Author Topic: TE-301 • Scale Picking  (Read 78075 times)

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martynq

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #75 on: February 03, 2010, 10:00:47 pm »
I think what I'm gonna say is about to be completely unhelpful... but here goes!  ;)

I've been trying to work myself up in speed on this scale exercise, but have definitely hit a block.  I'm stuck at semiquavers (4 notes per click) at 88 bpm and have been at this point for two months now.  It just isn't getting any more solid at all.

I presume that I'm doing something wrong - or could it be that it's just not possible for me to play any faster?  Certainly, whenever I try to learn to play anything what gets in the way is always the speed of finger movement needed.

Assuming I'm doing something wrong, how do I go about diagnosing what the problem is?  I have no clue to be honest.

pjgat09

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #76 on: February 08, 2010, 09:13:32 pm »
I've been working on scale picking for a few weeks now, working with a metronome. When I'm playing I hold my pick with a fist-like hand, and I use my arm more than my wrist. I'm progressing pretty quickly, but after watching Justin's video I see he mostly uses his wrist, and his arm moves very slightly to position his wrist correctly. It also seems like he anchors the thumb side of his picking hand either on the body of the guitar or the thicker strings (when playing thinner strings). Am I seeing things, or is that what he is doing? Is that a better way to play, or should I just continue what I'm doing?

lubomir21

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #77 on: February 11, 2010, 07:50:29 pm »
Well, I see I'm not the only one having problems with scale picking. I've been working on this for a month now and I'm not actually sure, whether I'm doing well or not. I can hear it doesn't sound clean, but I don't know if I should continue to next level or start doing it slower. Maybe you could post me some records of how it should sound...I recorded myself playing the scale, so I believe there will be somebody to give me some advice.

http://www.4shared.com/file/220016735/fe35484e/scale.html

Offline Bootstrap

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #78 on: February 11, 2010, 09:33:33 pm »
@pjgat09 I haven't watched the vid for a long time but excessive arm movement is unecessary and will probably hamper speed development in scale picking - as for the anchoring of his hand I'm not sure about that - though there might be a bit of palm muting going on.

@lubomir21 Didn't sound too bad to me - though I did note you seem to be flicking off the 1st string and it continues to ring as you come back up the scale - couldn't hear a metronome in the background :)

B
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lubomir21

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #79 on: February 12, 2010, 01:42:18 pm »
It would spend more time to record metronome too, but of course I played it with it. I know about flicking off the first string, I'm working on it, but I think there's another problem. The notes on the D,G,B strings sound like I play it and then I palm mute it...of course it isn't true, but it sounds awful...The question is: Shall I go on next level and then it will clean at the slower speeds or practice it at this speed until it will sound ok?

Offline Bootstrap

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #80 on: February 12, 2010, 09:50:18 pm »
If it were me - I would work on getting my technique right - otherwise you are just going to be making your mistakes faster.
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elmariachino

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #81 on: February 18, 2010, 09:35:27 pm »
I couldn't find where to post this question.
I'm trying to improve my technique of playing solo while playing chords at the same time... is there any relevant material on thee site?

Elliott Smith is a great example of what i'm talking about.
It's been a week i'm working on transcribing Alameda and still I can't get the intro and solo right.

Any suggestions?

bhaz

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #82 on: March 01, 2010, 02:03:25 am »
I've noticed that instead of moving just my wrist, my whole arm tends to very slightly rotate to move the pick up and down.
(Like the motion of turning a doorknob, not my entire arm moving up and down.)

I'm currently at 120bpm on 8th notes (240), and I haven't had much trouble with clarity or accuracy problems at this point, but I'm wondering if there's anything wrong with this technique, or do I need to go back and fix something up?

bhaz

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #83 on: March 02, 2010, 02:43:31 am »
Never mind :) - I noticed sometimes my arm would stop resting on the side of the guitar, which is what caused the weird picking motion. Once I noticed what it was, it was easy to force myself out of it.

