Alt Picking and rock/metal solo-ing advice needed

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So, Ive been trying to work on my alt picking since forever and yet, I'm still not happy with it. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a "Holy shit he's amazing and hes been self deprecating" style post, I cant see to get past a barrier of anything above 90 bpm in triplets and that tends to be a well worn pattern using a minor pentatonic shape and then it just sounds like a fast bluesy thing. 

So, what Im after is some real life experiences from you lot who have managed to get a speedy, clean picking technique, what types of things you did, songs you looked at, how much wood shedding you did etc to get it on the up. Im not trying to get into a metronome pissing battle but just some practical advice and real life experiences that helped. 
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  • ThePrettyDamnedThePrettyDamned Frets: 3958
    edited November 2013
    Well, you're using a metronome so that's a big plus.

    For me, my big thing (I'm still working on mine, I've got some patterns that are shit fast, but some that are very slow - and no more difficult or easy) was picking a lick, and using a tiny bit of the pick to pick. Practice very slow and choose patterns that make sense - watch Paul Gilbert videos, he's not against starting on an up stroke if it makes sense.

    And other than that, start slow and increase metronome a couple of bpm at a time. And do it every day until you think the lick sounds shit, cliché and useless. And you'll still need to practice it, every day.

    I used to be very good, but I've lost it since working on funk and general rock. Now I'm a bit more hardcore... Well, I suck a bit.

    Triplet, 3 note per string patterns are a good place to start, ascending and descending. Chromatics are good, and sound amazing when thrown into a finale of a solo... The main riffs in Technical Difficulties by Paul Gilbert is very good, and boggo e minor. The fingerings and patterns make sense for speed - simple, no weird string crossings.

    But also, work on quadruplets. I use a 3 note per string group of 4 pattern than I'm still very slow at, but it means I'm not abusing triplets all the time... When I'm fast, anyway. It's (descending) 11-10-8 on the high e, then 11 on the b. Then start the same pattern one note lower - 10-8 on the e, 11-10 on the b etc. It's actually quite nice, and I've built 2 beats of it ascending into a chorus riff of a song I'm writing.

    Lastly, groups of 5. I only know one, but it really sounds great. It's a Tremonti lick pentatonic minor, so 15-12 on the high e, 15-12 b, 14 g, then 15-12 b, 14-12 g, 14 d etc. Very, very cool sounding, quite Eric Johnson.

    Actually, one more lastly, the solo from In The Fire by roadrunner United. It's very metal, not sure if that's your thing, but Corey uses some really great sounding ideas.
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  • All good advice there ^^.

    Personally, I'd say don't be obsessed with alternate picking; get into the habit of working out what you want to play, and come up with a picking strategy that works best for it (this won't always be the one which feels the most comfortable to start with).

    I find a good way to do this is to take licks that you'd normally play with lots of hammers and pulls, and figure out how you'd pickify them. Do that for long enough, and it soon becomes second nature to be able to come up with those picking strategies on the fly.

    Finally, don't work on it for more than half an hour at a time. Take breaks, lots of them; if you don't, you'll start to tense up.

    I've always found a couple of half hour sessions before bed helps - the next day, everything magically becomes easier thanks to the wonders of the human brain.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • vizviz Frets: 5377
    Look at page 1 of steve vai's 10 hour workshop. The 1234, 2341, 3412, 4123 exercise is excellent.
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  • viz;89083" said:
    Look at page 1 of steve vai's 10 hour workshop. The 1234, 2341, 3412, 4123 exercise is excellent.
    Bloody hell, that's difficult! Have a wisdom, very good for coordination.

    Satriani has a similar warm up idea that's chordal (well, not pretty to listen to).

    @digitalscream is absolutely right, don't do it for hours on end, half hour dedicated to picking licks then a break (or just strumming stuff). When you come back, you'll either need to start over (I often do, so down goes the metronome) or you'll be able to pick up where you left off.

    Don't be afraid of slow progress. I also echo the thoughts on picking being useful, but there are plenty of other stuff.

    If you listen to zakk Wylde in Suffering Overdue, the solo has this fairly simple pentatonic lick that starts slow and builds up. Bloody impossible to pick everything unless you're him, but it's a nice demo to prove that two note per string ideas can be fast and sound bluesy, too.
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1118
    edited November 2013
    Hey Jetfire, having recently come back to playing guitar after far too many years off, my co-ordination etc was shot to pieces.
    So I am working on a series of exercises to get it all back together again, takes time but it is steady progress thankfully.

