#1
It's gotten to the point where it bothers me to the point of insanity.

I can't tremolo pick. I blow at it. It seems like it should be simple.

I consider myself a fairly decent guitarist. Have been playing for about 11 years now. Can improvise at will, play some intermediate-advanced stuff. BUT I CAN'T TREMOLO PICK, lol.

It doesn't come up much in the style of music I play, but still. It's immensely frustrating to have been playing for such a long time and STILL be unable to do such a simple thing. I don't get it.

My band's covering Knights of Cydonia by Muse. Easy, right? Right...EXCEPT the tremolo'd parts. It blows my mind how bad I am.

What are some exercises I can try to improve this? I tried starting with absurdly slow alternate picking and increasing the tempo and kept that up for about 3 months with basically no improvement. That's usually my go-to move to learn fast licks, but it didn't even come close to working. I'm at a loss.
#2
If you can't tremolo pick, your wrist motion for alternate picking is wrong. If you have a good and consistent alternate picking technique, there should be no problem.

Look at the motion of your wrist. Be sure to make your forearm rested on the body of the guitar and angle your pick 45º to the string. Then just rotate your wrist back and forth, relaxed, at different speeds. See how that feels
#3
It's all in the wrist. I dunno what it is exactly your doin when trying to tremolo pick, but whenever I see someone struggling with fast picking like that it's usually because they're trying too hard. Maybe loosening up your wrist? It takes no amount of energy when I play that song. Make sure you keep the arm still because the wrist will be doing the most work, and practice tremolo picking just one note, I guess it can be thought of playing a fast lick on one string, just on one fret.

I hope this somewhat helps
#4
Angle pick slightly
Don't let it dig into the string
And pretend your wanking off a pixie.

This is the easiest way for me to explain the exact motion you need.
I hope you're imagining it in detail, because it's a good explanaition.
There's a good chance that what I've written above is useless and if you take any of the advice it's your own fault.
#5
I tend to anchor my hand on the muted strings for fast parts. I think the biggest thing is to relax, when I used to practice Knights of Cydonia I had such a hard time with it, until I learned to relax my hand and let my wrist do all the action.
#6
Quote by symba05
Be sure to make your forearm rested on the body of the guitar


OMFG ANCHORING NÖÖB *SUPERIOR TECHNICAL MASTURBATION*
REGGIE
#7
Quote by symba05
If you can't tremolo pick, your wrist motion for alternate picking is wrong. If you have a good and consistent alternate picking technique, there should be no problem.

Look at the motion of your wrist. Be sure to make your forearm rested on the body of the guitar and angle your pick 45º to the string. Then just rotate your wrist back and forth, relaxed, at different speeds. See how that feels

I usually don't move my wrist very much at all for anything. It's not like I'm swinging my arm all over the place, but usually for alternate picking I keep my wrist relaxed but fairly stationary and let my forearm do all the work with very concise, short motions. I don't know how wrong or right that is, but I'm a very strong lefty who learned to play right-handed and it seems to me that my wrist is just very slow and weak. I used to play more wristy but my arm would get tired all the time and my alternate picking was fairly slow, and now with the method I use now my alternate picking has sped up quite a bit and best of all I am very relaxed when I play and don't expend nearly as much effort. In fact, the only thing my current motion HASN'T improved is my trem picking. :P

In fact, I just tried tremolo picking using only my wrist and I was barely able to move the pick at all, lol. I have to be doing something wrong...Are you saying I should be doing most of the work solely with my wrist motion?

Perhaps I'll record a video of myself.
Last edited by -Hope- at Apr 24, 2011,
#8
Quote by -Hope-
I usually don't move my wrist very much at all for anything. It's not like I'm swinging my arm all over the place, but usually for alternate picking I keep my wrist relaxed but fairly stationary and let my forearm do all the work with very concise, short motions.


That's your problem. Your forearm has nothing to do with it. It should be stationary in contact with the guitar. The picking motion should come from your wrist only.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVu8YnVAKZI

Check this video and do exactly as he says. Break the habit!
#9
Quote by -Hope-


In fact, I just tried tremolo picking using only my wrist and I was barely able to move the pick at all, lol. I have to be doing something wrong...Are you saying I should be doing most of the work solely with my wrist motion?

Perhaps I'll record a video of myself.


I dont even use my wrist while tremolo picking, and i can play knights of cynodia easily.
I use elbow motion. I have heard that the wrist motion is better, but i cant pick fast with it either.

And you said you have been playing for 11 years? I have played for less than a two, and i can play that muse song. I dont get it.
#10
Quote by guitar/bass95
And you said you have been playing for 11 years? I have played for less than a two, and i can play that muse song. I dont get it.

Like I said....very easy song. I just suck at tremolo picking.

@symba05: I will check out that wrist motion video, thanks.
#11
Quote by Silent Murder
Angle pick slightly
Don't let it dig into the string
And pretend your wanking off a pixie.

This is the easiest way for me to explain the exact motion you need.
I hope you're imagining it in detail, because it's a good explanaition.

Holy shyte.

You may have cured my problem.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry that imagining i'm jerking off a pixie taught me how to tremolo pick. But that along with trying to relax my wrist more appears to be paying dividends so far.