Question - is it normal on some occasion to rest your palm on the bridge? I don't do it during picking exercises, but I've noticed I do it quite a lot with riffs during songs, seems to make things a lot easier.

tanman

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #84 on: March 30, 2010, 12:28:16 am »
Justin, when you play, is the bottom part of your picking hand resting on the guitar or is it floating off of the guitar?

bhaz

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #85 on: April 28, 2010, 04:47:48 am »
Quote
Get up to a reasonable speed in Position 1 (like 16th notes at 120bpm) before moving onto the other scale positions

Out of interest, how long is this taking everyone? I've been at it for about 4 months now and I'm still sitting on 120-140bpm 8th notes.

asguard44

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #86 on: April 28, 2010, 09:26:53 am »
16ths at 120bpm  :o Are you serious? I'm the same. I can play the first four positions up to 140bpm @ 8ths very smoothly and quite competently (The 5th position @ quarter notes for now) but I struggle trying to go any faster. It's like my fingers just don't wanna know.

Offline Steve St.Laurent

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #87 on: June 03, 2010, 10:06:12 am »
I think I figured something out tonight.  I too have hit a wall at 140 bpm eighth notes.  The problem is my picking hand - I'm fine on the fretting hand.  I watched the lesson again and paid very close attention and caught the part about checking to see if your alternate picking is correct by seeing if you are on a down pick on the G on the high E string (3rd fret).  Guess what - I wasn't.  So I slowed it way down and paid very close attention to my picking and I found that I am doing is always doing a down pick on the first note on a string when I ascending the scale and always doing an up pick on the first note on a string descending the scale.  I think what's happening is that's fine until the speed gets up into that 140 bpm range and then because I'm not doing alternate picking every time I'm getting lost where I am since I'm doubling up on down or up picks sometimes.  So I slowed it WAY back down to 60 bpm quarter notes and started thinking up/down/up/down/up/down/up/down on each pick like Justin suggests.  I'm finding it VERY difficult to maintain that because of the learning I've already done doing it wrong (GRRRRRRRRR - have to listen closer to the little details in the lessons).  I worked back up to 80 bpm tonight but I'm still sometimes falling into the old pattern so I'm going to have to work on it for a while.  I'm betting that when I get back up to that 140 bpm I'll blast right through that wall now that I'll be doing alternate picking.

For those of you that are also hitting a wall up around there you might want to check your picking and see if your doing something similar - it may be your problem too.  Justin talks about it in the video here - http://justinguitar.com/en/TE-003-ScalePicking.php - at 1:13 into the video.  I'll report back when I get the speed back up to that 140 bpm range and let you know how it goes.

Offline Jonny5

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #88 on: June 03, 2010, 11:28:02 am »
I agree the picking is definitely the hard part when trying to gain up speed. The more notes per string it is the easier it will be, I have trouble getting the same speed on pentatonics, but it's not far off now. I play through the 5 CAGED shapes comfortably 16ths at 80bpm and then again at 100bpm, where I start to make a few mistakes in some shapes. I've always found pushing myself past my 'top' speed then dropping back down helps, then what was fast before seems a little slower - if that makes sense. I know the theory of perfect practice which is why I always do the slower speed 1st, but experimenting with this I've found tricking my brain by pushing it then dropping back actually works. Of course make sure you know the pattern extremely well first.

16th at 120bpm is my final goal, although probably a little excessive. I think at that speed and beyond picking every note just becomes ridiculous for scales. I've recently bought a speed building exercise book and most of the patterns will only cross 2 - 3 strings in short bursts, anything across all 6 strings will involve some position shifting or repetition/sequencing...blazing straight across the fretboard is a lot harder.

