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Picking hand anchor

#1 User is offline   FL6 

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:41 PM

Hi,

I'm new to shredding and am having trouble with one aspect of my picking.

It's most comfortable for me to rest my palm on the E and A strings as an anchor, so picking the the G,B and E strings is comfortable.
The problem is when I pick the D,A, and E strings I have no where else to anchor my hand so I have to twist my wrist a bit to get the pick to meet the strings and that makes it uncomfortable and the picking quality goes way down.

I'm emulating Paul Gilbert's picking hand style and I can't find any closeups of what part of the hand is resting on the bridge.

This also ties into how many shifts your picking hand should make as it goes through strings low to high, I'm guessing your picking hand doesn't stay in one spot, so how many places should it move?

I'm thinking the position of my picking hand is incorrect because I also experience discomfort picking with the strings muted.

Some really good close up photos from many angles I think would help.

I hope this makes sense.

Thanks.
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#2 User is offline   Vercingetorix 

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 05:56 AM

View PostFL6, on 08 May 2012 - 02:41 PM, said:

Hi,

I'm new to shredding and am having trouble with one aspect of my picking.

It's most comfortable for me to rest my palm on the E and A strings as an anchor, so picking the the G,B and E strings is comfortable.
The problem is when I pick the D,A, and E strings I have no where else to anchor my hand so I have to twist my wrist a bit to get the pick to meet the strings and that makes it uncomfortable and the picking quality goes way down.

I'm emulating Paul Gilbert's picking hand style and I can't find any closeups of what part of the hand is resting on the bridge.

This also ties into how many shifts your picking hand should make as it goes through strings low to high, I'm guessing your picking hand doesn't stay in one spot, so how many places should it move?

I'm thinking the position of my picking hand is incorrect because I also experience discomfort picking with the strings muted.

Some really good close up photos from many angles I think would help.

I hope this makes sense.

Thanks.

Really I think that you are obsessing a little too much picking motion. Look at the top players, Paul Gilbert as you have seen, John Petrucci, Rusty Cooley, the late great Shawn Lane, all of them have different picking styles and it really worked well for them.

So showing you how one person picks will probably not work for you. And there are good reasons for that everyone's physiology and bio-machinics is slightly different so copying someone else's style could very well detrimental to your wrist, elbows, shoulders, back. For instance, Asafa Powell can't train and run exactly like Usain Bolt because their body types are different.

All I would really say is find a position that is comfortable to you and work with that. Focus on moving primarily your wrist when picking faster runs, and NOT doing what I tend to do by slightly locking your wrist and using your elbow to pick. Also try to minimise any tension uneeded throughout the rest of your body eg shoulders and back and don't make the mistake of not breathing whilst playing fast tuns, I used to do that. Take a deep breath and then play as fast as possible - it just plain exhausting. Another example is that you don't need to grip the neck like you are bench-pressing and you don't need to fret every note every note like a vice. But I will say that there are cases of really good guitarist using their elbows when playing fast it occurs slightly with John Petrucci and more prominently with Rusty Cooley when he 'deliberately' alternate picks every note, but then again he is less likely to do any damage to his elbow as he hardly ever picks every note, on some scale runs he doesn't pick any notes. Work on getting your fretting wrist into a good position and not slopping your thumb over the top of the neck - except when playing chords (you can't help that in some cases).

And well sweep-picking you will be mainly locking your wrist and using your elbow to play your sweep runs.
I don't work here. I'm a consultant…
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#3 User is offline   FL6 

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 01:29 PM

Thanks for the reply.
I agree with everything you said, my only issue is picking the bottom E and A string, everything else is comfortable and fluid.
On strings D,G,B and E I can play solidly at 140bpm but when doing full 6 string runs it gets really sloppy on the E and A string.

I used to pick like EVH and still do but my thumb gets sore so I adjusted that and later saw the video where PG did the same thing.
So it was through finding my own comfort zone that I realized it was similar to PG, so now I'm wondering how is HE approaching the bottom 2 strings.
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#4 User is offline   Vercingetorix 

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:02 AM

View PostFL6, on 09 May 2012 - 01:29 PM, said:

Thanks for the reply.
I agree with everything you said, my only issue is picking the bottom E and A string, everything else is comfortable and fluid.
On strings D,G,B and E I can play solidly at 140bpm but when doing full 6 string runs it gets really sloppy on the E and A string.

I used to pick like EVH and still do but my thumb gets sore so I adjusted that and later saw the video where PG did the same thing.
So it was through finding my own comfort zone that I realized it was similar to PG, so now I'm wondering how is HE approaching the bottom 2 strings.

