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Thread: Pick Slide

  1. #1
    Registered User metallibeast's Avatar
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    Question Pick Slide

    I'm wondering how do you actually properly execute a pick slide?
    I got a few questions regarding this technique.

    Do you physically move your hand so that that the side of the pick is parallel to the strings (without the pick moving) or shift the pick's position?

    Second of all do you press the pick down on to juz the low E string or onto the low E and A string together when you do the pick slide? Are you actually using a lot of strength to do this?

    I notice that when I try to do a pick slide I cannot shift my pick to the side fast enough. When the pick slide ends, I always can't get the pick to be back in the correct picking position.

    Any help or tips?

    -Beast

  2. #2
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Wow, I never really thought about the execution of pick slides a lot... anyway, lemme grab a guitar...

    Do you physically move your hand so that that the side of the pick is parallel to the strings (without the pick moving) or shift the pick's position?
    I am holding the pick pretty much the way I always hold it, but when I do a pick scratch, its tip is pointing towards the floor, and I scratch the strings with the edge of the pick... itīs like a right angle to the strings...

    Second of all do you press the pick down on to juz the low E string or onto the low E and A string together when you do the pick slide? Are you actually using a lot of strength to do this?
    I donīt press it down too much, otherwise Iīd fry the pick. You donīt need to press down very hard.
    I usually do it on the low E-, A- and D-String, but in a live-situation, it might be just one string... I donīt think too much when I do it, so it depends...

    I notice that when I try to do a pick slide I cannot shift my pick to the side fast enough. When the pick slide ends, I always can't get the pick to be back in the correct picking position.
    It depends on where you do it. You donīt have to move the pick down towards the lowest fret... you can do a pick-slide over the pickups, too, maybe only going down to about the 15th fret.
    Also, you can move it downwards ( or upwards ) really slowly, you donīt have to it at the speed of light...

    Hope this helps
    Eric

  3. #3
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    Another way to execute the pick slide is by turning your wrist the opposite way from Eric... so the pick is pointing up towards the ceiling.

    When your picking along, the pick is essentially parallel to the strings. To execute a pick slide, you turn the pick so it's roughly perpendicular to the strings so you can scrape it length-wise along the string.

    There's only two options, one is to point the pick down, the other is to point it up.

    I must have learned by watching some rock video in the mid-80's, I honestly can't remember. I did spend a huge amount of time perfecting the pick slide! It's a valuable tool when you get lost in the middle of a solo! A couple pick slides and dive bombs can give you enough time to recover from temporary memory lapses! (Am I the only one who does this ) I didn't think so
    -Bizarro
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  4. #4
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Well, seeing this thread getting bigger, Iīm coming to think of the fact that it may actually be a good idea to finally release that
    "Advanced Pick Sliding / Hot Pick Slide Licks"-instructional video I thought about for a while now. I wonder whether REH would work on this one with me...

    A couple pick slides and dive bombs can give you enough time to recover from temporary memory lapses! (Am I the only one who does this ?)
    Oh well, you just gave away one of the sacred secrets of rock-guitar =)
    Most players do that I guess... if you mess up a lick, itīs a cool way to get out of it and still look cool
    Also, while you slowly slide the pick down the neck, you can in the meantime think about what cool lick to play next... you gotta think quick though, cuz not too many people wanna hear a 25 sec. pick slide...
    Eric

  5. #5
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    ZEN GUITAR

    I don't think pick sliding is something you give a great deal of thought to, it is automatic and improvised on the spot. I think planning it out would ruin it. JUST DO IT, DON"T THINK.
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
    Szulc's Site

  6. #6
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    I do it how ever it needs doing in relationship to where I'm starting and where I'll be going after the pick slide.
    I've never given it much thought. Like said already, just do it.

  7. #7
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    This is not a Musical technique!

    I guess I am somewhat disturberd by this thread.

    You people who feel you need advice to do a 'proper pick slide' should be concentrating on being able to play something musical and not mindless flash techniques. Work on playing cleanly and executing your ideas with conviction. Devote time to your bending and vibratto technique, to playing in tune.
    Spend time trying to develop good musical ideas in your head then try to execute them.
    When you are good enough to 'just play' and it sounds good you'll be able to do silly flash techniques like pick slide without thought, but in exercising good taste probably won't choose to.
    If your ideas are sound you won't want to waste any of your solo time on non-musical fluff, you will want to play the cool ideas that are flowing between your ears.
    Last edited by szulc; 12-06-2002 at 05:50 AM.
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
    Szulc's Site

  8. #8
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    The important thing about the pick slide is to make sure you look cool while you're doing it !

    Some of my favorite guitarists have done very well using unorthodox techniques to get their point across. I remember in the 80's when people said Van Halen's tapping was a flash techniques. The same thing has been said about sweep picking!

    Everything you do that makes a noise (intentional or otherwise) from the guitar is part of the package. I think it's just a matter of personal preference.

    some examples:
    Satriani did a whole album using just guitar noises to create sounds for bass, drums, cymbals, etc.
    SRV always was picking above the nut, yanking on the tremolo springs, tapping on the back of the neck or body, and so on.
    Nuno played the Hot for Teacher DRUM intro during his '91 concert solo by doing who know's what to his guitar.
    Steve Vai - he's so far out there... but sometimes he pulls the strings down over the edge of the fretboard with his fingernail, fretting out the strings and making strange stuff happen.
    Jeff Beck - ? I'm not sure what he does, but I like it!
    Paul Gilbert - actually screams into the pickups!
    Jimi Hendrix - lighter fluid and matches...

