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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Details on pick holding

Hello every1. As you can see I'm totally new here (although I used to read some threads here, from time to time). I promised myself I would never, ever sign up on any guitar forum, cause I am already wasting more than enough time on the net, and also I don't feel like I have anything to say, as I am still a rookie GP. However, this thing has been bothering me for the last couple weeks so I finally decided to ask you guys, before I go nuts.

Now, It's been almost 2 years, since I got my first electric (with about 3 years of playing ****ty classical guitar prior to that), and about 7 months ago I started really working on alternate picking (mainly focusing on "the 5 picking mechanics" from T. Stetina's book, which I admire, btw). I have managed to overcome a lot of problems by myself (holding the pick, not angling it by 45 degrees, stressing arms and fingers, and so on...). Just one thing remains untamed.

I've watched dozens of instructional videos, read tons of stuff on the net, but nobody seems to mention the angle of the pick against the BODY OF THE GUITAR. When I started, I had problems with going to the higher string with a downstroke(inside picking, I guess), so I started to hold the pick leaning to the floor a little, so it was easier, now I see it doesn't help when I'm working on consistant alternate picking motion on a single string (apparently upstrokes seem harder).
So, I want to ask some experienced players (preferably shredders), should I hold the pick exactly perpendicular to the body, and work on inside picking till it feels natural that way? Do you know if guys like P.Gilbert hold it like that?

Sorry if that kind of question did appear here, but I really searched everywhere. Anyway, I'd be most greatful to hear some advice(but please not something like "use whatever is comfortable" lol).

Last edited by JohnnyL; 08-17-2012 at 03:05 PM. Reason: grammar mistakes omg
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 12:28 PM
 
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Re: Details on pick holding

The only time my pick isn't at an angle is during economy picking on an doubled upstroke.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 05:20 PM
 
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Re: Details on pick holding

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpJNUGHxC3M

This goes over the basics of what paul gilbert does, i guess you can just look at how he holds the pick and the angle and stuff.
RyansJem is offline  
post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Details on pick holding

Yeah I started to angle the pick 45 degrees to the string after watching this video a few months earlier, and I tried to watch it over and over, it's hard to say. Just couple degrees up or down makes quite big difference to me. Anyway, thanks for replies, I think I'll stick to perpendicular position for couple weeks or so, and gonna find out for myself. I'll let you know by then. Experimenting always paid well so far.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 06:34 PM
 
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Re: Details on pick holding

There are many aspects to picking I feel are important.
You don't want to have much pick hanging out of your fingers or it will get hung up on the strings.
If you play a run from low to high notes, angle the pick down and up for high to low runs.
If you're playing fast on one string, hold the pick perpendicular to the body.
Let the pick give just a little so the string doesn't deflect as much during fast runs.
The faster I play the lighter both hands get on the guitar, more relaxed and flowing.
sebastian is offline  
post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 04:34 PM
 
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Re: Details on pick holding

hmm, i would ask if you use a free floating or anchored pick hand? iI have asked these questions of the mad shredder himself mab,michael angelo batio at a dean clinic he was giving-no right or wrong but the one thing i took from him was that the fingers holding the pick MUST be rigid-no flexing,bending for high speed play-very hard to do without cramping up,make subtle changes to picking hand with alternate picking only-get that down before the other picking methods
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 05:20 PM
 
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Re: Details on pick holding

One thing I've found useful is to hold the pick tight enough that it doesn't fall on the floor.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 05:52 PM
 
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Wink Re: Details on pick holding

superglue will do, i wonder if anyone has tried that for real? got some on me at work the other day and ah its super allright. It's hard to find what works ,sometimes the correct way feels very wrong at first-work each idea in-but do start slowly .
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Details on pick holding

Yeah, I anchor with my pinky on the e string or the ring of my bridge humb. And, yeah I heard Michael talk about it in Speed Kills, and it works for me, I never incorporated any "circle picking", but on the other hand, J. Becker always did that, and this guy, Tokayoshi Ohmura? C'mon.
And going back to my original problem, I think I fixed my angle to that perpendicular position, I use a small mirror in my left hand to make sure it is that way, and it feels more and more natural everyday.
Regardless, I found what is helping me more than ever with my picking for the last few weeks is practicing just downstrokes, upstrokes and alternate picking on just one string(Batio also suggested that) for an hour. Here's the tip of the guy I took it from:

