Hello UGers,

For a while now I have noticed a trend in Satriani's technique that differs from my own, and I'd like to know your opinion on it. When Satch is playing standing up, the wrist of his right hand is usually straight so that his knuckles are perpendicular to the strings of the guitar.

I'll try to explain this in further detail in case that first explanation doesn't make sense. From 2:12 to 2:17 of this Satch youtube video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGNgcRwKW4Q , you can see that Satriani minimally bends his wrist when his pick is over the strings. Because of this, one could draw a line down his forearm, and the line would pass through his knuckles and almost perpendicularly cross the strings on his guitar.

Now when I play guitar, I find myself bending my wrist upwards towards me so that my knuckles are almost parallel to the strings. By doing so, my pick is also parallel to the strings when i pick them. I tried picking like Satriani does, with a much straighter wrist, and found that my pick would hit the strings at an angle. Rather than going straight across any string I played, my pick would diagonally cross over the string. Of course, this diagonal-style picking is difficult for me to do (b/c i haven't practiced it much), but I did realize that diagonally picking a string forces you to only graze the bare surface string, else the pick just meets too much resistance and wont cleanly pluck the string. And any shredder (or shredder-in-training) knows that grazing the string is ideal for playing fast and all that economy-of-motion jazz.

So my questions to you all:
1) Do you, in terms of wrist position, pick like Satriani? like me? or something in between?
2) Are there any pros/cons I didn't mention of Satriani's straight-wrist picking technique?
3) Am I making a big fuss out of something that's common knowledge to everyone else lol?
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I play however is comfortable.But when you start picking is whats important.minimun pick movement will give you way greater speeds if thats what your after.just my 2 cents.
1) Like satch
2) Its a more efficient way to pick like you said, and it is also a very relaxed position.
3) Kind of, but a lot of people pick like you were decribing.

Is it something like Marty Friedman?


go to 3:35
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I play with my guitar much higher than Satriani, so to pick as he does would result in an awkward andgle at my elbow and shoulder. I suppose my picking hand looks like a much less impressive version of Shawn Lane's.
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There come's a point where there's nothing to be gained from analyzing someone else's technique, because ultimately everyone is different physically and all those miniscule quirks mean we all need to do things a little differently.

The minutiae of Satriani's picking style are of no relevance or benefit to you or anyone else - focus on analyzing your own movements and work out what you can do to make things easier, more comfortable and ultimately more effective for yourself.
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If you watch some other videos of Satch, you'll notice he uses both positions with his wrist. His "default" position is obviously with straight-wrist, but he'll also bend his wrist when doing legato runs. Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOsgv_X_cV8&feature=related somewhere around 3:10 and on. Considering Satch is my biggest influence, I, like him, use both methods.

Straight-wrist is easier on the wrists. Also, when your wrists are straight, you have more muscle control. However, having your hand parallel with the strings allows for easier movement around the neck.
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satch's picking angle allows him to cut through the string better as opposed to being completely perpendicular to the string.
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