    All these people are great musicians, and they use noises in their expression. They also had great vibrato and incredible command of the instrument in the tradition ways, too. You just have to find a way to make it work!

    Plus its fun to turn up real loud and just wreak havoc...
    -Bizarro
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  9. #9
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    I guess my point here is if you have good technique and can play what is in your head (and your head has cool ideas in it, to play), you will not need any one to tell you how to hold your mouth when you execute a pick slide or any other embellishment. You will just do it, without thought. ZEN mindlessness.

    However, if you are having to actually think (or ask questions) about how to do a pick slide I suspect that you are concentrating on the wrong things, and should be doing the basics of learning to play and to have good ideas to play.

    I don't think that is too much of a stretch or interpolation.

    The only time I remember having a problem with pick slides is when I was using a stone pick which is pretty much silent when you slide it. These are great for picking technique but damn hard to keep from dropping and they are brittle and break when they hit concrete they are also difficult to play funk with.
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
    Szulc's Site

  10. #10
    just some dude nateman's Avatar
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    curmudgeon alert!

    Bizarro's point (or my interpretation of it) is that there are lots of fun and unexpected ways to make noise with the guitar, and those who choose to talk about such techniques may arrive at fun and unexpected revelations.

    to paraphrase Bizarro's comments from another thread, different things come easy to different people. if you need any proof, you should spy on the two of us at band practice! he does all sort of crazy things (pinch harmonics, pick slides, who knows what) that i would never have had a clue about if he hadn't shown me. certain techniques require completely different ways of thinking about our relationship with the guitar. some folks may come across those different perspectives more naturally, or be so overflowing with oneness with the universe that the difference between the perspectives is trivial. zen mindlessness, unfortunately, is not enough for some of us and we need a little boost. that's a big part of what this forum is for.

    James make's a good point that pick slides shouldn't be the focus of someones practice regimen for weeks on end, but i'd like to think that just about anything you can do with a guitar is a valid topic for discussion here and we should maintain that atmosphere.

    (sorry for the ramble. blame it on the nyquil.)

  11. #11
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bizarro
    Nuno played the Hot for Teacher DRUM intro during his '91 concert solo by doing who know's what to his guitar.
    Hi there,

    I saw that tour... he put the left hand over the neck and tapped on the strings with his fingers to get that percussive sound, almost like tapping on a table.
    To check it out, put your left hand flat on the table, and try to come up with some cool pattern using your four fingers, one at a time... itīs tough, but a nice effect.
    Below are two pictures of him doing that, playing the solo youīre talking about. Sorry about the low quality, hope you can see it anyway...
    Eric
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    Wow Eric, you never cease to amaze me! Those photos get the point across and clear up some memory issues I had about the concert... I worked on that stuff a little bit but I found that I needed a 4x10 or 4x12 cabinet to make it really percussive.

    I skipped out on ZZ Top at that same concert and actually met the whole band. They were very cool and I got to talk with Nuno for about 5-10 minutes (in Bismarck North Dakota!)

    I've never attached a photo, but here goes nothing. Nuno's the little guy on the left with black hair (duh!), I'm on the right shaking his hand. Please excuse the poor scan of the image.

    Nate makes a good point here. Some things come naturally to me (tapping, sweeping, whammy, pretty much anything "technical"), with the exception of strumming! I have a very difficult time playing a strum-along song. My mind just goes numb and I get all turned around, change patterns, start to chunk along or noodle. Nate is really good at strumming so I just follow his lead.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    -Bizarro
    Google is your friend

  13. #13
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Hey there,

    cool, thanks for sharing that pic ! I never got to meet Nuno ( not yet ), but Extreme sure is one of my favorite bands. Back then, I used to listen to "Pornographitti" and "III Sides..." constantly, and I was blown away by the songs, the vocals and Nunoīs guitar-playing... his groove, the licks, the sound etc.

    I still listen to Extreme-stuff sometimes these days... I also do have some rare stuff like a bootleg from a show in Belgium ( where Nuno plays a cool guitar-solo incl. that drumming part ), and the GFTPM-sampler, featuring "Too Much Of A Good Thing", a really cool instrumental by Nuno, featuring that same technique in between a bunch of awesome solos...

    Regarding strumming, I know what ya mean. I got to the point once where I noticed that I had some issues with that, too. Unfortunately, it was in the studio ( pretty much the worst place to notice flaws about your playing... well, ok, the stage might be even worse ), and what helped me to get going was to a) turn up the click really loud in the headphone and b) to tap the beat with my foot... as soon as one part of my body was tapping / moving along in time with the song, it was way easier to play the acoustic guitar in time, strumming.

    Eric

  14. #14
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Oh and by the way, Nate & Bizarro... I dunno whether you posted about your band already at one of the forums, but...
    what kind of music are you guys playing ? And do you have some soundfiles ?
    Eric

    NP: Extreme - Waiting For The Punchline

  15. #15
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    Eric,

    We're a cover band and we play basic rock covers like Eagles, John Mellancamp, BTO, and other stuff from the 60's-80's. We'll through in some guitar songs like Sultans of Swing here and there to keep me on my toes.

    We don't have any tape yet, but we might get some video footage of next Friday's show. If that's successful I might be able to get some mpg clips on the web. Don't hold your breath! It might be awhile.

    Any actual sound clips of our band might frighten, confuse, nauseate, or dramatically shorten the attention span of the average listener! Seriously, we're ok at what we do but we need some polish.

    It's a very fun side project. 3 of us are hi-tech dorks by day and rock star wannabe's by night! Music definitely adds some balance to my life.
    -Bizarro
    Google is your friend

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