#1
Hello, I've been working on doing some fast runs up and down the pentatonic scale, similar to the lesson given by Kris Dahl in his Kirk Hammett lesson. I've been using a pretty thin pick which seems to help me pick alittle faster, however I'm having trouble with picking and alternating strings.

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---------------------------------------1------1
-----------1-------1----3---1---3-------3
4--1--4------4---------------------------

Usually I play it higher up, but anyways, the sections where it alternates between two separate strings, I just can't seem to get it right. The picking method is either too slow, or it just gets caught when i try speeding it up. I've been playing it slow for awhile, but i don't know. I've tried basically keeping the pick between the strings, doing a downstroke on the higher pitched string, then coming back to the lower pitched string with an upstroke, but it gets messy. Also, I tried pretty much raking the high string then low string in an upstroke. Is there a better method or suggestion?
#2
get a metronome and play it on clean, as fast as you can hitting all the notes.
then play it at that speed for as long as possible, then try and move up, slowly increase it and just keep playing it. practise makes perfect.
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#3
Keep the pick between the strings during string changes and economize your picking.

for example...

For the first 5 notes i would pick as, D-UP-D-D-UP
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#4
You should be able to do that using strict alternate picking starting both on an up or a downstroke, really. These kind of two-note-per-string patterns are hard when sped up using alternate picking but the sound of it over economy picking is more appealing, imo.

Nothing to do but practice, I'm afraid. Personally, I've always hated thin picks, maybe time to try something new?
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#5
Look at some Shawn Lane or Eric Johnson, they're good for that sort of stuff, I'll send you some Tabs if you need
#6
Thin picks don't help you pick faster, they just make you *think* you're playing faster due to the decreased resistance when striking the strings. However, for control and accuracy they're appalling, and if you ever want to play fast then control and accuracy are pretty much all that matters.

Start using something heavier, at least a .50mm but ideally even stiffer.
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#8
Quote by Orbit91
Look at some Shawn Lane or Eric Johnson, they're good for that sort of stuff, I'll send you some Tabs if you need


Yes please. And thanks for all the responses. I guess I'll just keep practicing until it is perfect...
#9
I would go as far as to recommend a pick that's above 1mm in thickness, personally.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

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#10
Honestly, its not really the thickness of the pick that I'm worried about. That is sort of subjective. I'm worried about the picking method. Alternating or a specific way of doing it ect ect... Its just tricky when u alternate between strings for me. Idk why.
#11
Quote by Watterboy
Honestly, its not really the thickness of the pick that I'm worried about. That is sort of subjective. I'm worried about the picking method. Alternating or a specific way of doing it ect ect... Its just tricky when u alternate between strings for me. Idk why.

Well, the way I solved the problem, is that have I constant, but controlled motion with my wrist, like Shawn Lane, I advise you watch some of his videos and study his technique.
#12
Quote by Watterboy
Honestly, its not really the thickness of the pick that I'm worried about. That is sort of subjective. I'm worried about the picking method. Alternating or a specific way of doing it ect ect... Its just tricky when u alternate between strings for me. Idk why.

No, it's not subjective at all - it's a big factor.

When you pick you want to be accurate, controlled and efficient. A thin pick flexes a lot, that means that when you strike a string it won't sound immediately, there's a tiny delay between the contact and the initial note attack and at higher speeds that's going to screw up your timing. Furthermore, that initial contact bends the pick, but when the pick leaves the string then it has to flex back to it's rest state - that means that the tip of the pick is always moving and never in the same place which means you have less control. Finally, bending the pick is wasting energy that should be being used to vibrate the string, which makes you inefficient and means less tone.

Don't get me wrong, you still need to work on your technique and practice, but a thicker pick will help a lot.
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#13
Picking 2 note per string pentatonics at speed is hard -- as you've discovered. It's one
of the reasons that people who practice those chromatic exercises all day, won't get very
far. It's really all about your cross string picking mechanics in this case. In short,
your technique is inadequate. Precisely why would be difficult to address here.

About thin picks: to a point the pick you choose is preference. But, you'll find almost
every good picker uses a stiff pick for a reason. Control. You probably find a thin pick
easier because in the slop of it's bending, it's hiding your lack of control.