#1
Hi, I'm new here and have been playing for about a 10 months now and I'd like to try and increase my right hand speed because I think it would help me to expand the range of things I can play. For example, I can play Scuttle Buttlin' by Stevie Ray Vaughan at half speed and I've been practicing it for a while now but I still can't play it any faster than I could before. Any tips?
#2
Slow, and gradually speed up... alot of people will say use a metronome. Try the 21 day challenge at sticky.
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#3
If you're into SRV try playing Dirty Pool, since that's really fast alternate picked chords all the way through (with a couple small solo fills). Might be a bit of a challenge for you at this point, but challenging yourself is one of the fastest ways to improve.

And yeah, as everyone says, practice makes perfect and all that, so just keep at it and you're sure to gradually build up speed.

ps: kudos for giving scuttle buttin' a go :]
Last edited by pete-c at Jun 25, 2009,
#4
DeadlyDevil: Probably is the best way but it seems boring. What's the 21 day challenge?

Pete: Isn't the technique for fast strumming different to single note picking?
#5
Barely, you're just hitting more strings, muting the ones you don't need when necessary.

Random hint for fast chord strums though while i'm at it, SRV strummed above the neck itself when playing most of Dirty Pool, since there's less space for your pick to get caught on each string as it passes it, which makes it easier to pick faster.

That doesn't really apply for single string alternate picking though, but I thought i'd throw it in. :P
#7
Often the problem players experience when the say they can't pick fast enough isn't so much raw speed, its synchronization between the picking and fretting hand.

For example, most players can tremolo pick an open E string very fast, yet can't get near that speed when playing actual music.

Of course, if you can't tremolo pick quickly, that's where you should start. The best thing to do for an exercise would be simple open string 8th and 16th notes, bringing the speed up with a metronome over time. This will make your raw right hand speed quicker on a single string, and you can worry about everything else later on once this is sorted.

However, if your problem is the much more common one of synchronization, for picking exercises you really can't go past Paul Gilbert style alternate picking exercises.

For these and some other general exercises do a search for Eric Vandenberg's 'The Art of Picking' articles. A lot of work, but worth it - because they are so general and simple they help improve your ability all round, provided you do work on them and get them down correctly.
Roberto Moretti - Author of 'Practice Made Perfect: How Anyone Can Master Anything Quicker, Easier and Better than Ever'
Last edited by Moretti at Jun 25, 2009,
#8
Quote by Moretti
Of course, if you can't tremolo pick quickly, that's where you should start. The best thing to do for an exercise would be simple open string 8th and 16th notes, bringing the speed up with a metronome over time. This will make your raw right hand speed quicker on a single string, and you can worry about everything else later on once this is sorted.


Why would you want to develop things seperately when the eventual goal is a combined effort? It makes much more sense to me to develop both things simultaneously so it takes much less time.

Practice the way and things you want to play first and foremost.


TS: You'll also want to work on your economy of motion, a lot of the problems people have are often from just moving their hands too much, go and watch Freepower's lessons on finger independence and correct practice on youtube; you can find links to them in his sig on here I do believe.
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#9
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Why would you want to develop things seperately when the eventual goal is a combined effort? It makes much more sense to me to develop both things simultaneously so it takes much less time.


This conversation has already taken place a short while ago in some other thread, but I agree with training raw right hand speed to an extent. I used to be able to pick through string-changing licks faster than I could tremolo pick on one string. It wasn't until I actually focused solely on my right hand that my single-string picking speed came up to par with my string-changing/3nps-type licks. Now that I have more control over my right hand as a whole, I don't spend nearly as much time focused solely on it as I did before, but I still think that it's not a bad idea to spend some time focused on your right hand.

Logically it seems like training both together would be the most efficient, but when I got so used to having my fretting fingers moving while picking, I simply could not pick when I wasn't fretting anything. While some of this may be an entirely personal matter with how your brain works with overcoming obstacles and mental blocks, I don't doubt that this applies to some other people as well.
#10
Good point Zaphod, both approaches will work.

That said, depending on one's level of skill oftentimes you really need to focus only on small chunks of skill in order to reach a high level of perfection in each.

If you can do both at the same time to a high degree of perfection then by all means go ahead, but there is a fine line between playing things as they ultimately will be played and presenting your mind with too much data - which will only reinforce imperfection and not necessarily allow you to build skill.

To increase ability in specific things a great deal, you often need to get very specific and devote your entire focus to that.

It doesn't actually take longer as you'd think, the increased focus means you will actually get it fixed much sooner, and likely to a much higher rate of perfection. Devoting your entire focus to one thing will often allow you to be able to do it much better than you ever could by only practicing it with everything else at the same time.

