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Thread: Frank Gambale's speed picking

  1. #1
    Taiwanese shredder btangel's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Frank Gambale's speed picking

    Hey guys I came across one of his books the other day and bought it. He opened lots of doors in my music with his modes video. (GO GET IT! It's my bible to improvised soloing...Highly recommended!!) If you've ever seen him play he's got a butter smooth picking technique that amazes me everytime when I see it.

    In his speed picking book he talks about a different style of speed picking (shredding if you will) by combining alternative picking with a bit of sweep picking in 3NPS runs. So for example if we picked

    ----------------------1-2-3---
    ------------1-2-3----------------
    we'd normally go up and down all the way. His technique is, on the 2nd down on the 3rd fret (talking in terms of starting off on a down stroke) instead of picking the next note with an upstroke you do a little sweep (lol 2 string sweep :P) and strike the first fret with a downstroke. So instead of down-up-down-up-down-up he goes down-up-down-DOWN-up-down and so forth.

    It felt sort of weird at first and very awkward (especially goin the opposite way ie. down-up-UP) but after playing some of the excercises and getting use to that technique I can feel my right hand having an easier time in some passages than when using alt. picking.

    Mixing alt. picking and gambale's speed picking works pretty well in some tough passages. I don't know how well this will work for you, but I figured it's interesting to share.
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  2. #2
    Weak Fingers MattW's Avatar
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    It is in an interesting topic, I got into it via Frank Gambale too. Most people on here call it economy picking, if you search the forum there will be lots of discussions and opinions on this particular subject.

  3. #3
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
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    I can't stand to do economy picking. It's got so much more oomph alternate picked....
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

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    Mabye sometimes you don't want to give it alot of oomph?

    Like if you want a passage particulary smooth? I havent bothered learning econ picking but it is another tool to use which gives you more options.

  5. #5
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    I have used economy picking when moving between strings since I started playing in the late 70s. It was pretty much a natural thing, I didn't consiously economy pick, I'm not even sure there was a name for it back then. I will use strict alternate on slower runs because it is easier to maintain my timing, but when things speed up economy picking makes more sense (to me anyway).

  6. #6
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    The thing i dont like about gambales book or dvd, is that he dosnt really explain the mechanics of the technique very well. i mean, is it from the wrist? forearm? finger and thumb? pick angle? these things are very important in order to get the technique to work well. im so sick of having to make chages to the way i pick just because their isnt enogh info out their on it.

    rant over

  7. #7
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jptk
    The thing i dont like about gambales book or dvd, is that he dosnt really explain the mechanics of the technique very well. i mean, is it from the wrist? forearm? finger and thumb? pick angle? these things are very important in order to get the technique to work well. im so sick of having to make chages to the way i pick just because their isnt enogh info out their on it.

    rant over
    From experience, I can tell you, you will adjust your technique automatically if you focus on playing something perfectly and slowly and gradually speeding it up...You have to have a lot of focus....
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

  8. #8
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmaus
    Mabye sometimes you don't want to give it alot of oomph?

    Like if you want a passage particulary smooth? I havent bothered learning econ picking but it is another tool to use which gives you more options.
    I play lots of legato as well, but I don't want to learn THAT technique (economy picking).... I have never heard someone using the technique where I've thought that it sounded good to my ears...Personal preference...I'm a big Vai fan, and I can't stand when he sweep picks...
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by curiousgeorge
    I play lots of legato as well, but I don't want to learn THAT technique (economy picking).... I have never heard someone using the technique where I've thought that it sounded good to my ears...Personal preference...I'm a big Vai fan, and I can't stand when he sweep picks...

    You may not recognize it every time it happens. Of course, if you just feel obligated to take a stand on this, then that's fine, but there are tons of examples of people using economy picking on pentatonic and scalar runs(not arpeggios) where it doesn't sound obvious at all. A lot of jazz/fusion guys believe it's the wave of the future, and for rock guys, both Zakk Wylde and Yngwie are examples of people who sometimes use economy picking in a less than obvious way. I actually think that Zakk uses economy picking for a lot of his fast pentatonic licks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len H
    I have used economy picking when moving between strings since I started playing in the late 70s. It was pretty much a natural thing, I didn't consiously economy pick, I'm not even sure there was a name for it back then. I will use strict alternate on slower runs because it is easier to maintain my timing, but when things speed up economy picking makes more sense (to me anyway).
    this is the way it should be, imho. how you play is just as much of an art as what you play, and both are equally part of the artists imagination and personal preference.

  11. #11
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    Check out guys like jimmy bruno and ney mello. especially ney, he uses economy picking and claims it can be just as articulate as alternate, if you want it to be. ive heard some acoustic tunes of his and the dynamics were amazing.

  12. #12
    Taiwanese shredder btangel's Avatar
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    Bleh, I thought economy picking was just sweep picking. I guess they're the same thing anyway.

    As I mentioned, if you practice it enough and get use to the mechanics, you'll eventually integrated into your playing unoticed. Some parts of a passage definately feel better playing with economy picking. I see some people not liking economy and sticking to alt. IMO it's a useful technique and tool to know how to use. I still alternative pick most of my stuff but a lot of times economy helps me out a lot.

    thx for the feedback guys.
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    I'd say it's the musical result that counts, not the way you pick. If some guy plays absolutely incredible and tasty stuff but doesn't AP every note, what's the point, is it "no good enough" because he doesn't AP every single note????

    Personally, I always try to find out the easiest, most logical and economic way to pick a line or idea.

    It just doesn't make sense to me to AP every damn note just for the sake of picking. Also, if you want to get a more horn-like tone/sound (jazz etc.) you get better results if you mix AP, EP and Sweep picking than only by using AP.

  14. #14
    Taiwanese shredder btangel's Avatar
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    haha I'm sure we all agree on that. Hopefully
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