Author Topic: TE-301 • Scale Picking  (Read 78078 times)

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Offline justinguitar

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TE-301 • Scale Picking
« on: July 14, 2008, 04:23:03 pm »
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 03:52:07 pm by Indigo »
"You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room." Dr. Seuss

ghaessedai

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2008, 07:19:34 pm »
Justin I noticed in your videos that when you pick single notes you use an "anchor" just below the first string with your right hand. I have not had a lesson, but I've used this website as well as a few others in order to be as certain as possible that my technique is correct. Yet I do not use this "anchor" at all. My hand is more or less in a fist position when I play. Other than that I belive my pick grip is fundamentally correct but I would like to know your opinion on rather or not I should learn to anchor my pinky to the guitar (I play electric mostly). As a beginner I still have trouble being comfortable with where the strings are. I tend to pick two strings sometimes unintentionally yet I'm getting better at this. Should I change my picking style? Thanks to anyone who can help me with this.

Rob Elly

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2008, 06:10:29 pm »
As well as the above question that i would like to here the answer too.
Could anyone help me with another.
When picking strings with a plectrum Justin suggests picking down up down up which is ok.
My question is onced i pick string (whatever they may be)from top to bottom when i start the picking pattern again from top to bottom should i restart with a down pick or if the last string i picked on the lower strings was down should i then start at the top picking up then down..

Not sure if that makes sense but hey what the hell

Cheers
Rob

Jupe

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2008, 12:10:57 pm »
@ghaessedai: A classical guitarist would probably kill you if you'd start using that anchor, but hey, how many guitarists in history did something "wrong" just to fit their needs - feel free to do what suits you best. Also, I remember Justin saying that it would be easier to strum the right string if you have a non-moving position to start from.

@Rob Elly: The "down-up picking" is basically to speed up scales, etc. I personally a strum according to the position of the next string I want to play. I.e. I am playing fourth string and next string would be the third, I'd be using a downstroke to quickly move with one motion - in your case you'd be hitting 6th to 2nd string with a down strum/motion and play the 1st string with an upstroke. I merely use the alternating strokes when playing more than one-note on one string - but (!!!) this is only what I personally prefer to do...

Best regards
Julian

Razortalon

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2008, 12:25:52 am »
Jupe, I believe what you are doing is called economy picking. I do that too, but I hear that strict alternate picking lets you play really fast parts easier and with better rhythm. If this is true, how could I convert to alternate picking? Economy picking seems to be burned into my muscles after like 6 months of playing like that. Your site made me slow down and re-examine my technique, and sadly, that was the first time I even knew if I was doing alternate or economy picking.

Jupe

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2008, 10:19:13 am »
Haha you are right. I wasn't even aware there was such a difference - but thanks to you for clearing this up. Now I, myself, am smarter than before just by trying to help someone! :)


Rossco

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2008, 08:37:20 pm »
New question for this lesson... I'm currently working on playing fingerstyle - mostly acoustic blues, but I also want to get my Majors down. My question is, as I don't flat pick, what would be a good right hand technique for practicing the majors (or any scale). I've previously been told to use alternating index and middle rest strokes, but I want to use my thumb because, imo, it creates most of the groove for acoustic blues. I've tried using a classical right hand position (like you demonstrated in folk fingerstyle) but it can be a bit limiting and slow, using the same finger multiple times on each string.

I also want to start incorporating a thumb pick - a la Tommy Emmanuel/Chet Atkins. What do you suggest?

P.S. I know you'll say that T Emmanuel does a lot of flat-picking, and yes it is something I need to work on, but is there a technique that also trains my right hand fingers to play scales?

P.P.S. I love your lessons mate. Thanks so much, I'm learning a lot.

Offline justinguitar

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2008, 04:44:32 pm »
Regarding economy picking:

If you want to play REALLY fast then economy picking has some advantages.

BUT - it is not good for general technique - and ALL the metal and technical players that I know (including some amazing players) all say that you should learn alternate picking first - learn how to control the pick and only then try and learn economy picking.

Many people (like Jupe i suspect) do economy picking by not thinking about it and then have a hard time playing strict alternate picking...

@ rossacco - I'm not sure dude - never done it. I would think maybe tommy emmanuel style of using thumb pick and fist finger. I am rubbish with a thumb pick - so no suggestions there either!, sorry

J
"You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room." Dr. Seuss

Hammer

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2008, 04:35:58 pm »
Here's a curious one, was wondering if anyone else has experienced it!

I've been struggling with 16ths at 92bpm for a week or so now, got frustrated and whacked the metronome up 96bpm, and went up and down 4 times perfectly first go. Surprised, I tried again, same deal. I did it 5 or 6 times to satisfy myself and then went back to 92bpm. Still can't manage it without it falling apart.

Has anyone else found some tempos 'easier' than others, despite being faster?

