Justin Guitar Community

Site Lesson Specific Questions => Technique Lessons (TE) => Topic started by: justinguitar on July 14, 2008, 04:22:42 pm

Title: TE-201 • The Spider
Post by: justinguitar on July 14, 2008, 04:22:42 pm
Questions...

Lesson Link: http://www.justinguitar.com/en/TE-201-TheSpider.php
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: Guitarhead on August 07, 2008, 09:27:12 am
hiya justin, ur site's really awesome, really gets me in the groove to start practising, thnx a lot... ok, this spider thingy(i just began with it), what speed do u recommend i should be able to do with about 4 months of practice... i can do it at about 100 bpm, but i just can't seem to be able to go any faster and end up spoiling my carefully-constructed technique... am i being too ambitious because i actually put every free minute of my day into my guitaring.. thnx again
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: mickmetal on September 24, 2008, 09:21:36 am
  I think the Spider's a very useful lesson when you dedicate your practicing to not necessarily playing it fast but being able to play each note clearly in your cross alternate picking.  Guitarhead- What I found useful in developing my technique to a faster tempo is playing the Spider front and back at a much slower tempo than your ability's limit.  (For me about 60 bpm) and only after you can play it perfectly several times, then move up slowly till you eventually reach your limits.  This should be done slowly, don't practice on a tempo you can't do perfectly.  When you can do the Spider perfectly on a faster tempo, 100 bpm or so then and only then should you increase your tempo. 

p.s. When you do increase your speed it shouldn't be a big change, only like 4 bpm or so (60 bpm - 64 bpm for example)  Perfecting something slow is the fastest way to perfecting something fast in my opinion, hope this helps.

Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: Brenno71 on October 10, 2008, 12:05:13 pm
hey justin sites lookin madd umm this spider thingy been havin a hack at it for a few weeks now and just can't get the coordination down pack....ummm dunno if its just cause i'm retarded or what lol but yeh tis getting a little frustrating at time.....so if you had any tips or technique corrections that would be awsome dude :)


cheers man
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: Jaden_ph on October 16, 2008, 02:39:37 am
im having problem w/ alternative picking because i kept forgetting to up pick .. any ideas?
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: DeadlyChicken on November 04, 2008, 11:23:39 pm
set your metronome quite slow, and only pick on  the beat using all down picks. make it so that its way slower than you can play.

Then using just one string  and fretting just one note do a few downs on the beat and notice that each time you down pick you are having to come back up for the next down pick, now just make sure you hit the string on the up pick.  Once you have that rhythm going, on that one note one string, keep it flowing and start the exercise again.

Think of your picking as beign like tiny strums .. keeping it moving and maybe even exaggerating how far your pick moves to start with so that you start to feel the constant rhythm and pace, maybe even say "down" each time you hear the metronome click too.

its tricky and you have to go a lot slower than you might normally, which is frustrating, but you quickly become used to it and will be able to speed up.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: Adlai on December 18, 2008, 04:23:02 pm
I happened to get my hands on a copy of the "Ten Hour Workout" interview with Steve Vai, and interestingly enough he uses this exact pattern, but to practice economy picking rather than alternate picking.

I understand the difference between the two, but my question is: would it be bad to exercise two such radically different techniques with the same pattern?

My inclination would be that it would actually help to separate them mentally and physically (finger-ally), but I'd be interested to hear some other opinions.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: stymye on December 22, 2008, 06:52:39 am
 personally I would get really good at alternate picking first,, like you don't have to even think about it good. before  thinking about economy picking
I see no benefit of practicing different picking techniques at the same time.I think it will slow someone down bigtime actually.


 this same exercise is used to practice sweep picking.but thats annother whole level.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: Dakota on January 31, 2009, 09:11:46 pm
Funny, but on day 1 when I tried it I was terrible at it. It wasnt really my alternate picking, it was just the way the left hand crawled up the fretboard. Now, a week later its really come natural.  8)
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: justinguitar on February 08, 2009, 05:33:07 pm
@Jaden - try saying the down and up out loud. That usually fixes it!

@ Adlal - I would choose a different exercise, just to keep things clear in my mind, but I don't think it would matter.

@Brenno - it's just hard dude - stick at it!

