#1
The Brush Technique.

Yes, I'm sure that I'm not the inventor of it, but to folks to who may be getting started, or are having difficulty with their right hand technique, it might be handy to know this little trick.

The idea with this is to give yourself more speed while concentrating on tone, and perhaps more importantly, killing tension in your body while playing. A lot of players I know tend to tense up when they want to play at higher speeds, as if they were lifting weights or something. To me, building speed is actually increasing the top speed you can play while being tension free (for the most part, anyway).

Anyway, the Brush Technique, as I call it, is generally the way I play when I use standard-sized picks (which is pretty much... all the time). I like to hold the pick with my first finger and thumb, but unlike most players, I don't choke up on the pick. In other words, I don't leave only the tip exposed. It may seem odd, having a third or fourth of an inch of pick hanging out, but in my hands, it creates a nicer, bigger tone. That's the first part. The second part, or the explanation, may seem a little odd. It might be your impulse to say, "Hey, I already do this!" but in the people I've seen, a lot of them really have trouble or intentionally don't do it. It's fine. This is for people who haven't given a lot of thought on right-hand technique and are looking to experiment, so chill.

The thing is, a lot of player tend to much too articulately. One of the most important things in a player looking for tone is the swing of their pick, and the Brush Technique helps with this. See, to perform the technique, you actually pick downwards or upwards past the string you're playing. It might not even be crazy to use a rest-stroke (as I do) by allowing your pick to swing into the next string. The plan is to get the most swing out of your pick to enhance the tone, and even at shredding speeds, it's possible to plan it out.

For years, I used a Dunlop Red Jazz III pick, but after searching for a solid right-hand style, I settled on a Blue (1.0) or Purple (1.14) Dunlop Tortex, because it allowed me to do this "brush" in my lead and well as rhythm playing. My biggest issue with the Jazz III is that it's small size and sharp point (though it did allow me to angle it for a lot of speed) tended to make my strumming difficult and really cut down on multi-string tone.

Anyway, that's just an idea I thought I'd through out there. Comments, anyone?

-Loserlnsm
Cheers!
#3
I can get tone that I find pretty pleasing, yes. As I said, you've got to have your technique down so that you can get pretty deep into the string, but once your technique is down, you can pull a lot of nuances (dynamics, in particular) out of any guitar. A lot of players, especially around here, use pretty stiff picks, but I play a lot of different styles, so I like something with a little give for chordal work.
Cheers!
#4
Quote by Loserlnsm
The Brush Technique.

Yes, I'm sure that I'm not the inventor of it, but to folks to who may be getting started, or are having difficulty with their right hand technique, it might be handy to know this little trick.

The idea with this is to give yourself more speed while concentrating on tone, and perhaps more importantly, killing tension in your body while playing. A lot of players I know tend to tense up when they want to play at higher speeds, as if they were lifting weights or something. To me, building speed is actually increasing the top speed you can play while being tension free (for the most part, anyway).

Anyway, the Brush Technique, as I call it, is generally the way I play when I use standard-sized picks (which is pretty much... all the time). I like to hold the pick with my first finger and thumb, but unlike most players, I don't choke up on the pick. In other words, I don't leave only the tip exposed. It may seem odd, having a third or fourth of an inch of pick hanging out, but in my hands, it creates a nicer, bigger tone. That's the first part. The second part, or the explanation, may seem a little odd. It might be your impulse to say, "Hey, I already do this!" but in the people I've seen, a lot of them really have trouble or intentionally don't do it. It's fine. This is for people who haven't given a lot of thought on right-hand technique and are looking to experiment, so chill.

The thing is, a lot of player tend to much too articulately. One of the most important things in a player looking for tone is the swing of their pick, and the Brush Technique helps with this. See, to perform the technique, you actually pick downwards or upwards past the string you're playing. It might not even be crazy to use a rest-stroke (as I do) by allowing your pick to swing into the next string. The plan is to get the most swing out of your pick to enhance the tone, and even at shredding speeds, it's possible to plan it out.

For years, I used a Dunlop Red Jazz III pick, but after searching for a solid right-hand style, I settled on a Blue (1.0) or Purple (1.14) Dunlop Tortex, because it allowed me to do this "brush" in my lead and well as rhythm playing. My biggest issue with the Jazz III is that it's small size and sharp point (though it did allow me to angle it for a lot of speed) tended to make my strumming difficult and really cut down on multi-string tone.

Anyway, that's just an idea I thought I'd through out there. Comments, anyone?

-Loserlnsm

Thats bad, don't use more movement then you need. You are moving farther away from the string you need to hit resulting in more hand movement then required. It's all about doing more with less. Now if you're talking about strumming, thats a different story...

And leaving a forth of an inch sticking out instead of choking up is bad also I think, I'll let someone else cover that.
#6
Quote by Herman-Ri
Thats bad, don't use more movement then you need. You are moving farther away from the string you need to hit resulting in more hand movement then required. It's all about doing more with less. Now if you're talking about strumming, thats a different story...

And leaving a forth of an inch sticking out instead of choking up is bad also I think, I'll let someone else cover that.


That's one philosophy, I guess. I think that movement (in the form of a swing) is crutial to getting good tone. If you cut your swing sort, it takes more energy to stop and then bring back up, even if you get used to it. Full swings help eliminate tension, and thus, grant more speed. That's my approach, anyway.
Cheers!
#7
If you cut your swing sort, it takes more energy to stop and then bring back up, even if you get used to it.


I think that's only the case when your picking motion is uncontroled. If it's controled you won't waste energy by stopping, because you only use enough energy to move the pick over a certain distance. If you're falling through the string with your whole arm's weight, ofcourse it'll be hard to stop the arm and pull it back up.

Full swings help eliminate tension, and thus, grant more speed. That's my approach, anyway.


