#1
Were you always able to alternate pick fast? When you started were you able to play as fast as you can now, just very sloppily and did the practice just clean it up? Or were you only able to pick slowly and after practice you were eventually able to alternate pick faster and faster?
#2
It just comes with time. When I started I could move my hand as fast as I can now but when it's just a sloppy mess I don't consider that playing. That's just making noise.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#3
To be honest, in the first week or so of picking up the guitar, I realized that I could pick down AND up, and I thought I had invented the technique. It came surprisingly easy to me.
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#4
Everyone learns differently, but work imput ALWAYS = quality output
I'mma shark in the water yep I swim with the big
So I don't have time to deal with Willy the squid
#5
I played guitar hero a LONGASS time before I played guitar, so the "picking" skills grew on me.
NT

BE QUICK OR BE DEAD SON
#6
Were you always able to alternate pick fast?
Definitely not

When you started were you able to play as fast as you can now, just very sloppily and did the practice just clean it up? Or were you only able to pick slowly and after practice you were eventually able to alternate pick faster and faster?
I'm not certain, I managed to pick quickly by tensing up my elbow and kind of spazzing at the strings but I had absolutely 0 control and have no idea what speed that was at. After I begun working with correct technique it was a fairly slow progression towards gaining enough control over my picking to get fast; definitely worth the effort though. An odd thing I found was that I had the most trouble progressing beyond 16th notes at 140bpm but once I'd beaten that I fairly flew through the speeds until just over 200bpm which, again, took some heavy practising to get beyond.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#7
Quote by Aleksi
Were you always able to alternate pick fast?
Definitely not

When you started were you able to play as fast as you can now, just very sloppily and did the practice just clean it up? Or were you only able to pick slowly and after practice you were eventually able to alternate pick faster and faster?
I'm not certain, I managed to pick quickly by tensing up my elbow and kind of spazzing at the strings but I had absolutely 0 control and have no idea what speed that was at. After I begun working with correct technique it was a fairly slow progression towards gaining enough control over my picking to get fast; definitely worth the effort though. An odd thing I found was that I had the most trouble progressing beyond 16th notes at 140bpm but once I'd beaten that I fairly flew through the speeds until just over 200bpm which, again, took some heavy practising to get beyond.


yeah like that, one of the first things i learn't was the opening riff of angle of death, i've always been able to play fast, just when i stared i was really shit and hit every other string around me.
#8
when i started out, i played stuff like slayer on acoustic, so when it came to electric which was two years later, i already had "ok" technique.
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you spelt colors wrong


Tweet me bro.
#10
Started ok speed but not so accurate especially changing strings. Then I slowed it down, made very small movements and practiced like that and it got much better.
#11
Were you always able to alternate pick fast?


No, and no-one can.

When you started were you able to play as fast as you can now, just very sloppily and did the practice just clean it up?


That's just a description of "elbow spazz picking" - it's not useful in any significant real musical contexts.

Or were you only able to pick slowly and after practice you were eventually able to alternate pick faster and faster?


Pretty much describes it. Picking takes a lot of work to get good at, there's a lot to it - and obviously the left hand needs to be totally together as well as the right.
#12
When I started playing back in the mid-70s, I was into bluegrass and alternate picking was "it". Hehe- when I first started it was all I could do to throw a 3 or 4-note bass run into a measure and stay in time.
Many years down the pike, I don't even think about it.
#13
Quote by Freepower
Picking takes a lot of work to get good at, there's a lot to it - and obviously the left hand needs to be totally together as well as the right.


No shit. Six months of pretty hard work and i'm seeing very small improvements.
#14
Hmm...When I think back.

I was alternate picking, at a fair speed. Then this one day I just decided to move my picking hand faster and forced my fingers to keep up with it. It was sloppy as hell but it improved, and I'm able to play fast. But not super ****ing fast though.

That was the day I began shredding.
Turtles R awesome. dont agree? YOU GO TO HELL, YOU GO TO HELL AND YOU DIE!


PSN: Purple-munky

Gear...
Ion - acoustic guitar.
Cort KX1Q - i smashed it
Fender Super Champ XD 15w
Stagg G-310 - i smashed it.
#16
Quote by blankoff
when i started out, i played stuff like slayer on acoustic, so when it came to electric which was two years later, i already had "ok" technique.


Please, no, you can't actually like St. Anger. I really hope that you keep that in your profile for the sole purpose of making people uncomfortable, because I'm seriously about to cry over the possibility that a single person in this entire universe takes that god-forbidden album seriously.
Don your antithesis spectacle, your backwards monocle, and traipse forward to victory.
#17
Quote by ProjectileQuiet
Please, no, you can't actually like St. Anger. I really hope that you keep that in your profile for the sole purpose of making people uncomfortable, because I'm seriously about to cry over the possibility that a single person in this entire universe takes that god-forbidden album seriously.


1. what's that got to do with the thread?
2.Just because you don't like it doesn't mean others don't.
Quote by uk.mace
This man is smart.