    What is it they recon, 10,000 hours to become proficient.  So I do a lot of co-ordination and finger independence exercises away from the guitar, like when I am reading the discussions here, so it all counts those hours down I guess, and it really does make a big difference.

    I never did get on with metronomes, Chinese water torture for the ears, but it is probably a very good idea if you can do it without killing the machine after the first two minutes.

    I am going to start a separate discussion on here, when I have time to put it together properly, with all this stuff in, but here are a couple of ideas which might help.  Let me know what you think and how you get on, if you try them.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Alternate picking 2-NPS (note per string) pentatonics, first in one position, and then across one shape then back on the next shape, up and down the neck.
    Then string skipping them, ie strings 6-4-5-3-4-2-3-1 and back, and up and down the neck too.

    But the more variations you create over time the more interest you can hold, and it improves many areas.

    Economy picking*** (and alt picking) 3-NPS scales and patterns in the same manner as the 2-NPS pentatonics above.

    Do bear in mind that you are actually developing (growing) your brain as you learn more, so you will think and react faster as you grow as a player, and giving yourself an arsenal of techniques now will pay off long term when you will subconsciously switch to whatever technique suits what you want to express, on the fly and in the moment.

    I am also working on 4-NPS scales and patterns, which is a bit of a stretch, and suits alternate picking well.

    For inside picking how about trying 3-NPS legato patterns on two adjacent strings, moving them up the neck and back, then picking another pair of strings.

    *** I tend to keep to Economy for a block of time on 3-NPS.
    Definition from Wikipedia >link<, as it says everything better than I could write it:

    *** Economy picking is a guitar-playing technique for a guitarist who uses a pick. A hybrid of sweep picking and alternate picking, economy picking involves using alternate picking except when changing strings. In this case the guitarist changes to sweep picking, picking in the direction of travel: an upstroke if changing to a lower (pitch) string, a downstroke if changing to a higher (pitch) string. The aim is to minimize movement in the right hand, and avoid the motion of "jumping" over a string prior to picking it, as often occurs in alternate-picking. Thus the picking pattern of an ascending three-note-per-string scale would be: D-U-D-D-U-D-D-U-D, and the descending pattern would start just like alternate picking (up stroke first): U-D-U-U-D-U-U-D-U-U.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    I hope that helps.

    All comments and ideas IMHO, I am happy to hear constructive criticism, we are all on the same journey after all, regards Chris

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  • vizviz Frets: 5377
    A great little Vai finger-twister is the old:
    6th string: 5,7
    5th string: 7,5
    4th string: 5,7
    3rd string: 7,5
    2nd string: 5,7
    1st string: 7,5

    And then:

    1st string 6,8
    2nd string: 8,6
    3rd string: 6,8

    Etc
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1118
    edited November 2013
    This is a my simplified (honest it is) version of the best alternate picking exercise I have found.
    Original by John Petrucci, and he knows a thing or two about alt picking.

    Across any three strings:

    4th string: 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 frets  (1,2,3,4 fingers)
    3rd string: 5 > 6 > 7 > 8
    3rd string: 9 > 8 > 7 > 6
    3rd string: 7 > 8 > 9 > 10
    2nd string: 7 > 8 > 9 > 10       ***
    2nd string: 11 > 10 > 9 > 8
    3rd string: 11 > 10 > 9 > 8
    3rd string: 7 > 8 > 9 > 10
    3rd string: 9 > 8 > 7 > 6
    4th string: 9 > 8 > 7 > 6
    back to the top and repeat again, and again...

    or - one variation is to start on the next string up (i.e. 3rd string in this case) or the next string back (5th string in this case) and walk it back and forth across the neck.

    or - another variation is to walk it up and down the neck

    i.e.  for the above pattern, start the next round going up
    4th string: 7 > 8 > 9 > 10
    and go through the whole pattern two frets higher than the first one
    then start again
    4th string 9 > 10 > 11 > 12

    and so on till you want to come back down
    then the turnaround is mid pattern above (after the one marked ***)

    in which case the next after *** is
    2nd string: 9 > 8 > 7 > 6
    and carry on through the whole pattern two frets lower than the first one
    then start again when you do ***,  next play
    2nd string: 7 > 6 > 5 > 4

    You can cover the whole neck with this, which gives a good workout and reinforces fret spacing too and access (on LPs especially).

    edit: and another variation is to string skip it - i.e. the above would be substituted to 5th, 3rd and 1st strings

    Hopefully all that makes sense, fingering should be obvious so I left it off for clarity.
    Cheers,  Chris


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  • vizviz Frets: 5377
    Great stuff. Trying it now - fingers are complaining!
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  • mike_lmike_l Frets: 5672

    here's one.

