#1
Hey I'm working on tremolo picking. So far I've always done it by keeping my arm still and pivoting my wrist but I've seen people demonstrating on youtube the opposite with equal accuracy and speed. Does it matter?

Also how does one build up tremolo picking speed? I've no problem with accuracy or stamina but I'm not as fast as I'd like.
Any tips?
"Happiness is... a bottle of booze in one hand and my faithful guitar in the other hand."

E. Guitar: Epiphone Goth Explorer
Schecter Diamond Series Damien 7
Cl. Guitar: Höfner HF-12
Amp: Roland Cube 40XL
#2
You're approaching it correctly; using all-wrist. If you can do it without tensing your arm or moving your whole forearm, you won't ever hurt yourself. The idea is to isolate the motion so you're only moving just far enough to hit the notes. Now, if you're tremelo picking whole chords, sometimes it's alright to add a slight amount of arm motion, but try to keep the tension to a minimum.

As far as building up speed goes, you just have to practice for a long time to build up the muscle memory. No other way around it really...
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#3
Cheers.

So speed just comes over time and via lots of practice?
"Happiness is... a bottle of booze in one hand and my faithful guitar in the other hand."

E. Guitar: Epiphone Goth Explorer
Schecter Diamond Series Damien 7
Cl. Guitar: Höfner HF-12
Amp: Roland Cube 40XL
#4
I find if you need more speed tilting the pick slightly helps the pick "glide" over the string for faster picking
#5
Quote by Akula KO
Cheers.

So speed just comes over time and via lots of practice?


Yeah. Play really really slowly (slowly enough that every movement is entirely conscious and not that your wrist is just going with the flow). Ensure everything, including your pick grip, your wrist, arm, jaw, feet, and everything in between is relaxed and loose (it sometimes takes me a few minutes to get a completely loose wrist if I've just picked up the guitar). And try to make really really small motions. If you start to tense up, stop, relax, slow it down slightly. You can gradually work up the speed, but never play at a speed where you feel tense.

As many have said before me - speed is a by-product of playing accurately and without tension. Just like slag is a by-product of mining. If you work on having good, relaxed and accurate technique for long enough eventually speed will come but give it time. If you work on speed by pushing yourself too far, you'll end up with a sloppy, tense mess. Just as a guide, I've found that practicing slowly and accurately will see a small amount of immediate benefit, and you'll notice tiny improvements every couple of days, then one day suddenly you'll see quite a large improvement. Then it goes back to small improvements every few days, then after a while, another large improvement. Even if you don't see the small intermediate improvements - KEEP AT IT, and focus.

I played for a fair few years sloppily and with tension, always going for the quick fix route of just going for it at speed. I'd hit a wall - partly because I went though phases and didn't practice much, but mostly because when I did practice it would always be the quick fix route. And I regret it a lot as it takes a lot of work to iron out bad habits and re-train yourself to play cleanly and relaxed. But since doing so I've improved leaps and bounds. Your sig says you've been playing less than a year, which is ideal - it's the perfect time to try to get perfect technique ingrained in the way you play without thinking about it.

Don't rush, you have plenty of time. Focus on clean, accurate and relaxed playing and you'll improve at a far greater rate than anyone who doesn't. The key to speed is to not work on speed.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
Last edited by llBlackenedll at Dec 21, 2011,
#6
Quote by llBlackenedll
Yeah. Play really really slowly (slowly enough that every movement is entirely conscious and not that your wrist is just going with the flow). Ensure everything, including your pick grip, your wrist, arm, jaw, feet, and everything in between is relaxed and loose (it sometimes takes me a few minutes to get a completely loose wrist if I've just picked up the guitar). And try to make really really small motions. If you start to tense up, stop, relax, slow it down slightly. You can gradually work up the speed, but never play at a speed where you feel tense.

As many have said before me - speed is a by-product of playing accurately and without tension. Just like slag is a by-product of mining. If you work on having good, relaxed and accurate technique for long enough eventually speed will come but give it time. If you work on speed by pushing yourself too far, you'll end up with a sloppy, tense mess. Just as a guide, I've found that practicing slowly and accurately will see a small amount of immediate benefit, and you'll notice tiny improvements every couple of days, then one day suddenly you'll see quite a large improvement. Then it goes back to small improvements every few days, then after a while, another large improvement. Even if you don't see the small intermediate improvements - KEEP AT IT, and focus.

