#1
Okay, I've got what I can only describe as the worst picking habit in existence. It's been screwing me over for years.

I've developed this weird habit where when I'm about to go for an upstroke during a-picking, my index finger (which my pick lays on the side of and by default kept in a fingers tight ball / slight fist hold) extends up along with my wrist. So I'm picking from the wrist, but when I go for upstrokes, my pick along with my index pushes up and extends away from the rest of my fingers and grip.

This junk drives me nuts! It's like a nervous twitch. This tension out of nowhere builds in my index and thumb during upstrokes. Throws my whole rhythm off. So in result, I can only hold my picking run for a bar or two before the tension overwhelms me and my index is shooting out like crazy and I start screwing up! On the upstroke my pick raises unnecessarily far away from the string.

And here's the worst of it! I know I'm obsessed with speed. I'm honest with myself. I spend most days just hammering out exercises / chromatics trying to fix my picking technique because as far as I see it, there is no fun to be had playing your favorite songs at 50-80 bpm in 16th notes. Like I'm super slow.

I've had moments where I would finally speed up, the fastest I've gotten was 110bpm at 16th notes, but come the next day I can't reach it anymore. Lots of back and forth only to end up at the measly speed I'm at now. You can't do anything at this tortoise pace.

What do you guys think? It's not even a practice issue. I just don't know what to do anymore. Yal might just say weather the storm, but I've been at it for years, I've once in a blue moon have reached speeds I couldn't sustain past a day, and can't even hit 16th notes at 60bpm consistently. Like who ever has issues playing that slow? It's agonizing too since I feel like my picking hand can play much quicker. I've been past this plateau before but this Deja-vu that I'm eternally in......

I'll leave you with this. Sometimes i switch my electric to left-handed and pick with my other hand. Well..... I'm quicker there. :bitchslap:

Sry for long post, but help is needed.
Last edited by ApolloSol at Sep 22, 2015,
#2
1) Don't be obsessed with speed.
2) The basic motion should be learned using the arm. Think of your arm like the hand of clock.
3) Try picking into the guitar, rather than up and away.
4) People tend to have more trouble with up picking than down picking because of 3)
5) Because a lot of people don't get 2) right, finer motions with wrist and fingers often don't work right or efficiently either.
6) www.guitarprinciples.com
7) There's a lot more, but I'm out of time
#3
Quote by edg
1) Don't be obsessed with speed.
2) The basic motion should be learned using the arm. Think of your arm like the hand of clock.
3) Try picking into the guitar, rather than up and away.
4) People tend to have more trouble with up picking than down picking because of 3)
5) Because a lot of people don't get 2) right, finer motions with wrist and fingers often don't work right or efficiently either.
6) www.guitarprinciples.com
7) There's a lot more, but I'm out of time


You can use your arm, or you can use your wrist. Everyone is different. John Pettruci uses his wrist, and so do I.
#4
Quote by Sample246
You can use your arm, or you can use your wrist. Everyone is different. John Pettruci uses his wrist, and so do I.


I'm a wrister too.

But I'm having trouble visualizing what you mean.
You hold the pick so your thumb/index is a circle but when you upstroke your index finger curls in more?
#5
Can you take pictures or video of this?
But basicly your index finger and thumb twitch when you do upstrokes? Surely, you must be able to do an upstroke without this twitching if you experiment a little with different angles and approaches? Relax your thumb and index finger, they're not supposed to do work. Pick from the wrist or arm or a combination of the two.


Also, no matter how much it may pain you, you must stop obsessing over speed as long as you have this issue. I experienced the exact same thing as you are described, being able to play at a high speed at the end of a session and then being back to square one the day after. My problem was that I felt slow and got obsessed with speed and trying to play at max speed all the time. When people said "play slow", they truly meant it literally.

To me it sounds like your obsession with speed might be keeping you from dealing with the issue of your twitching? It might sound to me like the twitching is the cause of you being slow?

If you have not done so, you should try to analyze what causes the twitching and try to work around it. Also, are you relaxed when playing? Sometimes, the muscles of the forearm and wrist can tense up and really work against one, making one slower.
Last edited by NorthernLord at Sep 24, 2015,