BillD

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2008, 06:43:39 pm »
Hammer, I am a classically trained pianist, and it is well known in piano technique circles that there are some tempos that are more difficult than others, often around two-thirds to one half the maximum speed that a person can play a passage without mistakes. These are often multivoice passages (like Martin Taylor playing bass, melody and accompaniment on the guitar). It is important to practise at or below the tempo that you find most difficult, since this is telling you that there is a problem at this tempo. (It also might be worth recording yourself at 96 bpm to check that everything really is perfect at this setting!)

You might also be interested to know that world famous pianist Vladimir Ashknazy was once asked what was the most difficult thing he had to do when studying at Moscow Conservatoire and he replied "Scales at 240 b.p.m." - he meant playing hands together scales, four notes to the beat in all combinations! Keep up the good work, you will soon find it no problem.

stymye

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2008, 05:44:34 am »
Hi,
 I have no problem doing 1/16th notes at 120, my worry is that I can't keep my thumb behind the neck, it seems akward to me.
 I tend to have my thumb verticle or sometimes hooked over the neck, I've always played that way and have no problem with speed and clarity.
when I try to position my thumb "properly" and make my fingers exactly verticle, It's totaly foreign. I've watched alot of pros and I see alot of them play the way I do. am I hindering myself or should I just continue the way I have been?

here's a video of a Steve Lukather tutoral  I found,, I wanted to post it because this is exactly how I use my left hand and thumb(of course I'm not as skilled)
I want to post this and ask ,,If he plays this way why shouldn't I?  thanks in advance


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUKSHViWNHw&feature=related
« Last Edit: December 22, 2008, 05:50:04 am by stymye »

rendelven

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2008, 05:04:50 pm »
Hi,
 I have no problem doing 1/16th notes at 120, my worry is that I can't keep my thumb behind the neck, it seems akward to me.
 I tend to have my thumb verticle or sometimes hooked over the neck, I've always played that way and have no problem with speed and clarity.
when I try to position my thumb "properly" and make my fingers exactly verticle, It's totaly foreign. I've watched alot of pros and I see alot of them play the way I do. am I hindering myself or should I just continue the way I have been?

here's a video of a Steve Lukather tutoral  I found,, I wanted to post it because this is exactly how I use my left hand and thumb(of course I'm not as skilled)
I want to post this and ask ,,If he plays this way why shouldn't I?  thanks in advance

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUKSHViWNHw&feature=related

You will see that when he hits the 'lower' notes he has to move his thumb to a better position because the thumb at the top of the fretboard limits the range of his fingers. The thumb closer to top is a lot better for bluesy playing where you're doing lots of bends. As stated - there are pros and cons.

Lyx

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2008, 01:33:11 pm »
hey, back to economy picking...

i think i pretty mastered it, but i can do alternate too... my problem is i started one week ago practising with metronome, i was never told to do that, so i started all over my whole technique... i play for 3 years, one year with plectrum, should i continue with economy picking or should i get back to alternate, cause i´m getting confused with metronome playing 8th or even 16th (right now i´m around 130 bpm 4th, sad but true -.-) i struggle with my left hand, i started learning major shapes with d major not g...

p.s. great lessons helped me a lot

danel

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2009, 08:39:15 pm »
Hi,

I'm Danel and I have a little problem. before I knew your website, your great website, I have been working on scale picking for very long time (few months) and unfortunately, not by your instructions. I didn't start slowly and wasn't working using metronome and now i'm sorry about that. my progress with playing guitar and developing my technique is very important to me. I feel that when im playing a scale it's unsynchronized and now, my question is:  do I need to begin bulid my speed slowly from the beginning or keep practise on that and tyring synchronize with the metronome in the speed i get (1 note per metronome click at around 160bpm)??

I really hope i can fix that problem soon. ;)

Thanks,
Danel

rcd41579

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2009, 04:41:46 am »
Sweet technique exercises; try playing the scale picking exercise in triplets, it's helped me smooth out my picking.  I have a tendency when practicing to accent the downbeat, and that comes through in my other playing.  Triplets force you to hear the downbeat on different notes. Dig it.

Offline justinguitar

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2009, 05:53:52 pm »
Sweet technique exercises; try playing the scale picking exercise in triplets, it's helped me smooth out my picking.  I have a tendency when practicing to accent the downbeat, and that comes through in my other playing.  Triplets force you to hear the downbeat on different notes. Dig it.

Nice idea!
"You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room." Dr. Seuss

Hammer

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2009, 06:49:14 pm »
Hey,

I was wondering if anyone has any ideas about how to shake up my practice routine for this to kick start some development again.

I've been stuck at 16ths at 100bpm for about 6 weeks now, some days i get it at this speed, some days I struggle.

