Ok, so I've been playing for a little over a year now, probably 14 months, and well, for a little while I stopped playing (last summer, no idea why) but a month ago I got a new guitar, and got back into it. Well, I found out I somehow got a lot faster....with my fretting hand. Now here's the problem. My picking hand sucks now! No matter how hard I try I can't do upstrokes to save the life of me. That and my gallop is gone, possibly the one good thing I could have done with my picking hand. Add on top of that I'm supposed to teach my girlfriend guitar, and well, you have yourself a nicely made crap sandwich. Anyone know any good excercises or ANYTHING to get my picking hand back in shape?
scales are good for picking exercises, just play e.g. a chromatic scale up and down with alternate picking, it should increase the coordination between your hands and let you play faster
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Quote by Jastul
if you want it to sound really dirty just rub some dirt on your amp...
Practise your tremolo picking all over the guitar neck - on the low E and all the way up to the 22/24th fret on your high e. That will help your picking hand gain stability all overthe fretboard. A lot of people just practise it at one spot on the neck, that's not a good idea.

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Quote by lil-matee
what is a solo?
Paul Gilbert's Intense Rock 1 worked my picking hand into to shape. Exercises like (all alternate picked):

E -------------------12-----------------
B ----12--13--15------12--13--15--


E -------------------12--14-15----------------
B ----12--13--15---------------12--13--15--

There are a ton more, but that's what really helped me.
Quote by Shard Heilia
Chromatics work really well.

+1. Alternate pick the simple 1-2-3-4 next string, 1-2-3-4 next string, etc. Is it boring? Yep! But very effective at coordinating your fretting hand with your picking hand.

Scales can be done the same way. If you choose scales, you get two benefits. 1) You learn a scale and, 2) you get coordination, dexterity, and alternate picking as well.

I hope this helps.

Well, learning drums was both bad and good for me at guitar. Bad in that I absolutely cannot shred worth a crap anymore, good in that it defined my style and gave me the confidence to play my stuff with unbelievable dynamics and very chunky rhythm.

See, drumming teaches you to be loose with your wrists, and to involve as many joints as possible in your playing. Also, there are no discreet actions in drumming (or picking). This will make more sense if you've ever taken geometry or physics, but your playing is cyclical.

Think of it like the ocean. (here is where I wish I had a picture of the big, fat Bodhi Dharma zen Buddha...shucks...)

The ocean is the most powerful force on the planet. It can destroy cities faster and more completely than any known weapon including the entire nuclear arsenal - the pure energy of water (not to mention cholera) is just immensely powerful.

And how hard does the ocean work at being that powerful?

As the Chinese say "be like water," and water, they believe, is the most powerful element.

You may be thinking of your picking as distinct strokes. Up. Down. Down. Down. Up.

Don't do that! First of all it will make you weak. Secondly it will give you carpal tunnel in a hurry. Instead think of picking as circles of varying sizes.

Do you want to strum chords for that sweet song you wrote to tell your girlfriend she is the sweetest, most beautiful flower that you will cherish forever and ever? Use big circles.

Want to eviscerate all Christians within a 50 mile radius with the onslaught of pure black metal?

Use very small circles.

A "downstroke" is the half of the circle that goes down. Guess what the upstroke is?

I can't believe how many of my students I have told about this and 99% look at me as if I'm speaking Chinese and trying to explain the 12th dimension of space-time in the Superstring theory of the cosmos.

Really, it's not that hard!

Drummers know exactly what I'm talking about.

If you paint, same thing. Painting, drawing, even kicking people's asses with Kung Fu is the same concept (hence the Chinese part of this thing...) I took Tai Chi with a Kung Fu class.

My guitar playing improved considerably as a result.

Be like water, let the powerful, effortless force of your virtually infinite potential unleash itself on your guitar. Do not work, let the work happen.

Want to play faster? Tighten up your circles. Muscle tension is your means of control. To play harder/faster, tighten up EVERYWHERE along your arm. Want to make it quieter, smoother, slower? Loosen up everywhere.

It's almost like fluid density.

Want to play death metal? Make the fluid an avalanche of 1000-ton boulders crushing its way down a mountain towards a waiting village full of schoolchildren.

Want to make your girlfriend cum fifteen times without even smiling at her - just with the sound of your guitar? Make your fluid the effervescent scent of rose petals diffusing gently through her window on a spring morning, reminding her of her femininity, and caressing her with its purity.

Woodpeckers aren't sexy. Jackhammers are unspeakably irritating.

The ocean is wonderful and deadly, both the creator and ultimate destroyer of all life.
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

Need a beer!?!? That was ramblings of someone that is stoned lol.

Too funny

haha, wow, now I feel like the karate kid. Well, the excercises and concepts given were all really helpful, I kinda figured the problem and worked on it from there (picking was too tight, and I kinda flew up on the strokes and would miss alot) so I think I can get it going. Thanks for all your help, you guys rock