#1
I've been practicing for almost 7 months now on technique...practicing slowly and concentrating on accuracy. I've made progress and I'm now in touch with muscles that I never thought existed; but I have a question to those who can play very fast and relaxed: how relaxed is relaxed? Should I stop when I feel the least bit of tension in my picking hand? Should the pick be loose in my hand? Should I be applying only enough tension to that the pick acts almost as a shock absorber as my wrist goes back and forth over the string? So far I've been employing a method where most of my practice is actually quite slow--concentrating on the technique and accuracy; but I push myself a bit for every exercise (including songs), trying to increase the tempo to just the point where I can still play it somewhat accurately, and then decreasing the tempo again. Should I be doing this? Or should I be only playing when there is absolutely no tension at all?
#2
Picking is actually very similar to writing with a pencil.

Writing is some thing very natural which you have done for your whole life and never even thought about.

Get a pen and some paper and do some writing and see how relaxed/ tense you are and that should give you the feeling you need.

You basically want it to feel natural, like every thing else you do in life. You dont want to be super tense, but you dont want to be like jelly.

Try it out =)
Last edited by jkielq91 at Nov 7, 2011,
#3
Quote by afrika18
but I push myself a bit for every exercise (including songs), trying to increase the tempo to just the point where I can still play it somewhat accurately, and then decreasing the tempo again. Should I be doing this? Or should I be only playing when there is absolutely no tension at all?


I personally find the "pyramid" practicing very useful. That is: you start on the speed where you can play the song/scale/riff (or whatever) perfectly and then each time increase the speed until you reach the speed where you can barely play it (it doesn't have to be accurate or sound good here) and then from the top you do the same thing down the the tempo at which you can play it perfectly.
#4
Quote by Daew
I personally find the "pyramid" practicing very useful. That is: you start on the speed where you can play the song/scale/riff (or whatever) perfectly and then each time increase the speed until you reach the speed where you can barely play it (it doesn't have to be accurate or sound good here) and then from the top you do the same thing down the the tempo at which you can play it perfectly.


So you go up from say 80, in small steps to 100, then gradually down to 80 again? Then up again?

I remember a teacher saying he got fast by gradually accelerating, then when he reach a peak he would slow down a little, and then go back up, and he found that peak speed easier.

I guess this is the same concept that you are suggesting. Or similar at least.
#5
Quote by jkielq91
So you go up from say 80, in small steps to 100, then gradually down to 80 again? Then up again?

I remember a teacher saying he got fast by gradually accelerating, then when he reach a peak he would slow down a little, and then go back up, and he found that peak speed easier.

I guess this is the same concept that you are suggesting. Or similar at least.

Yeah, I've always done something similar to this and found it effective. If I can play something cleanly at a given tempo, I'll go up 8%, and if I screw up at that tempo I'll move down 5%. It's sort of specific in its numbers, but I find the gradual increments to be very beneficial for getting the nuances of specific lines down. Most recently i used this for the Under a Glass Moon solo and it made a huge difference in learning the fast picked lines.
#6
Quote by :-D
Yeah, I've always done something similar to this and found it effective. If I can play something cleanly at a given tempo, I'll go up 8%, and if I screw up at that tempo I'll move down 5%. It's sort of specific in its numbers, but I find the gradual increments to be very beneficial for getting the nuances of specific lines down. Most recently i used this for the Under a Glass Moon solo and it made a huge difference in learning the fast picked lines.


for legato and tapping stuff I'd just trill as fast as I can and hold it for as long as I can. It would gradually become faster and I became able to hold it for longer.


I'v just reread the original post and spotted that you asked about the pick holding to.

What you basically want is the pick to be comfortable in your hand and you finger and thumb to not be tense. You do not want to squeeze the pick.

But at the same time you don't want the pick to be able to move around between your finger and thumb.

I suggest you experiment by holding it as loose as you can with out dropping it, and then start strumming against a finger on your other hand. If the pick is moving around between your finger and thumb in any way, hold it a little firmer (but don't tense) and try again, and keep doing this until its comfortably in place with out moving around.

You could say that its again like writing. When you hold the pencil its not moving around in your hands, yo have a good grip on it, but you are not squeezing it. Its a relaxed grip.
Last edited by jkielq91 at Nov 7, 2011,
#7
http://www.guitarlearningtips.org/the-guitar-blueprint-to-success/

Read chapter 2 !

I show you there an exercise for relaxing your picking hand.

The thing is that you have to get used to the feeling of having your hand relaxed without the guitar before you can apply it to guitar .

Probably you think you are relaxed but you aren't. It is a common problem.

Hope chapter 2 will solve your problem

Good luck !