My daily practice routine at the moment is to start off going up and down 4 times with focus on minimum movement, super slow and controlled. Then I set my metronome to 80 bpm and play 16ths up and down 4 times, then 84, 86, 92, 96 to 100, ensuring I've got it clean at each level before moving on. On a good day i'll go to 104 or 108 where I break down, just to try and push things on a bit, on a bad day I'll struggle to get it right at 100. I've never managed to play faster than 100bpm cleanly.

Basically, while i think this is a fairly good routine in principle, I seem to have stagnated and need a different approach for a little while to shake it up and get things moving in the right direction.

I'd really appreciate any input and ideas!

tomatito

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does it increase speed?
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2009, 04:13:50 pm »
i was wondering if scale picking,fingergym will help me to play faster...i mean to play fast enough to make the stairway to heaven solo sound good or the fade to black intro solo...
will doing these exercises help my overall speed or just speed while picking those scales?

kindly help... :) and advise...

PhillD

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2009, 09:06:55 am »
Scale picking will help you get faster and improve your accuracy. Also look at the minimum movement technique as if your fingers are flying around you will be slowed down too.

tomatito

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2009, 10:06:14 am »
thanks PhillD :)


allthegearnoidea

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2009, 07:28:04 am »
I have been stuck at around 115bpm at 2 notes per clik for about 2 months now and dont seem to be able to get any faster without making mistakes. i do the finger gym and minimum movement exercises, and also practice near enough every day. any suggestions as to how i get my speed up?

Orion

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2009, 02:42:38 pm »
@ All those stuck at any particular speed:

First of all, make sure that you're incorporating justin's minimum movement exercises into your scale picking routine. Very very imp. The pinkie especially tends to fly off and you need to consciously control it.

The second thing is a little obvious but in any case you shouldn't not do it. It is to be more conscious while scale picking. I'll explain. When you are well within your comfortable speed range you hardly look at the fretboard and just play it. As you speed up to close to your max. range you concentrate harder and conscentiously place each finger on the right note. But if the speed you're going at is a bit too much to handle, you simply start depending on your reflex actions. It becomes just a matter of luck, now you pulled it off and now you didn't. So basically, try to tease yourself into playing just about 5bpm above your max. at a time and really feel like you're controlling your fingers. Another thing, while doing this you may end up tensing any of the joints right from your fingers to your shoulder. Sit in front of a mirror and periodically catch youself in an awkward position or just feel it anyway. Hope it helps...  :)

PhillD

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2009, 04:54:12 pm »
If ever I feel I am at an impasse, I standup and take a drop shoulder, make a drink or strum a tune I love for a few minutes. Takes all the tension out and sometimes its enough to get you going again.

The biggest problem is trying too hard means you make mistakes, was always my problem with arpeggios in the beginning.

Sl8sh

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2009, 05:16:39 am »
I know I'm posting alot of questions on the forums so I know I'm being annoying for now. 

I have a really technical question: does the distance between the strings on your guitar determine the speed of which alternate picking can be used?  I can do both alternate picking and economy picking but the fastest thing I can play are eighth notes at a tempo of 180bpm and haven't been able to play eighth notes any faster.  I'm working on sixteenth notes right now.  Quarter notes are not a problem for me unless you start really getting ridiculously fast like 316bpm. 

I'm asking because I know I don't hold my pick correctly.  I haven't adjusted the hold on my pick because I make 10 times as many mistakes than if I just hold it the way I've always held it. 

The other reason I'm asking is because my guitar is older.  The year is 1983.  I've noticed that people who can alternate pick really well play on expensive guitars whose measurements are smaller than the standard make.  The distance between my strings is a little bigger because I believe it is standard or at least it may have been standard for its time.

This probably may not be the reason but I would appreciate an answer. 

rendelven

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2009, 03:14:23 pm »
I know I'm posting alot of questions on the forums so I know I'm being annoying for now. 

The forum is here for you and everyone else to ask questions! As long as you aren't asking the same question over and over you're fine. :)

I have a really technical question: does the distance between the strings on your guitar determine the speed of which alternate picking can be used?  I can do both alternate picking and economy picking but the fastest thing I can play are eighth notes at a tempo of 180bpm and haven't been able to play eighth notes any faster.  I'm working on sixteenth notes right now.  Quarter notes are not a problem for me unless you start really getting ridiculously fast like 316bpm. 

I'm asking because I know I don't hold my pick correctly.  I haven't adjusted the hold on my pick because I make 10 times as many mistakes than if I just hold it the way I've always held it. 

The other reason I'm asking is because my guitar is older.  The year is 1983.  I've noticed that people who can alternate pick really well play on expensive guitars whose measurements are smaller than the standard make.  The distance between my strings is a little bigger because I believe it is standard or at least it may have been standard for its time.

This probably may not be the reason but I would appreciate an answer. 

I would say your skill more than anything determines how fast you can pick. A higher action (distance from strings to guitar) is likely to impede on your progress. I would recommend taking it to your local guitar shop and have them do a setup on it. The lower the action the less distance there is when fretting which is definitely going to help speed up picking.

 

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