    6th string

    5-6-7-8

    then diagonally

    string 6-5-4-3

    fret 8-7-6-5

    3rd string 5-6-7-8

    then diagonally

    string 3-4-5-6

    fret 8-7-6-5

    or one from Kirk Hammett/Joe Satriani

    using fingers 1/2

    trill 12-13

    trill 12-14

    trill 12-15

    using fingers 1/3

    trill 12/15

    trill 12/16

    trill 12/17 (if you can)

    using fingers 1/4

    trill 12/16

    trill 12/17

    trill 12/18

    5 mins total on this in one go.

    when it's fairly comfortable starting at the 12th fret, move down to the 11th, 10th etc

    See how far you can get, obviously if the longest trill hurts stops doing it.

     

    If you can find it, Kirk Hammetts book of exercises (from his Guitar World column) is well worth getting, as are the Troy Stetina series of books.

    Ringleader of the Cambridge cartel, pedal champ and king of the dirt boxes (down to 21) 

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  • vizviz Frets: 5377
    Yeah those diagonals are good, in both directions.
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  • mike_lmike_l Frets: 5672
    viz said:
    Yeah those diagonals are good, in both directions.

    Yeah.

    I forgot to say you can go either way with them.

    Ringleader of the Cambridge cartel, pedal champ and king of the dirt boxes (down to 21) 

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  • JetfireJetfire Frets: 680
    Its scary how much of this you can go into. The thing I wonder aloud about is how often do you use all four fingers on one string? Im defo going to try any exercises I can get my hands on though, just to push my boundries. 

    So has anyone used a song or riff to help with alt picking? Is there a section from a tune which is awesome to help actually utilise alt picking? 
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  • vizviz Frets: 5377
    edited November 2013
    Try the solo to Vai's Dirty Black Hole. Starts 2:22.
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  • Jetfire said:
    Its scary how much of this you can go into. The thing I wonder aloud about is how often do you use all four fingers on one string? Im defo going to try any exercises I can get my hands on though, just to push my boundries. 

    So has anyone used a song or riff to help with alt picking? Is there a section from a tune which is awesome to help actually utilise alt picking? 
    Technical Difficulties.  It's got some cool riffs that deliberately alternate up and down strokes (keep strict!) so it takes a bit of effort.  The solos are full of sextuplet shred lines, which make sense, and that traditional group of 12 notes on 2 strings lick PG always does (though that's a combination of picking and legato).  
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  • Hey Jetfire, yes there is a lot you can get into, but variety is the spice of life, take a bite out of it and chew on that for a while, then when you are ready move on, don't try to do it all at once, and always be creative.  Four finger stuff is great for co-ordination and finger independence, so I recon it is worth it, you need to decide the path for yourself though.

    If you want scary, then take a look at this:    (or not ! )

    with thanks to @viz for pointing out the Vai 10 hour workout, where do you find other stuff from that?
    BTW, I hope your fingers enjoyed that and stopped complaining after a bit, what do you think of it?   ;)

    And thanks @mike_l , that one of yours looks interesting, I'll give it a try too, cheers  :)
    5 minutes of "trill-burn", now that's bordering on sadistic.   
    >:)

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  • Technical Difficulties.  It's got some cool riffs that deliberately alternate up and down strokes (keep strict!) so it takes a bit of effort.  The solos are full of sextuplet shred lines, which make sense, and that traditional group of 12 notes on 2 strings lick PG always does (though that's a combination of picking and legato).  
    Yes - aside from the main riff, the outro is a good one. He breaks it down here:

    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • vizviz Frets: 5377

    Ah, nice to see the 10-hour workout being aired again. Here's the original magazine article, with Steve's footnotes. The 30 hour workout has more stuff in it obviously and I think you have to refuse to eat for longer, but all the good 10-hour exercises are in here.

