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#126

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:21 pm
by JoelMedina • 72 Posts

Just wanted to give my 2 cents on something that helped me improve my picking hand, take it for what it's worth. What was holding me back in terms of being able to pick in a relaxed/controlled/fast manner was how I held the pick. I didn't realize it at the time but I was over-gripping the pick big time. I could pick fast before and get a really good sounding attack but it came from tension and because of that there was no control. The biggest problem that I was running into while I was transitioning was that the much looser grip on picking was giving me an attack I wasn't happy with. I ended up experimenting with many many different angles and small nuances, and after many months of practice and developing my right hand i was able to get a much better attack with a looser grip and also build a lot of control and consistency. Just thought I'd share since this was one of the most frustrating things about picking for me personally.


Last edited Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:22 pm | Scroll up

#127

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:20 pm
by Scottulus • 222 Posts

Quote: JoelMedina wrote in post #127
Just wanted to give my 2 cents on something that helped me improve my picking hand, take it for what it's worth. What was holding me back in terms of being able to pick in a relaxed/controlled/fast manner was how I held the pick. I didn't realize it at the time but I was over-gripping the pick big time. I could pick fast before and get a really good sounding attack but it came from tension and because of that there was no control. The biggest problem that I was running into while I was transitioning was that the much looser grip on picking was giving me an attack I wasn't happy with. I ended up experimenting with many many different angles and small nuances, and after many months of practice and developing my right hand i was able to get a much better attack with a looser grip and also build a lot of control and consistency. Just thought I'd share since this was one of the most frustrating things about picking for me personally.



Joel, you hit this right on the money. The attack I get, that contact with the strings is what I really feel is missing when I scalpel; Just like you angle, type of pick, firmness of grip, etc are all factors. I actually practiced so much scalpel that my thumb began to ache. I then decided that I needed to get some fast results, and work on 'wrist' stuff mostly and attack scalpel in smaller doses, hopefully snagging the results I'm looking for over the long haul. Actually that vid Pebber posted of that guy playing Bumblebee with scalpel on an acoustic pretty much cinched it for me! lol back to work!

Am I guilty of wanting quick results? You bet. I can already play fast so I had no idea how challenging and opposing this concept would be. Ahhh well nothing really good comes easy I guess.

My main issue with wrist picking, is the mute. It's very noisy for me. Also, the 'B' and high 'E' strings are tough to get to ring with the same quality. It's also a long warmup process, and feels kind of "long distance" if you know what I mean... My main issue with Scalpel is it's taking too long to develop, but then again those finger and thumb muscles are small and there IS a bit of time I need to put in...

The amp I play through is pretty low gain, not the ideal shredder environment, but I like how it sounds, so I figure if I can get my picking nice and clean and articulate through that, then I should be able to sound okay no matter what setup I'm using. I actually don't like distortion, I prefer overdrives and fuzz tones much more. My main guitar is a signature Series YJM start (I have 2 now...) and their pickups are clean as hell, even on high gain settings not a lot of distortion, so your playing has to be on the ball.Mine's not. lol I may have actually gotten worse hhahaha

So yeah, back to practice. An updated progress video coming soon!

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#128

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:43 pm
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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Point 1.) I hate to be Johnny Raincloud; but if if the time frame that it takes for scalpal happens to be problematic for you, then you are going to probably experience much frustration and disappointment if you ever decide to give a REAL crack at Sarod, ie doing all that is REALLY necessary in order to make a reliable flutter that is powerful enough to meet all your needs and eat up all your left hand trilling.

Point 2.) Anyone who thinks they have been dealt a poor hand with the ammount of time it takes to warm up...I might point out that there is always someone who has it even harder...

Speaking only for myself, it takes me a minimum of 4-5 hours to do what most people would call "warming" up.


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Last edited Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:46 pm | Scroll up

#129

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:36 pm
by uderoche (deleted)
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I understand the need to get a certain attack at certain times from certain strings. You can always vary how hard you are picking, angle of the pick, where you are picking to get a different attack. Usually if I am on the B and high E string I may pick a little harder and angle the pick less. It depends on what I'm going for. Scalpel is very good to use during legato passages. What Shawn Lane called "snap picking." He would play a figure with his left hand and use scalpel to rip into 1, 2 or more of the notes. This can make things sound very fast. Paul Gilbert also do this a lot. It can be sound very cool. Buckethead does it A LOT.