@ Guitarhead - it's a slow process - don't rush it - just move the tempo up very slowly. It will help even at slow speeds!
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: scorpiomike79 on February 28, 2009, 10:02:32 pm
i spend many hours on this site and i donate and buy your products...but damn this a nasty little lesson justin, and i really struggle to get my head around it......if only i could quit my job and be payed vast amounts of money to practise all day, but i wanna thankyou again for your awesome site!!!!
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: GuitarMomentum on April 06, 2009, 01:13:13 am
@scorpiomike79: At first, it is a bit mind blowing. The right hand is simple - down, up, down, up, etc. etc. That's the exercise part. Getting it going quickly and without a lot of conscious effort. Really working in the movement of moving your pick around across strings while keeping the down, up sequence going.

To begin though, I needed to know the why of the left hand first. When I tried to attach images to my forum post, it wouldn't let me. So I posted this mini-tutorial at http://distractedgeek.blogspot.com/2009/04/spider-exercise.html (http://distractedgeek.blogspot.com/2009/04/spider-exercise.html). It specifically focuses on the left hand with respect to the Spider Exercise.

Good luck.

Alex
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: brett911 on April 12, 2009, 06:39:53 am
Hey Justin or someone lol

In the Advanced Exercise Tab in pdf form should not the bottom line start on the 2nd fret since you are moving up the fretboard?

It looks like a mirror image of the 1st several bars from the exercise?
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: DSX_Guitarist on April 14, 2009, 02:44:48 am
would it be a good idea to practice finger picking with the spider or is that unnecesary?
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: jimmynitcher on May 08, 2009, 09:17:05 am
How many notes do you people play per metronome beat? I guess it doesn't matter as long as one plays within one's own limits but I'm curious .

BTW it sounds a bit like something Robert Fripp might do.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: jimmynitcher on May 08, 2009, 09:30:06 am
oh I've just seen the pdf - two per click then
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: ramxpride09 on June 26, 2009, 11:07:02 pm
Hi Justin,

You talk about how you should only do this exercise if you've been playing a while and are somewhat advanced. I've only been playing a couple of months now and was wondering if it would be beneficial to start doing this exercise but with right hand only. It probably will sound horrific, but I tend to be drawn towards songs with picking (like Wherever You Will Go thanks to you!) and want to better my right hand dexterity. In all the picking songs I've learned, I seem to get the left hand down far before I get the picking down.

Thanks for the time
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: kaleb42308 on June 30, 2009, 03:23:12 am
hi. im new to this site but already i can tell that this is a wonderful thing. but my question is when you get REALLY good and spendALOT of time practicing the spider, do you think it wud ever be possible to sweep pick it. it wud require weeks of endless practice, im sure. but do u think it cud ever be done. and also speaking of sweep picking. do you have a lesson on it.

With my thanks and regards

kaleb
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: PetefromFinland on October 31, 2009, 05:43:36 pm
Ok, I didn´t see anything about this here, so what´s Justin´s (or someone else´s who knows) take on worrying about muting string with the spider? Justin says one should only focus on one thing per excercise, in this being the picking I reckon, it makes it harder to think of muting the string at the same time... so would it happen that if your muting is not perfect yet and you practise it seperately at the same time, it would come later with the spider too so you first you wouldn´t have to worry ´bout it?
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: Fuzzel on November 11, 2009, 09:51:40 pm
hi. im new to this site but already i can tell that this is a wonderful thing. but my question is when you get REALLY good and spendALOT of time practicing the spider, do you think it wud ever be possible to sweep pick it. it wud require weeks of endless practice, im sure. but do u think it cud ever be done. and also speaking of sweep picking. do you have a lesson on it.

With my thanks and regards

kaleb
You'd have to economy pick to account for the string skipping/direction changing etc... and it's definatly possible, I think Steve Vai published it (or an excercise very similar to it) as paty of his 10 hour practice routine, the key difference being Vai economy pick it :). Needless to say, it's possible to do it at ridiculous speeds if you so desire :).
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: Filip on January 08, 2010, 02:05:31 pm
Hello!I need help with the picking.I always use alternate picking but sometimes i use twice down or twice up picking because its much easier and simple, is that bad habit or it is normal?Do i have to use alternate picking all the time in playing?I am really busted if i am wrong because it is hard to remove a bad habit...:D
Thank you!
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: LDuB on March 06, 2010, 12:18:25 pm
Just curious..who did you get this exercise from?  I've seen Joe Satriani use it too
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: tanman on March 30, 2010, 12:35:52 am
Justin (or anyone for that matter), when you play, is the bottom part of your picking hand resting on the guitar or is it floating off of the guitar?
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: Davidox on November 21, 2010, 08:31:23 pm
Hi everyone,
It's just a question i have.. i'm doing this exercise for some weeks now, but when i'm playing songs and when i pick strings individually, sometimes I miss the string or play the wrong string.. this usually when i play like the A string and then go to the B string or something like that (string skipping?). i'm just wondering if you guys know any exercise that helps hitting the right strings. Do you think the spider is a good one?