If you do two things at once and they are at the right level for you to process based on your previous level of skill and what you have selected to work on it will work great, but often this isn't the case and overload happens.

All I'm saying is, why walk that fine line when you could do it the way that guarantees results?

The two at once method diverts a lot of your focus to synchronization (integration), and away from allowing you to fix your individual hands.

So rather than,

25% right hand focus, 25% left hand focus , 50% of your focus to integrate.

Which very likely is too much for your focus to process with a high degree of perfection....

100% right hand (will improve much quicker and with more perfection)
then Integrate (in which case there is less for you to focus on as you have other areas sorted, thus allowing more perfect performance).

Of course, we are splitting hairs here but I love discussing the science of these sort of things
Roberto Moretti - Author of 'Practice Made Perfect: How Anyone Can Master Anything Quicker, Easier and Better than Ever'
Last edited by Moretti at Jun 25, 2009,
#11
Well, I can tremolo pick but what usually slows me down the most is the string skipping aspect. I think I will try practicing using both hands because it seems to make more sense to me.

Moretti: I'll look up some of those excersises. Thanks!

Another question. Will anchoring slow me down? Because I'm not sure if I anchor or not because apparently there are all sorts of different types of anchoring.
#12
i anchor when needed. you gotta utilize all options of picking and movement to get nice accurate speed. i.e. my hand floats when doing black metal type of grind riffs, but when i play chunky rhythms with a quick run somewhere in it i anchor on the run. i practice by writing something i have a problem with whether is 1-4-2-3 or 3-1-4-2 then work it inot a 4 string excercise and practice faster and faster, but dont go faster til its clean and consistent.
#13
Quote by Moretti
*text*


Now that's a reply! This forum needs more people like you man I understand exactly what you mean and it makes perfect sense... I might go do some picking hand only workouts now actually, I know I have some very specific problems with it...

Quote by danzx
Will anchoring slow me down?


Not if you get it right but chance are you won't so don't risk it basically. The main problems with anchoring are that it tends to introduce more tension into your hand/arm and it more often than not restricts the movement of your picking hand; if you can anchor and be absolutely sure that neither of these things are happening then by all means go ahead but as a technique to help I would never advise it.
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#14
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Now that's a reply! This forum needs more people like you man I understand exactly what you mean and it makes perfect sense... I might go do some picking hand only workouts now actually, I know I have some very specific problems with it...


No probs at all mate, appreciate it.
Roberto Moretti - Author of 'Practice Made Perfect: How Anyone Can Master Anything Quicker, Easier and Better than Ever'
#15
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr

Not if you get it right but chance are you won't so don't risk it basically. The main problems with anchoring are that it tends to introduce more tension into your hand/arm and it more often than not restricts the movement of your picking hand; if you can anchor and be absolutely sure that neither of these things are happening then by all means go ahead but as a technique to help I would never advise it.

Depends what you're used to. I can't imagine tremolo picking with a floating hand. For me, anchoring helped me a great deal when it comes to all the right hand techniques. And yes, anchoring perhaps introduces more tension, but only when you're new to the technique. As you play anchored and it becomes completely natural to you, your hand won't feel forced to anchor anymore, and you will anchor with minimal muscle tension, which will leave you with many benefits of anchoring. I prefer anchoring for melodies, I de-anchor only when playing chords (not powerchords) and sweep pick (sometimes, not always).
#16
Quote by lockdown91

-your hand won't feel forced to anchor anymore
-I can't imagine tremolo picking with a floating hand


Kinda sounds like you are forced to anchor. Correct me if I am misunderstanding though.

Quote by lockdown91

For me, anchoring helped me a great deal when it comes to all the right hand techniques.


I'm curious to know what ways.

inb4 "it acts as a reference point, allows me to pick more accurately, controls my spastic arm, my guitar heroes anchor and therefore I anchor etc."

Quote by lockdown91

And yes, anchoring perhaps introduces more tension, but only when you're new to the technique.


It's more along the lines of: it indroduces more tension at first, and still causes more tension later on, only now you're so used to the tension that your mind dismisses it. It's still there though.

Quote by lockdown91

As you play anchored and it becomes completely natural to you your hand won't feel forced to anchor anymore, and you will anchor with minimal muscle tension, which will leave you with many benefits of anchoring.


Why not float and play with less than 'minimal tension' and enjoy the many benefits of not anchoring?
#18
what ive been doing, and it has worked over about 3 weeks with 30-an hour alt' picking


1-2-3-4
           ---------            1-2-3-4
                      4-3-2-1
                                  -----------
                                                4-3-2-1  etc.


up and down the neck, once youve got the hang of it. Ive been doing that for like 3 weeks and plan to keep on doing it everyday...when youre bored..watching tv etc

It'll workXD