#1
I get a lot of tension in my picking arm/hand starting at the shoulder and working it's way down. I've tried stretching and playing slower but neither of them help.

To give you an idea, I can play a particular Aeolian run at 130bpm legato, but only about 90bpm alternate picked. And it's not a particularly hard run with string skipping or anything, my right hand just locks up.
#2
When you're practicing, make sure you hold your pick looser, and drop your shoulder. That helps me a lot. It takes a lot of focus for a while, but if you can keep at it, it'll help a lot in the long run.
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#3
Just slow down and relax. Focus on your arm and whenever you feel like it's tensing up, adjust it so that it feels relaxed. Don't try to make too fast progress, play slow enough that you're always relaxed.

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#4
make sure youre using your wrist to pick and not your elbow or shoulder, and keep your arm relaxed.
#5
Quote by kaptkegan
When you're practicing, make sure you hold your pick looser, and drop your shoulder. That helps me a lot. It takes a lot of focus for a while, but if you can keep at it, it'll help a lot in the long run.

Completely agree with both points. Holding your pick as loose as possible really helps in the relaxation of your right hand and your pick is less likely to get stick on the string/your wrist wont lock up. And lowering your shoulder is good because it forces you to pay more attention to the tension in your shoulder - if your shoulder is hunched up at all it will cause all sorts of problems.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
#6
I foun it very hard to relax when picking for a long time. But the thing that got me past it was making sure my whole picking motion was from the wrist. I used to pick from the elbow and didnt even realise. I also didnt raise speed until I could play it fully relaxed at the current tempo.

You say its tense when you play at 90bpm

But is it tense at 80bpm? 70bmp? Or is it relaxed at those tempos?

That will help establish whether its your picking technique thats tense or whether your not ready for that speed yet.


What is this run like rhythmically? is it 16th notes? 8th notes? triplets? sextuplets? or some thing else?

And how many notes per string?
Last edited by jkielq91 at Nov 13, 2011,
#10
First thing I noticed is that it looks like you have the pick parallel to the string. You should angel it at about 40 degree against the string so that it cuts through better.

Also, with your picking hand position, does your thumb muscle touch the string?

I think your should try rest the edge of your palm by the bridge more. Kind of like a karate chop.

It actually looks better than my picking was not that long ago. But I'v managed to improve mine at a great rate with help from UG and some videos like yours.


I find this series great for picking technique http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7w0ifj-7hA
Last edited by jkielq91 at Nov 13, 2011,
#11
To me your picking technique looks pretty good, but it looks like you're getting frustrated and tensing up when a bit you're dreading comes up. Do you ever get those times when you just pick up the guitar and you can do it fine, but you make a mistake once and then it all goes wrong? Personally I find that's because once I make the mistake once, I worry that I'm going to make it every subsequent time and for some reason that worry makes me fail.

It's not so much of a problem now - if I were you I'd try playing it at 50bpm for about half an hour (tedious, I know), then upping it by 1bpm every couple of minutes. OR try the 21 day challenge, you should see results earlier than 21 days (I'm on my second day and have already noticed it's improved my technique). Obviously I can't comment on its benefit over 21 days but from the results I've already seen it's going to be positive.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
Last edited by llBlackenedll at Nov 13, 2011,
#12
Quote by llBlackenedll
To me your picking technique looks pretty good, but it looks like you're getting frustrated and tensing up when a bit you're dreading comes up. Do you ever get those times when you just pick up the guitar and you can do it fine, but you make a mistake once and then it all goes wrong? Personally I find that's because once I make the mistake once, I worry that I'm going to make it every subsequent time and for some reason that worry makes me fail.

It's not so much of a problem now - if I were you I'd try playing it at 50bpm for about half an hour (tedious, I know), then upping it by 1bpm every couple of minutes. OR try the 21 day challenge, you should see results earlier than 21 days (I'm on my second day and have already noticed it's improved my technique). Obviously I can't comment on its benefit over 21 days but from the results I've already seen it's going to be positive.


Good reply.

You certainly are not far off where you want to be.
#13
Thanks for the suggestions. I've figured out what the problem is, but not how to fix it. It's my shoulder, and it gets worse the longer I play. It just builds up tension. It's like it's being raised too high or something, but I can't lower it any further or my right hand is below the strings. I've also noticed the problem isn't as bad when I play standing (unfortunately my left hand accuracy takes a hit while I stand). I think it's because I can lengthen the strap and have it hang lower. But while I sit, I'm not sure what I can do.