#1
For the past 2 weeks or so, playing has just been dropping in ability. I do scale exercises almost daily, and I've only been getting through them at about 10bpm slower than I have been (for sixteenth note runs). As far as I know, nothing else has changed since then; I switched to a new pick of the same style to see if that was the issue, but that hasn't done anything.

I think the problem is mainly with my picking hand, which seems to be missing some of the strings and just overall not getting into the right groove for these. My thumb on that hand also seems to build up some amount of pressure and feel weird holding the pick, even though it's the same way I've always held it. I don't anchor and try to keep my arms as loose as possible as well. Is there anything I could be doing to cause this?
Carvin Tele (11/21/11 )
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Squier Vintage Modified Tele
Epiphone something or other acoustic

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Last edited by deadgearsrising at Dec 1, 2011,
#2
maybe you should take a day or two off, that tends to help my playing after a long stretch of practicing.
#3
this is coming straight out of my ass, but im a long distance runner and I have my best races after training hard for months, taking a 2 days off (for injury or sickness, accidentally) and racing a few days after. your body needs a break.
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#4
Another thing to point out (which is entirely psychological) is that if you have one bad day and take it particularly badly, the frustration can lead you to worry about playing badly the next day. That worry causes you to play badly, and so it continues.

I think the other guys suggestion of a 2 day break would certainly be beneficial, though don't expect it to magically fix all the problems - it should just help you focus a bit more and maybe take a more objective view. If you can't do something that you could the day before, don't worry about it, just carry on doing your normal slow exercises and it'll get better.

Another suggestion I just thought of is - if you were playing very slowly, you may have noticed more efficient ways of doing things, thus altering your technique slightly. As the change to your technique is quite new, it's very possible that you're just not used to doing it at speed. And if you were playing slowly and DIDNT notice anything wrong with your technique, you're not paying enough attention.
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#5
Quote by llBlackenedll
Another thing to point out (which is entirely psychological) is that if you have one bad day and take it particularly badly, the frustration can lead you to worry about playing badly the next day. That worry causes you to play badly, and so it continues.

I think the other guys suggestion of a 2 day break would certainly be beneficial, though don't expect it to magically fix all the problems - it should just help you focus a bit more and maybe take a more objective view. If you can't do something that you could the day before, don't worry about it, just carry on doing your normal slow exercises and it'll get better.

Another suggestion I just thought of is - if you were playing very slowly, you may have noticed more efficient ways of doing things, thus altering your technique slightly. As the change to your technique is quite new, it's very possible that you're just not used to doing it at speed. And if you were playing slowly and DIDNT notice anything wrong with your technique, you're not paying enough attention.


+1

Speed is a great way to show you where the flaws are.
Insanely slow practice is a great way to correct those flaws.

You already know your problems:
you cant hit the strings consistently (lack of accuracy)
Your picking hand feels weird (lack of practice) and tensed (lack of relaxation)

Taking a day off wont magically fix them, just work on them really slow and dont worry about anything, it will come in time keep practicing, but practice correctly
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#6
Thanks for all the replies guys, and I'm going to try a day off to see if that clears some stuff up. Once I start up again I'll take a really close look at technique too.

However, I probably should have mentioned, when playing at slower speeds I can hit all the notes perfectly. There just seems to be a wall at, for example, 135 bpm where I've been playing it all right up to that point but then everything just seems to stop working if I try to go faster.
Carvin Tele (11/21/11 )
Epi Sheraton II
Agile AL3100
Fender MIM Strat
Squier Vintage Modified Tele
Epiphone something or other acoustic

Last.FM
#7
Quote by deadgearsrising
Thanks for all the replies guys, and I'm going to try a day off to see if that clears some stuff up. Once I start up again I'll take a really close look at technique too.

However, I probably should have mentioned, when playing at slower speeds I can hit all the notes perfectly. There just seems to be a wall at, for example, 135 bpm where I've been playing it all right up to that point but then everything just seems to stop working if I try to go faster.

The solution to that is to not try to play at that speed. Don't even think about it, or you'll just get frustrated. If the problem occurs at 135bpm, set your max to 120 for a while (maybe a couple of weeks or something) and forget about going any higher. I'd still recommend you also practice at significantly lower speeds, but set 120 as your hard limit.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
#8
Unless you've recently suffered a blow to head, its totally psychological. Be confident, and just practice. If you're having a lot of trouble with something, just take a break. Seriously. Keep playing guitar, just play something else. Then come back to in after about 20 minutes, and you'll probably be noticeably less frustrated and able to improve.

EDIT: Well ****. Beaten to everything.