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Thread: Annoyance with picking technique

  1. #1
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    Annoyance with picking technique

    I've always believed that "whatever feels natural" is what you should do when it comes to picking. Though, recently after throwing alot of chromatic passes into my playing, my old style of picking has become a nuisance and everytime I pick a quick passage it feels like Im messing up, but Im not.

    note: When I pick it is down, up, down - down, up, down - down, up, down, etc.. regardless of going up or down to the next string. Sometimes, on the rare occasion I might go, down, up, down, UP, down, up when switching from something like the high E to the B string.

    I know the only way to fix the awkwardness is to simply practice, I was just wondering if anyone else has ever had this problem or something similar.

  2. #2
    Afro-Cuban Grunge-Pop Bongo Boy's Avatar
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    There is a thread elsewhere on the site covering similar issues. What I remember was someone (Eric V, I think) writing about the floating arm vs anchored arm--but the issues were similar. The idea is that a player may have a particular comfortable style, and adopt a new style to overcome some problem or limitation. That newly-adopted style is simply going to feel awkward--perhaps for a LONG time.

    This (again) is like golf. From time to time a pro golfer will choose to change his/her swing rather dramatically--with the hope it will pay off, but always with a certain risk involved.

    Right now I'm finding problems with how I hold my right arm and how I hold the pick--these problems are found by doing a variety of exercises where completing the exercise is difficult or clumsy in part because of bad (or lazy) form.
    Pulsing the System with Confirmed Nonsense.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for replying. I do believe that the chromatic sequences I've been playing that use strict alternate picking most of the time have made my old style of picking alittle clumsy. Which could be mostly due to the fact that I've been focusing on playing quick chromatic runs to get speed and hands synchrinized(sp?) instead of balancing both styles.

    Also, I was wondering if the pick could cause any problems aswell? I've always used small Dunlop Jazz III picks but I've had this same pick for 8 months or more and the tip is no longer pointy, its more rounded and I'm curious as to weither or not this is interfereing with me in anyway.

  4. #4
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    hi Apprentice...

    bongo boy practically said it all, i will add my little experience from changing around stuff...

    Unfortunately these are not a work for me works for all things, you have to teach yourself about yourself. Let me take myself as an example:

    I came up with a small riff which was pretty wierd to play at first so I took it slowly and found out the best way to do it very patiently (this particular case was a combination of alternate picking, 2 string "sweep", and a string skip). Only after slowing it down and finding MY best way of doing it worked out. I transformed that into an exercise so my hands learns the new approach.

    Another example, i been asking myself if the pick or string gauge have been an uncomfortable matter for me. So my next packet of strings was gauge 10 and my pick's thickness increased for experimentation. I will change my strings again to 9 next change in order for me to teach myself what i need.

    What i am mainly trying to tell ya is not to be afraid of experimenting and making mistakes. Mistakes help you step on unknown grounds, somethings probably would have never been found if not by mistake. The real BAD mistake is then to PRACTICE a MISTAKE! (duh!) (and again the term mistake is a question of interpretation, you could call it something you don't like but i hope you get my point)

    so hope that helps

    Robert
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the help. I'm going to try and get some new picks soon, that should solve one piece of the problem. I'll work on playing it slowly and trying to find the most effecient way of playing it. I have another question about string gauges. I use Ernie Ball Super Slinky 9-42 and the strings have been feeling very loose as of late, I've just put them on like a few weeks ago. I was wondering, since you have played 10's (or anyone who has used 10's or higher), do the strings become tighter? I guess I will have to experiment, Im really eager to try and find the equipment that suits me so that I can focus more on my playing and making it easy as possible.

  6. #6
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    do the strings become tighter?
    LOL .. oh YES they do ... i almost ended up in a mental asylum due to that (kidding) ... how the hell can strings gain ENERGY and get tense out of nothing?


    well i figured out usually it's the fault of the thick strings (low pitches) on a floating bridge. If they loosen up ... the bridge goes back (relaxes as well) and all the strings are tensed up further...

    so if this happens start by tuning from the 6th string (thickest, that's ideal in all cases actually its her effect which is mainly felt all strings) .. and i am talking about floating bridges ... not fixed!

    remember also that temperature, number of hours used etc all effect the strings.

    good luck
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  7. #7
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    What exactly is the difference between a floating bridge and a fixed bridge? I'm still using my old Epiphone and I have to slide my strings through the back of the guitar.

    All my equipment is set in an unused room and its usually just alittle bit warm and when I go to play I usually turn the AC on because I play for hours on end and it starts to get hot as hell and I/everyone who plays in there starts to sweat. Im hoping this will not cause a negative affect.

    And thanks, Im going to try some 10's this week, I think my buddy has a pack lying around. I'm sure going to miss my crazy bends with those loose strings but I really want some tighter strings.

    Thanks for all the help.

  8. #8
    Rock Rock On! Jergason's Avatar
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    Thicker strings change your tone as well. Listen to Stevie Ray Vaughn. He used 13s and his tone is amazing!! They are harder to play, but I much prefer that to the dental floss that some shredders use. It just sounds so empty to me.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, the 9's were feeling really good for awhile but now they feel like needle thread, I guess because my hands are alot stronger now. I've also been messing with my "sound". I've turned the tone knobs on my guitar down and I thought it sounded alot more expressive without it piercing your ear, though, it did hurt my fretboard tapping alot.

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