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Alternate Picking Question(s)

Any suggestions or replies from people that have had the same problem and overcome it would be appreciated.

I played a number of years when I was younger. Stopped for 20 years, to make a living. Began again seriously 18 months ago. I do have a fairly strong knowledge of music theory.

Picking: good, solid, even, controlled is what I want so that I can go forward and play the music that is in my head.

For the past 18 months I've been playing scales, all types, at least two hours a day religiously.
When I started this time I was using my first finger and thumb to control the pick motion, little finger resting on pickguard and strings. Several places I saw that this was a no-no, you should use your wrist or arm for that.

I began using my wrist, little finger still used for stabilizing...integrated that into my playing, it became comfortable. No appreciable difference.

Then I noticed people using a floating hand, no resting the little finger, still using wrist motion for picking. Some difference, not a lot.

Now, after reading some more I've seen that maybe I should be using my arm for the motion, with my wrist firm.

At each of these steps I've spent months integrating the technique. I am still in the process with the arm motion, stiff wrist. It looks promising, but so did the other techniques when I started training myself to do it that way.

At a slow speed my scales are fine, picking nice and even, but my speed does not change appreciably.

I'm torn between practice slowly and evenly, the speed will come, AND, practice faster than you are comfortable with (if not, that will retard your speed)! I do generally revert to the speed that I am most accurate with.

I ALWAYS practice with a metronome, in fact, it feels weird to not use one. I hope I have been clear about this. I have a very strong desire to play and play very well!

Thanks Wayne
Responses  [ Pages: 1 · 2 ]
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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/1/2006 7:56 AM

Derrick Rogers (2441) wrote:

Practice picking really hard.

As in, practice hitting the string with force.

Also, aim for endurance. Practice maintaining a constant tempo for a decent period of time. Start out with 16ths at 80 bpm for 3 minutes, and then move the metronome up five notches. Continue until your strings melt, or until your arm catches on fire.



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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/1/2006 8:54 AM

Wayne Rader (630) wrote:

Derrick,

You know, hitting the string with force does feel the most comfortable to me. It was one of the factors I've considered. I have seen a lot of remarks that hitting the strings hard causes you to "dig in", which requires more movement. And positioning for your next note will require even more movement.

From the responses I've seen, it does look like I need to crank the speed up to develop my playing speed.

Thanks Derrick, Wayne

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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/1/2006 8:25 AM

Adrian Levi (2907) wrote:

I've done a lot of research into the proper picking motion and
the conclusion that I've come up with is that it really doesn't
matter. Any of the three latter approaches you mentioned would
work but you do probably want to steer clear of finger motion. I
think wrist motion makes the most sense because you're using
the smallest muscle that you can, whereas with arm motion
you're using a much bigger muscle than you need to. That said,
plenty of guys (Rusty Cooley, for example) use arm motion and
play very fast. As for whether or not to anchor your picking hand
it really doesn't matter. Paul Gilbert doesn't, John Petrucci does.
Both are insanely fast. I found that it really helped me, not so
much in gaining speed but in reducing tension, which helped me
play faster for longer. Regardless of whether or not you anchor
your picking hand you be muting the bass strings with your
palm if you play with lots of distortion.

You need to practice both slowly and fast. Slow because that is
where your synchronization is best and better synchronization
lets you play faster, and fast because you simply need to play
fast to be able to play fast. You should to most of your
practicing at slow to moderate speeds but you need to push
yourself some times. One of the things to really work on when
you're playing slow is make your picking motion as small as
possible.

I think the problem is just that you keep changing your picking
motion. Pick the motion that you're most comfortable with and
stick with it. A couple products that you might want to check out
that have really helped me are:

-Troy Stetina's Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar


-The PraxAx


Adrian



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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/1/2006 9:16 AM

Wayne Rader (630) wrote:

Adrian,

You do make a lot of sense. That is doesn't matter which technique, that is something I've considered. I've seen a lot of good players where I live, they cover the range. Seems most use primarily wrist, and they do anchor their little finger.