The book separates left and right hand exercises at first. I'm finding the right hand ones very useful, picking at first only 1 string very fast (one of the 1st exercises says you should be able to do 16ths at 132bpm before turning the page!) and playing a simple pattern or single string scale, then working up to cool sounding triplets/sextuplets  and eventually involving two adjacent strings. It will probably be months before I get to string skipping etc, but my picking is what seems to govern how fast I can go so it's worth putting in the groundwork, something I never did when I started. Picking seemed kind of natural and I would just stare at my fretting hand. It's almost complete reversal now, I've changed the picks I use, grip and technique a few times. Anyway it seems to be working, and I'm much more aware of details I never really considered before, hoping I can translate some of this into the scale picking eventually and get to the goal in a year or so.

Offline Steve St.Laurent

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #89 on: June 08, 2010, 07:53:07 am »
Update - 5 days later.  After reading around I now know that what I was doing was economy picking.  I've been working on my scales for at least 30 minutes a day for the past 6 days.  It took me a couple days to get beyond 80 bpm quarter notes because I kept falling into the economy picking again.  I kept at it and I seem to have mostly broken the habit after 6 days.  I hit 130 bpm 8th notes 2 days ago and tonight got to 145 bpm 8th notes.  The economy picking was definitely causing me troubles at that point.  Breaking the habit of the economy picking to do alternate picking was HARD.  I'm glad I put in the work though and will be sticking with alternate picking for a long time before I even consider trying economy picking again.

Offline Steve St.Laurent

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #90 on: June 09, 2010, 06:46:08 am »
For you other guys having trouble with your speed you might want to check this video out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MfgzxESg7w&playnext_from=TL&videos=On0z1cm3-9Y .  It helped me tremendously tonight.  Question for you more experienced guys (& Justin) before I go too far down this road though?  He recommends picking with the pick at an angle to the strings when picking individual notes instead of flat like when you are strumming.  Like this:



He says that keeping the pick flat you tend to get hung up which is EXACTLY what was happening to me.  I tried it tonight angling the pick as he suggests and it worked GREAT for me - it was much easier to pick fast.  I looked around in Justin's lessons and can't find anywhere where he talks about the angle of the pick, etc.  Looking at this video though it does look like he has his angled as well (hard to tell because his fingers hide the pick but looking at the angle of his thumb it looks like he is).  Up to now I've always had the pick flat to the string and the only change I've made is angling it down the strings or up the strings when strumming - but never angling it across the strings like shown above.  So - is this proper technique or am I doing something wrong that's going to cause me trouble down the road?  TIA

Offline Jonny5

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #91 on: June 09, 2010, 11:57:12 am »
Yes it's a technique used by a lot of people for speed picking I believe. I asked my teacher about this and he referred to it as 'slicing through the string'. You need to have a balance between speed and clarity so 45º seems about right. You get far less resistance by using the side of the pick to contact the strings, and still don't lose a decent connection as you would do by going any further towards perpendicular.

Another point worth mentioning on this is the type of pick you use. I mostly use the Jim Dunlop Tortex picks, but find when trying to pick fast or tremolo picking and angling the pick the sound I get is very weak. Looking closely at my picking hand I could see the rounded tip of the Tortex was just sliding over the string, so I got some of the Ultrex picks instead. These picks are smaller, thicker and have a pointed tip - designed for this kind of thing I guess. They're really grippy too, definitely worth a try if you experience the above.

Also check this video out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-NOMn3P9AE. Having a grip on the pick that allows you to easily change angle is important.

Offline Steve St.Laurent

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #92 on: June 14, 2010, 02:23:10 am »
Changing the pick angle has definitely helped too.  I also switched to a Dunlop Jazz III pick from the Dunlop Tortex which also helped.  I had to slow down some initially but I'm now up to 150 bpm 8th notes and real close to getting 155.

