#1
ok I have noticed my picking speed is pretty slow and I was wondering wha is the beat GUIs to help my picking speed thanks
#2
idk what gui is...uhm..practice?
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#5
I also do not know what GUI is... but I would suggest scales with a metronome.

Theres actually a picking exercise on Justin Guitar which helps quite a bit IMO.
#8
Dear God, enough with these threads. There's no way around properly practicing your technique.

Buy a metronome, practice as slowly and accurately as possible with no mistakes and slowly work your speed up. It's all muscle memory; speed is a byproduct of accuracy, and proper practice will breed proper playing.
#9
Wow slot of answers in only an hour and what is GUI and I has a metronome and I used it alot but I was wondering if there were certain exercises that would help.
#10
Quote by guitarnoob243
what is GUI and I has a metronome


Can I has metronome?

Haha..just playing

The best way to increase speed is by having good economy of motion with your picking hand and being just as efficient in your fretting hand, and practicing with a metronome.
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#11
sry for my bad grammar I am typing on my iPod and I usually do practice with metronome and like I said looking for more exercises so thanks yall
#12
Actually there is more to it than just practicing slow with a metronome. A player needs to evaluate their playing mechanics and then go from there. I had been playing for almost 30 years and had to relearn to pick because of developing carpal tunnel and bursitis in the left shoulder. As most players who learn guitar I was self taught, picking up advise from others, mimicking what I saw my favs do or reading magazines and really picking up some very bad habits.

The big three components of playing fast, clean and physically safe are:

1. Economy of Motion

2. Reducing Resistance

3. Implicit (procedural) Memory


All guitar & bass players should evaluate their playing mechanics every so often to correct potential problems. Do your fingers move farther from the fretboard than they need to to play runs? Do you tuck or cramp your pinky when sweep picking or doing triplets (al la Yngwie Malmsteen)? Does your natural playing position (fretting hand) have the thumb parallel to the frets in the middle of the neck or do you bear claw the neck with your thumb extended over the top of the fretboard? Do you use your thumb as a natural pivot to play extended notes or are you always sliding? All of these bad habits reduce Economy of Motion .


On your picking hand are your picking strokes short and exact? Do you pick with the whole arm, or from the wrist or from small finger movement? The less movement and the less muscles involved in the movement lend to Economy of Motion.

Reducing Resistance may be the hardest to accomplish as it requires strict attention to the body while playing. When you practice is your posture correct or are you laying back in a chair or hunched over the guitar? Is there tension in your shoulders, biceps, forearms, wrists or hands when you play? Is there any part of your body that is akward when you play or joints that go contrary to their normal range of motion? Tension in the body cuts down speed and so do body parts that are trying to be moved counter their natural way of movement, both can also lead to physical ailments over time. A musician needs to take the time to practice properly, with the proper posture and mechanics throughout the practice session. Playing guitar is a physical skill just like running and a runner doesn't just go out to run a marathon without warming up. Players need to make stretching a part of their practice time, before, after and some times during a session. If there is pain anywhere you need to stop immediately and stretch. If there is any prolonged pain needs to be treated and you must see a doctor asap. It is better to practice in multiple 30 minute intervals with no pain or discomfort than hours of playing with physical stress on the muscles, tendons and joints.

Implicit (procedural) Memory is what most people wrongly term "muscle memory." There is no muscle memory per se, as your muscles do not have consciousness or the ability to store complex information. Implict Memory can be seen in learning to swim, drive a car, typing, and any complex physical action that is repetative and is required to be called upon subconsciously. For anyone to preform a group of actions fast and precise they need to be slowed down enough for the mind and body to pickup on the intricate details of the motions involved. For a guitar player we need to slow the whole learning process down to a crawl so that as we practice we can pay attention to posture, tension and ecomony of motion so we program ourselves correctly.

Metronome playing can make you fast but if your mechanics are wrong to begin with you are programming your body with dangerous information that could lead to serious trouble in the future. Following is a good beginning practice regimine:

1. Make sure you set aside time where there are no distractions and you can completely concentrate on practicing correctly.

2. Start off by a few minutes of stretching. Stretch your whole body, legs, back, arms, etc. and then focus on stretching the forearms, wrists and hands specifically.