Ah yes, the dreaded bottom 2 strings, they are the bane of my existence. Except that the bottom strings for me are the Low B and Low E. One way to approach that is to set aside a 5-10 minute block during your practice regime and practice only on those 2 strings. Using just about every possible combinations possible to cross over between those strings. Like the examples below just off the top of my head:

5. -------7-8-10-8-7------
6. 7-8-9-------------9-8- (repeat)

5)---------------------7--7-8---7-8-10-7-8-10--
6) 7-8-10-7-8-10---8-----10-------------------- (Then descend using same pattern)

5)-----------7------------------7-8-10-8-7-
6) 7-8-10---10-8-7-8-10---------------10-8- (repeat)

Another thing I use is running scalar/modal patterns using the bottom 4 strings.

You know use your creativity to come up with more and better examples. And don't just stop at 3 note-per-string scalar patterns either you could come up with one using 4 note-per-string examples as well.

Another thing that can also help is moving up a gauge or two with your strings. Some people found that a heavier gauge doesn't flop around as much and tightens up the sound, tone, and picking. Another thing to consider might be moving to a thicker type pick this will cut through the string quicker with less flex. Less flexing means quicker picking and adding that with a higher gauge means there will be less flexing with the actual string as well. I not saying this is the answer, but, all things to consider. Paul Gilbert pick plenty fast with just a medium pick, but, what about his string gauge?

Or, you could consider going to an eight string guitar, that way the bottom 2 strings giving you problems will be the low F# and Low B, but, at least will you exceptional on the standard six :). It's crossed my mind more than once :P.
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#5 User is offline   FL6 

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:38 PM

I've been going through it slowly and it's just uncomfortable putting my wrist in a new angle but is getting better already.
6 string madness that's all!
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#6 User is offline   Andy Pollow 

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:52 PM

You have the opposite problem most have. When picking with fingers off/palm on the bridge most people think the B and E are the hardest to learn to pick fast. I dont know if you have small hands - or you need to adjust the position of your hand? I have found the most important thing with the pick isnt fingers off/sliding/anchored - like I used to fuss about. The most important thing is what kind of wrist motion you are using. I used to pick with the elbow and I switched to the wrist. But I was waving ( translating ) the wrist straight up and down. I dont think thats a good way to pick. Its more like knocking on a door - picking more towards and away from the guitar - not straight up and down. That made a HUGE difference for me like day and night. If you anchor fingers it forces you to oscillate ( knock on a door ). So you can learn it that way first and then take them off if you want to. Cuz it really dosent matter much what you do with those fingers.
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#7 Guest_shredacademysucksballs_*

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 12:59 PM

you all suck
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#8 User is offline   Vercingetorix 

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 05:47 AM

View Postshredacademysucksballs, on 05 August 2013 - 12:59 PM, said:

you all suck

Do you feel better now? Does that make you feel like a man? Feeling all macho now?

Well for the record I do suck on guitar, but many of the guys who participated (past tense) on this forum did not, one of who was my personal guitar Instructor. And while I suck on guitar there are a few things I do not suck at such as:
  • Judo
  • Karate (Isshin Ryu, Goshin Ryu)
  • Tae Kwon Do
  • Mauy Thai
  • Tai Chi (instructor)
  • Jujutsu (Assistant Instructor, weapons Instructor)
  • White Crane Kung Fu
  • Dim Mak
Hope you are having a good day - and by the way the only person likely to read your rant is me. These boards haven't been active for a long time. Look at the date of the last post before yours.

Warmest Regards,


I don't work here. I'm a consultant…
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#9 Guest_shredacademysucksballs_*

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 02:56 PM

View PostVercingetorix, on 06 August 2013 - 05:47 AM, said:

Do you feel better now? Does that make you feel like a man? Feeling all macho now?

Well for the record I do suck on guitar, but many of the guys who participated (past tense) on this forum did not, one of who was my personal guitar Instructor. And while I suck on guitar there are a few things I do not suck at such as:
  • Judo
  • Karate (Isshin Ryu, Goshin Ryu)
  • Tae Kwon Do
  • Mauy Thai
  • Tai Chi (instructor)
  • Jujutsu (Assistant Instructor, weapons Instructor)
  • White Crane Kung Fu
  • Dim Mak
Hope you are having a good day - and by the way the only person likely to read your rant is me. These boards haven't been active for a long time. Look at the date of the last post before yours.

Warmest Regards,


the forum isnt active because you all suck, fuck mook
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