#1
I'm a newb and I'm trying to learn she-wolf by megadeth. The problem is, I can't seem to get near the original speed. My upper arm tenses up pretty bad even during incredibly slow speeds.

I was wondering if there was something wrong with my posture; Here's a pic http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg18/scaled.php?server=18&filename=snapshot201109271.jpg&res=medium

I've tried switching to classical position but it doesn't seem to help. I've watched countless videos on posture and trem picking, they all say start slowly with a metronome. The problem is, i CAN'T. I think my technique is wrong.

I try to use as little movement as possible, and from my wrist, but my upper arm just won't relax. I just don't understand it.

I keep trying to find a "comfortable" position but I can't seem to get it.

I hope you guys can help me.
#2
Pick with your wrist, not arm. Start slowly until you get out of the habit of using your upper arm. After you get it to stay relaxed while picking with your wrist, speed up.
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#3
I had the same problem. Honestly, I couldn't figure it out for a while either, but I kept doing it despite the upper forearm burn. After a while, I started using it more and more in songs, so once I knew I could do it (albeit painfully) it was pretty easy to focus on relaxing what needs to be relaxed, and keeping motion confined to the wrist.

Keep at it, you'll get it.
#4
cccp2006
I do pick with my wrist, my upper arm just keeps tensing up even at slow tempo.

greenbrain
Thank you for your answer, I will attempt to continue practicing. Mine has been going on for weeks already, it is so difficult.
#5
Trem picking is lame anyway, it's someting that comes naturally through playing stuff all the time. Just focus on simple melodies for the moment to kind of "program" your hand into the correct motions that it will need for faster picking.
#6
Your posture looks correct and you don't seem to be doing anything wrong. I'll give you some advice anyway though:

First off may I say if you can't tremolo pick Megadeth is the wrong place to start, nd it doesn't sound like you have trouble with tremolo picking, but rather alternative picking. Your technique style of minimal movement and from the wrist is spot on, you're doing everything right there. The incredibly slow speeds is where you want to start at. Work on endurance before speed and work your way up when you have the longevity in your muscles.

Other things that could be affecting your arm is the height of your guitar. Check if it's easier to play standing up or sitting down. Your wrist should naturally fall into place on the bridge of the guitar and it should be parallel with your arm, not at an angle. If none of those things change anything, try different picks and different strings as you may be using too much force to pick.

If none of those work it could be your guitar. There are a lot of different models of guitars out there, and in turn there are a lot of different shapes and sizes. Find which one you feel most comfortable playing.

The best piece of advice I can give you though is to stretch! It's important to stretch your muscles so you avoid arm injury when pushing yourself. It's good to push your limit but not too hard.... anyway, I'm done now. Hope it helps.
I am the crack in the wall, The eye in the sky.
I am the final slumber, The great divide.
I am the silence in madness, That lies to your face,
My woe is accepted, 'tis the end of your race.
#7
Metal_Master
Thank you for your advice, I am currently trying to play incredibly slowly but it is so difficult. I chose She-Wolf since people say it's a "beginner" song that I unfortunately am having a difficult time on, and my classmate told me it is easy. I can't play while standing up. My guitar has a floyd in it, and I regret it. I wish to have a fixed bridge. I bought my guitar because of aesthetic reasons and because it was on sale without any knowledge about bridges and types.

"wrist should be parallel" <- Sorry, I do not understand parallel.
#8
What's your definition of "incredibly slowly"?

If you're fairly new to the technique I wouldn't be surprised if you're talking about quarter notes at 60bpm, and I doubt you're taking that slow. If you are - that's good. Start slow, build it up.

Go and see a good teacher in person if you can, this is a difficult problem to solve without someone actually being able to see your playing.
#9
the most relaxed technique ive ever tried and im stil learning is sarod picking..
youtube pebber brown and sarod.. ive been doing it for 6 months.. barely any tension builds up and you can play friggin fast in little time.. hard at the beginning but worth every minute
Muting gets tricky sometimes but im gradually developing better skills
#10
Quote by Metal_Master_0

The best piece of advice I can give you though is to stretch! It's important to stretch your muscles so you avoid arm injury when pushing yourself. It's good to push your limit but not too hard.... anyway, I'm done now. Hope it helps.


this. Trem picking takes alot of time to build endurance, you want to make sure to stretch alot to avoid injury. another trick I've heard is try using a stress ball while your sitting around watching tv or at work to build up forearm strength.
#11
When I think of tremolo, guitar doesn't immediately pop into my head. Rather, the whole wide range of mandolin-related instruments. Mandolin, bouzouki, tamboritza, etc, etc.
Masters of technique on these instruments can go back and forth seamlessly between faster-than-stink tremolo to playing single notes, so that they can throw in a bit of tremolo at nearly any tempo you'd play a single note...
Many bluegrass players, who often double on guitar and mandolin, adapt these techniques to guitar.
#12
when i was learning to tremolo/alternate pick i played the breakdown to Metallica-One and it helped me alot...it's simple because it's mainly just an E chord and the rest is basically smashing the shit out of the E string.
This is what i recommend practicing too and it's what i tell everyone when the ask me how did i learn to tremolo/alternate pick.
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#13
Quote by luxeion
Metal_Master
Thank you for your advice, I am currently trying to play incredibly slowly but it is so difficult. I chose She-Wolf since people say it's a "beginner" song that I unfortunately am having a difficult time on, and my classmate told me it is easy. I can't play while standing up. My guitar has a floyd in it, and I regret it. I wish to have a fixed bridge. I bought my guitar because of aesthetic reasons and because it was on sale without any knowledge about bridges and types.

