#1
Hey all I'm new to the forums so excuse me if the topic has already been discussed.

I've been playing guitar for 3 years now and i have an issue with my picking that's just been bugging me for a long time.
Basically, whenever I pick ANYTHING within the 80+ BPM range my picking hand 'bounces' up and down while alt picking instead of the straight sideways motion. I hope that makes sense.
Now my question is, is this normal or should i evaluate my technique? it feels really awkward and i just feel that it is holding me back. I have tried everything to better my technique but cant find help anywhere. I have searched the web but to no avail. I have had three guitar teachers but they where not helpful at all. One guy even told my it is because i am alt picking instead of economy picking . I feel like i am the only one with this problem....

So please anyone, just tell me what i am doing wrong so i can get back to normal practicing.

Thank you all for your help.
Last edited by Deli_sausage at Jan 6, 2012,
#2
You know what you're doing wrong. Your picking hand is moving in a way that is not conducive to clean, economical movements at higher speeds. The solution is to go back to slower tempos and begin looking purely at your technique. Focus on making economical translatory (side-to-side) motions when you pick. Make sure that's the only motion your making and that when doing so you aren't tensing up your arm/wrist in any way.

If possible, make a video of your awkward playing (preferably showing only the wrist) so that we can see what you're talking about more clearly.
#3
Yeah I have tried isolating the problem and doing only the up-down thing, but i can't seem to get anywhere. been doing this for a year and its frustrating as hell. but i will try and take things super slow and see what happens. a.d.d makes it hard though heh. what makes it weird is I can pick something at 180+ without an issue, but the 80-140 bpm is the trouble spot. anyways thanx for the info, will try to get it right.
#4
Quote by Geldin
You know what you're doing wrong. Your picking hand is moving in a way that is not conducive to clean, economical movements at higher speeds. The solution is to go back to slower tempos and begin looking purely at your technique. Focus on making economical translatory (side-to-side) motions when you pick. Make sure that's the only motion your making and that when doing so you aren't tensing up your arm/wrist in any way.

If possible, make a video of your awkward playing (preferably showing only the wrist) so that we can see what you're talking about more clearly.
This
#5
Quote by Geldin
The solution is to go back to slower tempos and begin looking purely at your technique. Focus on making economical translatory (side-to-side) motions when you pick. Make sure that's the only motion your making and that when doing so you aren't tensing up your arm/wrist in any way.


I totally agree. I suggest you allocate some time for this exercise exclusively during your practice.
Play very slowly, keep yourself focused on your technique. I suggest at first you go on with the exercise for about 10 minutes, then take about a minute break (in order to stay focused more easily) and repeat. Remember that it is the most important that you remain your focus - it is not enough that you actually play the exercise - you have to be aware of every movement, this is where the true learning happens.
Don't speed your metronome up for at least a week during this exercise, no matter how unnatural it will seem - you will see the results.
__
Neal Wakefield
#6
When you say 80-140, do you mean on each individual click?
If this is what you mean, you really need to correct your problem. This speed isn't very fast, and if your having problems here then playing at moderately fast speeds (600 bpm and faster) is going to be impossible. That is, of coarse, if your goal is to play at such speeds.
#7
Quote by macashmack
When you say 80-140, do you mean on each individual click?
.


No i mean 16ths
#8
Quote by macashmack
and if your having problems here then playing at moderately fast speeds (600 bpm and faster) is going to be impossible.

Typo ?
#9
Quote by happysad
Typo ?


Ignore that, it's bollocks anyway. If you improve your technique you'll be fine eventually so just keep up the practice.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#11
Quote by Deli_sausage
Yeah I have tried isolating the problem and doing only the up-down thing, but i can't seem to get anywhere. been doing this for a year and its frustrating as hell. but i will try and take things super slow and see what happens. a.d.d makes it hard though heh. what makes it weird is I can pick something at 180+ without an issue, but the 80-140 bpm is the trouble spot. anyways thanx for the info, will try to get it right.

If you're picking sixteenths at 180+bpm "without issue" but you have a trouble spot between 80-140 bpm, I'd actually suggest that you do have a problem - you're not particularly accurate at higher speeds. If you were, you wouldn't have a trouble spot. You're using different muscle groups for below and above your trouble spot. The issue comes when you're trying to play at a tempo that neither muscle group is well suited for.

Ideally, you want to pick everything from the wrist. A lot of people try to use their elbows to play rapidly, but that lacks a lot of the control that wrist picking has and it has a higher risk for stress injury due to the greater tension required to move your entire forearm. I would suggest that you back off from high tempos entirely and focus on improving your wrist picking technique, which is more than capable of hitting speeds faster than 180+ bpm (I go up to around 200 from time to time, though my accuracy decreases noticeably at anything much past that).

Quote by Syndromed
180 bpm (16th) in 3 years ? Oo

It's plausible. I hit around that with decent accuracy in around 2 1/2 years. It's not a race to get faster earlier. What's more important is trying to become more accurate, economical, and tension-free earlier. Whether it takes 2 years or 20, what's important is realizing that playing at high speeds with any degree of accuracy requires a lot of focus on playing slowly and economically.
#12
Quote by Geldin


It's plausible. I hit around that with decent accuracy in around 2 1/2 years. It's not a race to get faster earlier. What's more important is trying to become more accurate, economical, and tension-free earlier. Whether it takes 2 years or 20, what's important is realizing that playing at high speeds with any degree of accuracy requires a lot of focus on playing slowly and economically.


I know this is not really the issue, and it is completely "stupid" to want to go fast but always just out of curiosity: how long do you spend around a day to reach around 180?

Sorry for the off topic.
#13
Quote by Geldin
If you're picking sixteenths at 180+bpm "without issue" but you have a trouble spot between 80-140 bpm, I'd actually suggest that you do have a problem - you're not particularly accurate at higher speeds. If you were, you wouldn't have a trouble spot. You're using different muscle groups for below and above your trouble spot. The issue comes when you're trying to play at a tempo that neither muscle group is well suited for.


Mhmmm... yes that makes sense. Usually when i practice something @ 60bpm, I use only the wrist and do very small movements. when I get to my "trouble spot", I start using my index and thumb more than my wrist to pick the notes. at 180+ its all thumb and index. now this did not seem like a problem to me as guitarists usually told me at my beginning stage "just play, and do what comes naturally", guess they where wrong . It's just after three years of playing, being able to play anything at only 60-70 bpm(16ths), feels very discouraging to say the least.

Quote by Neal_Wakefield
I suggest you allocate some time for this exercise exclusively during your practice.
Play very slowly, keep yourself focused on your technique. I suggest at first you go on with the exercise for about 10 minutes, then take about a minute break (in order to stay focused more easily) and repeat. Remember that it is the most important that you remain your focus - it is not enough that you actually play the exercise - you have to be aware of every movement, this is where the true learning happens.
Don't speed your metronome up for at least a week during this exercise, no matter how unnatural it will seem - you will see the results.


this.

Thanx to all of you for your input. Some very insightful opinions