If I am just casually running up and down the strings I tend to use some sort of wrist, scalpel, sarod hyrbid technique.

I guess my point is that you don't have to use only 1 technique. You can mix and match. But you do need to isolate each one and get it down and then work on different hybrids of each. Then the attack can change depending.


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Last edited Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:38 pm | Scroll up

#130

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:44 am
by JoelMedina • 72 Posts

Yeah my last post was mainly for people who feel they have to use tension or force to get a desired attack (a viewpoint I understand all too well because I was stuck in it), hence the focus of their technique practice may be something like: sound > relaxed technique. I've noticed the greatest improvement in my playing when the focus in my practice has been relaxed technique. After that is down then I start to experiment in what sounds and attacks I can get. However, I still personally struggle with the temptation of focusing on how things sound as a first priority when practicing/learning new things.

On a completely different tangent: I'm getting a little confused because I do not relate at all to this warming-up discussion going on. I am good to go the moment my pick hits the strings. Are you guys having problems with being consistent?


Last edited Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:50 am | Scroll up

#131

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:50 am
by uderoche (deleted)
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For me personally I have to warm up 1 to 2 hours before I can perform at my personal best. I guess it may differ from person to person. There are some licks I can whip out without much fuss and very little warming up but some things I cannot. I'm ususally frozen solid for the first hour. Cold for the 2nd hour. Then I'm fairly warm after that. Hot around the 3-4 hour mark.


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#132

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:59 am
by JoelMedina • 72 Posts

I do not want to knock sarod at all guys, please don't take this the wrong way. From my understanding, the main proponent of speed in sarod comes from fore-arm rotation. Could it be that because the fore-arm is a bigger muscle it would take much longer to warm up?

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#133

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:02 am
by dlraben • 278 Posts

^^ I'm betting all of this varies from person to person in a huge way. For example, your ice-cold just picked up the guitar after 2 weeks of not touching it ability could very well be similar to most of our almost there or even dialed-in hot as hell ability.

In case anyone cares, it takes me over an hour to near my top speeds as well. Some days I can't reproduce my absolute top speeds and other days I create new highs.

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#134

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:27 am
by deltadiscos • 301 Posts

Yes scalpel sarod hybrid is what works for me gotta say a long as i play everyday,
don't really need much of a warm up.
for speed. maybe to get a bit cleaner.

Now mixing it up between sarod and scapel,
like this
In/Out-up/down.
Out/In- Down/Up.
Down/up/out-Up/Down/In
sounds more confusing than it is..


You think you practice enough.......YOU DON'T!............PRACTICE MORE! Darryn U.K
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#135

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:39 pm
by Scottulus • 222 Posts

Thanks for the feedback, guys. Always fun to read a discussion about people's playing. Personally, as long as I've been practicing daily, warming up is about a 20 minute thing. Assuming I default to playing using my arm, that is...

Nick, even if I never get good at Scalpel or Sarod ( I will get it though!) I have a host of other skills that more than compensate for someone being a bit faster with a pick. And hey, I'm pretty fast and articulate as it is! Learning Sarod or Scalpel is kind of just an extra thing I want in my toolbox. Lol Don't confuse taking a break/trying something new for giving up. I have been studying a lot of different pickers of late, seeing what's what. All good, though-I do enjoy your posts.

My big issue is that I hit a wall with Scalpel. I could not seem to break 16ths at 152 -160 -168. 144 seemed to be the comfort bpm.3 weeks with no improvement means something is wrong. So instead of beating my head up against a wall I went and did something different for a bit, and lessened the emphasis on the amount of scalpel I was practicing. I know how to practice efficiently, sometimes that means re-evaluating. Reading the posts in this thread have been very insightful, and believe me, I tried everything suggested. Something just still not quite right. Soon, though as I think I made a breakthrough with scalpel. We will see. At the end of the day, the technique I decide to employ needs to give me more than just speed...

