#1
About a year and a half ago I stopped anchoring and started to rebuilding my picking technique. I feel like I've made very little progress with the amount of time I've put in. I put in on average an hour a day sitting in front of the metronome. My max a year ago was about 120bpm 16th notes, I can now play 16th notes at around 130 after about an hour of playing.

Its so annoying, all my other techniques are up there. I can sweep much faster and cleaner than i can alternate pick. It just seems like I can't figure out how to improve my right hand, I've read every article there is out there. Nothing seems to be working.

I feel a weird change in my right hand when i go from playing on lower strings to higher ones. Like when i play on the low E A and D string my palms kinda sits on the edge of the tremolo then when i go to the higher strings it kinda slides up on top of the tremolo.

This is so frustrating any advice would be highly appreciated, thank you for reading.
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
Last edited by woodsballplayer at Jan 10, 2010,
#2
10 bpm over 18 months is a fairly small increase in speed (unless you were already really fast begin with), so I think you are right, there is definately a problem in your technique somewhere.

We need more info, though, to really help. What "breaks" when you try to go faster? e.g. hands getting out of sync, tensing up with your right hand/arm, loss of picking accuracy, etc.

Can you pick a lot faster than that on one string, but not over many?

Have you analyzed where your picking motion is coming from (wrist vs elbow)? It should be 90% wrist, except for strumming.

Quote by woodsballplayer

I feel a weird change in my right hand when i go from playing on lower strings to higher ones. Like when i play on the low E A and D string my palms kinda sits on the edge of the tremolo then when i go to the higher strings it kinda slides up on top of the tremolo.


Is the angle of your wrist changing a great deal as you go from the low to high strings? That could be part of the problem - you need to use a little bit of elbow to "lower" your hand from string to string, so that you wrist angle can remain similar regardless of which string you are playing on.

Anyway, let me know more and I'll offer some suggestions if I can.
#3
My picking motion pretty much comes from all my wrist. My arm moves my hand down or up when changing strings or strumming. I have pretty big hands so there isn't a ton of movement from my arm. My forearm does not rest on the body of the guitar, the only point where my right arm assembly touches the guitar is my palm. I don't really put too much pressure on it, it just feels comfortable to me. I could play without touching the guitar at all, it'd just feel a little weird. I use hard picks, just throwing that out there.

When i begin to break up pretty much everything you mentioned happens. First my right hand tenses and starts doing unorthodox stuff to continue picking. My hands go out of sync and i loose it.

I actually find picking crazy patterns at lower speeds much easier then linear runs at higher speeds. When i stay on one string for a while i start to loose my timing.

I can pick above 130, just for a beat or two pretty easily, the problem occurs when i want to do a longer run. Ahhhh This problem is so annoying. If there is anything else I could provide you with (videos, pics) that'd help you give me some type of help with this I'll gladly do it.

Thanks for your time
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
#4
That sounds really familiar..I struggle with that problem too, much less so than I used to, but that problem isn't eliminated from my playing by a long shot. I can still go much faster for short bursts than I can for extended solos.

The thing I tried that helped was to get a simple lick or pattern that was loopable and go at it steadily for a minute or a minute and a half at a time as one continuous loop. I'd do that at slow to medium speeds and just build up those reps of steady even picking. That won't necessarily increase your picking speed in itself, but it will help work out a lot of picking demons so that when you later start working on building the tempo, things will hold together better.
#5
You probably DO NOT want to hear this, but I think you are going to have to take it back down to ~100 BPM and really hone in on your picking movements. Seriously, isolate everything and remember to relax. Keep the movements small, and make sure you can pick at the speed for 3-5 minutes (not necessarily all at once, rather with short breaks to relieve natural tension)...then, and only then, up the speed if you are comfortable and relaxed

remember, rome wasn't built in a day.
Quote by Junior#1
Gilbert mutes with both hands. Palm muting and left hand muting. As for anchoring, he doesn't. He doesn't need to. After all, he's the creator of life, the universe, and everything.
#6
have you tried picking lighter and/or moving your elbow down a little furthur on the body?
Try it

Aaron
#7
Quote by plainsight
You probably DO NOT want to hear this, but I think you are going to have to take it back down to ~100 BPM and really hone in on your picking movements. Seriously, isolate everything and remember to relax. Keep the movements small, and make sure you can pick at the speed for 3-5 minutes (not necessarily all at once, rather with short breaks to relieve natural tension)...then, and only then, up the speed if you are comfortable and relaxed

remember, rome wasn't built in a day.

This.

Also, do you use strict alternate picking? If you do I'd recommend you learn directional (a.k.a. economy) picking. After you spend the week to get used to it, it will increase your picking speed immensely.
#8
I'm willing to take any criticism any can put out there. I have alot of determination to be better and my hours of practice don't seem to be playing off. I agree with you guys about playing slower, I've tried to make my picking motions smaller but it tough.

It's hard to judge when i should move on with the next tempo when I'm playing something so easy. I want to make my movements smaller but I can no idea when my body registers "this is the way it has to be from now on" Like I'll sit there focussing on picking smaller and more efficient then I'll completely loose it when i stop thinking about it. I;m not sure if I'm making sense here haha
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
#9
you need to just play and practice solo's and scale improvising. don't sit hours for a metronome
#10
besides what is already written, i feel a lot of negative mental energy, self feedback is something else than self criticism; you use words like frustrating and annoying, that is something you gotta get rid of too. And don't try too hard, an athlete practices for 90% on slow paces. Constantly trying to break your personal bests is not the way; i am familiar with both, guitar and long distance running;-) Running is easier tho, haha
#11
haha thank you for the answers guys. I was beginning to think the problem was I don't eat enough protein to build the muscles That'll be the day. "Make sure you eat your eggs while practicing legatto or it won't stick with you"

I'ma going to go give what you guys suggest another shot and i'll tell you how it goes. thanks
Whats the longest word?


Quote by timzee117
smiles

because theres a mile between the two s's!


/killme
#12
Quote by chrisweyers
This.

Also, do you use strict alternate picking? If you do I'd recommend you learn directional (a.k.a. economy) picking. After you spend the week to get used to it, it will increase your picking speed immensely.


This won't inherently help, economy picking won't increase the basic ceiling that is your picking speed on one string. While economy picking may be, in theory, faster it isn't enough to actually make a practical difference as long as you practice your chosen picking method well enough.

TS needs to slow down and work on his economy of motion, getting rid of all the excess tension in his hand/wrist/arm and such.
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