From the responses I've gotten I can see that I need to practice fast to get my speed up. I like your idea of both. The perfectionist side of me says, practice clean. The practical side says, you've tried it, try something different!

I have seen that everywhere about keeping your picking motion as small as possible, I do adhere to that...even though it sure feels good to "dig-in"!

With regards to me changing, changing, changing. Thanks for pointing that out! It's very true.

I will take your suggestion on the book and PraxAx.

I very much appreciate the time you've taken to make your points and explain them. My playing will not change the music world, but it is very important to me!

Thanks, Wayne



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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/1/2006 11:42 AM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Hey Wayne,
Here is a lecture:



Here is my secret message: The only way to determine your proper technique is to expose yourself and experiment with every single technique possible. IN addition, acknowledge all of the factors:


  1. Tension? None of it is necessary.
  2. Is it too cold or warm in my room?
  3. Do I need more sleep? More food?
  4. Whenever I traverse strings:



    Do I move my palm up and down the bridge to have complete access to the strings to perform inside and outside picking?



Consider all of these things. I will put all of the possible factors into my lesson.
Adrian



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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/1/2006 12:40 PM

Wayne Rader (630) wrote:

Thank you Adrian,

I will consider those aspects!

Wayne



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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/3/2006 8:06 AM

Adrian Levi (2907) wrote:

Adrian,
While I agree that all of the factors that you list here and in that
previous post can affect your alternate picking (and any playing
in general) you need to be able to play fast regardless of most
environmental factors. You're going to have play in situations
where it's too hot, too cold, you didn't get enough sleep, you're
hungry etc. and you can't just say, "Well, I can't play fast in
(insert condition). Sorry, maybe another day." A really fast player
will be able to play really fast regardless of any environmental
conditions.

Just my thoughts,
Adrian



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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/3/2006 9:02 AM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Adrian,
You are correct about that statement. However, people will likely not have these spontaneous events that they will need to perform in; they will be told ahead of time. However, some people have sleeping problems. Sleep may or may not dramatically affect performance. It really depends on the magnitude of their fatigue, hunger etc.



THese factors that I listed are meant to provide guitarists solutions for their problems and pinpoint their flaws. For example:



A guitarist named Robert is having problems with his alternate picking. He can't pinpoint the cause. He goes onto wholenote and notices Adrian Dupree's lesson and views his factors. Robert then finds that he doesn't eat enough before practicing. In addition, he reveals that he needs more sleep at night. The guitarist decides to experiment by eating more food and sleeping more at night. Robert realizes that the modifications of the factors enhanced his alternate picking. He continues to reveal his flaws.



Adrian



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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/3/2006 10:31 AM

Andy Wood (5136) wrote:

Adrian,

I think you have some interesting thoughts and show considerable wisdom for a person of so few years, however sometimes I find it a little bewildering the huge number of lessons you are pumping out when you are still grappling with the very issues you are teaching. It reminds me a little of the Simpons episode when Marge considers giving piano lessons to save the family finances. When challenged about the fact that she doesn't play piano she responds by saying, "I only need to stay one lesson ahead of the kid".

I think before a person gives lessons they need to be very sure that all the principles described are thoroughly tried and tested and defintely do what they claim to do. I also think a person needs to be very, very good at the techniques they claim to educate about.

If I were to use your lessons on alternate picking lessons and shredding I would need some confidence that you are able to really fly with your picking. I would expect that you can comfortably alternate pick in any direction, with string skips, with absolute clarity and control and at least 16th notes at 170+ per minute. If you can't do this yet, the lessons are premature and the concepts are untested.

Something to consider because I think WN really suffers from excessive lessons many of which duplicate previous ones and many that are done by inexperienced players. Lessons imply great expertise and teaching is about passing on your experience and knowledge to people who are considerably below you. Sharing ideas between peers is a different concept. You can still learn that way but it's not a defined role like student-teacher. I have seen inexperienced players start teaching and espousing all sorts of impressive sounding ideas but 5 years later they have an entirely different set of ideas. They simply started teaching before they had enough experience.