Cheers
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: sophiehiker on November 22, 2010, 01:56:54 pm
Just curious..who did you get this exercise from?  I've seen Joe Satriani use it too

Satriani got it from Vai who got it from someone else. (see Satriani, "Guitar Secrets")  Lots of spiders out there.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: sophiehiker on November 22, 2010, 01:59:48 pm
Hello!I need help with the picking.I always use alternate picking but sometimes i use twice down or twice up picking because its much easier and simple, is that bad habit or it is normal?Do i have to use alternate picking all the time in playing?I am really busted if i am wrong because it is hard to remove a bad habit...:D
Thank you!

When I pick it, I say silently to myself, "up, down, up, down, ...".  That helps me keep alternating.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: sophiehiker on November 22, 2010, 02:01:22 pm
Justin (or anyone for that matter), when you play, is the bottom part of your picking hand resting on the guitar or is it floating off of the guitar?

I stabilize my picking hand with my pinkie resting on the pick guard.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: sophiehiker on November 22, 2010, 02:02:58 pm
Hi everyone,
It's just a question i have.. i'm doing this exercise for some weeks now, but when i'm playing songs and when i pick strings individually, sometimes I miss the string or play the wrong string.. this usually when i play like the A string and then go to the B string or something like that (string skipping?). i'm just wondering if you guys know any exercise that helps hitting the right strings. Do you think the spider is a good one?

Yes, that's the purpose of the exercise.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: Ian1878 on December 26, 2010, 05:59:55 pm
I'm finding the alternate picking quite difficult to get into but am seeing improvement. I'm not really sure that I understand the purpose though. I wouldn't naturally do alternate picking e.g. after the third note (down stroke on the B string) I found myself wanting to simply carry on the stroke and also down stroke the 4th note on the E string. The exercise requires you to pass over the E string and hit the 4th note on the way back as an up stroke. This seems inefficient. Should I be trying to incorporate alternate picking into all my playing. If so, I don't really understand why. If not then I'm not sure what I'm trying to achieve here (other than some control and awareness of the way I am picking). I realise that I'm probably missing something here and would appreciate some guidance. Apart from that I find this a great way to get used to playing across different strings. Thanks for the site Justin. It is inspirational. Have just received the Intermediate course as a Christmas present. Happy Christmas all.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: sophiehiker on December 27, 2010, 12:33:15 pm

@ian1878 - control and awareness are good reasons.  It's the most common way to play with a pick.  Wiki has an article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternate_picking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternate_picking)  that discusses the pros and cons.  Merry Christmas.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: Ian1878 on December 27, 2010, 02:39:08 pm
@sophiehiker. Thanks. I will keep at it!
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: Cheray on January 18, 2011, 11:41:59 pm
Hi Justine .... I have one question. I have a problem with the little finger. I play for quite a long time and I never practiced the little finger. A lot of guitar players little finger rarely used but  now that is doesn't matter. In this exercise, we need to use the little finger but it is very difficult to me to play with him. Is it a big mistake if I play spider drill with the first three fingers and is necessary that little finger who is my true problem?


P.S. 
I said that I play for a while so I created some of their own style and technique. But browsing through your site, I watched your lesson where we learn how to properly hold the guitar and hand. I have a problem with my left hand, but I'm quite used to. Specifically, the left hand is always in a position to "play the blues" (because I prefer the blues), and sometimes is very difficult to me to play some chords and a variety of scales, so I asked you for advice on whether to hold of my own way of playing and holding hands, or to start from beginning as I do you recommend?

Thank you very much ... Cheers!


Nemanja ...
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: sophiehiker on January 19, 2011, 02:57:08 pm

Yes, you should use your little finger for the spider drill!  Yes, you will need to be able to hold the guitar so you can play chords and scales!