    http://picksnlicks.com/Guitar%20Lessons/Exercises/30_hr_workout/30_hr_workout_1.html#exercises

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  • Thanks viz, checking it out right now, cheers for the link  :)

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  • mike_lmike_l Frets: 5672
    And thanks @mike_l , that one of yours looks interesting, I'll give it a try too, cheers  :)
    5 minutes of "trill-burn", now that's bordering on sadistic.   >:)

    you can simplify it down to a simple pick-hammer-pull, pick-hammer-pull etc and not trill until your fingers are up to it.

    When I said 5 mins, start slowly, build up to 5 mins. Don't be afraid to do 1 min. When that's comfortable, move to 2 mins.

    Ringleader of the Cambridge cartel, pedal champ and king of the dirt boxes (down to 21) 

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  • ThePrettyDamnedThePrettyDamned Frets: 3958
    edited November 2013
    This guy is phenomenal and probably the best Brit metal guitarist to emerge lately (though Rise to Remain have some mega chops, too). 


    He has plenty of lessons to purcase from jam track central or whatever it is.  I want them to reduce the price...

    Wonderful tone, too. Thinking of getting his Modern Metal Series 1 for Christmas, it's £15 and intermediate difficulty, so should be okay to get along with but still learn plenty.  War March is advanced I reckon....
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1118
    edited November 2013
    Cheers Mike, yes I wouldn't do 5min straight off, no worries.

    Hey TPD, good call, the JTC stuff comes with good tab and backing tracks, so well worth Jetfire checking their catalogue, something will hit the mark.  No affiliation, but they are really nice guys to deal with, and supportive of their artists.
    Marco Sfogli is amazing IMO, but the they pretty much all are, and Mika Tyyska is just barking (great to see someone with an individual voice).

    They do have a sale on sometimes, so if you like the format, and what's not to like, then sign up for their emails.
    Just get a tight grip on what you are after or the cheap(er) prices can get expensive.  Takes a bit of waiting around, but there are some good packages and good singles tracks, sometimes free ones too.  Get something to work on now(ish) and take advantage of the sale later (whenever that is).

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    When I started playing again I got a few of their tracks, sat down full of confidence, easy enough I thought, might take a bit of time to get it up to speed, boy did my fingers give me a surprise ! , that is why I am doing all the exercises etc now.  Couldn't believe how much I've lost or forgotten, BIG wake up that was, very humbling.

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  • mike_lmike_l Frets: 5672
    The intro to Maiden's Wasted years is a brilliant way to practise alt. picking

    Ringleader of the Cambridge cartel, pedal champ and king of the dirt boxes (down to 21) 

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  • mike_lmike_l Frets: 5672
    viz said:
    A great little Vai finger-twister is the old:
    6th string: 5,7
    5th string: 7,5
    4th string: 5,7
    3rd string: 7,5
    2nd string: 5,7
    1st string: 7,5

    And then:

    1st string 6,8
    2nd string: 8,6
    3rd string: 6,8

    Etc
    Am i correct in saying when you go from the 7/5 to the 8/6 frets you go from using fingers 1/3 to 2/4?

    Ringleader of the Cambridge cartel, pedal champ and king of the dirt boxes (down to 21) 

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  • vizviz Frets: 5377
    edited November 2013
    You could do though actually vai suggests you pick a finger-couple and stick with it throughout. (Like 1st and 3rd; or 3rd and 4th, or whatever takes your fancy). Whatever's tricky for you basically. His mantra is - practise whatever you find difficult.
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  • mike_lmike_l Frets: 5672
    viz said:
    His mantra is - practise whatever you find difficult.

    That'll be everything then....

    Ringleader of the Cambridge cartel, pedal champ and king of the dirt boxes (down to 21) 

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  • mike_l said:
    viz said:  His mantra is - practise whatever you find difficult.
    That'll be everything then....
    This ^^^

    I do, and it is...  
    ;)

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  • SambostarSambostar Frets: 8411

    Only bit of advice I'II throw in is when speed picking, move your picking forearm to go up and down the strings and keep your thumb straight and locked into the side of your finger.  I kind of prefer to hold the pick down at the joint of my thumb.  If you can move your picking thumb and finger easily with your left hand, then it will move when you pick strings and you will miss.  Also I like to have my hand inline with my wrist, that way the pick is at an angle to the strings and I can make minimal movement with my wrist.

