Author Topic: TE-301 • Scale Picking  (Read 78079 times)

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Offline Steve St.Laurent

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #100 on: November 11, 2010, 08:50:30 pm »
On flat versus angled picking what kind of pick are you using?  I get that scratching sound when I use a Dunlop Tortex (which has a rounded tip) which is what I use on my acoustic and used to use on my electric.  Now I use a Dunlop Jazz XL which is very hard and has a very pointy tip and I don't get that scratchy sound.  My speed definitely went way up after switching to an angled pick.

JMO and I'm a beginner but I also was economy picking and didn't realize it and I hit a wall at 140 bpm 1/8th notes.  I had to slow down to 80 bpm to get to straight alternate picking and it took me about six days to get back up to 140 bpm and I blew threw it then.  It was very hard to break the habit of economy picking but IMO it was well worth it.

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #101 on: November 11, 2010, 10:01:18 pm »
hmm, are you talking 8 or 16 notes per beat ?
I'm reaching about 140bpm at 16 notes per beat on acoustic guitar (you can go a bit faster on electric)  without paying any attention to up and downstrokes.
well, I only started paying attention today  (I started playing the guitar more than 15 years ago !!!) and I'm economy picking on the way down (from low to high-pitched) and I'm alternate picking on the way up (from high to low-pitched). and I have a harder time going up.
so that sort of contradicts what you're saying : for me, economy would go faster than alternate.

but since all teachers are talking about alternate and great virtuosos seem to rely on alternate most of the time as well, I'm pretty sure thetre's something wrong with my playing.
I really don't know how much time it would take for me to do strict alternate all the time after 15 years of economy random whatever...
it might be way too late :/




Offline Steve St.Laurent

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #102 on: November 12, 2010, 02:56:55 am »
That was 1/8th notes at the time which is 2 notes per beat.  I'm now at 95 bpm with 1/16th notes - 4 notes per beat.  If your doing 16 notes per beat and 140 bpm your SMOKIN and I don't think you need to work on speed!

possopo

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #103 on: November 12, 2010, 10:46:32 am »
well, I love John Coltrane (especially the Giant Steps era) and Megadeth (I was about to say Slayer but their solos are really too unmelodic for me), that's why I can never get enough speed:)

Offline Steve St.Laurent

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #104 on: November 12, 2010, 11:13:42 am »
Are you sure your playing 16 notes per beat and not 16th notes (4 notes per beat)?  Justin says in his video that the fastest he has ever gotten was 156 bpm 16th notes (4 notes per beat).  16 notes per beat at 140 bpm would mean your playing just over 37 notes per second.  140 bpm 16th notes is the goal that Justin says you should shoot for in either this video or the master the major scale (don't remember which one).

raphaelorga

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #105 on: November 12, 2010, 01:58:23 pm »
Hello,

I have been stuck at 170bpm 8th notes. I have been working on it for almost 2 months and I still cant see any improvements. Please help.

Offline Jonny5

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #106 on: November 13, 2010, 03:17:54 pm »
I've hit a plateau again too. What I would suggest is dropping right back down in speed so you can analyse what's going wrong. For me I'm almost sure it's that I'm moving my pick a lot more than necessary. Last night I actually dropped the metronome down to 40bpm...it's excruciating but the only way. You can't just keep doing the same thing hoping it'll change.


possopo

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #107 on: November 14, 2010, 10:56:14 pm »
Are you sure your playing 16 notes per beat and not 16th notes (4 notes per beat)?  Justin says in his video that the fastest he has ever gotten was 156 bpm 16th notes (4 notes per beat).  16 notes per beat at 140 bpm would mean your playing just over 37 notes per second.  140 bpm 16th notes is the goal that Justin says you should shoot for in either this video or the master the major scale (don't remember which one).

well no, I got confused.
140 at 16th of course.
well actually, I started strict alternate picking two days ago so I'm back at somewhere like 110 or 120.
but it's not that difficult to change habits so I'm quite happy with the results of my exercises.



welly_59

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #108 on: December 09, 2010, 06:49:05 pm »
i've been using this lesson as a means of improving my coordination and picking speed, but have been shot down on the UG forums for doing so. Will this exercise help improve my overall picking speed or as they are suggesting in the other forum it'll just improve my major scale picking speed?!?!

