#1
I am usually a jazz/blues type of player and I have taken lessons. My instructor said to me a long time ago that he thought it was a good idea to us the rounded side of the pick for blues, because I was having problems strumming when I began to play. Anyway, that was 3-4 years ago now and I am playing with a metal band covering Trivium and starting to make some of our own stuff. I have tried very hard and I am not making much progress with my speed. So, I am basically the rhythm player, but it is frustrating because it is one of my goals. I am wondering if holding the pick this way is the problem because my friend says that he has never seen anyone do it and it seems as though it would lessen the accuracy. It seems like it will be impossible to change because I am so used to it. Give me any tips.

Thanks
Raconteurs Fan Guy
#2
You need the attack of the sharp side of the pick for metal. I don't know what your instructor was doing, but holding the pick backwards should be more of an effect thing, not something that is your default technique.
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#3
I should verify that I have always use the rounded corner of the pick. It has worked well for other styles. It feels weird when I palm mute and try to pick fast.
Raconteurs Fan Guy
#4
Can you post a pic of you holding the pick?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#5
Holding the pick is a personal preference thing. I do it the way you described with the blunt edge as the attack. If you need to get more precise picking, get some of those larger triangular picks, they give you the sharp attack but kinda give you that same feel you have when using traditional shaped picks. I like to get them and file the corners off the triangles a little so it is like a triangle with three blunt sides, then there is no wrong way to hold it because all the sides are the same, and you get a balance between the pointy side of the pick and the rounded edge.

Speed is something that develops over time. Focus on playing clean and speed will come. I am assuming you already have a firm grasp on alternate picking and economy picking. If not, start there.
#6
If you can't play fast, it might be because there's too much tension in your hand. Speed is about being relaxed. The more relaxed your hands and fingers are, the faster you can play.

If you are having troubles with alternate picking, you could try to improve your up picking because that's usually weaker than down picking. And you need both when you are alternate picking. Actually you also need both when you are only down picking.

And you can change your picking style. You can always learn new things. Just start doing it and it will start feeling more natural.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

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#7
Quote by MaggaraMarine
If you can't play fast, it might be because there's too much tension in your hand. Speed is about being relaxed. The more relaxed your hands and fingers are, the faster you can play.



He's not wrong, but releasing tension comes through confidence in your material and effortless execution. You aren't going to magically relax you muscles and play faster immediately. If that was true then you could just take some ibuprofen and shred.

There is no magic speed formula. Stay patient.
#8
Quote by sonofgkex
He's not wrong, but releasing tension comes through confidence in your material and effortless execution. You aren't going to magically relax you muscles and play faster immediately. If that was true then you could just take some ibuprofen and shred.

There is no magic speed formula. Stay patient.

Of course. Yeah, I should have pointed that out in my post because that's what I meant.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#9
If you can't play fast, it might be because there's too much tension in your hand. Speed is about being relaxed. The more relaxed your hands and fingers are, the faster you can play.


I never take tension completely out of the occasion because sometimes a tense sound is a good sound (the effect can be nice). But yes, generally speaking, the more relaxed you are the faster you can play.

EDIT --> I'm just trying to say that I wouldn't ixnay on a tense hand at all possible times. I'm a pianist and usually, about 90% of the time I'm relaxed but there are motifs and ideas which I do play with tension just to add a musical effect that can't be there without a tense arm and hand.
Last edited by Erc at May 16, 2013,