Andy





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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/3/2006 3:34 PM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Andy,
I am not pumping out a huge number of lessons. Sometimes I do and other times I don't. I am not at the moment.


Sharing ideas between peers is a different concept. You can still learn that way but it's not a defined role like student-teacher.



Some of my lessons show that I am sharing ideas. My alternate picking lessons display most of that.



I can actually pick at the tempo you mentioned. I am careful about publishing my lessons. I only publish lessons about what I know. Not what I don't know. If I haven't accomplished the right level of string skipping, then I will publish lessons on other components that I have mastered.



I will concur about your statement saying that wholenote suffers from an abundance of lessons that were made by authors who didn't know the right concepts for them. It would take me some time to try and search through wholenote and find a lesson that is a paragon.



It seems that my lessons have been very helpful and beneficial to guitarists. Why don't you publish any lessons? You seem to have the time.



Anyway, most your statements are ones that I could agree with. Having a certified teacher is much better than a teacher with no evidence of certification at all.



By the way, I purchased Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar. It's an incredible book!
Adrian





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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/3/2006 4:52 PM

Obee Obier (4521) wrote:

It seems that my lessons have been very helpful and beneficial to guitarists.

not helpful or beneficial for me

o b e e
(guitarist)







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/4/2006 12:02 AM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Obee,
I am sorry about that.
Adrian







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/4/2006 8:36 AM

Obee Obier (4521) wrote:

Adrian,

Still cant handle critics still wont hear critics still thinking that everything with a C - Powerchord in it, must be in the C-major scale? still being around 13playing with a guitar instead of an action figure

Ignoring critics doesnt make you a better guitarist or an open-minded person.


Sorry that Im not as gentle as others...
obee







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/4/2006 10:51 AM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Obee,
I thought that you said that you still can't handle critics, still think that everything with a C - Powerchord in it, must be in the C-major scale? still being around 13playing with a guitar instead of an action figure What????



Anyway, I am not ignoring others. I never said that. Sorry.
Adrian









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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/4/2006 3:19 PM

Obee Obier (4521) wrote:

What????

lol









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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/4/2006 7:59 PM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Huh?



I am befuddled.







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/4/2006 8:59 PM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Obee,
By critics do you mean crticisms? Contradictions are being made about my comments more often than criticisms. Nobody on wholenote is a critic (unless they are getting paid to do it).



I don't want to make assumptions about your attributes, but do you have a French, ethnic background? Your name seems French. Tell me if I am wrong.



I am not 13 years old. Where did you get that information? Hmmm....



By the way, how did you make that animation of your name being made onto a guitar outline? Did you make it?
Adrian







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/4/2006 10:41 PM

Matt Wood (2844) wrote:

tell me . what attributes would a french "ethnic backgroung: have ?









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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/4/2006 10:57 PM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

I said that his name sounded French.



To answer your question:



Fair skin, French name, French accent etc.
Adrian









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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/5/2006 12:44 PM

Obee Obier (4521) wrote:

To answer your question:

Fair skin, French name, French accent etc.
Adrian


cute,

but the only French thing on me is that I play mainly the French grip when I'm drumming.


obee
(too weird?)







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/5/2006 7:29 AM

Adrian Levi (2907) wrote:

He's clearly not French because there are no double "e"s in
French.









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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/5/2006 9:29 AM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Adrian,
Hmmm....Maybe it's his nickname?
Adrian









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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/5/2006 9:50 AM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Oops. Never mind. I recently got informed that he is German.
Adrian







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/5/2006 8:37 AM

Obee Obier (4521) wrote:

Adrian,

Yes I have a French background
if its enough, living in Europe, to have a French background. ;)

Yes, I made the animation by myself.


