#1
I used to pick with my elbow (if you've seen my other topics I'm sure you're tired of the same style questions so sorry in advance =P) but I've converted to my wrist within the past 2-3 months.

I'm practicing slowly and increasing the speed slowly day by day while playing with my wrist, but while I know the progress is going to be slow I seem to be making little improvement in my max wrist speed (I.E. I can tremolo pick purely from the wrist with no elbow at 90bpm 16ths but not much higher).

This doesn't bother me, however what does bother me is the fact it'd been about that speed since I started converting from elbow picking... I'm getting slowly but surely faster in alternate picking actual melodies at slower speeds and such and I'm sure my picking is getting more relaxed, economical and cleaner yet I seem to be just stuck at this speed.

I know everyone hates this style of question, but how long roughly should I expect to have to keep practicing consistantly to actually convert fully to wrist picking with no elbow for tremolo and such? I practice everything including tremolo picking with my wrist at the moment. Thanks in advance for any help.
#2
Just relax your wrist and keep practicing, after some time you will definatly see improvement
#3
I had the same problem until I did what blazing riff stated above. It's really much easier to play when you relax your wrist.
Gear pics

Quote by Cathbard
Bugera cloning Blackstar is a scandal cloaked in a tragedy making love to a nightmare.

#4
you have a long road ahead of you bub
.
Internet trolls are like sap in trees. sticky and annoying, but good on pancakes.
#5
Save the elbow for the wide sweeps and string skipping. Trem/alternate picking on a single string should be done with wrist only so you should carry on with that. For now,at your skill level, don't pay any attention to speed. Just transition cleanly elbow-wrist. Watch Frank Gambale use both wrist/elbow combinations in his major 7ths sweeping lessons.
#6
I'm already relaxing my wrist, the problem is that at a certain speed I start automatically using my elbow again. I practice with a relaxed wrist and at my top speed with my wrist it's perfectly relaxed, I seem to transition into elbow picking with no change in tension (obviously tension occurs when I elbow pick at higher speeds). I'd put it down to lack of practice but this hasn't changed in a few weeks of at least an hour a day practice.

@dirtfoot: Thanks, but I already know when to use the wrist and elbow for picking (thus why I'm switching my picking in the first place). If you read my post again hopefully you'll understand why I mentioned speed, I'm not just aiming to play super fast I'm just wondering why I've hit a wall without any tension, using economical movements etc... I spent hours upon hours searching the forums about this.
#7
This is why working for speed is a bad idea: you end up with silly expectations that you probably won't be able to meet and end up getting disheartened when you can't seem to see any numerical improvement in what you're doing.

You can't make yourself get faster, your speed is more or less out of your control because it's not a skill in and of itself, it's a product of the skills you have rather than anything else.

If you've hit a wall then there's a problem somewhere in your technique. You need to slow down, speed up and really examine what you're doing at every metronome step so you discover where it is that something goes wrong. You might need someone else to look at what you're doing if you can't tell what's wrong.

Find the first mistake you make and fix that. Repeat the process until you're awesome.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#8
I'm already relaxing my wrist, the problem is that at a certain speed I start automatically using my elbow again. I practice with a relaxed wrist and at my top speed with my wrist it's perfectly relaxed, I seem to transition into elbow picking with no change in tension (obviously tension occurs when I elbow pick at higher speeds). I'd put it down to lack of practice but this hasn't changed in a few weeks of at least an hour a day practice.


That'll always happen. If you push the tempo out of your comfort zone your wrist locks up and you switch to elbow.

Don't expect to make rapid improvements with picking, it's probably the most time-intensive skill to push the metronome with. If you aren't doing at least 40 mins a day of focused picking you probably won't see very much improvement past 120bpm.
#9
Dude, I feel you man... I was in the same situation. This is how I got past it. Ok, so your max speed is 90, so prictice at something ridiculus like 60... I was forced to do this with the solo from "Two Weeks" when I switched... the actual solo is at 112 so I practiced at 70. Then I would move up 1 BPM every 5 minutes. Making sure every movement is relaxed, precise, and easy. Also I practiced with the worst distortion I could find, to make sure the gain wasn't hiding any mistakes.
"Could everyone please stop sounding like everyone else that's trying to sound like meshuggah?"

-Emil Werstler

Quote by damian_91
Kurt Cobain, the best guitarist to ever live.

#10
Quote by brandon2784
the actual solo is at 112 so I practiced at 70. Then I would move up 1 BPM every 5 minutes.



You spent 3 and a half hours increasing speed? That might be a little much. I'd say do 5 BPM every 5 minutes or something similar.
Where's Waldo?
#11
Quote by brandon2784
Dude, I feel you man... I was in the same situation. This is how I got past it. Ok, so your max speed is 90, so prictice at something ridiculus like 60... I was forced to do this with the solo from "Two Weeks" when I switched... the actual solo is at 112 so I practiced at 70. Then I would move up 1 BPM every 5 minutes. Making sure every movement is relaxed, precise, and easy. Also I practiced with the worst distortion I could find, to make sure the gain wasn't hiding any mistakes.