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#136

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:19 pm
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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Everything you are saying strikes me as being perfectly reasonable; NEVATHELESS!!! take the following for whatever the hell its worth...my 2 cents: I do not think I could have ever gotten and then held onto a decent flutter I decided I was gonna "take a break" or view it as just another tool in my chest only to open the dame thing and find that the that all I had was a piece of shit flutter that couldnt do anything for me when I finaally needed it...Sarod is not a tool...It is a lifestyle...And requires you to always keep a flutter in your back pocket.


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#137

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:23 pm
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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also on the subject of picking speed...since it did pop its head up...I just wanted to say that (I guess I am boasting here but oh well)...I got to the next level of sarod today...By focusing on nothing other than doing it in a way that is as comfortable and effortless as possible (the laziest way possible)...32nd notes @ 140 BPM hhehheheeeee! Best use of my holloween ever.


Modoric Aknowledgements:

Play Guitar better than Fred Durst?---Check

Play Guitar better than Lil' Wayne?---Check

Play Guitar better than Franz Listz?---

Last edited Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:23 pm | Scroll up

#138

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:25 pm
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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BUt its gonna probably be an eternity before my left hand can come up with something so that It can stand tall and not cowwer in the face of such fluttery


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#139

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:27 pm
by Scottulus • 222 Posts

yep. Definitely on to something. I will have to try it for a few days to see if it actually works for me, but so far so good.

The thing is this; I realized that holding my pick like everyone says, angling it just so, etc, etc using this pick or that pick is inconsequential to me if I can't get that initial contact with the note and give it some meaning. Every note is important, so thusly I want complete control over it. Each note, in my opinion needs to be heard. I have tried most of my life to emulate my heroes, so yeah the standard is high.

So, what I did last night was see where I was at with Scalpel. Whattaya know, right around the same tempos. Comfy at 16ths at 144BPM, and 152-160-168 max out. This was playing chromatic ascending figures like my previous video. This time, I decided to do something different. I went through everything I hated. The sound, articulation, tension, control, positioning. Everything one by one. It took almost 9 hours, and I was really focused on a slower tempo that could also be used for playing doublestops as well as single note stuff, as well as arpeggios. Jumping from string to string was also important.

I used to pick a lot like Steve Morse. Pick held reverse to how you guys all do, stiff thumb, and literally slicing each note. It worked, and I can still play really fast that way. But, I really wanted to get a bit quicker and have a bit more control, so I have been trying all sorts of stuff over the last three or so years.

Anyways, it dawned on me that 'slicing' really worked for me. What if I did the 'slice' only with standard grip? Well, it worked. Literally up a few metronome clicks, and 'comfy' at 168. It looks a bit different, and is definitely much more than a 45 degree angle, but I got what I wanted. Better tone and articulation, solid timing, and a speed boost, plus a picking technique that works with everything I have learned, meaning That thanks to a slight position shift in my hand, I am off to the races.

Video in a day or two!

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#140

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:35 pm
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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See??? Break throughs always seem to wait for those times when they are expected the least. If you never "take a Break" and never stop chasing after the dragon of holy pickery...You eventually have to learn how to do the damn technique....Because it is \kinda like being a picking machine whose only function is to sit there, all day, every day, plunking away on a single lonely string.


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Last edited Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:36 pm | Scroll up

#141

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:27 pm
by Scottulus • 222 Posts

Well, except that I don't like to waste time. lol I would rather take a good look at why something isn't improving, and fix it (ASAP), as opposed to just throwing myself at it hoping for the best and thinking that it would be fixed in a few years. Nope, not a 'few years' kinda guy at this point; I prefer to try something for a short while, then think about it's practicality for a bit, then try it again after re-evaluating. In all honesty, I was ready to give up on scalpel all by itself until I saw that video of that fella playing Bumblebee using scalpel. Then I was, like "ummm okay.... Better give this another serious, serious attempt." lol That video showed it's practicality, and also probably humbled guitarists around the world! lol

Physiology comes into play also, I mean we all have different bodies and are acclimated to different things so it's going to be a bit different from person to person, even if they are using the basic technique. I've accepted that, and put into practice my own version of scalpel. I think it will end up looking more like everyone else's in time, but now yeah, it's kind of awkward. I also intend to only practice this stuff for about an hour a day; I have too much other music stuff that needs my attention. Is what it is.