Full swings might be helpful in some cases, but speed isn't one of them.

Also, I agree that you shouldn't always have a tiny edge of the pick sticking out. If you stick out more you'll get a different sound. It helps with dynamics. It's a good thing to practice. It'll also help you hold the pick more losely and secure, because you're changing it's position.

EDIT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXMwzpqo_tU
Not only would it disrupt the fabric of time and space, but it would totally ruin the surprise!
Last edited by Kailoq at Jul 16, 2007,
#8
Quote by Loserlnsm
That's one philosophy, I guess. I think that movement (in the form of a swing) is crutial to getting good tone. If you cut your swing sort, it takes more energy to stop and then bring back up, even if you get used to it. Full swings help eliminate tension, and thus, grant more speed. That's my approach, anyway.

But if you're going past the next string you'll end up trying to eliminate not hitting that string as you are going past it or returning to the string you want to hit. Not doing the 'Brush Technique' will eliminate the extra, unnecessary problem all together. Again I'm sure someone else could explain this a bit better than I am.
#9
Quote by jetfuel495
who says u cant?



exp. with other playrz sez u cnt. Specially cuz you hear the bubbles and popping sounds of picking the strings more; its more pronounced with 1.0 mm picks.
#10
Quote by insideac
exp. with other playrz sez u cnt. Specially cuz you hear the bubbles and popping sounds of picking the strings more; its more pronounced with 1.0 mm picks.

You can get different tones out of different sized picks, you just have to know how to use the picks potential to it's fullest.
#11
Quote by Herman-Ri
You can get different tones out of different sized picks, you just have to know how to use the picks potential to it's fullest.


Ditto.

The almighty PG uses thin picks now, as opposed to thicker ones, because he prefers the tone of them on the high strings. And PG sounds as great as always!
Not only would it disrupt the fabric of time and space, but it would totally ruin the surprise!
#12
Quote by Herman-Ri
You can get different tones out of different sized picks, you just have to know how to use the picks potential to it's fullest.



Yes I know, but for most people who will attempt to shred using such a thin pick, you know as well as I do that you will hear more scraping sounds than music
#13
^They might as well learn how to pick with a thin pick correctly instead of using a thick pick to hide poor technique

Acoustic + thin pick ftw!
Not only would it disrupt the fabric of time and space, but it would totally ruin the surprise!
#14
Rather obviously, everyone has their own technique. As I said, I do sometimes use a rest stroke, but the size of your swing should be dependant on the tempo of your song and the rhythm of the notes you play. I don't believe that there's one way that every person should pick, but by seeing other people's techniques, you can get ideas on how to form your own. I just think that the general agreement is to do what you can to get good tone and eliminate tension. At any rate, my technique is not something that I see as being clumsy; I do have some degree of control with my hand, so it's just what I've learned to do. Again, there's many ways to play and many ideas on how to achieve desirable things for plectrum users.

One the subject of picks, they're something of a personal preference, and there are players who use every style of pick you can imagine. Most of them combine that with the way that best matches their style, and that helps make their voice. For me, it's just a standard shape pick because it offers me (personally) the greatest route to vary my tone. I've never had any problem with 'bubbles' in all the years I've used blue or purple Tortexes.
Cheers!
#15
Quote by Kailoq
Ditto.

The almighty PG uses thin picks now, as opposed to thicker ones, because he prefers the tone of them on the high strings. And PG sounds as great as always!


Paul Gilbert is... well, Paul Gilbert! But yeah, it just goes to show how picks can manipulate tone and that there really is no "number one" pick.
Cheers!
#16
Quote by Kailoq
^They might as well learn how to pick with a thin pick correctly instead of using a thick pick to hide poor technique

Acoustic + thin pick ftw!


Its alot easier to pick acoustic guitars with a thin pick
#17
Quote by insideac
Its alot easier to pick acoustic guitars with a thin pick


In my opinion (no contradiction intended), thin picks offer more rhythmic variety - chiefly due to their give - but I have issues with gaining volume from them when playing flatpicked solos, especially, say, in a bluegrass setting, when you need to be heard over other instruments.
Cheers!
#18
What you're describing sounds a lot like the way gypsy jazz players pick to me. If you're interested, an excellent book on the matter is Gypsy Picking by Michael Horowitz.

Anyway, for electric playing I wouldn't recommend it. For reasons previously mentioned by others and also various others such as the mayhem it'd create playing distorted.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

Click.
#19
This sounds exactly like a rest stroke but with a pick. Sounds great on a classical, I love it.

I dont feel that it carries over well with a pick, and I dont like the sound of it on electric for the sounds that are picked up, like Resi said.
Don't tell me what can not be done

Don't tell me what can be done, either.



I love you all no matter what.
#20
True, I do listen to a lot of Gypsy players like Bireli Lagrene and Angelo De Barre, but my technique, which is my fault for not mentioning, involves palm muting. I style my hand somewhat like John Petrucci, at least as in his Rock Discipline video, but the wider swing thing is just something I do because I find the tone pleasing. Like I said, the amount of swing should depend on the tempo, though. For tremolo picking, there's hardly any mtion involved at all. I suppose, in the most basic form, I'm just saying to swing as wide as you can comfortably in time, but the wider, the better. Obviously, for shredding, there's not room for a FULL string-to-string swing.

Go figure.
Cheers!
#21
Quote by insideac
Its alot easier to pick acoustic guitars with a thin pick


Hmm. I find it harder to pick on an acoustic in general and I used to find it easier to play them with a "thick" pick. Thin ones felt a bit flappy. Now I can use both reasonably well.

Although to be honest I can't really recall it that well and I might be making stuff up in my defence


In any case, you should try to learn to play with both
Not only would it disrupt the fabric of time and space, but it would totally ruin the surprise!