#1
What are some ways to tremolo pick faster?

Right now I use Dunlop 1.00MM Big Stubby picks, and my strings are 10's.

When I tremolo pick, I pick as close to the bridge as I can, and have my pick at a 45 degree angle. I can so far play this continuing riff between 200 and 250 BPM:


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-----12-14-15-14-12-14-15-14-12-15-14---------------
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I would like some tips to help speed up my picking besides to "practice". I practice tremolo picking a lot. Is there any subtle things I can do, like change my hand position, or pick angle?

Thank you to those who actually help.
#2
How is your arm moving? If the movement is coming primarily or completely from your forearm/elbow, try using your wrist. With sufficient (read: enormous amounts of) practice, one can play tremolo passages purely with the wrist.
#4
Do it slowly with a metronome at a slow tempo, and gradually increase tempo as you feel you've improved at the tempo you're currently on
Gear:
2011 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2012 Tanglewood TW170

Boss Katana 100w 1x112
Line 6 HD500
#6
Take it slow, you'll like it more and more.

Patience is a virtue!
Gear:
2011 Fender American Standard Stratocaster
2012 Tanglewood TW170

Boss Katana 100w 1x112
Line 6 HD500
#7
200-250 bpm (I'm guessing your talking about 16th's right?) is plenty fast. The real hard work is getting to where you can get even remotely close to that speed across multiple strings. I'm not exaggerating - getting a reasonably difficult lick that crosses multiple strings up to 150 bpm takes literally about 10 times the practice that it takes to get a 1 string lick up to 200-250. That's where I'd spend the bulk of my time.
#8
I can actually do 2 and 3 string licks at around 230 sometimes. There are times where I can't always get to that speed, but I can always do 150 to 200 BPM. I am talking 16ths.
#9
Now, are you talking CLEAN 16ths? Or are you talking "gain at 10, pick and fret as fast as you can" 16ths?
#11
Quote by timeconsumer09
Now, are you talking CLEAN 16ths? Or are you talking "gain at 10, pick and fret as fast as you can" 16ths?


That would be an opinion thing. I do have a fair amount of gain, and would say it sounds clean, and the notes can be heard clearly. If it's the timing you're talking about, I played it along with Power Tab, and seemed to play every note the same time it did. Also, it would be 16 notes per second.
#12
Quote by Will Swanson
Also, it would be 16 notes per second.
Phew! Thanks, excuse the brain-fart moment
#13
Quote by zhilla
Phew! Thanks, excuse the brain-fart moment

It's ok, I did it too.

Thought we had a new record holder or something.
#14
Quote by Will Swanson
That would be an opinion thing. I do have a fair amount of gain, and would say it sounds clean, and the notes can be heard clearly. If it's the timing you're talking about, I played it along with Power Tab, and seemed to play every note the same time it did. Also, it would be 16 notes per second.


"Clean" isn't a matter of opinion. I suggest your remove the gain and record yourself playing to a metronome like that. Then you can really judge if you're being clean and accurate. It's really hard to judge your own timing/playing while you're doing it, so record and be critical of yourself. If there's spots where you hear your timing isn't perfect (and yes, I mean perfect), then you need to slow down and work on your technique more. Not to say you can't go faster, but slow and sloppy sped up = fast and sloppy, which nobody wants to listen to.
#15
Quote by zhilla
Hang on, wouldn't 16ths at 240bpm be 64nps?


Fourth notes at 240 bpm = 4nps
eight = 8 nps
16ths = 16 nps
#16
By clean, I thought you meant tone-wise. I should try the recording thing. I do find it quite a bit harder without any gain whatsoever.
#17
Quote by Will Swanson
By clean, I thought you meant tone-wise. I should try the recording thing. I do find it quite a bit harder without any gain whatsoever.


Yeah, by clean I mean clean technique, i.e. no unwanted noise, and very articulate notes. Everything should be the same difficulty clean or distorted, if you find it harder to do clean, it's because your technique is probably lacking and not because your clean channel makes you miss notes.
#19
Jusy have to relax a bit more so you don't have to pick harder, then the speed will come.

When I play my fastest, I feal the loosest.
#20
Quote by Will Swanson
Well, it's because I need to pick harder when playing clean, which takes away from the speed.


That, or you could turn the volume up....
#22
You should try the tremolo picking part in Mr Crowleys second solo, and record it if you can
#24
Quote by Will Swanson
http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/Will+Swanson/music/all/play658381

Alright, I just recorded this at 200 BPM. It's the one titled "Picking". It's not much, but would that be your idea of clean?


It's fast, but speed doesn't really mean much if you can't go that speed while transitioning to different strings.

But so far you are headed in the right direction. I string speed is a step in the right direction for speed over multiple strings.
#25
IIt's not much, but would that be your idea of clean?


Absolutely not. There's no definition to the notes at all, timing isn't even, the gain is doing all the work and you aren't cleanly fretting the notes.

You need to start paying very close attention to details, stop focusing on speed (dead end practice goal) and start practicing things that cross multiple strings and move through positions.

Anyone can "bluff" patterns like that at ridiculous speeds. Very few people can pick cleanly through even vaguely challenging material at that speed.
#26
I guess I'll stop going for speed then. I intended this thread to simply help speed up my tremolo picking, as in repetitively picking one single note, but it turned into a thread about my overall picking.
Last edited by Will Swanson at Jul 16, 2009,
#27
^^^ The point is, there's no point in getting insanely fast picking if it sounds like crap, and it's the only thing you can do. Speed is a by-product of accuracy.