Offline Jonny5

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #109 on: December 10, 2010, 01:01:27 pm »
It'll help your picking speed and of course major scale playing, but they're right in as far as you won't suddenly be able to play anything new at that speed. You still need to learn new patterns and get both hands accustomed to them. I guess that can be said of any exercise. I think these things are useful to a point, but you don't want to get stuck just playing one thing over and over...aside from being extremely boring it's probably best to keep your fingers guessing a little too, to develop independence. I would mix this in with some other exercises and any riffs/licks you're working on getting up to speed. That will all help your dexterity.

I know this has been said a million times and I'm pretty sure you won't listen (I know I didn't), but you need to start slow....really slow, and focus on having the same volume on each note, minimum movement, no tension etc. It will pay off if you have the patience.

Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #110 on: December 10, 2010, 02:49:25 pm »
Indeed you need to start slowly. I found that out once again after having picked up the mandolin about 9 days ago.
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Offline Blackheathen

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #111 on: January 02, 2011, 02:33:36 pm »
Hahaha ...the Tassie Devil at the end of that video lesson is pure gold.  ;D
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Offline Blackheathen

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #112 on: January 07, 2011, 01:29:35 pm »
After a few years of 'mucking around' on the guitar and not really worrying about or realising the importance of pick direction, I'm finding alternate picking and flying fingers REALLY difficult to control....but I will persist.  :-\
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asguard44

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #113 on: January 09, 2011, 10:11:17 am »
My problem with scale picking which I just can't seem to shake off is this, going down the scale from low E string to Hi E string alternate picking in all 5 positions I am fine but coming up again my pick seems reluctant to find the strings and I get totally lost. It only happens when I try to scale pick at 90bpm on 16th notes. I am currently re training my picking technique by holding the pick differently and closing my fingers into my palm whilst picking. I do seem to have more control over my hand that way so things are looking up.
Also at 90 and above my arm goes really tense and hurts like hell so how do you teach your arm to relax?

Offline Bootstrap

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #114 on: January 09, 2011, 10:30:05 am »
Do you anchor your pinky on the pick guard?
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asguard44

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #115 on: January 09, 2011, 10:39:40 am »
I always anchored the pinky on the pickguard and got most of the pain in my arm doing that. Have to say though that holding my pick in a fist kind of shape and resting my wrist lightly against the area between tailstock and saddle on my SG feels a lot more natural and less painful. Going to get the firebird out now and try the new picking technique on that.

asguard44

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #116 on: January 14, 2011, 04:52:59 pm »
So now I have become a fully payed up member of frustration city. No matter how hard I concentrate I just can't seem to find my way back up the strings smoothly from 90bpm (16ths) onwards. So, I cannot for the life of me remember where I saw it or read it but someone said before you try to pick scales fast you should be able to pick the strings fast so I had the idea to set my metronome to 90 bpm and I picked the entire scale on 8th notes a few times. Then I picked each note of the scale 4 times per click and played position 1 scale that way. My picking hand still seems to stutter coming back up but I can see a little improvement but I have to face facts that I certainly aint gonna be a speedy picker.

Is it a good thing to pick each note 4 times per click or is that bad practise and should I persevere on single notes? And should I try concentrating on just picking up the strings from the higher G note until it becomes natural?

Thanks.

Offline Bootstrap

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #117 on: January 14, 2011, 08:23:18 pm »
Try playing in front of a mirror for a while.
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asguard44

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #118 on: January 15, 2011, 10:08:33 am »
Try playing in front of a mirror for a while.

