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#1
It just seems so impossible. Im trying to learn System Of A Down - Science, and that intro thingy with alternate picking is just impossible. I've tried to get it right for 2 weeks now but still im not making any progress. Help!
Last edited by Flegmatica at Apr 9, 2011,
#2
u just have to learn the part your stuck on slowly at first, play it untill its consistant and clean, then gradually speed it up. this is going ot be the only response people will give you. its annoying, but it works
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#3
Honest to Gods, I tried to find you a video of someone playing it on Youtube, but 90% of them are just played wrong, and the other 10% are done with webcams that are so bad it looks like their hands aren't even moving.

Alternate picking is just down, up, down, up, repeat as needed. If you're having a hard time with it, you need to slow it down until you get it cleanly played, then speed it up marginally, repeat. Running scales with alternate picking is a good way to improve both your alternate picking (trem picking) and your hand coordination, finger strength, and dexterity as well, so I'd suggest that. Outside of that, you can always take songs you like and just play them more slowly until you can nail it, then speed it back up. It takes time and patience, like most things with guitar.
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#4
Well the biggest problem is that the pick gets "stuck" if you know what i mean.
#5
What do you mean "stuck?"

By stuck, I presume your wrist is rock hard when picking and you're holding the pick tilted upwards playing rhythm or palm muting. My advice is loosen your stiff wrist. Play with your wrist, not with your elbow.

Or you must be trolling...
#6
Just follow through on the strength of your picking and try not to dig too deep. Try to mainly use the tip of the pick so there's not too much mass hitting the string and hindering your speed/getting the pick 'stuck'.
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#7
Quote by Flegmatica
Well the biggest problem is that the pick gets "stuck" if you know what i mean.

Can't say I do. Can you post a video of your playing?
#9
It's funny how some players just find themselves doing it one day....Im one of them. lol

I find that using a flexible pick and playing around with the angle helps. One of the mistakes I would make was not following through with my attack. Sometimes players are simply just not used to the string not moving.

Problems with alternate picking come down to teknik...so with that said..if you slow down to a crawl and work your way up in terms of speed...you will find that you are going to make the same exact mistakes. Trying to practice fast all the time does nothing but reinforce bad mechanics. This is very important because you can correct your problems and prevent repetitive motion injuries that only show themselves after years of abuse.
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Last edited by Washburnd Fretz at Apr 9, 2011,
#10
Quote by Washburnd Fretz
It's funny how some players just find themselves doing it one day....Im one of them. lol

I find that using a flexible pick and playing around with the angle helps. One of the mistakes I would make was not following through with my attack. Sometimes players are simply just not used to the string not moving.

Problems with alternate picking come down to teknik...so with that said..if you slow down to a crawl and work your way up in terms of speed...you will find that you are going to make the same exact mistakes. Trying to practice fast all the time does nothing but reinforce bad mechanics. This is very important because you can correct your problems and prevent repetitive motion injuries that only show themselves after years of abuse.


a flexible pick is actually generally not advised. Heavier picks force you to loosen your wrist and take a light grip on the pick.
#11
Your pick should not be affecting the strength of your grip. At all. Similarly, even if the pick is flexible the difference with good technique is minimal because only the very tip of the pick comes in contact with the string. There's a difference if you're digging in, but you shouldn't be digging in on technical passages to begin with so that would be an issue of technique rather than your pick choice. Technique has an infinitely greater impact on your ability to play a technical passage than your pick does.

The correct advice for pick choice is always the one that is most comfortable for you, not the one that "supposedly" gives you any sort of technical advantage. If it feels good and sounds right, it is right.
Last edited by Nightfyre at Apr 9, 2011,
#12
Quote by Nightfyre
Your pick should not be affecting the strength of your grip. At all. Similarly, even if the pick is flexible the difference with good technique is minimal because only the very tip of the pick comes in contact with the string. There's a difference if you're digging in, but you shouldn't be digging in on technical passages to begin with so that would be an issue of technique rather than your pick choice. Technique has an infinitely greater impact on your ability to play a technical passage than your pick does.

The correct advice for pick choice is always the one that is most comfortable for you, not the one that "supposedly" gives you any sort of technical advantage. If it feels good and sounds right, it is right.


simply wrong... malmsteen, shawn lane, laiho, and more all endorse the use of a heavy pick.
#13
Quote by Riffman15
simply wrong... malmsteen, shawn lane, laiho, and more all endorse the use of a heavy pick.