Yes, please start the beginners course and follow the recommendations.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: weirdwillie on January 26, 2011, 11:40:40 am
Hey, kinda new to this posting thing, but have a question.  Justin shows this excersise starting on the 5th fret I think.  Would it be beneficial to move it up and down the fretboard?
Thanks
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: routerbooter on January 26, 2011, 11:48:11 am
Hey, kinda new to this posting thing, but have a question.  Justin shows this excersise starting on the 5th fret I think.  Would it be beneficial to move it up and down the fretboard?
Thanks
Hey Willie, welcome to the forum.  If you're just learning the spider I would keep it on the 5th fret until you're comfortable with it, and can play it at a reasonable speed (say 80bpm at 2 notes per click).  Once you can do that I think it's a good idea to move it up and down the fretboard, just as is the case with scales.  I usually start on the 5th fret then move up (or down, depending which way you look at it) until I get to the 1st fret, then down (or up) until reaching the 12th fret, then back up to the 5th.  I guess if you've reached a stage where you're purely going for an increase in speed then you might want to keep it on the same fret each time.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: weirdwillie on January 26, 2011, 11:51:06 am
Hey thanks router.  Is it harder the higher or lower you go?
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: routerbooter on January 26, 2011, 11:57:18 am
I think there's a reason why Justin demonstrated it on the 5th fret.  There are differences the higher or lower you go, since the frets are either wider or thinner.  It can be a bit of a stretch towards the 1st fret, but hey, stretching is good!  Also the angle at which you fingers have to be at changes - it gets more acute towards the 12th fret and less towards the 1st.  The last point is that as you descend towards the 12th fret the strings are usually higher off the fretboard which can make the excersise slightly more difficult. 
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: AM on February 22, 2011, 07:21:55 pm
Should this exercise just be played as fast as you can (accurately) and keep on building speed every day or should I just do it at the same speed every day?
Currently playing 16th notes at 90bpm is this a good speed or should I be doing it faster?

Cheers
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: flyhead on February 22, 2011, 07:30:07 pm
It's clearly explained as a stretching cum endurance exercise, so speed is detrimental to its purpose. If you wish to use the shapes as shredding practice there's nothing preventing you from doing so, but I suspect that there are more appropriate exercise patterns to use than this one.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: Died244 on April 21, 2011, 09:45:15 pm
I'm having problems with my fourth finger that is too short I think, when I get to the topmost string(s), I feel like I can't press hard enough to let the note sound clear... Is this part of a lack of technique or just something I develop while doing this exercise?

Secondly, I constantly hear the "bad habits" words, but I never hear what those bad habits are... Can someone tell me, so I can focus on not perfecting my bad habits?
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: Toad on January 07, 2012, 05:30:16 pm
Does this excercise help with picking accuracy?
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: joshs on January 07, 2012, 07:15:09 pm
Try and see, might be different for you...

But...

Most people will find it harder going lower, especially towards the nut. Because the stretch is bigger. Also because around the 5th fret is such a natural place to put your hand. I think that's why exercises like this usually go for the 5th fret as a starting point. Going higher will probably be more or less the same until you get high enough that your hand is having to negotiate the guitar body and the frets are getting to be smaller targets.

I love this exercise, btw. It's a huge challenge for me. I'm starting to get to the point where some days I can get through a cycle or two without blowing it at slow speeds. :-)

Oh, another cool thing to do if you start really getting it, jazz it up! Change up the timing (switch between triplets, quarter notes, eighth notes, syncopate, add swing), switch directions around arbitrarily, etc. This is some advice I got via Victor Wooten once regarding scales. Applies to any route kind of exercise.

Hey thanks router.  Is it harder the higher or lower you go?
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: Toad on January 07, 2012, 09:49:22 pm
My fretting hand is pretty agile already, but I guess it could always use more work.  I'm mainly concerned with my picking though.  My accuracy with hitting the right string is horrible.  Going from adjacent strings is fine, but skipping strings is a struggle.

I will work on this spider excercise and hopefully it will help with my picking.  But does anyone know any other excercise that specifically targets picking or is this the best one?

What bugs me about this excerecise (no pun intended) is the way it sounds.  It's not melodic at all to my ears.  It sounds like a scratching a chalk board!  I cringe when I hear it.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: joshs on January 07, 2012, 11:03:36 pm
Toad, this exercise is way more challenging for the picking hand then fretting hand! In fact it's one of the better exercises I've seen for that.

My old instructor gave me some alternate picking exercises a while back that were great. I only remember the basics, but you can expand on them. Play these exercises with the strings open and your left hand only holding the guitar steady so you can focus on picking. Start on two adjacent strings. Then skip one string. Then two. Then try moving the pattern around (ex. Start on B E, then move to G B without breaking the rhythm). Play with a metronome and gain speed after you perfect it.

