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Thread: Picking hard

  1. #1
    Registered User shyboy12's Avatar
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    Picking hard

    This is more of a coordination problem rather than a picking problem. I was quite satisfied with my picking technique until very recently, upon reading an article by Eric Vandenberg (awesome teacher), I learnt that you should pick hard when you're alternate picking and that your left hand should be very relaxed and the pressure on the fretboard should be minimal. I knew about the relaxing part and I always did that (I think...) my problem came about when trying to pick hard. I always picked kinda softly... Now when I try to pick hard my left hand tenses up and I put way too much pressure on the fretboard. I always practice on acoustic guitars because it makes things feel easier when you switch to electric, and the steel strings often cause my fingers to hurt. So I'm trying to relax my left hand and put less pressure on the fretboard while picking hard. I've been trying hard for the last few days and I just can't seem to get it. Do you guys have any advice or exercises which'll help me get rid of this problem?
    Thanks in advance, Sid.
    I'd kill for a noble peace prize...

  2. #2
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    yeah, ive had the same problem too. i think because your tryin to pick harder/ more aggressively you naturally(?) fret way too hard and tense your left hand.
    you gotta break it down.

    maybe you should try hard alt. picking on a single string and fretting the strings just hard enough so the note sounds and is not percussive. hope this makes sense.

  3. #3
    iBreatheMusic Modthor phantom's Avatar
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    The separation of both hands is the key here.
    Working totally in sync but with different muscles and tensions.

    That process starts in the head and you should try to play really slow, and concentrate on what your hands do. And i mean litterly feel when and what muscles start to work.
    If you manage to be aware what happens in your hands, it is easier to get rid of that prob.

    So, start slow, and really concentrate on
    - okay, my index finger is freting the note as softly as possible
    then
    - alright, now my right hand will pick the string really hard.

    Watch out where you start to tense up and tell your hand "there's o need to be tensed - relax!"..

    and so on.

    I'd say, playing slow, concentrated with a high awareness of what your hands do will solve your problem.

    Good Luck.

  4. #4
    iBreatheMusic Modthor phantom's Avatar
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    Additionally ..

    .. you can make little exercises without the guitar.
    For examle:
    Lay both hands flat on the table in front of you.
    Now tap a straight 8th note rhythm.
    - left - right - left - right and so on.

    Now tap your right hand louder/harder on the table without altering the left hand and without altering the tempo!!

  5. #5
    Registered User shyboy12's Avatar
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    Thanks for the response guys! I guess maybe the problem is I really need to focus on what's going on inside my hands when I'm playing and I'll also give that finger tapping exercise a shot. I'll keep practicing...
    I'd kill for a noble peace prize...

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