    When moving up or down a string from a downpick, always practice picking an up pick on the next string, keep everything alternate, it's smoother.

    If you can do fast legato, the battle is with your picking hand.  Practice 3 notes per string on the open strings or barred and remember to practice rhythmically with good timings and eveness.  Alot of it is just relaxing mentally, making minimal movemet with your wrist and making all the adjustments with up or down forearm movement.

    Usually you'll have a weakness, changing from three picks to two on the next string to three on the next, or simply changing from the D to the G string going up.  Whatever they are in a scale pattern, concentrate on them and start slow and repeat slow until your muscles remember automatically and try not to look at either of your hands or move your mouth.

    Given that there are 7 degrees of a scale, until  you get back to the root note again, an octave higher, practice scale patterns in groups of notes such as (4 note groupings) 3-1-2-3, 4-2-3-4, 5-3-4-5, 6-4-5-6   and 1-2-3-4, 2-3-4-5,-3-4-5-6 which is the same pattern in a different sequence.

    ..and coming back down 6-1-7-6, 5-7-6-5, 4-6-5-4  and 1-7-6-5, 7,6,5,4, 6,5,4,2 etc.

    Or, again descending try this in groups of eight notes 1-7-6-5-4-3-4-5, 6-5-4-3-2-1-2-3, 5-4-3-2-1-7-1-2 etc  Also try that pattern going up.

    You can practice these patterns or similar patterns on any scale, major/minor/harmonic minor etc. on a single string with fast postion changes, two strings up and down the neck or all the string in any position.  The point is it makes it less frustrating, more fun and teaches you more in the process than straight scales would.

    Ideally eventually you get to a stage where you can play any scale or pattern or scale pattern up or down the neck a few octaves, where ever you are on the neck...

     

    Has anybody checked out Matt Raines's lessons on Youtube..AHHHHH.  Makes me feel the hero in that like Kick Ass movie on box last night - He is a real guitar player, I am just an idiot with a bunch of guitars. lol.

    It's the Playbus. We're not in control of ourselves. You're only as dumb as you're trained
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  • SambostarSambostar Frets: 8411

    Only bit of advice I'II throw in is when speed picking, move your picking forearm to go up and down the strings and keep your thumb straight and locked into the side of your finger.  I kind of prefer to hold the pick down at the joint of my thumb.  If you can move your picking thumb and finger easily with your left hand, then it will move when you pick strings and you will miss.  Also I like to have my hand inline with my wrist, that way the pick is at an angle to the strings and I can make minimal movement with my wrist.

    When moving up or down a string from a downpick, always practice picking an up pick on the next string, keep everything alternate, it's smoother.

    If you can do fast legato, the battle is with your picking hand.  Practice 3 notes per string on the open strings or barred and remember to practice rhythmically with good timings and eveness.  Alot of it is just relaxing mentally, making minimal movemet with your wrist and making all the adjustments with up or down forearm movement.

    Usually you'll have a weakness, changing from three picks to two on the next string to three on the next, or simply changing from the D to the G string going up.  Whatever they are in a scale pattern, concentrate on them and start slow and repeat slow until your muscles remember automatically and try not to look at either of your hands or move your mouth.

    Given that there are 7 degrees of a scale, until  you get back to the root note again, an octave higher, practice scale patterns in groups of notes such as (4 note groupings) 3-1-2-3, 4-2-3-4, 5-3-4-5, 6-4-5-6   and 1-2-3-4, 2-3-4-5,-3-4-5-6 which is the same pattern in a different sequence.

    ..and coming back down 6-1-7-6, 5-7-6-5, 4-6-5-4  and 1-7-6-5, 7,6,5,4, 6,5,4,2 etc.

    Or, again descending try this in groups of eight notes 1-7-6-5-4-3-4-5, 6-5-4-3-2-1-2-3, 5-4-3-2-1-7-1-2 etc  Also try that pattern going up.

    You can practice these patterns or similar patterns on any scale, major/minor/harmonic minor etc. on a single string with fast postion changes, two strings up and down the neck or all the string in any position.  The point is it makes it less frustrating, more fun and teaches you more in the process than straight scales would.

