unrelated questions:

1. i want to pick up my speed when i pick. should i pick by keeping my arm straight and picking by rotating my arm and wrist (no movement at the elbow)? or should i keep my arm and wrist straight and pick by moving my arm up and down (elbow movement)? i can't think of a better way to describe it but try to visualize it

2. i am working on scales and trying to improve my pinky. when i am playing the parts of the scale on the lower strings (E, A, D) my pinky always touches the higher strings; i cant seem to consistently hit the string cleanly without touching other strings and having my pinky lay kind of flat across the others. my question is is this normal? if not, any specific tips to improve? thanks
Use your wrist for sure you can alt pick with your arm but your arm is gonna wear out pretty quick so use your wrist
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i used my arm (elbow) for the longest time (2years) and i aws really fast, but recently i switched to wrist and it sucks, i am so slow, like 150bpm 16ths.
i think write is the proper way, cuz like when yuor playing on stage it will save you a lot of energy.
there are many successful guitar players that play each way that u are talking about, in the end its up to you on how yuo want to play.
ps. using your wrist looks better imo.

for ur second question. just slow down and practice not hitting the strings. thats the only thing you can do,. or mute it totally when you are playing the higher strings.
all i can say is do whats feels comfortable and slow down. even tho i suggest using your wrist. it makes it lots easier to play faster once you get used to it
1) No, don't move your whole arm. Use your wrist or your fingers to move.

2) Yeah just do exercises to strengthen it. This video is a pretty good exercise. Or you can make up one... try to switch strings a lot, and stretch the pinky at least 3 frets.

3) Try to make the smallest movement possible to tremolo/speed pick. Research into speed picking and alternate picking techniques. Also watch "Speed Kills" by Michael Angelo Batio.
It doesn't really matter where you pick from, what matters is that you don't change the angle of your pick while you're playing.
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I guess if you brace your thumb on the back of the neck, it'll help keep you pinkey more in line with your other fingers. The major scale was useful to me on using my pinkey more.

Then again, I have large hands.
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yes, learning the major scale is great for the pinky

harmonic minor even better
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there's no right or wrong, using your wrist is just healthier

for the other question, how fast are you practicing?

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yes, learning the major scale is great for the pinky

harmonic minor even better

only if you nailed major, harmonic minor has some ankward stretches
If you want to speed pick, just use your wrist. Don't move your whole arm. Speed picking is till impossible for me to do, but I know that is how one would do it.