#1
When I have to pick fast, I always use my elbow. Unfortunately, when I have to pick fast on the 3 highest strings, I can't get my hand/elbow in the right position to pick cleanly. It's very frustrating and I can't figure out what I need to do to fix this problem. I'm hoping somebody would have some advice for me.
#2
work on using your wrist instead of your elbow, youll open up a new asshole of new stuff you can pull off
#3
Quote by XChainsawGorgeX
work on using your wrist instead of your elbow, youll open up a new asshole of new stuff you can pull off


Sounds good to me. Thanks.
#5
Pick only from your wrist, angle the pick, and don't anchor. Practice slowly then increase speed.
#6
Quote by Amer91
Pick only from your wrist, angle the pick, and don't anchor. Practice slowly then increase speed.


What do you mean by don't anchor?
#7
Quote by TheHardcoreKid
What do you mean by don't anchor?

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#8
Quote by TheHardcoreKid
What do you mean by don't anchor?


I mean don't place your picking hand on the guitar. Some people place their pinky and ring finger, or just their pinky on the guitar when they pick. This is generally not preferred. Just rest your palm on the bridge.
#9
Quote by Amer91
I mean don't place your picking hand on the guitar. Some people place their pinky and ring finger, or just their pinky on the guitar when they pick. This is generally not preferred. Just rest your palm on the bridge.

if there is no downward pressure, then it doesnt matter if he's touching the guitar. technically, resting your palm can be anchoring as well.
#10
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
if there is no downward pressure, then it doesnt matter if he's touching the guitar. technically, resting your palm can be anchoring as well.


Just to add to Blind's explanation here: It's ridiculously unorthodox to have any part of your hand touching the guitar if there's no apparent downward pressure. Okay, so there wasn't a guitar-playing version of Moses who rose to the top of a mountain and had ten commandments of guitar playing instated (forgive me if I'm wrong about making a religious idiom, since I ain't even religious!). Nothing's set in stone, but it's just weird in any case.

Even still.. if you did have your hand on the bridge very lightly or have your fingers lightly centered on the body (whereas lightly = no pressure whatsoever), you'd still be locking up your wrist or creating tension in your muscles. That warrants a significant blow to picking speed. And if that really isn't true, I'd still avoid said habits just because of paranoia.
Last edited by HoffManCometh at Aug 15, 2009,
#11
Really, guys? It would be a lot easier if this argument didn't spring up every time we have a new guy asking about his picking technique. Anchoring may or may not be dangerous to do (I'm going to be as neutral as possible here), but it doesn't improve anyone's technique, especially not TC's technique, for us to belabor the same points over and over again. It helps some people (at least as far as they can tell) and others call it wrong (I haven't seen any medical professionals chiming in, at least no one who can show certification).

TC, if you rest your hand on the guitar, try to limit that as much as possible. I find it easiest to pick from my wrist and rest my hand on the bridge. This is especially useful when playing on higher strings, since I'm preventing lower strings from ringing out while I'm try to play stuff up on the e-string and B-string. Your elbow is good for big movements like full chords and, if you learn them, 5 and 6 string sweeps. Your wrist is much better at making the small, economical movements that are the basis of good picking.
#12
Yeah, I'd go with Geldin on this one. The palm on the bridge prevents unwanted strings from ringing which frees up your fretting hand to "get on with it". Whether you go with "lightly resting" your palm or just "resting" your palm there's going to be pressure anyway. Use your palm, its your friend .

Using your elbow to go really fast actually creates jerky movements in your picking strokes, making them sound highly uneven. No matter how fast you think you sound, its gonna be sloppy. Oh, I almost forgot. You can damage your elbow this way (that famous tennis elbow comes to mind).

When I pick from string to string, the blade of my palm basically flows from string to string which is not being used. Frank Gambale does it when he sweeps and picks his ridiculously fast scales. Its a string mute you have to get a hold of. Coming back up to the bass strings is easy as the index finger mutes the high strings not in use. Teamwork pays off, best way to think about it.