“To develop picking technique, start by playing a series of downstrokes on any open string. At the beginning of the attack, stay close to the string, following through just enough to sound the note. Immediately return to the starting point. Now, try the same sequence with upstrokes. Finally, combine movements so that you’re strictly alternating strokes. Still on one string, meticulously practice the following: repeated down-strokes, repeated upstrokes, alternate downstroke and upstrokes, alternate upstrokes and downstrokes. Start slowly and gradually build up speed. Next, try moving to adjacent strings, and then to melodic skips on non-adjacent strings. Finally, apply the technique to alternate chordal picking, or crosspicking. Be sure to use alternate picking, playing downstrokes for notes that are on the beat, and upstrokes for ones that are off the beat. Focus on economizing the hand and finger movement of your picking hand, so that you don’t use excessive motion between up- and downstrokes.” —Al DiMeola

And also:
“A good way to work on alternate picking is to choose three or four notes, and work on those. Too often, players who are trying to improve their right hand dexterity get hung up by trying to play too many notes with the left hand. I hear a lot of players running whole scales from the sixth string to the first, and playing them really sloppy. Keeping it very basic—using only a few notes—and playing slowly with perfect rhythm is a task in itself.” —Al DiMeola

At first I kind of neglected his words, thinking "ahh I'm above that already", but really now I see, playing just three notes on one string perfectly is a challenge in itself.

Thanks for the replies, I'll write back in some time again, to relate my future progress.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 08:07 PM
 
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Re: Details on pick holding

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyL View Post
Tokayoshi Ohmura
Never heard of him. Googled him. Found this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ4AsE0jjeg

Is that a scalloped neck or is it just super reflective?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Details on pick holding

I don't know, but he seems like a total Yngwie copycat, so probably yes. He's addicted to switching pickups, his playing is rather obvious, I don't like these jap guys very much, but man, their technique is just astonishing.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 04:13 AM
 
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Re: Details on pick holding

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian View Post
If you're playing fast on one string, hold the pick perpendicular to the body.
perpendicular to the body but still at angle relatively to the string right ? Something like this

--------- \ ---------

where the dashes means the string and the backslash the pick, if you would look at the string from "top down" so to say...

Without such an angle I find that the pick doesn't cut through the string.. In fact that angle is even exaggerated I think.. I normally pick at a shorther angle to the string otherwise there's too much swoosh swoosh and almost no attack...
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 04:17 AM
 
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Re: Details on pick holding

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyL View Post
“To develop picking technique, start by playing a series of downstrokes on any open string. At the beginning of the attack, stay close to the string, following through just enough to sound the note. Immediately return to the starting point. Now, try the same sequence with upstrokes. Finally, combine movements so that you’re strictly alternating strokes. Still on one string, meticulously practice the following: repeated down-strokes, repeated upstrokes, alternate downstroke and upstrokes, alternate upstrokes and downstrokes. Start slowly and gradually build up speed. Next, try moving to adjacent strings, and then to melodic skips on non-adjacent strings. Finally, apply the technique to alternate chordal picking, or crosspicking. Be sure to use alternate picking, playing downstrokes for notes that are on the beat, and upstrokes for ones that are off the beat. Focus on economizing the hand and finger movement of your picking hand, so that you don’t use excessive motion between up- and downstrokes.” —Al DiMeola
that makes sense! Right now I'm at a point in which my alternate picking isn't very precise! I find that my upstrokes don't sound very similar to my downstrokes. Specifically if I try to play a 3 string alternate picking etude starting with downstrokes or starting with upstrokes, it sounds different! It's supposed to sound pretty similar... I think my upstrokes are very flaky and it just breaks the whole alternate picking thing down..
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Details on pick holding

In drumming, I know it's a must to develop equal strengh in both legs, for the double bass drum beats to sound even like a machine gun. It seems logical to work on upstrokes more, for consistancy. Your only as fast and good as your weakest leg(be that pick stroke) they say.
Something came to my mind after realizing that: remember what the great PG said in one of his first instructional videos? That his teacher told him to do only upstrokes, maybe that wasn't that stupid as Paul or anybody would think? Maybe that was an important step in developing his perfect technique, so many strive for?
Maybe thats the secret.
I'm constantly being baffled how electric guitar technique is still a mystery, unlike other instruments like violin, trumpet, piano etc. There are tons of books strictly on the technique of bowing, blowing, fingering and so on. On guitar? Yeah they'll give you tips like get a sharpy dunlop, hold it between your thumb and your index finger, use wrist and you'll be O.K. LOL
It's still a pretty fresh instrument, for everyone to discover.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 12:05 PM
 
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Re: Details on pick holding

Good points, just to mention I notice usually players don't care much on how they sit before beginning practicing.

I usually advise them the guitar should be in a similar position when you're playing standing up. So when possible, place the guitar (at least strat shape guitars) on your left leg and step on something long enough so the height is adjusted (like classical guitar players).

Besides its a more realistic playing position, its a healthier way to practice long hours so there won't me needless stress on your back or shoulders.
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alternate picking , inside picking , perpendicular , pick angle , right hand moton

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