Shay

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #93 on: June 15, 2010, 09:55:12 am »
Ok, so we're all trying to get our bpm as fast as possible...which is cool.  But is there any benefit to slowing the metronome right down
and playing at a slower tempo.  I wonder if this would help ensure that you can stay in time when playing slower pieces.  I know I find it hard
not to speed up and jump ahead of the beat when I try this but is there really a benefit to practicing this? 

samkel123

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #94 on: June 15, 2010, 10:07:14 am »
Shay i think there is benefit to doing this. What i do is every day i start of at 60bpm 16th notes and then i move up by 5 bpm until i hit about 90 which is the speed i really need to practice. Yous do not need to spend long on the slowere ones but it does ensure that you are getting your playing in time and also it can be good warm up for when you get to the speed you want to practice and improve.

Ultimatum

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #95 on: July 07, 2010, 07:52:37 pm »
Hey,
 I'm  sort of new to this website. I've been doing the chord changes and scale picking for a week and the chords are coming out fine. However, I just can seem to consistently do the scale picking. Every time I practice I get up to 95 bpm after struggling and then the next day it's the same thing. I have never been able to do any scale picking 4 times in one go. I know I need to relax a bot more but nothing I am doing seems to be working. Please help me out.

Sprongky

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #96 on: August 20, 2010, 05:01:38 am »
justin...

any other way to practice this exercise WITHOUT any metronome??

bhaz

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #97 on: September 30, 2010, 05:38:09 am »
I have never been able to do any scale picking 4 times in one go.

Patience - if you weren't able to do 4 times in a row at all, you shouldn't of cranked the speed up to 95. Start at 50 if you have to, go up by either 2's or 4's until you start struggling. Don't even touch the metronome until you can get it right at least four times without stopping.

I've been at this exercise for about 10 months (been playing for ~18 months), and it's taken that long to get from 50bpm up to 336bpm (84 playing 16ths). It's a slow process, but there's no point speeding things up until you've got it right. I imagine I probably won't reach my goal (410) for at least another 3/4 months.

Watch the video for the lesson (and other lessons), pause on the closeups, check out the hand positioning and compare them to your own.
And most of all - if you get pissed off, just stop. Just doesn't work.

Offline Jonny5

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #98 on: October 02, 2010, 10:50:06 am »
I'll 2nd what Bhaz said. It takes a long time to build it up consistently. As in years, not weeks or months. You'll have days where you drop back a few bpm or it just isn't happening, but so long as you have a solid foundation a bit below what you know you're capable of...well that you can do anytime without mistakes, that's the level you can really play at I guess.

At first you should definitely aim for perfection until it sounds smooth and even, as in picking volume and the notes 'blending' into one another. That's way way better than fast and sloppy and will serve you well. I have to say though sometimes I like to (shock horror) say screw that and push myself, and sometimes I even pull it off. When you drop back down in speed it can fool you into thinking it's slower than it actually is, which can help. Of course don't forget that this isn't your new 'top speed', it can just help give a little kickstart from time to time...imo at least.

possopo

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Re: TE-003 • Scale Picking
« Reply #99 on: November 11, 2010, 06:18:25 pm »
hi everyone,
I have two questions regarding scale picking and my ultimate goal is increase speed.

I'm not sure there a definite answer to these questions but I hope there is:)

first : flat or angle picking :
when the pick is flat above (below the string), you get a clear sound.
when the pick makes an angle and "slices" the string, you go much faster but you get a crunchy sound (because the pick is scratching the string). some love that sound but I don't.
so is it a question of proportion, do I have to decide what I prefer clarity or speed or can I get both clarity AND speed ?

second : alternate of economy picking :
I've been playing the guitar for years and I can play quite fast but I still want to increase speed.
I've always been using economy picking without even noticing it (I'm not the only from what I can read on this forum)
but should I try to come back to strict alternate picking if I really want to increase my picking speed ?
when I look at shredders now, it seems like they almost never use economy picking (i'm speaking scales, not riffs) so I'm now thinking that this economy picking is a bad habit I should get rid of.

what do you think ?:)



 

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