Paul Gilbert uses .60 Tortex Standards. Say it with me: personal preference.
Last edited by Nightfyre at Apr 9, 2011,
#14
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_picks_does_paul_gilbert_use

http://www.amazon.com/Ibanez-Gilbert-Signature-Heavy-Guitar/dp/B000T4J8W8

Above links say paul gilbert uses 1mm...

http://www.americanguitarinstitute.com/pick.htm

Above link talks about pick sizes and their uses..

Funny how so many people come here talk like their the expert, yet have no clips of their playing posted so people can accurately judge the worth of their advice.
#15
Quote by Riffman15

http://www.paulgilbert.com/Guitars.html

Sure looks like 0.6 to me.

http://www.americanguitarinstitute.com/pick.htm

Above link talks about pick sizes and their uses..

I've had an obsession for the last six years on finding for the past six years on finding the perfect pick. I've had no luck. Why? Because they are all good. Maybe just not for me.

Pick gauges: everything from 0.65 up says something about being good for single notes. Regardless, there's no scientific basis given so it's all opinion and should be taken as such.

There is no one perfect pick for anyone. Everyone is different so take time and find what is best for you.

Marty Friedman - Dunlop .88mm Tortex


Funny how so many people come here talk like their the expert, yet have no clips of their playing posted so people can accurately judge the worth of their advice.

Ad hominem. My playing ability has nothing to do with the validity of my statements.
Last edited by Nightfyre at Apr 9, 2011,
#16
Quote by Nightfyre
http://www.paulgilbert.com/Guitars.html

Sure looks like 0.6 to me.


Pick gauges: everything from 0.65 up says something about being good for single notes. Regardless, there's no scientific basis given so it's all opinion and should be taken as such.


Ad hominem. My playing ability has nothing to do with the validity of my statements.



Most people endorse heavier picks for alternate picking. Unless you are paul gilbert yourself, then you have room to talk.
#17
Quote by Riffman15
Most people endorse heavier picks for alternate picking. Unless you are paul gilbert yourself, then you have room to talk.


Many people endorse all kinds of things but it doesn't mean they're right.

Pick choice is all about tone and feel preference, a different pick won't make you play faster suddenly.
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#18
Quote by Riffman15
Most people endorse heavier picks for alternate picking.

Most =/= all. If it works for them, great. Some will find better results with thinner picks and as such experimentation is the best approach rather than simply saying "these guys use heavy picks, therefore I should too".

Unless you are paul gilbert yourself, then you have room to talk.

Appeal to accomplishment.
Last edited by Nightfyre at Apr 9, 2011,
#20
Quote by Riffman15
wow, someone asks for advice and you say "whatever works for you." Wow, you must be a genius. That's the worst advice ever. Tautological too.


Not at all, we're eliminating factors that don't matter. Like pick shape, thickness and size; which you brought up.

Quite frankly the question has long since been answered, there's nothing more to say on the original topic of the thread but the fact is that you're wrong about what pick to use; it doesn't matter. It's preference and nothing more.
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#21
Quote by Riffman15
wow, someone asks for advice and you say "whatever works for you." Wow, you must be a genius. That's the worst advice ever. Tautological too.

Straw man. Do you have anything more to say that isn't a logical fallacy?
Last edited by Nightfyre at Apr 9, 2011,
#23
Straw man again.

The correct advice for pick choice is always the one that is most comfortable for you, not the one that "supposedly" gives you any sort of technical advantage. If it feels good and sounds right, it is right.

This is not a tautology. If a pick giving a definite technical advantage existed, it could be argued to be superior in some situations and thus my statement would be false.

Reported for trolling.
#24
Quote by Nightfyre
Straw man again.


This is not a tautology. If a pick giving a definite technical advantage existed, it could be argued to be superior in some situations and thus my statement would be false.

Reported for trolling.


rotfl... wow, how petty of you, your own game gets turned against you and you can't take it... then you go cry and try to use a blunt act of coersion to try and get someone banned.

you're the troll dude, get some skills and get a life.
Last edited by Riffman15 at Apr 9, 2011,
#25
You're both as bad as each other and if I were a mod you'd both be warned right now.