I not meant your physically age and I said Still

Nobody on wholenote is a critic (unless they are getting paid to do it).
Nobody on wholenote is a guitarist (unless they are getting paid to do it)??????


obee


too weird?







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/5/2006 9:28 AM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Obee,
A critic is person who gets paid to review and criticize books, movies etc. and a guitarist is a person who plays the guitar in general. Very simple! You can consider a musician a person who plays an instrument who doesn't or does get paid.



I guessed right! Your last name sounded more French than your first.
Adrian







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/5/2006 10:16 AM

Andy Wood (5136) wrote:

Adrian, it's time to leave this alone now. Sometimes it is necessary to accept that you can't make others feel the same way about things that you do. Just move on. You can define the word critic that way if you wish, but that doesn't meam everyone will agree with your definition - no matter how simple you claim to make it for everyone.







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/5/2006 6:54 PM

Obee Obier (4521) wrote:

A C r I t I c I s a p e r s o n d o I n g c r i t i c i s m s I s s i m p l e r


.than


A critic is person who gets paid to review and criticize books, movies







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/5/2006 9:40 PM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Obee,
I don't have dyslexia, but I think that the first sentence that you made was much more complex to read. lol



"A person doing criticisms" is simpler.



Sorry, I can't help it but:



You can't do a criticism. You can make one; that's what most critics do. I have a habit of correcting people sorry!



Salutations!
Adrian







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/5/2006 9:42 PM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Then again, maybe you can do a criticism.









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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/5/2006 10:35 PM

Andy Wood (5136) wrote:

Leave it alone Adrian. It's really become silly now.









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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/5/2006 10:45 PM

Adriano Parmiggianno (6926) wrote:

Cyberspace is expanding at a faster rate than the universe. Where do all these messages end up?







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/5/2006 10:22 PM

Adrian Levi (2907) wrote:

Dude, English isn't his first language. Considering that we
already went through the whole "French thing" you should
realize that and not make stupid posts correcting his grammar.

And by the way, regardless of his English his point was still clear
and it's true. A critic is simply someone who makes criticisms,
they don't need to be paid.

Oh, and since you're so concerned about the proper usage of
language "salutations" is a greeting.

I really think you should just drop this argument.
Adrian







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/6/2006 10:20 AM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Adrian,
I was just teaching Obee some English!



Salutations....



I guess I shouldn't have assumed what it was according to its context.



Adrian







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/6/2006 10:23 AM

Obee Obier (4521) wrote:

Adrian,


A critic is a person who criticize.

is that a correct gramar?









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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/6/2006 11:00 AM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Obee,
I don't want to make myself seem silly in front of everyone else on the forum.



But since you asked:



You need to conjugate the word criticize according to the subject. IN this case, the subject is a person. Thus, criticizes (a person who criticizes) is the correct form.



You didn't ask about spelling. The last word is spelt "grammer" instead of gramar.



Adrian







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/6/2006 11:53 AM

Kevin Bowling (5230) wrote:

And the past tense of "spell" is "spelled" not "spelt".







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/6/2006 12:04 PM

Adrian Levi (2907) wrote:

Adrian, LET THIS THREAD DIE!! It has served its purpose, which
was to help Wayne with his alternate picking, and now it is just
getting ridiculous.

For your own good stop because you just make yourself look
like an idiot, correcting someone who is still learning the
language's grammar while making mistakes of your own.

Don't respond to this and don't respond to any of the other
posts. Just let it go.

Adrian







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/6/2006 12:20 PM

Andy Wood (5136) wrote:

Grammar has two m's.

Adrian Levi has it exactly right. You need to just let this thread die. By starting to give out language lessons you are making yourself look very foolish. In fact you are illustrating the point I was making earlier about producing lessons before you have mastered what you are teaching. ie. in correcting Obee's grammar you made several errors of your own. ie. you are not ready to give language lessons.

Modesty my friend, modesty. Let this thread go and be sensible.







