#1
Well, as I stated in the title, I would definately love to practice more but it gets so very boring after about a half an hour. You see, I just don't know what to practice for alternate picking, legato, sweeping, or tapping and on top of that, I don't really know the right technique for alternate picking.

Yes, yes, I know that I should develope my own technique, theres just so many questions I have about ialternate picking. Theres some things people say that just brings up more questions.

Well, here are my questions about alternate picking. I don't expect all of them to get answered, but I want a few answers at least.

1. How much of an angle should you hold the pick? I noticed I angle it quite a bit, but that makes a rather annoying noise when it hits the strings. It's not the scratching noise, but more like a very quick note.

2. How tight should I hold the pick? I know, I know, this is a very difficult question to answer. Heres my problem: When I hold the pick just enough to keep it in my hand, it twists toward the headstock. This is a question I would really hope to answer.

This one is a little off subject...
3. When I play, I have my fretting hand's thumb behind the neck. This makes it very easy for me to reach the lower strings however, it is very uncomfortable when I play it down low. The reason I like to play the guitar low (About the height of my waist) is because my picking hand feels more relaxed. Yet, when I play high, where it's comfortable, it makes me tense up my picking arm.


Before anyone mentions it, I HAVE TRIED JAZZ III'S and I hate them. (I also know that I am part of the group that is for people that play Jazz III's...I don't know how to leave it D=)
#2
1. About a 20 or 30 degree angle ( I'm not good at math so I might be wrong)

2. Don't hold on to your pick too tight

3. ???
Edit: Learn to play a song that has a lot of alternate picking in it.
"Blues is easy to play, but hard to feel."- Jimi Hendrix
Last edited by bBreaker at Jul 28, 2008,
#3
3. It's because you're used to playing low. Since when it's high, your arm is bent more, you'll feel a bit cramped, bu just slightly bring your guitar up every few days and you'll get used to it.

For all of those techniques, you have two choices. Get lessons, or take the time to learn it yourself. You could start by playing a shred song like Altitudes by Jason Becker. Just don't expect to play it fast. Take some parts that seem to be doable and play them at quarter and half speed, making sure it's clean as hell. You could also look for arpeggio shapes, scales and tapping licks and just keep playing along with a metronome. If you start feeling a bit overwhelmed, take a 2 or 3 day break. It always seems to help me.
#4
For alternate picking, I find the easiest way to practice it is by using 3nps patterns of the major scale. When you play them back and forth with strict alternate picking, you will be using both inside and outside picking. Create your own patterns with these shapes. If you look up some Paul Gilbert lessons on youtube, he has tons of alternate picking licks for you to learn.

As far as holding the pick goes, you ought to try choking up on the pick so that only the tip of the pick is showing. For actual picking, the most important thing is playing without tension. Also, you should be keeping your movements economical, meaning that you expend as little energy as necessary to get the string to sound.
"It is always advisable to be a loser if you cannot become a winner." - Frank Zappa

The name's Garrett.

Gear and stuff:
Taylor 310
American Strat w/ Texas Specials
Ibanez JS1000
Vox Wah (true bypass & LED mod)
Dr. Z Maz 18 JR NR
#6
Quote by valdean
Try Painkiller - Judas Priest.

Good for alternative picking.


Ok, thanks. I'll give it a shot. I've noticed I use about 1/8" of the pick which is about twice aas much as I should be using, or so I'm told. Am I right?
#7
NEVER learn to play with your thumb behind the neck (check out jimmy page). just play basic scales, and keep your thumb perpendicular to the neck, it will make life a lot easier in the future.

as for the first 2, there really is no answer just keep [;aying and experimenting until you find out what works for you.

to be hoonest i dont even know what angle i hold my pick, i dont even look at it lol.
98% of people have read that stupid 98% teens and alcohol sig, put this in your sig if you like getting hammered.

Thats it.
#8
Quote by freebird_17
NEVER learn to play with your thumb behind the neck (check out jimmy page). just play basic scales, and keep your thumb perpendicular to the neck, it will make life a lot easier in the future.

Contrary to what freebird_17 says, you SHOULD practice scales with your thumb behind the neck. Now, I can understand when you are wanking around with the pentatonic scale, doing bends and whatnot. Then, the thumb over the neck is good and helps in bending the string. However, when you are playing your major scale up and down and all over the neck, you should have your thumb behind the neck at all times.

And Jimmy Page, as much as I love the guy, is not exactly the greatest example of good technique.
"It is always advisable to be a loser if you cannot become a winner." - Frank Zappa

The name's Garrett.

Gear and stuff:
Taylor 310
American Strat w/ Texas Specials
Ibanez JS1000
Vox Wah (true bypass & LED mod)
Dr. Z Maz 18 JR NR
Last edited by Iron_Dude at Jul 30, 2008,
#9
Quote by Iron_Dude
Contrary to what freebird_17 says, you SHOULD practice scales with your thumb behind the neck. Now, I can understand when you are wanking around with the pentatonic scale, doing bends and whatnot. Then, the thumb over the neck is good and helps in bending the string. However, when you are playing your major scale up and down and all over the neck, you should have your thumb behind the neck at all times.

And Jimmy Page, as much as I love the guy, is not exactly the greatest example of good technique.


Boops
i meant to type you should never practice with your thumb wrapped around the neck, i guess it came out wrong. yah i agree with iron dude, my bad
98% of people have read that stupid 98% teens and alcohol sig, put this in your sig if you like getting hammered.

Thats it.
#10
Quote by freebird_17
Boops
i meant to type you should never practice with your thumb wrapped around the neck, i guess it came out wrong. yah i agree with iron dude, my bad

Ah, it's cool dude.

"It is always advisable to be a loser if you cannot become a winner." - Frank Zappa

The name's Garrett.

Gear and stuff:
Taylor 310
American Strat w/ Texas Specials
Ibanez JS1000
Vox Wah (true bypass & LED mod)
Dr. Z Maz 18 JR NR
#11
As cheesy as it might sound, noticing your own mistakes is a big step forward. You seem to think there's a problem with your picking; the same happened to me lately. Founding out about it means you have to work on it and correct the mistakes.

Find out your weaknesses and train these aspects the most. For example, if you only play power chords, don't expect your alternate picking to get better, etc. Like in real life, if you practice only hockey, it won't make you a better baseball player. You get the draft :P.

If you practice what you have troubles with, you will see yourself progress. That's how everyone does what they do at guitar. People become good at every aspects because they have practiced them all, a lot. To solve your problems, make sure you practice with no tension, and be as confortable as possible. You should feel natural playing. If that requires slower playing, then so be it. When playing up, most people start high but gradually lower it as they get confortable. Just see it this way; looking cool doesn't make you play better. Or you can experiment with your strap and find the way you're the most confortable.

Good luck with that, just don't give up
Quote by MH400
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