    Ideally eventually you get to a stage where you can play any scale or pattern or scale pattern up or down the neck a few octaves, where ever you are on the neck...

     

    Has anybody checked out Matt Raines's lessons on Youtube..AHHHHH.  Makes me feel the hero in that like Kick Ass movie on box last night - He is a real guitar player, I am just an idiot with a bunch of guitars. lol.

    It's the Playbus. We're not in control of ourselves. You're only as dumb as you're trained
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  • SambostarSambostar Frets: 8411

    OK....You asked.....this is how I did it (Still improving it) from my experience.

    IT'S HOW YOU HOLD THE PICK:

    Right, when you play that pentatonic blues thing with a few bits of shitty legato, ascending or descending thrown in, up or down, you move your wrist kind of freely, at an angle to your forearm, so the pick is more in line with the strings because you are aiming for pick attack and pinch, rather than tonal clarity and eveness.  Well this doesn't work for picking fast, especially not when learning.

    What I learnt to do is hold the pick between the side of my finger, resting against the knuckle joint of my thumb.  Yeah that far down!  Not that far down, the knuckle, not the base of my thumb fool!  OK, try that and try moving your thumb or finger about rigerously with your left hand, it doesn't move right?  Cause it's a tight little supportive picking box.  Now hold the pick as you would normally, further out toward the tip of your thumb, past the joint - Yep it moves all over the place, as you thumb and index finger joints move.  If it moves that easily, what do you think is gonna happen when you are playing at 1000 miles an hour?  You will miss strings, that is what will happen.

    Right, next, you want to straighten you wrist, so it is straight and about inline with your forearm.  You want to use your forearm to navigate up and down the strings, not your wrist,  you do not want that flailing about or you will miss.

    With your wrist at this angle the pick will be angled on the strings and offer up less resistance, you just want a bit of it sticking out and make tiny shaking movements with your wrist to pick the strings.  Remember to use your forearm to go up and down the strings.  Do not start bending your thumb about, you will only miss again.  Tiny wrist movements.

    RELAX:

    Take a shit, have a wank, grab some sex with your bitch or whatever, avoid the coffee and breath deeply.

    Whenever you play, try and play as strictly alternate picking as you can.  Avoid all this hybrid bollocks.  Alternate is the best for control and fluidity and speed.  Naturally you might find that you have a tendency to go from a downpick to another downpick when changing strings whilst ascending in triplets.  This is hybrid picking.  You might want to practice (B) v3-^5-v7 (E) ^3 (B) v7-^5-v3-^5-v7 (E) ^3 (B) v7-^5-v3 again and again until you are getting those uppicks right on the E string.  Then try this on all strings, or use a simpler pattern if you like, but with the same amount of notes on each string. 

    You don't really need a metronome so long as you try and hear the pulse of the notes, 1,2,3,4 or or 1,2,3, 1,2,3,4,5,6 etc.  Stay tuned to that pulse and practice it at the speed you can manage so each note comes out even and rings clear.  Whenever you practice start real slow and build it up, always keeping the timing of the notes and intervals correct.  Do not attempt to outperform your abilities.  This is especially important because in playing slowly, you build up muscle memory which will not develop if you try and cheat

    Practice the bits you are crap at.  For example if you have trouble going from 3 notes on the D string to 2 on the G to 3 on the B and it is letting down an otherwise flawless routine, then just practice that bit, don't waste time doing the whole exercise or scale if that is the weak point.  Or perhaps the 3 note - 4 note - 3 note per string is difficult, for example in harmonic minor patterns and scales.

    Another weakness, besides changing strings, might be changing positions fast and cleanly.  For example you can play a pentatonic lick with two picks (Down/Up) on the high E and one pick (Down) on the B, all repeated, again and again at hyperspeed, but you can't play a descending two string malmsteenb dimished phgrian harmonic minor arpegio or whatever.  Well just practice picking two notes on the same string for the position changes, rather than the whole three note arpegio, until you have them nailed cleanly.  Interestly such a riff will have you hybrid/sweep picking as you have to play both the B and the E with a downpick as you cannot alternate...this is the beginnings of sweep picking....but anyway.

    If you are crap at everything, just start practicing.

     

    It's the Playbus. We're not in control of ourselves. You're only as dumb as you're trained
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