Nightfyre: stop picking a fight, you're not helping anyone.

riffman15: you too but realise this: picks don't affect how well you play, your actual skills do. If you're actually a good player and have your picking down well then the pick you use is just preference and nothing more. If you want me to prove it I can but that would involve recording and uploading something to youtube and really, I don't want to do that right now. Really though? "Get a life"? You're arguing with someone on the internet and you think you're in a position to tell them to get a life?
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#26
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
You're both as bad as each other and if I were a mod you'd both be warned right now.

Nightfyre: stop picking a fight, you're not helping anyone.

riffman15: you too but realise this: picks don't affect how well you play, your actual skills do. If you're actually a good player and have your picking down well then the pick you use is just preference and nothing more. If you want me to prove it I can but that would involve recording and uploading something to youtube and really, I don't want to do that right now. Really though? "Get a life"? You're arguing with someone on the internet and you think you're in a position to tell them to get a life?


Thing is, I'm sitting here right now.. comparing pick size back and forth between light and heavy picks, and quite simply, heavy produces a clearer attack, is more stable in the hand, and relaxes the wrist better. My playing technique has remained constant.

It's a science.

and P.S.: the get a life comment was in reference to reporting someone because you had an argument with them... total 5-year old move.
Last edited by Riffman15 at Apr 9, 2011,
#27
Quote by Riffman15
Thing is, I'm sitting here right now.. comparing pick size back and forth between light and heavy picks, and quite simply, heavy produces a clearer attack, is more stable in the hand, and relaxes the wrist better. My playing technique has remained constant.

It's a science.


It's you. I have no such problems; you can't be so cut and dried just because it's the case for you.

I have three different picks in front of me right now and while they feel different and have different tones, I can play exactly the same with all of them. Admittedly I don't have anything super light, lightest is something like 0.88, but I don't keep those around because I don't use them for anything.
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#28
a drug treatment would never be approved for cancer if it worked for just one person...

a pick size should never be approved for alternate picking because it works for one person (paul gilbert shredding on a .60mm)...

What works best for MOST players is a heavy pick for alternate picking, whether this is due to something inherent in the pick, the guitar, or the human organism, this is the FACT!
#29
Quote by Riffman15
a drug treatment would never be approved for cancer if it worked for just one person...

a pick size should never be approved for alternate picking because it works for one person (paul gilbert shredding on a .60mm)...

What works best for MOST players is a heavy pick for alternate picking, whether this is due to something inherent in the pick, the guitar, or the human organism, this is the FACT!


What are you basing this on exactly? The more I think about it, logically, the less your position makes sense. Really what is it that makes picking solid? Efficient motions, relaxed playing and accuracy, right? So how much of this is anything to do with which pick you're using?
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#30
Please don't argue over something as pathetic as people's personal opinions, it's childish.
I would say what matters most is the angle at which you hold the pick, I can't play fast with my pick parallel to the string, I have to hold it about a 60 degree angle (I personally think this gives it a better sound too).
Don't dig the pick too far into your strings, it should just brush them. Go for economy, small strokes means that you don't have to move ur wrist as far each side making it, in itself, quicker.
Start slowish but not so slow u bore yourself, start at the pace at which you make no mistakes and slowly increase your speed.
Hope I helped =]
#31
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
What are you basing this on exactly? The more I think about it, logically, the less your position makes sense. Really what is it that makes picking solid? Efficient motions, relaxed playing and accuracy, right? So how much of this is anything to do with which pick you're using?


The argument goes that the more flexible pick produces tension in the hand when picking single notes. When you try to keep the wrist loose when playing with a flexible pick, it feels awkward because the loose wrist competes with the pick for eliminating unwanted motion. Kinda hard to describe, but that's how the argument goes.

If you have a tight wrist with a lot of tension then a light pick will feel better to you.

But if you have a loose wrist as it is then a heavy pick will feel better.

There is a product out there, it's a huge 5 mm pick or so (ill look for a link to it), that claims to teach you how to alternate pick, based on the above logic.
#32
Here's some link it's called the "insanity pick" by V-Pick. 11mm or so.

Playing with the v-pick is kinda like running with a parachute. It makes it more difficult at first but forces you to modify your technique in order to adapt to the heavy pick. Then you go back to a normal heavy pick like a 1 mm and you are used to that loose grip and relaxed wrist and then your technique improves.