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/6/2006 12:30 PM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Andy,
Let me just squeeze one last comment before I terminate this thread:



Read the sentence again: The last word is spelt "grammer" instead of gramar.


My mistake:



Spelt is not correct. Spelled is correct. Sometimes I just type and think too quickly!



You didn't catch my mistake on "grammar." I spelled it like: "grammer" instead of "grammar."



Is it wrong to share what I know? Remember, I grew up with Spanish and English. I will make mistakes at times. I am aware of what I am doing. I can speak and write well. Sometimes I just make careless mistakes like everyone else. The reason why I am correcting people is because I want to improve my way of speaking myself.



The last phrase you have been waiting for:



The End!







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/6/2006 12:37 PM

Bob Kent (10857) wrote:

Where the hell are your parents? We're not here to raise you, go get a hug from mom.

B Kent







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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/6/2006 1:45 PM

Andy Wood (5136) wrote:

sigh...





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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/3/2006 10:41 PM

Andy Wood (5136) wrote:

Adrian,

I certainly don't want to tear you down or make you feel bad. I just want you, or anyone else considering writing lessons, to keep in mind that mastery is required before teaching. Mastery implies having tested and retested ideas and techniques and being able to perfectly demonstrate these ideas and techniques. I feel an author should be beyond that stage where he is changing his mind on a regular basis or still grappling with issues or trying out rival techniques.

As to why I haven't published lessons: Well, I come to WN mostly for the conversation. I teach guitar every day of the week and I don't necessarily want to be a teacher all the time. I participate mostly in fretbuzz because I enjoy the discussion. I still enjoy giving my advice on specific questions by WN members but I prefer to do it in an informal and specific way. Publishing lessons is a much more general way of giving advice because it isn't targeted at a specific person and the advice must address many people. I just prefer responding individually and if anyone else is helped by me that's great too. This way, it's like I'm hanging out with friends and we share our ideas - yourself included. As you know from our corespondance, I'm always more than happy to go to great lengths to help somebody who is having troubles with something. That is a lesson too, it's just more personal.

I do see the value in lessons though. It's just not the reason I come here.

Andy




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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/3/2006 2:29 PM

Kevin Bowling (5230) wrote:

Robert's gonna get fat!



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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/5/2006 9:46 PM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Who's Robert? There are thousands and thousands of Roberts in the world I am sure!!



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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/5/2006 10:35 PM

Kevin Bowling (5230) wrote:

Don't ask me, you brought it up.



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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/6/2006 10:21 AM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Kevin,
I am guessing it is part of a joke.





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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/6/2006 11:45 AM

Kevin Bowling (5230) wrote:

You said:

A guitarist named Robert is having problems with his alternate picking. He can't pinpoint the cause. He goes onto wholenote and notices Adrian Dupree's lesson and views his factors. Robert then finds that he doesn't eat enough before practicing. In addition, he reveals that he needs more sleep at night. The guitarist decides to experiment by eating more food and sleeping more at night.

I was lookin out for Robert's health.



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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/6/2006 11:50 AM

Adrian Dupree (4969) wrote:

Kevin,
That was a while ago. I guess I didn't catch that!



Robert is already corpulent. Maybe he is eating too much? lol
Adrian



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Re: Alternate Picking Question(s)

7/6/2006 12:14 PM

Kevin Bowling (5230) wrote:

Corpulent! Now there's a word I remember the first time I heard (saw). I was reading one of Allan Eckert's books from the "Narratives of America" series (Wilderness War perhaps?). There was a Capt. Donald Campbell who was a prisoner of the Indians during the "Pontiac Rebellion" or was it the "French and Indian War" (?) (Who, susequently was put to a gruesome and brutal death) Who was described as a "corpulent" individual. I had to ask the wife what it meant. Seems like it was also mentioned he suffered from "flatulence". (or maybe that's my imagination) I had to ask her about that one too. Hope Robert doesn't have that condition as well.

Kevin

More Responses  [ Pages: 1 · 2 ]