I want to sort my picking hand out not scare myself to death :D

Thanks for the advice mate but I don't think my problem is finding the strings. It's the hand stutter I seem to suffer with. It knows where it is going but it just seems to stop dead in it's tracks. I don't know if I am explaining this properly so I'll try again. When I pick a scale down the strings from the low E string down to the high E string then my picking hand is fine and finds it's way down no problem. Coming back up however it sometimes feels like my wrist is on a piece of string and someone is pulling my hand back with this piece of string preventing my hand from moving up. I mentioned this to my Doctor and she said it is most likely down to all the nerve damage due to the operations I had on my spine 25 years ago. Could really be fighting a losing battle but I will persevere as much as I can.
I have been playing the guitar for 30 years now albeit very badly and love this site for putting things right in my playing but at 46 years old I don't think my brain and thinking patterns have the same ideas as the picking hand :(

Offline Jonny5

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #119 on: January 15, 2011, 03:32:23 pm »
Maybe one more consideration. When you pick the scale ascending, do you pivot entirely at the wrist or move your hand down as you go? The reason I ask is because if your hand is fixed the whole time you end up making a kind of arc as you ascend, meaning you can end up at a pretty uncomfortable angle when you hit the high e. By the time you're halfway back down you could have a decent amount of tension in your wrist causing a lack of control. Adjusting your hand position as you go can solve that and means your pick is always hitting the strings at the same angle. So it's like, you pick with small movements of your wrist, but adjust your hand from the elbow as you go. That said you might be doing it already so.....just a theory :p

asguard44

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #120 on: January 15, 2011, 06:55:42 pm »
You may be on to something there Jonny5. I had a word with the Girlfriend over dinner and told her I wouldn't mind booking a couple of sessions with a good guitar tutor and try and sort out my picking technique live rather than trying to do it watching vids. So now all I have to do is find a local tutor in the Macclesfield area.

Thanks :)

sia11

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #121 on: February 13, 2011, 06:23:36 pm »
I have tried to get to 120 bpm 16th  notes in the scale picking, but I seem be unable to get past say 112 bpm without sounding unclean. No matter how slow and accurate I picked when I began practising (i practice this every day 5 min), it seems that I am stuck on 110-112.

Is the answer just to practice more?

Offline Bootstrap

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #122 on: February 13, 2011, 09:31:41 pm »
Hi Sia11,

Do you really mean 16th notes (4 notes per beat)? 110bpm playing 16th notes is 440 notes per minute. If you are already playing scales that quickly then yes it is just a matter of more practice and probably benefit from seeing an accomplished tutor who could give you some analysis and feedback on your technique.

If you meant 110bpm of quarter notes (1 note per beat) - which would be 110 notes per minute, then try Justins minimum movement exercise http://www.justinguitar.com/en/TE-004-MinimumMovement.php
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Offline Jonny5

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #123 on: February 15, 2011, 11:29:12 am »
Getting to 120bpm is no joke, so don't be disheartened. You'll inevitably experience diminishing returns in your progress, so each bpm is harder than the last!

I would say don't worry about it too much as you're already playing quickly. If you suspect it's something in your technique then by all means put your mind at rest and see a pro, but also consider the purpose of this is to build your skills to apply to songs and improv. I'm fairly confident in saying there's no songs that require you to play a major scale up and down 4 times in a row at 120bpm:p Can you do one octave at 120bpm? I suspect so, and that will show you have the potential. If you mess up at the same point all the time focus on that specific spot rather than runnign the whole scale all the time. Sometimes it becomes rather obvious what's holding you back.


sia11

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #124 on: February 17, 2011, 06:13:46 pm »
Yes. Four notes per beat. Four notes at 120 bpm on the metronome.


Getting to 120bpm is no joke, so don't be disheartened. You'll inevitably experience diminishing returns in your progress, so each bpm is harder than the last!

I would say don't worry about it too much as you're already playing quickly. If you suspect it's something in your technique then by all means put your mind at rest and see a pro, but also consider the purpose of this is to build your skills to apply to songs and improv. I'm fairly confident in saying there's no songs that require you to play a major scale up and down 4 times in a row at 120bpm:p Can you do one octave at 120bpm? I suspect so, and that will show you have the potential. If you mess up at the same point all the time focus on that specific spot rather than runnign the whole scale all the time. Sometimes it becomes rather obvious what's holding you back.




Thanks, yes I suspect that on one specific spot in the scale I'm messing things up, I'll work on that. Especially when one is alternate picking and has to go over one string because the last pick was a down pick... if you know what I mean:P

Thank you for your replys.

 

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