"wrist should be parallel" <- Sorry, I do not understand parallel.


Play slow but don't play so slow that you lose tempo. Make sure you have a metronome too >.> She-Wolf is easy as in not a lot of note switches but it has a very complex rhythm. In fact the intro isn't tremolo picking it's galloping to be honest. If you wanna work on your tremolo picking you have to start with alternative picking. The intro to hangar 18 would be perfect for you cause doing it alternatively picking will definitely give you a good workout for your right arm and your left arm will benefit from the chord fingerwork. If you can't play while standing up adjust the height of the guitar until you can. Floyds are awful for beginners, I'd recommend switching it out for a fixed bridge, it is possible. The strat shape is good but it can be lacking for those looking for a lot of arm support like a Gibson style guitar would. And about the wrist being parallel, I mean that your arm should go in virtually a straight line from your elbow down when in rest position. In other words your wrist isn't bent when your resting your right hand in neutral placement.

If you still are having trouble with your arm locking up I'll suggest not gripping your pick like a madman (if you are). Excessive force when gripping your pick will just strain your arm, and if your picks are so slippery that the force is necessary you can D.I.Y. grip your picks. There are a lot of ways to grip picks. A couple that I know of are to either slice the pick thinly where you hold it in a criss-cross pattern on both sides or to take a hot nail and burn small holes through them. Don't be afraid to go fast. Play through mistakes. If you **** up, follow through, never restart in the middle of a phrase. Make sure you play steady rhythms like all eighth notes but also do riffs with reasonably placed rests. Those rests help with stamina and it's also good not to get in the habit of continuously playing all the time.
I am the crack in the wall, The eye in the sky.
I am the final slumber, The great divide.
I am the silence in madness, That lies to your face,
My woe is accepted, 'tis the end of your race.
#14
slashiepie
So basically it's picking with finger movement?

freepower
By slow I mean a liiiiittle faster than that haha but still really slow. Ok I shall attempt to start at that speed..~

Metal_Master
I've already attempted Hangar18 till first chorus, I'm a little better at it than before, but it's still doesn't sound decent. Is it possible to change the trem, mine's shape is kinda like a jackson, the floating really gets in the way and I realized how comfy fixed bridges are when I tried an epiphone the other day. I regret not asking any advice before getting my first guitar haha. I'll try to make it parallel and keep in mind the intensity of my grip.

Nice ideas about the picks, thanks. My classmate used sandpaper on mine and it has a pretty grip. c:. I'm currently attempting to practice random riffs but when it comes to continuous palm-muted chords I can't last past my arm really hurts, for example The Hell Song.. I dunno why when I palm-mute I can't just seem to strum in a good position..

jeffmetalhead
My classmate also recommended One to me, but I haven't tried it yet, I will try it soon. Thanks!
Last edited by luxeion at Sep 27, 2011,
#15
Quote by luxeion
slashiepie
So basically it's picking with finger movement?


Ignore that; even Pebber, the main proponent of the style, doesn't actually pick that way at speed. If you watch him play you can clearly see that when he's properly shredding he's using basically all wrist movement for the actual picking motion.
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#17
Quote by Guitar Sushi
Trem picking is lame anyway, it's someting that comes naturally through playing stuff all the time. Just focus on simple melodies for the moment to kind of "program" your hand into the correct motions that it will need for faster picking.


Rubbish. I don't care for sweep picking, but I don't call it lame. Tremolo picking produces an effect that is great for creating tension, mood, and atmosphere. Listen to some black metal...

I use it all the time and it's very much a part of my tone and sound.
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#18
try circle picking, that is with only moving your fingers. who knows, u might be better at it then alt picking.
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#19
Everyone above me spoke wisdom, keep to a standard picking position. If your arm hurts while palm muting you're still trying to use your elbow a little bit. I know it's tempting to make the waving motion but try to refrain from doing it for now. It's good that you can play up to the chorus, all you need to practice is the intro though. I'm not sure what your bridge looks like but you should be able to bring it up to a guitar shop and say "put a fixed bridge in this shit." Just make a better investment with your next guitar.
I am the crack in the wall, The eye in the sky.
I am the final slumber, The great divide.
I am the silence in madness, That lies to your face,
My woe is accepted, 'tis the end of your race.
#20
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Ignore that; even Pebber, the main proponent of the style, doesn't actually pick that way at speed. If you watch him play you can clearly see that when he's properly shredding he's using basically all wrist movement for the actual picking motion.


Yeah , you always end up using the wrist of course, the movement is somehow different (at least i notice a difference when i do it, will post a video once i get a hd cam)

Theres 2 different techniques though:

Scalpel Picking - Thats the one where only Thumb movement is used.

Sarod - Both the Wrist and the Thumb are used.. the main 2 differences i "feel" is that the thumb stays flexible and instead of a perpendicular movement from the wrist , the movement starts from the hand and goes to the wrist.. hard to explain.

wether one does or doesnt like Pebber, i am speaking on personal experience:
I did notice a huge difference, especially because i have tendonitis due to excessive weight lifting.. sarod picking never makes my wrist hurt.. other techniques which build up more tension do, it it wasnt for "Sarod" i wouldnt be able to play more than 4 hours a day.. however as someone already said "concentrate on relaxing that picking hand"
as soon as you notice tension bulding up , pay attention at your body.
Last edited by Slashiepie at Sep 28, 2011,