Quote by chadreed32
You spent 3 and a half hours increasing speed? That might be a little much. I'd say do 5 BPM every 5 minutes or something similar.


Frankly 3.5 hours increasing speed is a tiny amount of time and saying "I'll turn the metronome up by this much after this much time" is a terrible idea unless you're already capable of playing at the speed you're aiming for.

This is something that takes many people years to be able to do and if you turn the metronome up before you're really ready to it's likely to do harm to your technique more than help.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#12
Quote by Freepower
That'll always happen. If you push the tempo out of your comfort zone your wrist locks up and you switch to elbow.

Don't expect to make rapid improvements with picking, it's probably the most time-intensive skill to push the metronome with. If you aren't doing at least 40 mins a day of focused picking you probably won't see very much improvement past 120bpm.


@_@

I used to have the time to practice 3+ hours a day but now I barely get 1-2 hours, so with practicing other techniques and learning theory 40 minutes a day is going to be hard to fit in... I'll try my best though, thanks.

Any recommendations on what I should practice picking with? I currently tie it in with learning theory so I practice picking scales to memorise them while improving picking technique, and I also practice picking by learning songs (playing solos slow etc, the usual). I've heard that much harder passages tend to make you improve more, is there any truth in this?

@Zaphod: I understand that speed isn't a skill in itself and yeah I don't really like aiming for speed either but in this situation it's hard not to - I mean I'd be happy just getting back up to near my original speed so I can play the music I enjoy playing/writing...
#13
Any recommendations on what I should practice picking with? I currently tie it in with learning theory so I practice picking scales to memorise them while improving picking technique, and I also practice picking by learning songs (playing solos slow etc, the usual). I've heard that much harder passages tend to make you improve more, is there any truth in this?


Personally I'd say so. Playing simple runs like 3nps sextuplets don't really challenge your picking hand anywhere near as much as string skipped arpeggios. If you think about picking as being composed of approximately 6 movements -

upstroke, downstroke (single string)
inside and outside string change (on adjacent strings)
inside and outside string skips

Then I think it's good to write and practice things that use all 6 roughly evenly.

I certainly found that helped me improve a lot.

These are some of the exercises I did when I was last working on picking, they focus on tricky stuff and moving 3nps positions all over the fretboard.

http://www.mediafire.com/?jyyinyzgncy
#14
Thanks for the exercises and advice, I'll give it a try =)

EDIT - One last question; When playing two or three strings at once, do you pick with your wrist or elbow? I'd presume wrist BUT since three string sweeps are done with the elbow I'm not 100% sure on this...
Last edited by Anon17 at Sep 17, 2011,
#15
Quote by Anon17
Thanks for the exercises and advice, I'll give it a try =)

EDIT - One last question; When playing two or three strings at once, do you pick with your wrist or elbow? I'd presume wrist BUT since three string sweeps are done with the elbow I'm not 100% sure on this...


Depends really, if you're doing Paul Gilbert style licks where you're picking one string once and the returning to the other then you can generally use the wrist to get the motion but as a general rule the wrist should be doing the picking motion while the elbow keeps the wrist at a good angle to the strings. Sweeps are often done with the elbow since it's a large range of movement that would be very awkward to cover with just the wrist.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#16
If you're playing rapid double or triple stops, you usually use the wrist, just with a larger motion than normal. If you're basically tremolo picking fast double stops a good thing to do is use rotation of the forearm.
#17
Despite what a lot of people seem to think, it isn't true that the only way to gain speed is to start off slow with a metronome and gradually increase the tempo (over a period of years). Yes, that has its place, but if all you're after at the moment is raw tremolo picking speed from the wrist, I think this is a much better way of achieving it:

(Copied from an earlier post I made):

One thing you can do to build up speed in the right hand is 'bursts'. All you do is play a short 3 or 4 note sequence as fast as you possibly can. That helps your hand get used to playing at a very high speed and soon you'll be able to keep up the same speed for longer sequences of notes. As long as you've got a good basic technique in place first, 'bursts' really will take your picking to the next level.

So make sure that your picking motions are perfect at a slow speed and then have a crack at some bursts. You should notice an overall increase in picking speed pretty damn quickly.
Originally posted by raygreendaystud
your a fag, listen to real music like green day, you moron
#18
Quote by shredfan
Despite what a lot of people seem to think, it isn't true that the only way to gain speed is to start off slow with a metronome and gradually increase the tempo (over a period of years). Yes, that has its place, but if all you're after at the moment is raw tremolo picking speed from the wrist, I think this is a much better way of achieving it:

(Copied from an earlier post I made):

One thing you can do to build up speed in the right hand is 'bursts'. All you do is play a short 3 or 4 note sequence as fast as you possibly can. That helps your hand get used to playing at a very high speed and soon you'll be able to keep up the same speed for longer sequences of notes. As long as you've got a good basic technique in place first, 'bursts' really will take your picking to the next level.

So make sure that your picking motions are perfect at a slow speed and then have a crack at some bursts. You should notice an overall increase in picking speed pretty damn quickly.


Interesting, definitely worth trying out