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Total technique rebuild..critique my practice routine
Okay..I've decided that I need to completely re-learn my technique from the bottom up..I've made alot of mistakes when practicing technique, and now I'm paying the consequences.
Basically, i'm working on two exercises per technique (Sweeping, Legato, and Alternate Picking) and I'm working on each exercise for 20 minutes. For the first ten minutes, I'm practicing painfully slow, really working on economizing the motions, and when that ten minute chunk is done, I turn on the metronome (at a REALLY slow speed.ie, 40bpm) and I work on that..slowly increasing the metronome speed. If at any point it starts to get difficult/uncomfortable to play..I shut off the metronome completely, and go back to practicing really slowly. That's ONLY if it starts to feel uncomfortable..if it doesn't, I'll keep increasing the metronome until that ten minute chunk is done, and the speed I end with is my top speed for that session. What do you guys think?
Hm... Sounds pretty good... I wish I could say that it wasn't good, so that I could correct you... But, no, it sounds like a pretty good practice. Maybe a little longer sessions, though, like thirty minutes? I don't know... Like you said, do whatever feels comfortable. I've been playing for about three years now, mostly acoustic, and electric for about two months, so I've never played much with a pick, more with my fingers, but when strumming with your fingers there's also alternate strumming (I guess that's what you'd call it), index finger-ring finger-index-ring-index... I never felt like doing that and did too many practices, because they were all really easy for me, because I was more talented than most kids that just started playing... I guess maybe that's a reason that I never tackled fast acoustic pieces. But now that I started playing with a pick on my Fender Strat I was sure to learn alternate picking, I can tell you that. Maybe during those practices try to make a pretty fast-paced song that features only single notes (as opposed to chords and that stuff) and put a bit of distortion and delay on, make something like Malmsteen's Arpeggios from Hell or Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee, or Big Sur Moon by Buckethead, but try to think of something unique that sounds plain cool and crazy at the same time, than you can show that off to people later. Eitherway, your practice sounds good to me.
Yeah! Practicing technique is the best thing in the world! People who do get all the gigs and, most importantly, all the women!!
Ok, seriously. Great that you are practicing technique slowly, but the most important thing to do is to make sure that your hand movements and positions are correct! That's the biggest mistake people usually make when practicing and developing technique, they don't pay attention to the way they're executing those techniques and jump straight to the exercises, usually with zero knowledge about how to do them correctly(Yes, I've been guilty of that myself..). I myself have spent hours upon hours to make sure that my wrist angles, pick angles etc. are the way I want them to be, and they are the most efficient and best ways to execute them cleanly. Try different hand positions, different grips on the pick etc. to make sure that you've the most efficient and(trust me, it's important) the best sounding technique. Your playing technique is the most important thing when it comes to sound and tone. For example, I find pick attack quite annoying and I have chosen my pick(Dunlop Jazztone 205) and practiced my picking(I pick with the pick almost flat to the strings, keeping the pick angle to the minimal) so that I can eliminate the most of it.
Here's my two cents for practicing different techniques:
1. Practice control! Make sure that you use correct style of picking whatever the tempo. I recommend picking from the wrist. Use small motions(but not too small, you don't want your pick get stuck to the strings) and practice dynamics so that you can pick hard or softly using that small motion. Don't worry about speed. If you stick to the correct technique, you'll find later that your (fast)playing will sound more controlled and your tone will be much better. Watch all the big names out there, they all have very small and controlled hand motions and, what's important, they're RELAXED!
2. Practice good tone! Really, people seem to never care about this stuff. Make sure that every note comes out clearly, in sync with the fretting hand and cleanly!
1. Synchronization! Most important thing when sweeping is that both hands work together. Both hands help with muting unwanted notes, both hands have to strike the notes at the same time. Again, do not rush when developing technique. Give yourself time to find the best ways to execute these techniques.
Phew, that was a lot baffling. Hope you find something useful there. I suggest that when experimenting what's the best for you, throw the metronome to the nearest lake. Practice the correct motions slowly, analyzing yourself all the time, and once you know how to do them, go and fish the metronome up and get your fingers burning!!
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