There is nothing worse than pain or tiredness from playing. Economy of motion comes into the picture with the athletic analogy where you are sprinting (using your elbow for the high string quick parts) when you are meant to do the comrades (playing a song without the need to take a breather). Lay your palm blade across the saddles and let your hand get accustomed to where the strings are. Yes, its basic but its necessary to re-train yourself. Play 4 16th notes per open string, unmuted as well as muted. This way you get to move fluidly over time. And, your pick will definitely get to the treble strings and your elbow can relax.

I hope this helps you
#13
Quote by HoffManCometh
Just to add to Blind's explanation here: It's ridiculously unorthodox to have any part of your hand touching the guitar if there's no apparent downward pressure.
Are you suggesting he floats his hand in the air? Because that to me would be extremely unorthodox.

And I hate when people make arguments like I'm about to because they don't mean anything, but I've played with my hand muting at the bridge for a long time and I've had zero wrist (or other) problems. I've tried to float my hand before but it just feels wrong every time, I tense up.

Just doesn't make sense to me.
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Last edited by ramm_ty at Aug 15, 2009,
#14
Quote by ramm_ty
Are you suggesting he floats his hand in the air? Because that to me would be extremely unorthodox.

And I hate when people make arguments like I'm about to because they don't mean anything, but I've played with my hand muting at the bridge for a long time and I've had zero wrist (or other) problems. I've tried to float my hand before but it just feels wrong every time, I tense up.

Just doesn't make sense to me.


My hand floats over the guitar and I have a lot less problems than I did when I anchored. Honestly man, to each his own: if you don't think you'll get wrist problems and can keep on going on the way you do, just do it. I just personally think that if the majority is saying that you're better off with your picking hand hanging above the guitar, then you should play it safe and listen.

Others are just stubborn in the way they do things and get by further than those who don't anchor.
Last edited by HoffManCometh at Aug 15, 2009,
#15
Jeff Healey plays his guitar like a piano, this other guy plays guitar with his feet and is famous for doing so. I don't think arguing anchoring is really necessary.
#16
Quote by evolucian
Yeah, I'd go with Geldin on this one. The palm on the bridge prevents unwanted strings from ringing which frees up your fretting hand to "get on with it". Whether you go with "lightly resting" your palm or just "resting" your palm there's going to be pressure anyway. Use your palm, its your friend .

Using your elbow to go really fast actually creates jerky movements in your picking strokes, making them sound highly uneven. No matter how fast you think you sound, its gonna be sloppy. Oh, I almost forgot. You can damage your elbow this way (that famous tennis elbow comes to mind).

When I pick from string to string, the blade of my palm basically flows from string to string which is not being used. Frank Gambale does it when he sweeps and picks his ridiculously fast scales. Its a string mute you have to get a hold of. Coming back up to the bass strings is easy as the index finger mutes the high strings not in use. Teamwork pays off, best way to think about it.

There is nothing worse than pain or tiredness from playing. Economy of motion comes into the picture with the athletic analogy where you are sprinting (using your elbow for the high string quick parts) when you are meant to do the comrades (playing a song without the need to take a breather). Lay your palm blade across the saddles and let your hand get accustomed to where the strings are. Yes, its basic but its necessary to re-train yourself. Play 4 16th notes per open string, unmuted as well as muted. This way you get to move fluidly over time. And, your pick will definitely get to the treble strings and your elbow can relax.

I hope this helps you


It should help quite a bit. Thanks.
#17
Quote by HoffManCometh
My hand floats over the guitar and I have a lot less problems than I did when I anchored. Honestly man, to each his own: if you don't think you'll get wrist problems and can keep on going on the way you do, just do it. I just personally think that if the majority is saying that you're better off with your picking hand hanging above the guitar, then you should play it safe and listen.

Others are just stubborn in the way they do things and get by further than those who don't anchor.
Who is suggesting a floating hand?
Quote by TGautier13
Because e-cred on a sub-par 4Chan knockoff forum is what everyone strives to achieve.
We believe - so we're misled
We assume - so we're played
We confide - so we're deceived
We trust - so we're betrayed