I just saw this video on improving picking speed, and among the traditional tips (angling the pick, pick from the wrist, etcetera) the guy argued that in order to improve both your picking speed and articulation, one must pick relatively hard when practicing. The theory goes that once you master a lick at a certain speed while picking hard, you can play the same lick slightly faster while applying normal pressure.

If that sounds a bit vague, watch this: http://practiceguitarnow.com/howtoplayguitarfastvideo.html
(He talks about it around the 1:10 mark).

Makes sense, I started playing with a thicker pick (2mm) and now when ever I play with my old size (.70) I find my playing smoother.

Not sure if it's the same thing but that worked for me.
Theres some truth to that, I used to pick really hard but didnt really like the tone so I lightened up a bit and it feels easier.

I think if you use a very distorted tone you need to go easy with the picking whereas if you are using light distortion you can get away with heavier pick strokes.
kind of agree, only because when you pick hard, it makes mistakes more obvious so you need to be sure
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Personally the theory sounds a bit dubious to me. Generally you train how you want to play with guitar.

On the other hand, picking hard sounds sweet imho so it can be worth practising regardless.
I think its more important to practice with accents rather than picking hard all the time.
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It's a poor habit to get yourself into I think. If you make a habit out of hard picking, you'll miss out on a dynamics within your playing. I would practice whatever you're playing by picking it how it should be picked.

*Coming from someone who is actively trying not to pick as hard as they currently do.
I'm trying get shredding down atm,Always been a lazy legato player and i've found one benefit to picking harder is that my accuracy is better,Don't miss as many notes.
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Personally the theory sounds a bit dubious to me. Generally you train how you want to play with guitar.

that's what i'd have thought. i know some people go in for the whole "make it harder than it really is in practice so then it's easier when you play for real" (some sports do that too, smaller holes in golf etc.) and maybe it does work, but to me it's kind of a psychological trick and might even get you used to the "wrong way".

I dunno.
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I think it has more to do with accentuation than picking hard all the time.
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