I apologize for going on and on about picking. I just want to ask two final questions.

1. what kind of motion should i be using when i pick?

background: i pick from my wrist and use my elbow when i cross strings. i practice both alternate and economy picking. it seems like i was hitting adjacent strings with my thumb because i was turning my wrist too much (kind of like starting the ignition in a car). that said it doesn't feel right to do strictly side to side motion with my wrist. i have found a sort of middle ground where my pick direction stays basically level and i'm half rotating half pulling my wrist back. (i don't know how else to describe it). it seems to be doing the trick, although i'm having to go incredibly slow (i note every 4 seconds) to drill it into my muscle memory.

which brings me to my second question:

2. can muscle memory be undone?

background: sometimes after i have practiced for a bit i jam out and write songs. some of these songs require that i pick quickly or do string skipping lines. when i'm executing these lines my technique sometimes lapses into sloppiness and i do sometimes hit adjacent strings with my thumb. does this mean that i'm screwing my muscle memory?
not sure about your picking techniq but i used to have total mucked up way of picking and wondered how i wasnt building any real speed for the first 2 years of playing. what i did was stopped playing for a week and just watched other people play on youtube and see how they held the pick and then when i went back to my guitar after i week i tried to hold it like they did and do what they do.
bit weird to start of with but paid off in the end.


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that's fair enough. anyone else care to chime in about muscle memory or picking?
yea im pretty sure you can unlearn/re-learn anything

just start from scratch and re=practise it till you completely forget how it was you used to play something

and all this about questioning how to pick exactly is a little bit...whats the word....you're overthinking it too much...do what feels/sounds good and dont worry whether or not steve vai does it

of course it is good to have an idea of good technique and such but thts maybe a bit too picky (no pun intended)
haha nice pun. yea i have a feeling i am overthinking it a bit too much. it's just that my picking hand thumb was hitting adjacent strings so it's a pain.

i'm just worried that when i'm jamming out i might be messing up any progress i'm making, that's all.
hmmm I was told to never play with my elbow, It can cause difficulty when strumming, and slow you down, and on your muscle memory, I am in the process of learning the whole none elbow thing right now, as i was only told a week ago...and it seems to be improving.

I think that as long as you practice it then it will get better.

Also (one more thing) the fact that you know that your accidently hitting strings is great, because you know what your doing wrong, so as long as you keep trying you will get better, after all, when you learnt to ride a bike, you didnt 'pick' it up straight away did you?

Edit: Failure is Learning
i don't use my elbow to pick, i use it to position my hand so that i can pick from my wrist. picking from the elbow is bad bad.