Here's an early look at the picking. 1 day. 1 day of practice, and I can do stuff with the attack that I like, and the tone I want, and much cleaner. Relaxing is going to take some work (Shoulder and arms are good, just hand and fingers kind of spazzing out...), and sure, it looks a bit awkward at the moment, but I figure this is the preliminary round, I'll clean that stuff up as I get better at playing; music comes first, end of story. I decided to play an Yngwie-esque thing that I can do in my sleep with other picking methods. This way isn't any different. Just a bit slower than I can usually rattle it off at, but I'm pretty happy with the tone, the attack, and my ability to mute. Low 'E' string seems to give a bit of grief as far as picking hand position goes if I don't pay attention. But hey, like I said, this is a day after I made the decision to try it again, I know that my amp was a bit quiet and there's no metronome, don't worry; I will post a "click" jam soon! Sorry about the false starts, had to adjust the 'ole grip! hahaha my damn thumb and fingers were tired at this point! lol Anyways, enjoy!

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#142

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:27 pm
by Cliff • 344 Posts

It might be worth mentioning Sik Piks at this point. They're a pick where the tip is twisted at an angle compared with the grip. It means you can perform that slicing kind of attack much more easily without stressing out your thumb. I tried them a couple of years ago and really liked the tone. However, one of the downsides seemed to be that it's much harder to get pinched harmonics with them, but perhaps that's just me.

If you're interested, look for skipik dot com.

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#143

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:04 am
by deltadiscos • 301 Posts

To get this stuff down to where I have it which is far from perfect.
took between 4 to 8 hours.
a day for over a year.

It aint just gonna work over a weekend.


You think you practice enough.......YOU DON'T!............PRACTICE MORE! Darryn U.K
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#144

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:07 am
by deltadiscos • 301 Posts

Quote: NicholasJacquet wrote in post #138
also on the subject of picking speed...since it did pop its head up...I just wanted to say that (I guess I am boasting here but oh well)...I got to the next level of sarod today...By focusing on nothing other than doing it in a way that is as comfortable and effortless as possible (the laziest way possible)...32nd notes @ 140 BPM hhehheheeeee! Best use of my holloween ever.


you do know 32nd notes at 140bpm is incredibly fast.

Have you got a video of this please.


You think you practice enough.......YOU DON'T!............PRACTICE MORE! Darryn U.K
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#145

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:16 am
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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Yes it sure is! 19.2 NPS....hwehehehehehehe (-: And I am still in my sarod infancy...I just cannot wait to see how one can fly with it down the line when you get to sarods mclaughlin level! Sarod when it goes this quick its like the equivalent of tieing the pick to the end of an electric toopthbrush...it really buzzes the strings...when I turn the medium all the way up on a clean channel and everything else other than master volume down...It is just a sustaining drone like the sound of a million pop corn kernels g etting poped (-;


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Last edited Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:20 am | Scroll up

#146

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:22 am
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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Everything has to be just right to get it to go like that...you have to be perfectly focused, relaxed, and have the guitar perfectly balanced whether it be on your lap or whatnot/


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#147

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:27 am
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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been working on Doing Entre dos Aguas all sarod pick style and whatnot...



the little pops made by pacos little tremmello diddys actually saound pretty similar to the Sarod popcorn flutter


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#148

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:16 am
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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I am so friggin jealous that Pebber got to hook up weith John...I would give most anything to have but one hour with the man...I have so many Sarod related questions.


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#149

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:24 am
by Scottulus • 222 Posts

16ths at 176 is what I am aiming for; not unreasonable to expect in a weekend. I can do it with other picking methods already, so I don't think it's too much to expect. Steady, consistent progress... ( I am at 176 already, but I get fatigued quickly. Probably a video tonight!)

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#150

RE: Picking Improvement

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:46 am
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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I personally can only get that rush of intense satisfaction with picking fast when trying it sarodd style...Because I beleive that the act of picking itself should be pleasurable one...its like when you take some chick out on a "date".... no sane person would ever try "stiff arming" their date...doing things akin to that to ones guitar would contra to what picking should be all about!


Modoric Aknowledgements:

Play Guitar better than Fred Durst?---Check

Play Guitar better than Lil' Wayne?---Check

Play Guitar better than Franz Listz?---

Last edited Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:46 am | Scroll up

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