1. Easiest

v      v        v
   ^       ^        ^

2. Slight challenge, especially at high speed. Very useful

    ^        ^       ^
v        v        v


3. Random crazy one I made up to give you an idea how to expand


v  ^             v               ^
         v   ^         ^   V   

You get the point? You can make your own patterns up of course, but make sure to play the pattern exact.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: Toad on January 08, 2012, 01:53:53 am
Looks pretty good josh.  I'll do that.  Thanks.  ;D
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: Loonybin-Fizzbin on March 17, 2012, 09:45:39 pm
I became to understand it fully ONLY when I changed time signatures from 4/4 to 3/4..I made up scale runs on my own, then used each run...with each signature...
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: asdfplaya on May 21, 2013, 02:26:01 pm
hi, love this site. but i just got one question, when i do this exercise, am i supposed to place my right hand on the neck like i would with a chord or arpeggio or should i play it like i would a solo where i would press only on every note?
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: joshs on May 21, 2013, 05:30:01 pm
Do you play lefty? It's better to refer to your hands as "pick hand" and "fret hand" to avoid confusion. Assuming you are (since the question doesn't make sense the other way around) Press one note at a time. You don't want the notes to continue to ring.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: CaptainFarrell on July 21, 2013, 07:19:03 am
Hey guys, been working on the Beginner's Course for a few months now but only discovered the Spider exercise a few weeks ago. I have been working on this and there definitely is an improvement  :)

Got a fretting hand related question.
I was watching the vid again and I noticed that Justin's fingers move absolutely independently from each other, but when I do it, aside from the obvious problems with speend and accuracy.... Here is what I wanted to ask.
let's say I press down with the little finger I have to REALLY FOCUS and play sllooooowwwwwww for the three other fingers to stay where they are. If I don't focus the other three are going up and forming something like an eagle claw Bruce Lee would be proud of  ;D

Or if I'm pressing down with my ring finger the other three are going  up, and so on. I just can't get the fingers to say relaxed while only one finger is pressing.

I tried just now to play real slow and focus on only having movement in the finger that I need to press down with but it is SO TOUGH!  I could do it but I spend so much time trying to get my brain to only send signals to one finger and leave the other three alone haha

Will this go away eventually as I get faster? Or should I consciously focus on fixing this now at the early stages as I am practising the Spider?


Thanks!
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: misterg on July 21, 2013, 04:18:55 pm
Hello and welcome! :)

... should I consciously focus on fixing this now at the early stages as I am practising the Spider?

Yes, IMHO.

I think the spider is quite an advanced exercise, so it will be hard. Have you tried the 'Minimal movement' exercise? It's a little easier than the Spider, but still feindishly tricky to start with.

Just my 0.02p
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: stitch101 on July 21, 2013, 04:23:53 pm
You're teaching your fingers and brain a new skill which will take time to sink in. Keep doing it slowly and
one day it will be as natural as walking.

Welcome to the forum.
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: CaptainFarrell on July 24, 2013, 06:55:17 am


Thank you guys for the welcome :)

I missed that part in the description where it is said it is more of an advanced exercise  ;D
In any case, I have been working on Spider and I'm not doing too bad I think, I can keep up with the metronome at 60 bpm doing the alternate picking. The problem is usually not the fretting hand, it's the picking hand that gets confused sometimes haha

The eagle claw I mentioned is happening on the way up when the pinkie is pressing down on the D string and then also when the ring finger is on the A string. The middle finger has no problem coming back to play the E string but it just looks like crap  ;) and I thought this would become a habit and would  affect my speed when I get to playing solos sometime down the road.

I will definitely check out the "Minimal movement" exercise as well, and I guess I will just keep working on this patiently  :P

Thanks for your replies!
Title: Re: TE-002 • The Spider
Post by: stitch101 on July 24, 2013, 07:12:27 pm
What ever you do don't over do these exercises. No more than a minute and if you feel any pain stop.

People on this forum that have over done these exercises have had to spot playing for days some even
week because they stressed out tendons and muscles 
Title: Re: TE-201 • The Spider
Post by: nnoone on March 10, 2018, 05:51:47 pm
I'm doing a variation of the spider where the left hand invert the pattern when it goes from the low E string to the highest string

Like instead of playing :

G-----4
D--- 3
A --2
E -1


I play

G--------1
D------2
A ----3
E --4


See ?


I've got a little problem is that my pinky always mute the highest strings, no matter how I put my hand. My pinky is almost flat on the neck. It's worst when I (try to) play this exercise of john petrucci (https://youtu.be/6VApk-vvhp8?t=471).
I've got no big problem with the other fingers or the right hand. I can also play some hendrix triads with my pinkie, no problem. But this unwanted muting thing, I can't work it out.

Any suggestion?