I wouldn't recommended dropping the cash on that, just buy a cheap heavier at the store and you'll prolly get the same effect. I play with a 2mm every now and then to practice relaxing the wrist, but then go back to my normal blue dunlop tortex 1mm.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWZS4dAZktI

http://v-picks.com/productdetails.php?q=39&page=pick
Last edited by Riffman15 at Apr 9, 2011,
#33
Quote by Riffman15
The argument goes that the more flexible pick produces tension in the hand when picking single notes. When you try to keep the wrist loose when playing with a flexible pick, it feels awkward because the loose wrist competes with the pick for eliminating unwanted motion. Kinda hard to describe, but that's how the argument goes.

If you have a tight wrist with a lot of tension then a light pick will feel better to you.

But if you have a loose wrist as it is then a heavy pick will feel better.

There is a product out there, it's a huge 5 mm pick or so (ill look for a link to it), that claims to teach you how to alternate pick, based on the above logic.


I've seen any number of products that claim to teach how to pick, quite frankly I don't think any of them are based on any meaningful logic.

Really, if your technique is solid: relaxed, economical and so on, there is no reason you should be any better with any different pick. I've seen Rob Chapman play with a folded up £10 for instance. Can't find the video now (annoyingly) but I know I've seen it and I've done it myself. Doesn't get much more floppy than that.
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#35
...

Can you both just chill out?

In general, heavier picks are better for faster playing and for dynamic control - but I'm not going to argue they're the be all and end all.

TS, if you find yourself getting stuck on the strings, you probably are! Try to start again, much much slower, and play as relaxed as possible - you'll find the strings don't "snag" as badly when you're relaxed. The other thing is you only need to pick with a couple of millimetres of pick, any more is just waiting to snag.
#36
Thin picks suck, end of discussion

There's physics there, if the pick is too thin it's going to flex a lot and that means two things.

1 - the pick has to bend before it starts moving the string, that's going to slow down the pick attack. It's a tiny fraction, but when you're looking to play a clean, accurate picked line at high speed it's going to be enough to balls up your timing. Also that flexing can contribute to snagging, because f you've got too much pick showing and your grip is a little loose the string is just going to flap around the string as opposed to striking it cleanly.

2 - energy is getting wasted bending the pick, which means it's not getting transferred to the string. That'll soften the pick attack so the notes won't sound as clean as they could.

Neither of those things are particulary desirable if you want to play fast - but even for a slowcoach like me I can't be doing without the consistency and control you get from a heavier pick...Tortex 1.14mm or bust.
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#37
I'll show you guys! I'll buy a thin-as-hell pick and show all of you!
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#38
yalls all retarded. I can play just as fast with my .3mm and .5mm as I can with jazz3 picks. If I want some cool smooth like 0 attack jazz tones I can play just as fast with this 3-4mm rock I found on a camping trip.

all that changes is the tone, not your ability to play. If using a thick pick like a jazz III or whatever makes your playing cleaner/faster, perhaps you need to take a step back and figure out what youre doing wrong because youre likely using the pick as a crutch for your gimpy technique.
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#39
Quote by satanicgurrl
yalls all retarded. I can play just as fast with my .3mm and .5mm as I can with jazz3 picks. If I want some cool smooth like 0 attack jazz tones I can play just as fast with this 3-4mm rock I found on a camping trip.

all that changes is the tone, not your ability to play. If using a thick pick like a jazz III or whatever makes your playing cleaner/faster, perhaps you need to take a step back and figure out what youre doing wrong because youre likely using the pick as a crutch for your gimpy technique.


It's possible to do fine with a thin pick, but it's really not recommended. They have their uses, but thick picks have an inherent advantage when it comes to speed playing (primarily those highlighted by sir seagull) and ignoring basic logic and calling it a crutch for technique is silly. Some people might play faster with a thin pick due to certain habits, and you can certainly learn to use a thin pick quickly, but calling pick gauge a crutch makes no sense as long as you can pick cleanly and articulate your notes appropriately in a way that works for you; just because it's easier doesn't make you less technically skilled, in the same way that people that prefer high action can't call people with low action pansies without just resulting to unfounded attacks.

Part of it's preference, but if you put 50 clones in a line and told them 'play this lick' using varying pick gauges, odds are very high that higher gauges will work more efficiently and quickly and with less effort (up to a point, where these would probably graph out in more of a bell curve, but that's irrelevant).
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