I played for a fair few years sloppily and with tension, always going for the quick fix route of just going for it at speed. I'd hit a wall - partly because I went though phases and didn't practice much, but mostly because when I did practice it would always be the quick fix route. And I regret it a lot as it takes a lot of work to iron out bad habits and re-train yourself to play cleanly and relaxed. But since doing so I've improved leaps and bounds. Your sig says you've been playing less than a year, which is ideal - it's the perfect time to try to get perfect technique ingrained in the way you play without thinking about it.

Don't rush, you have plenty of time. Focus on clean, accurate and relaxed playing and you'll improve at a far greater rate than anyone who doesn't. The key to speed is to not work on speed.


Can someone sticky this please?
#8
pay EXTREME detail to timing. Ive learned that from classical guitar tremolo where you prepare/place each nail before plucking.

play it at like sub metronome speeds if you cant get each pick attack metronomically at the same time.

your probably going to want to play tremolo in 32nd notes, triplets, quadrouplets, or something like that.

Id start out counting them like 16th notes... 1 e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e...

thatd mean something like 16 notes in each beat of the metronome, depending on how fast the tremolo is and, of course, the time signature/notes in the measure. which is why you want to go super slow at first - so slow its actually more difficult then playing near tempo, then once that gets easy up the tempo a bit and continue until your at speed. that way once you get there your not missing a beat.
Gear:

Jackson dk2m
MIM strat
peavey jsx 2x12 combo
Recording King RDC-26
Digitch RP1000
Crybaby 535Q
Last edited by spiroth10 at Dec 21, 2011,
#9
Quote by Slashiepie
Can someone sticky this please?

Thanks Don't think you can sticky posts though :/ That is a point though - I think that there should be 2 more stickies. One for "How do I build speed" and one about anchoring. I mean I get that those topics are covered in existing stickies, but they seem to be the most common questions asked that are answered pretty quickly - most people won't read the stickies beforehand but they might if it directly asks the same question they're about to.


Quote by spiroth10
pay EXTREME detail to timing. Ive learned that from classical guitar tremolo where you prepare/place each nail before plucking.

play it at like sub metronome speeds if you cant get each pick attack metronomically at the same time.

your probably going to want to play tremolo in 32nd notes, triplets, quadrouplets, or something like that.

Id start out counting them like 16th notes... 1 e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e...

thatd mean something like 16 notes in each beat of the metronome, depending on how fast the tremolo is and, of course, the time signature/notes in the measure. which is why you want to go super slow at first - so slow its actually more difficult then playing near tempo, then once that gets easy up the tempo a bit and continue until your at speed. that way once you get there your not missing a beat.



I think you need to learn what 16ths are - in the case of a normal 4/4 bar it's 16 notes in the bar, and 4 per beat.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
#10
Now that I'm trying to tremolo pick I'm noticing that my forearm is getting a bit sore/tired. Is this normal?
West Ham United
#11
Quote by King Donkey
Now that I'm trying to tremolo pick I'm noticing that my forearm is getting a bit sore/tired. Is this normal?

It's normal but only because it's a lot of people making the same mistake. Your forearm probably hurts because you're a) tensing and/or b) picking from the forearm. Pick entirely from the wrist with small motions, completely relaxed, and it'll never hurt.
ESP Horizon FR II (EMG) / Ibanez Prestige RG1570 (DiMarzio Crunch Lab & LiquiFire pickups)
#12
Quote by llBlackenedll
Thanks Don't think you can sticky posts though :/ That is a point though - I think that there should be 2 more stickies. One for "How do I build speed" and one about anchoring. I mean I get that those topics are covered in existing stickies, but they seem to be the most common questions asked that are answered pretty quickly - most people won't read the stickies beforehand but they might if it directly asks the same question they're about to.


I think you need to learn what 16ths are - in the case of a normal 4/4 bar it's 16 notes in the bar, and 4 per beat.


well yeah ik what 16th notes are, I just didnt know how much knowledge you had so i was just sorta trying to give a half assed explanation of what I was saying in a simple fashion... what I was saying is the tremolo should be even and not a randomly spaced gallop
Gear:

Jackson dk2m
MIM strat
peavey jsx 2x12 combo
Recording King RDC-26
Digitch RP1000
Crybaby 535Q