#1
Hey guys I have been playing seriously for about a year now and am mostly self-taught, so I'm sure that I am doing a whole mess of things wrong. Which is why I am here. Just had some questions that I'm wondering if more experienced players can help me with.

A) My picking sucks. The way I naturally hold and strum is something close to flat picking and it doesn't really help speed or accuracy. Is it better to hit the strings with the pick at an angle so to decrease surface area on the strike?

B) When I fret a string and release there is often a residual sound almost like its a pull-off. My guitar has a good set up and the action isn't high at all so I really have no clue how to correct this.

C) Now to the one that really makes me feel like a newb is the fact that I have a hard time with chords. I make sure the correct strings are fretted, and that I'm not touching ones that don't need to be (I have fat hands) but it often just doesn't sound right.

Any advice you can give is much appreciated. Thank you all for your time.
#3
Quote by Tliggz
Hey guys I have been playing seriously for about a year now and am mostly self-taught, so I'm sure that I am doing a whole mess of things wrong. Which is why I am here. Just had some questions that I'm wondering if more experienced players can help me with.

A) My picking sucks. The way I naturally hold and strum is something close to flat picking and it doesn't really help speed or accuracy. Is it better to hit the strings with the pick at an angle so to decrease surface area on the strike?

B) When I fret a string and release there is often a residual sound almost like its a pull-off. My guitar has a good set up and the action isn't high at all so I really have no clue how to correct this.

C) Now to the one that really makes me feel like a newb is the fact that I have a hard time with chords. I make sure the correct strings are fretted, and that I'm not touching ones that don't need to be (I have fat hands) but it often just doesn't sound right.

Any advice you can give is much appreciated. Thank you all for your time.

B) I believe everybody faces this problem. I can't say I'm 100% sure why it happens, but I believe it happens because your strings are still resonating when you lift your fingers off the string. Since your fretting fingers are unlikely to take long enough to lift off the string, it continues ringing, even though it is dampened, which is where you get an effect similar to a pull-off. You can solve it by learning how to mute properly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIEnzboW0Hc

C) You might want to elaborate on what you mean by "doesn't sound right". We will only be able to give generic advice otherwise.

Edit:

Regarding C: I just read your question again, and while I'm still not sure about what exactly is wrong, I'll just try and give a more useful response.

1) Are your strings in tune?
2) Are you sure all notes are ringing out? Try playing an arpeggio while holding the chord.
3) Kind of a no-brainer, but just in case. Are you sure you're reading the tab/chord diagram/music staff correctly?
Last edited by triface at Sep 20, 2011,
#4
b) You might not be muting adequately, or hearing some harmonics if you keep touching the string after stop fretting a note...

it's hard to say without video/audio sample. Same goes for C.
A clip of your playing will fetch more useful advice I think.
#5
Hey guys thanks for the replies. The videos are great. Had a chance to talk to a friend who plays and he said part of the chord problem was that my hands just aren't used to it yet. Makes me wish I would have started at a younger age cause I'm 25 now. Better late than never I guess.
#6
I'd also like to say that I have never heard of Paul Gilbert until now (I'm mostly a southern rock/blues type of guy) but that is one of the better instructional videos I've seen regardless of genre.
#7
B) If the string you are playing on is actually making a noise when you "release" a note, then it means you're not actually "releasing" the note, but rather, you're pulling your finger off. If you focus instead on relaxing your finger after you play the note, you'll notice a few things:

1. You will be able to play a whole lot longer without getting tired.
2. Your speed will significantly increase.
3. The problem you're having will go away.

I hope this helps! You need to practice this REALLY slow, and really focus on your fingers for this... But it will help a lot and be worth the time and effort!
#8
A) It's technically easier to angle the pick but it changes the sound. It's a matter of preference; personally, I like to angle it.
B) A common cause for this problem is lifting the fingers off the string as opposed to relaxing them off. Don't actively lift your finger, just stop pushing down and let it come off on its own - it will mute the string as it does.
C) This will probably sort itself out with practise.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#9
A)- If it works for you, don't worry about it. You will still be able to build up speed.
B)- Harmonics- if you pull off faster, you reduce the amount of time that your finger is in contact with the still vibrating string. So just practice pulling off.
C)- Once again, practice. Work on getting your fingers vertical so they don't drag, and play simpler chords to start with.

Keep at it- as a fellow self taught guitarist, I can tell you that in a few years this whole mess of problems will be a part of what makes you a unique player. If something doesn't work for you, find a better way of doing it which does sound good to you. And one day, people will want to know how to sound like YOU. Even if its only your mates after open mic nights...
Dude, where's my band?
#10
Quote by Tliggz
Hey guys I have been playing seriously for about a year now and am mostly self-taught, so I'm sure that I am doing a whole mess of things wrong. Which is why I am here. Just had some questions that I'm wondering if more experienced players can help me with.

A) My picking sucks. The way I naturally hold and strum is something close to flat picking and it doesn't really help speed or accuracy. Is it better to hit the strings with the pick at an angle so to decrease surface area on the strike?

B) When I fret a string and release there is often a residual sound almost like its a pull-off. My guitar has a good set up and the action isn't high at all so I really have no clue how to correct this.

C) Now to the one that really makes me feel like a newb is the fact that I have a hard time with chords. I make sure the correct strings are fretted, and that I'm not touching ones that don't need to be (I have fat hands) but it often just doesn't sound right.

Any advice you can give is much appreciated. Thank you all for your time.


a)instead of strumming up and down push into the body at an angle.

b)pull of slower and you will silence the string by keeping contact with the string before you completely remove your hand. also learn how to tailor the sound coming out of the instrument by using your right hand to silence strings and use fingers not doing anything on left hand to silence. this all takes practice and experience.

c)time yourself for chord switching. take two chords u have trouble with. lets say f major and G major. switch between these two over and over again and time how many clean switchs u get in 1 min. set goals for yourself and keep seeinghow fast u can switch.
Blues, classical, metal. Who says you cant love all 3?