#1
I was playing with just my left hand today and noticed that I play very cleanly and smoothly with just my left hand... which leads me to believe that my picking hand isn't up to par. I play right handed and I'm left-handed, so pickings never been my strongest point.

I want to get my picking hand up to speed with my left, and I want to be able to pick accurately and cleanly though, can anyone suggest me some exercises?
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# Un-nominated in UG Top 100,
#2
What you play doesn't really matter as long as you do it with a consistent approach and start off at a speed where you can play with absolute accuracy and speed up gradually.
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#3
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
What you play doesn't really matter as long as you do it with a consistent approach and start off at a speed where you can play with absolute accuracy and speed up gradually.



I figured someone would say that . It's true though practice does make perfect, I need to spend less time playing songs and writing and more time actually practicing to get better.
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# Un-nominated in UG Top 100,
#4
Quote by Bushinarin
I figured someone would say that . It's true though practice does make perfect, I need to spend less time playing songs and writing and more time actually practicing to get better.


Try to divide your time between each area of guitar playing equally; technique is good but without a good song it means nothing but a good song played really badly sounds terrible, it's all about balance.
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#5
Balance is pretty much like 50% of my life's philosophy.

I understand, I'll try to switch up every hour or so between scales and exercises, to improvising... etc.
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# Un-nominated in UG Top 100,
#6
Quote by Bushinarin
Balance is pretty much like 50% of my life's philosophy.


Haha, that made me laugh. I agree, though, I've seen a lot of flaws in my own playing, most of it has come from being imbalanced. I do my best to advance my technique but we all have our good and bad days.
#7
Quote by silvadolla
Haha, that made me laugh. I agree, though, I've seen a lot of flaws in my own playing, most of it has come from being imbalanced. I do my best to advance my technique but we all have our good and bad days.



I've just been running scales for like an hour and a half, and after that my hands feel so limber I don't think I could have a bad day... until I go to sleep and fall out of guitar mode.
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# Un-nominated in UG Top 100,
#8
Quote by Bushinarin
I've just been running scales for like an hour and a half, and after that my hands feel so limber I don't think I could have a bad day... until I go to sleep and fall out of guitar mode.


Some days I feel invincible like that, but I notice it has a lot to do with my energy levels.
Other days, I can hardly put my guitar back onto its stand before leaping into bed
#9
Quote by Bushinarin
I was playing with just my left hand today and noticed that I play very cleanly and smoothly with just my left hand... which leads me to believe that my picking hand isn't up to par. I play right handed and I'm left-handed, so pickings never been my strongest point.

I want to get my picking hand up to speed with my left, and I want to be able to pick accurately and cleanly though, can anyone suggest me some exercises?



Maybe you need a new/better pick for your style, plus the already given advice about slowing down until you're fluid, then speeding up gradually.

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#10
Quote by BaffAttack
Maybe you need a new/better pick for your style, plus the already given advice about slowing down until you're fluid, then speeding up gradually.


Ah, I've tried a bunch of different kinds of picks, no Dunlop Jazz though... which everyone seems to love.

You see, I've been playing for a year and a half... but until about three months ago I was strictly fingerpicking on acoustics. Now I'm playing blues and trying to learn metal... but I realize that I can't use a pick very well.

I also hold my pick with a closed fist because of my massive 6 foot 4 man hands that I've got.
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# Un-nominated in UG Top 100,
#11
Big mitts, eh? I'd work on opening the hand up, that may be screwing with your technique. Also, check the edges of your pick, make sure they're not ragged. You'll have to work at it, but you'll get it.

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#12
Quote by BaffAttack
Big mitts, eh? I'd work on opening the hand up, that may be screwing with your technique. Also, check the edges of your pick, make sure they're not ragged. You'll have to work at it, but you'll get it.



I've thought about opening my hand from time to time... It's very difficult when I do, and no one has ever been able to tell me what it would really inhibit. I always figured if it did do something bad it would get fixed automatically as I got better at what I was practicing.

Oh, and I take good care of my picks... except I kind of chew on them .
I've decided that my signature is terrible. I'm open to suggestions.


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# Un-nominated in UG Top 100,
#13
Well, it's hard to say without seeing you, but I've seen other guys with the fist, and they hold their wrist differently than someone picking with the hand open beyond the thumb and index, so that the curled fingers clear the strings.

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#14
Quote by Bushinarin
I always figured if it did do something bad it would get fixed automatically as I got better at what I was practicing.


Never assume this; if you just assume that bad technique will get fixed with more practicing you're wrong, chances are if you practice with bad habits then they'll just become engrained in your technique and end up being huge amounts of work to fix down the line; assume good technique while your hands are still learning so you don't develop any bad habits.

Also the whole closed fist vs. spread fingers debate is basically a moot point as it's a very personal thing; no one can tell you if you're right you just have to experiment and find out which way works best for you.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

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“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


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#15
Quote by BaffAttack
Well, it's hard to say without seeing you, but I've seen other guys with the fist, and they hold their wrist differently than someone picking with the hand open beyond the thumb and index, so that the curled fingers clear the strings.



Well, I hold my hand in a closed fist, with the pick in between my thumb and forefinger. I hover above the bridge except when things need muting and I anchor my wrist on the lower strings a lot of the time when I pick on the higher strings... I don't have a means to photograph so, I'm sorry for not being able to describe very well.
I've decided that my signature is terrible. I'm open to suggestions.


Click me, or I'll die.


# Un-nominated in UG Top 100,
#16
Hrm. I think you may be twisting your wrist and picking in a slightly awkward manner that way (I just tried to simulate what you described and it felt like I was twisting).

If you're having picking problems, which you obviously are or you wouldn't have said anything, I'd consider a "traditional" grip. I know muscle memory is gonna be a bitch to overcome, but if it were easy, everyone would do it.

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#17
I will give it a shot, and thanks for your tips fellows... I'll try to hold my hand more open, I just wonder how long it's gonna be ultra-difficult. Worth it in the end though I suppose .
I've decided that my signature is terrible. I'm open to suggestions.


Click me, or I'll die.


# Un-nominated in UG Top 100,
#18
You don't need to speed up your pickin hand as such, what you need to do is work on your ability to synchronise both hands.

Slow things down until you can play things accurately and concentrate on being perfect, fretting and picking in unison. If you're timing's off you'll get double notes sounding and crap like that - there will be a speed at which you can do things perfectly, it's just going to be slower than you'd like. There's no avoiding that however, you need to basically "re-learn" things the right way to be able to get them right.
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#19
Id suggest looking trough the lessons on UG there's plenty of stuff on all kinds of picking.