#1
Being a self-taught guitarist I've realised my technique is far from ideal. Not really been a problem; Until now (as taking things a bit more serious).

I've realised that when playing on the high E-string through G-string I've got my pick held down as per most recommendations ( not parallel to the string), cutting through with minimal arm movement, utilising the wrist.

However, when I'm moving to the lower strings my hand twists, so I'm picking with the pick facing upwards (kind of). So any quick pinched harmonics are a bit bloody awkward to say the least. I've got a horrible feeling what the advice might be , so any tips ( other than start from scratch ).

Many thanks

Paul
#2
make the adjustment simple as that. will it take some effort probably but that's the way it goes.
#3
Can we see a picture? Might just have to change where the pick sits in your fingers.
#4
Well the question to me is: when you move to the lower strings, is the movement all coming from your wrist as well?

Ideally what should be happening is that your wrist should do all the actual picking motion, but you should be using your elbow to keep your hand in a good, consistent position to the strings. While a lot of people certainly can use their wrist to move all the way from the low E to the high E, I don't believe you should; different muscle groups should do different things, so they each have their responsibilities:

Hand in general, thumb, and fingers: hold the pick, keep it at a good angle, make sure it's not going anywhere you don't want it to.

Wrist: the actual picking motion, just getting the pick back and forth across the strings. If you have to move quickly from one string to another then the wrist is all right to do it (think Paul Gilbert style string skipping), but I don't believe you should do it all the time.

Elbow: keep the wrist in a good position. Moving the whole wrist/hand assembly to where it should be so the wrist can make the picking motions in the right place. This means that the same techniques, like pinch harmonics, should end up being the same physical action on every string.


These are only guidelines, but I think they're pretty solid ones; you should be flexible when you're practicing, but knowing where you're working from and where you're trying to get back to when you reach something exceptional you need to play is helpful in my experience.
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#5
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Well the question to me is: when you move to the lower strings, is the movement all coming from your wrist as well?

Ideally what should be happening is that your wrist should do all the actual picking motion, but you should be using your elbow to keep your hand in a good, consistent position to the strings. While a lot of people certainly can use their wrist to move all the way from the low E to the high E, I don't believe you should; different muscle groups should do different things, so they each have their responsibilities:

Hand in general, thumb, and fingers: hold the pick, keep it at a good angle, make sure it's not going anywhere you don't want it to.

Wrist: the actual picking motion, just getting the pick back and forth across the strings. If you have to move quickly from one string to another then the wrist is all right to do it (think Paul Gilbert style string

Elbow: keep the wrist in a good position. Moving the whole wrist/hand assembly to where it should be so the wrist can make the picking motions in the right place. This means that the same techniques, like pinch harmonics, should end up being the same physical action on every string.


These are only guidelines, but I think they're pretty solid ones; you should be flexible when you're practicing, but knowing where you're working from and where you're trying to get back to when you reach something exceptional you need to play is helpful in my experience.


Thanks for the reply. I think your first point I've highlighted is definitely the problem. I seem to lose form, mainly because I stop using the wrist, and the arm becomes more into play. Not as much of a fluid motion, using the elbow(Especially during fast picking). Which it seems leads to the lack of similar action on lower strings.

Tried the same (correct) way, very slow going. *GULP*

This is what happens when you don't practice properly
#6
Quote by Killing Hand
Thanks for the reply. I think your first point I've highlighted is definitely the problem. I seem to lose form, mainly because I stop using the wrist, and the arm becomes more into play. Not as much of a fluid motion, using the elbow(Especially during fast picking). Which it seems leads to the lack of similar action on lower strings.

Tried the same (correct) way, very slow going. *GULP*

This is what happens when you don't practice properly


better to break bad habits sooner than later. try to anchor your wrist in a good spot for picking and that should help. usig your elbow to pick will definitely make things tougher and tire you out as well.

one thing to work on id economy of motion. you really don't need to move your wrist all that much when picking. even when strumming the less motion you use the more precision you will gain after some practice
#7
I've got the exact opposite going on. When I first started, I took lessons from a bluegrass person. I still flat pick, even in into metal. I've had find a certain type of picks to compensate. They're usually extremely sharp, Tortex IIIs or Gator Grip 1.5mm. If I try to hold a pick at the "appropriate" angle, I have to use the large triangle shape. If you're trying to reprogram you're picking technique, I highly suggest Clayton's triangles in .80mm or Dunlop's PrimeTone triangles.
#9
Mmmm...

Feeling more comfortable with the new picking on the lower 5th and 6th strings, although their is some 'sticking' of the pick when speeding up.

Can string gauge be a factor?

They seem to be moving around a fair bit. Only used sets of 9's to avoid adjustig the bridge.
#10
I found practicing sweep picking helps my overall picking technique. I now do it all the time to warm up as it seems to really relax my picking hand which is key. YMMV.

I picked for years, a lot of years, with my little finger wrapped around the fretboard and picking over the frets, not the pickups. Any bad habit can eventually be fixed.

The pick doesn't really matter. But I swear there's one pick that helped me more than most. The Ultrapick. I bought a bunch of them a while back and it looks like the guy still sells them: http://stevecrowell.com/picks_and_more. Now I'll play with all kinds, Jazz 3's, big fat bone picks, metal picks, whatever... Not much difference either way, but the Ultra is still my go-to pick because it's SO comfy. If you try it and like it, buy a shitload of them before the guy dies or something. These picks lose their shape and wear more quickly than most although they're good for several months at least.
#11
Been reading through some thread archives and pick angle, it seems, is part of the problem. I didn't realise I've been anchoring, pushing my arm into the guitar body. Also my finger positioning could be better on the fretboard. What a c***.

Decided to change it all. Start again.

#12
Remember it's okay to rest your arm on the body of the guitar but it shouldn't push into the guitar. Wrist should float as much as possible but lightly touching strings you aren't playing with your palm is fine, again no pushing into the guitar; anchoring is bad.