#1
While I tremolo pick, my pick sometimes tends to get "stuck" and won't go through the string. It feels like it suddenly gets more resistance and my picking motion doesn't have enough power to cut through it. How do I solve this?
#2
New pick.
I had this problem, too.
My problem was that the end of the pick wasnt sharp anymore at all.
#4
My first question to you is this: where does your picking motion come from? Your wrist or somewhere else?
#5
Basically this is usually down to one of three things -

You're using too much pick - only a little should attack the strings.
You're holding the pick too hard - if you grip it too hard your wrist will lock up and it'll snag really easily.
You're wrist and arm are too tense - when they are relaxed the "impact" of the string is diffused, if they're tense then the pick will snag much more easily.
#6
Quote by Geldin

My first question to you is this: where does your picking motion come from? Your wrist or somewhere else?

The wrist.

---

Quote by Freepower
Basically this is usually down to one of three things -

You're using too much pick - only a little should attack the strings.

That's probably not it, I am using a little of the pick. But just to be sure, care to explain just how much of the pick should be used?


You're holding the pick too hard - if you grip it too hard your wrist will lock up and it'll snag really easily.

I hold it somewhat tightly so that it does not wiggle between my fingers when i pick the strings. Is that too tight?


You're wrist and arm are too tense - when they are relaxed the "impact" of the string is diffused, if they're tense then the pick will snag much more easily.

I tried relaxing my arm, it does help somewhat but the pick still gets stuck sometimes.
#7
1. No more than 2 mm.
2. It might be, you should be very gentle unless you're picking REALLY hard.
3. Well, it could still be a combination of the above factors, and it's not going to fix itself that quickly.
#8
Quote by Freepower
1. No more than 2 mm.

Okay I was indeed using a bit more than that. It helps, but still doesn't get rid of it.

2. It might be, you should be very gentle unless you're picking REALLY hard.

So does that mean I should let it wiggle between my fingers instead of having it stiff? I noticed that letting it wiggle too much also causes it to get stuck.
#9
Are you using a heavy (thick) pick? A lighter, thinner pick will flex a little bit and snag less. You might also try moving your hand back a little bit closer to the bridge than normal. This will change the tone somewhat, but it also means the string is moving less and its easier to not snag. I'd say though that it's the depth causing you the most problems, try get the picking as shallow as possible.
#10
Quote by innovine
Are you using a heavy (thick) pick? A lighter, thinner pick will flex a little bit and snag less.

Heavy.

You might also try moving your hand back a little bit closer to the bridge than normal. This will change the tone somewhat, but it also means the string is moving less and its easier to not snag.

THIS! I tried, and it almost got rid of the problem! I only get the snags seldomly now. They're still there, but occur a LOT less frequently. Now it's just a matter of fixing these little moments where I miss the string and hit the air instead, or the moments where my hand suddenly uses a little less power to cut through a string which leads to unequal movements.

Any advice on these things, anyone?


I'd say though that it's the depth causing you the most problems, try get the picking as shallow as possible.

As freepower said, 2 mm. Works well

Thanks!
#11
What pick do you guys use when tremolo picking ? Also, are you using a different pick than usually when you do tremolo picking ?

It's been a while now since I got used to playing with the Jazz III, it's a really nice pick which made me improve a lot.
But now I want to practice songs which recquire tremolo picking and I'm having problems because the Jazz III is really small, I sometimes loose it. Also, I do hold it between the thumb and the first index phalanx, is that good ?

I've looked among my other picks and tried with another one (this one for example : http://www.dv247.fr/assets/products/35057_l.jpg ). This one I can hold better when I want to tremolo picking but I really don't like the sound I get. Instead of picking the string it rather scraps it (I looked for that word in a dictionnary and I'm not sure if it fits). Is it recommended to play with a sharp or a round pick ? Does it matter or does it just depend on preferences ?
#13
I'm surprised that no one brought up picking angle (unless I missed it). If your picking angle is parallel to the strings, then more resistance is being created. If your pick is angled so that it "slices" across the strings, then the pick can move faster due to less resistance.
#14
Quote by MatthiasYoung
I'm surprised that no one brought up picking angle (unless I missed it). If your picking angle is parallel to the strings, then more resistance is being created. If your pick is angled so that it "slices" across the strings, then the pick can move faster due to less resistance.

