#1
I've been playing guitar for around 7 years, though only seriously for about 4 and i've come to realise that on fast downpicked riffs I pick from the elbow. I know. I'm fine alternate picking.

Anyway, I tried to relearn downpicking and it's so hard after 4 years of bad technique, does anyone have any tips for speeding up the process of changing my picking technique completely?
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#2
I've been told it takes 21 days to unlearn a habit. It may take more than that because like you have said it's been years with a bad habit. Only thing i can advise is to force yourself not to ever go back into that habit again. Even if you have to play 1/4 of your normal speed to break the habit. That would be the fastest way IMO.

Hope this helps.
#3
Thanks I've been thinking of doing this but i'm in a band so being shit at picking again isn't going to be fun:L ah well, it needs to be done
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#4
I tend to rest my hand on the bridge when I play so the elbow is really a non-issue. Maybe you could give that a try, but it depends on which guitar you have.
#5
Quote by Jettski1
I tend to rest my hand on the bridge when I play so the elbow is really a non-issue. Maybe you could give that a try, but it depends on which guitar you have.


You could do this...but watch out that you're not putting pressure down or "holding on" to the bridge because this will restrict your movement and cause muscle tension (which you don't want- among other reasons, it's more effort to tense up than to stay relaxed).
#6
Seems somewhat unorthodox (and embarrassing), but playing Guitar Hero a lot for a while helped my downpicking a lot when I was younger. If you strum most stuff with just your thumb, your hand gets used to the motion and your wrist adapts to it.

Granted, I was in like 8th grade when I picked up guitar, but for years after that my downpicking was faster than my alternate picking with a lot of riffs (not that this is a good thing )
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Last edited by Hail at Aug 12, 2011,
#7
Quote by Hail
Seems somewhat unorthodox (and embarrassing), but playing Guitar Hero a lot for a while helped my downpicking a lot when I was younger. If you strum most stuff with just your thumb, your hand gets used to the motion and your wrist adapts to it.

Granted, I was in like 8th grade when I picked up guitar, but for years after that my downpicking was faster than my alternate picking with a lot of riffs (not that this is a good thing )


... Or you could just play guitar since that'll practice the right motion and it'll feel like a guitar rather than a piece of plastic.

Quote by rudric
I've been playing guitar for around 7 years, though only seriously for about 4 and i've come to realise that on fast downpicked riffs I pick from the elbow. I know. I'm fine alternate picking.

Anyway, I tried to relearn downpicking and it's so hard after 4 years of bad technique, does anyone have any tips for speeding up the process of changing my picking technique completely?


Unfortunately there is no way of speeding it up, correcting an old bad habit is a slow and painstaking process and you just get there when you get there.
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Aug 12, 2011,
#8
There's nothing wrong with moving at the elbow when you pick as long as you're not preventing your other joints from moving as well. You should experiment with fingers/wrist/elbow (don't forget elbow rotation as well) to see which combination works best for you. The important thing is to not lock up any of these joints when you're picking. I would recommend exaggerating your picking motion(s) in the short term so you stay nice and loose and try out some different motions. Once you're comfortable (and not overly-tense) you can start exerting less effort and making your motions smaller.
#9
Quote by rudric
I've been playing guitar for around 7 years, though only seriously for about 4 and i've come to realise that on fast downpicked riffs I pick from the elbow. I know. I'm fine alternate picking.

Anyway, I tried to relearn downpicking and it's so hard after 4 years of bad technique, does anyone have any tips for speeding up the process of changing my picking technique completely?


I'd have thought it'd be relatively easy for you to unlearn this and develop a good downpicking technique, seeing as you already have alternate picking down. Reason being, downpicking is essentially the same as alternate picking except on the way back down you skip over the string rather than picking it.

If you practice the correct technique slowly then hopefully it should become ingrained relatively quickly.
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#10
The key thing anyone has to keep in mind what unlearning something (this I realized just recently, and I might be completely wrong), is that YOU SUCK if you play something with a bad habit. The trap is thinking "aww, I want to learn it the proper way, but when I do it the proper way I suck". Yeah, guess what, you suck anyway! It's not just when you play it the proper way. Get this: all the time you spent learning stuff the wrong way, it's time thrown out the window, pure and simple. Well, not all of it, but a very big chunk of it, much more than just a bit.

Ahem...

That said, picking with the elbow is not necessarily a bad thing. As long as you're comfortable, it'll do just fine. But you need to make sure you're comfortable. Absolutely sure.
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