3. Initially start off by having multiple 15 minute practice sessions and work up to 30 minute blocks.

4. I suggest learning to play your guitar with the guitar rested on your left leg (for right handed players). This position keeps your body as straight as possible and is actually closer to playing standing up than resting the guitar on your right leg. With your guitar rested on your right leg your waist is twisted and there is tension being created in the left shoulder area.

5. Your fingering hand should be loose and flexible. If you are having to press down to hard to finger notes or getting cramps in your fingers and wrist something is wrong. You may have to go to a lighter gauge of strings or have the action on your guitar checked. Your left hand should glide or float across the fret board not try to choke it to death.

6. Your picking should be from the natural hinge created by the knuckles of your thumb in a sort of press & release motion and not the wrist or forearm. A painter makes fine strokes using his fingers not by attacking the canvas with full arm strokes. A guitar player needs to make just as precise movements and the wrist and forearm are not designed to accommodate these sort of fast intricate strokes. You will see some very minor movement in the wrist but if it is exagerrated you will need to slow your picking down so you can isolate the movement initiated by the thumb.

7. Start off playing an exercise like the "Spider" with a metronome set between 50-60 bpm and concentrate on your body. Are you tense anywhere? If so try to relax that body part before continuing. Are your left hand movements nice and short, and is your hand relaxed? Are your picking hand movements short and exact, with good attack and emphasis on the down beats? It is a good idea to write down bad habits that you find in your first few weeks of practice so you can pay close attention to them and chart your progress.

8. There are hundreds of picking exercises that I have built off the Spider. I have alternate picking, hybrid picking, jump picking and sweep picking exercises as each comes in handy for specific types of licks and also conforms to the economy of motion ideal. A guitarist should start out with just a handful of the alternate picking exercises and practice them very slow as stated above, and only moving the metronome faster as the skill at the previous setting is perfected to the point of subconscious reaction. Add new exercises every couple of weeks making sure to pratice them slow. I would say that a player should have built up pretty good speed safely in about a year.

Any physical undertaking that a person wants to do well must be continually practiced and every day I go back and do about 20-30 random picking exercises at 60 bpm to analyze that I am still adhereing to the three concepts mentioned before. I started relearning to pick five years ago and have to say that I rarely have any fatigue or pain in my body from playing guitar. I hope that my tips will help someone else to keep playing the instrument they love for many many years.
#13
get a metronome. sit down and practice.
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#14
Quote by guitarnoob243
sry for my bad grammar I am typing on my iPod and I usually do practice with metronome and like I said looking for more exercises so thanks yall

It doesn't matter what exercises you do, it's HOW you practice that matters. Practice things slowly and concentrate on accuracy and you'll gradually get faster.
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#15
Awesome post shredder cheese, you've given me plenty of things to think about.
#17
Thanks shredder.cheese for the advice, err... I have a little question for you. Like for strumming the whole 6 strings, it's a wrist move, but to strum 2 to 4 strings should I use my thumb as a pivot to strum those strings?

Thanks In advance
#18
xplosivrequiem

Chord playing is a whole different matter and depends on what type of music you play and also how much flash you think is necessary. Remember shorter movements are going to produce better control, and using natural pivot points are always less stressful on the muscles and joints. For full on chord strumming I use the wrist. For nice short crunchy double stops (like Metallica) I use the thumb movement just like for picking runs. Punk guitarists like to hang their guitar low when standing and use the forearm with the elbow as the piviot but if you slow down this motion you can feel that the picking hand shoulder is being jerked as you strum (which can lead to bursitis later on). You can play the same punk type guitar riffs using the wrist only action and it will probably be better physically but if you need to perform and portray that punk attitude then you compromise on the next best way, which is the forearm pivoting at the elbow. If a person is starting to feel fatigue, pain or tightness in the shoulder using the forearm to strum I would suggest to first go get a doctor's opinion and second start using the wrist to strum.

If you slow down your playing (even chord strumming) and listen to your body it will lead you in the right direction. If there is stiffness, pain, numbness, etc. in your body focus on it as you play and try to isolate what is causing it, then adjust your playing accordingly. Sometimes just moving a body part a degree or two in a different angle can make all the difference.