My guitar teacher told me to stop doing that, because it causes the sound to be more muffled.
Is holding the pick at such an angle really a bad thing?

Also, I discovered that I wasn't completely playing from the wrist after all.. I was using my arm too. I now have it going completely with the wrist
And I discovered that keeping my fingers spread while picking causes more weight - which means it's harder to pick upwards. Contracting my fingers helps

After doing those two things, I suddenly had near-flawless fast picking going on in the morning.. but then after about 7 minutes, it slipped back into sloppy picking.

Also.. I'm anchoring. Yeah. There was a small period where I wasn't anchoring, but I seem to have fallen into the habit again. Is it worth it to spend the many hours breaking out of the anchoring habit?
EDIT: Actually, I watched freepower's video about anchoring.. all i'm doing is resting my palm on the strings or bridge while i'm picking, not pushing any fingers down onto the guitar body. That's not anchoring, is it?
Last edited by robbit10 at Feb 24, 2012,
#15
Angling the pick is not a bad thing at all. There are musical and technical reasons to angle or not angle a pick. If the pick is not angled and is creating more resistance, the note's tend to "pop" a little more. But from what I've noticed with so many students is that the "pop" is way too much. Slicing across the string allows for smoother playing and creates a more legato sound because it reduces the accenting of notes. Muffling would only apply to palm muting, not picking angle. Sure there is a difference of sound, but that's not the right word. It's really just an accent due to pressure created by resistance.
#16
If you like the tone of the angled pick then go for it. It also makes picking a lot easier too.

And as said, it's not a bad thing to angle your pick. I mean, Paul Gilbert does it :P
#17
I did also with my arm ... but I'm trying to do it with only my wrist but it's hard :/
"Sans la musique, la vie serait une erreur" Nietzsche
#18
You shouldn't have to really angle your wrist. The flat side of the pick should be at the same angle as your forearm, assuming that you are holding it on the side of the index finger.
#19
Experiment with the pick angle as well as the relative distance of your pick to the bridge,
really take time to see how it influences the tone and feel.
You will benefit greatly from this, sometimes trying to find the perfect pick or the perfect picking style by copying someone (usually Paul Gilbert) isnt the best answer.

Things to have in mind:

Relaxation, economy of motion and no pinched nerves or contracted tendons caused bz unnatural angles.
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Feb 24, 2012,
#20
EDIT: Actually, I watched freepower's video about anchoring.. all i'm doing is resting my palm on the strings or bridge while i'm picking, not pushing any fingers down onto the guitar body. That's not anchoring, is it?


Depends on the amount of pressure and whether you're fixed to the same point at all times. If you watched the video you know my views anyway.
#21
It's really a bad thing that doing the tremolo with the arm ?

I can do a fast tremolo picking with my arm but my wrist tremolo is really poor.
"Sans la musique, la vie serait une erreur" Nietzsche
#22
Quote by robbit10
Now it's just a matter of fixing these little moments where I miss the string and hit the air instead, or the moments where my hand suddenly uses a little less power to cut through a string which leads to unequal movements.

Any advice on these things, anyone?


The more you practice the less this will occur, but I also think that getting it perfectly regular isn't really possible. Since the string is actually moving, you will encounter it in different places each time, so now and then you'll pick it while it is travelling away from you, leading to little bit less force getting applied. But in reality, by the time you drench everything in delays and reverb, and mix the guitar to the background, it'll not matter so much.

Get a lighter pick too. I use a 0.73mm dunlop nylon pick which I think is on the heavy side for tremelo, but I love it all round. I'm not anal enough about tremelo picking to bother switching picks for it.
Last edited by innovine at Feb 26, 2012,
#23
What really helped me with tremolo picking was slowing it down. I practiced iced earth's my own saviour's intro riff at about 90 bpm. From that tempo i could've corrected all my mistakes:not tensing up, holding the pick right, using only wrist motion,not anchoring. It took about two months, but now i can play my own saviour's intro riff at 170 bpm (or even faster). It might sound cliche, but tensing up is the worst habit you can possibly have. It will prevent you from improving at all.