Quote by guitar-guy69
you spelt colors wrong


Tweet me bro.
#18
Quote by thamason69
...one of the first things i learn't was the opening riff of angle of death...


Is that a 90 degree wrist angle, by any chance?

...but seriously, thrash metal is great for building up picking speed!
#19
Were you always able to alternate pick fast?
Nope, I couldn't even get the freaking guitar tuned right XD let alone trying to pick fast


When you started were you able to play as fast as you can now, just very sloppily and did the practice just clean it up?
Everyone starts a bit sloppy, but in time it gets cleaned up. The main thing with alternative picking is making sure that you have a good muting technique and accuracy. Which took me a heck of a long time to do because I wanted to be Karl Sanders from Nile my first week of playing. XD Boy was I wrong

Or were you only able to pick slowly and after practice you were eventually able to alternate pick faster and faster?
Basically sums it up. I found a video on youtube on speed picking (the guy looks like Borat) which helped me out a bit. and i learned the Aminor pentatonic box while doing so.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zhgeu6rwVE
started with 2 notes per string, then went up to 3 notes per string. Currently working on 4 notes (but that is another story for another time )
#21
Let me be more specific about how bad my alternate picking is. The actual alternate picking technique is flawless up until 16th notes over 90 bpm, then it breaks down. This is ridiculously slow. I guess I'm kind of worried that there is something wrong with me, physically. I've mentioned in another thread that people who don't even play guitar can alternate pick faster then that. Every guitarist I've ever met can at least tremolo pick one note faster than (usually WAY faster than) 16th's at 90bpm. I cannot tremolo pick beyond 16th notes at 90 bpm (not even sloppily, my hand just doesn't go that fast). I've been playing guitar off and on for 35 years, so it is not a muscle memory thing.

I think what it might be is that I've not actually been PRACTICING guitar for 35 years. I basically play it for about a year, put it down for 3 to 5 years, pick it up again and play it for between 3 months and 6 months, put it down again for 3 to 5 years and then pick it up again for another few months. So it likely has a lot to do with not practicing consistently over years.

However, I do practice consistently over the months that I DO play the thing. This time, I"m going to try to practice consistently for 1 year straight, at least 2 hours/day and if I cannot breach the 16th notes at 90bpm wall with one year's worth of consistent practice, I'm giving up.

I have to mention here that it has been pointed out in other threads of this type that you "can't practice simply to build speed or you'll never get fast". I disagree with this statement. Playing fast is a physical activity and like any physical activity, repetition should improve performance--unless you simply don't have the genetics.
#22
Were you always able to alternate pick fast?
no, i completely didn't have control the first time i tried alternate picking

When you started were you able to play as fast as you can now, just very sloppily and did the practice just clean it up?
lol i agree with "elbow-spazz" as a beginner i always had that urge to go faster and faster excluding the fact that i cant actually play it clean. around the first year i got up to 16th notes 170-180bpm, and that was just pure slop. i had to completely go back down and clean it all up. like i think over a year and a half i was finally picking clean and now im pushing towards 210-220bpm. it takes a "while" to get that sync between your right hand and left hand. but when you do, oh damn its just f-awsome.


Or were you only able to pick slowly and after practice you were eventually able to alternate pick faster and faster?

consistent practice and do not increase the tempo until you can just do it effortlessly like until its a muscle memory . think of it like working out; you don't wanna increase weights until you adapt to the current one or else you'll just hurt yourself, or lack form performance.

oh, and this is my first post here, hello everyone
#23
Quote by guitarsftw
To be honest, in the first week or so of picking up the guitar, I realized that I could pick down AND up, and I thought I had invented the technique. It came surprisingly easy to me.


Yeah me too i seriously wonder sometimes why there's so many articles here on alternate picking; it seems like a pretty obvious thing to do to me.
#24
I have to mention here that it has been pointed out in other threads of this type that you "can't practice simply to build speed or you'll never get fast". I disagree with this statement. Playing fast is a physical activity and like any physical activity, repetition should improve performance--unless you simply don't have the genetics.


Sure, but a speed centric approach leads to speed centric results, and basically timing, cleanliness and control are all deeply, deeply important in actually sounding good at any speed.

Plus, seriously, it's not such a big deal to not be able to play very fast.
#25
Quote by Freepower

Plus, seriously, it's not such a big deal to not be able to play very fast.


It is if you feel the need of expressing your music by playing fast passages or riffs. Or course, it doesn't come easy at all.

For me, it took quite some time to gain a decent speed at tremolo picking (16th note 180bpm) with total control. I think i focused more on alternate picking licks on my practice routine about 2 years ago and i'm still practicing that way. It gets extremely boring sometimes, but it worths every second spent once you get that "the feeling" of coordinated minimal picking and fingers motion (not fast fingers movements, because you never practice to move your finger faster, but less).
Besides being a guitar player, I'm a big fan of the guitar. I love that damn instrument. Steve Vai

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Kramer Striker FR422SM
Roland Microcube
Digitech Bad Monkey
Dunlop Tortex 1.14mm picks


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