Guitars101 - Guitar Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
K, I been playing for like, I don't know...24 years. I learned sweep picking at some point and it has totally borked my picking technique.

So I am really applying myself to learn to shred with Alternate Picking. The problem is crossing strings, but only when really fast. Like 16th notes or even faster sometimes is no problem. But shredding is just not werking >:-(

So I need some tips guyz. I use fender heavy's for picks. I use DK .010's for strings. I have a great set up on my guitar with the action set to spec. I typically turn the pick slightly clockwise relative to the strings, and the wide part of the pick angled down slightly toward the floor. If I play legato style, I can shred, so i feel the problem is with my pick hand. It feels like the pick is getting hung up on the strings when trying to cross at really high speeds.

I know there is some folks here that can help me. I just feel that I must be practicing wrong or something. Any help would be awesome.

Peace,

---------
Legato
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
IMO, alternate picking across the strings is one of the most difficult things to master. The hardest thing is picking inside of the strings. For example, if you are picking a 1-2-4 exercise across the strings, starting on the down stroke, the 4 on the E string will pick on the outside of the string. Next on the A string the 1 position will be on the outside of the A string. The opposite of this is when pick strokes occur on the insides of the strings. When picking alternately, you do both. This is why it is so difficult to play alternately across the strings.

Picture it this way, if you are going to alternate pick between the E and the A strings, this way:

picking outside of the string pairs -> E(down) A(up) E(down) A(up)... etc

is way easier than:

picking inside of the string pairs -> E(up) A(down) E(up) A(down)... etc


This is why so many of the shredders double up on the strings. That is:
E-1-2-4-1-2-4 A-1-2-4-1-2-4 D-1-2-4-1-2-4 etc...

This way, the string transitions always occur on the down stroke.

Gambale uses a technique where he sort of sweep picks when transitioning to the next string. He plays 3 notes per string and the picking goes like this:

E - 1(down) - 2(up) - 4(down) ->sweep down to-> A - 1(down) - 2(up) - 4(down)... etc

IMO, the fastest of the fastest is, hands down, Shawn Lane. Shawn has a technique where he picks certain notes of a sequence and the others are hammered on or pulled off. As he said, this way he doesnt have to pick every note, but nobody can tell. The speed at which Shawn could play was mind numbing. Kind of like running your thumb down a comb :scif890:

The best way to improve is to play to a metronome at a pace at which you can play the riff perfectly over and over for say an hour a day. Then every few days, up the tempo. I don't think there are any shortcuts. Just practice.

John Petrucci has an Instructional video where he shows how he learned how to alternate pick across the strings. It was difficult for him at one time too
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
While I'm on the subject, wouldn't it be weird to go to a poetry reading and when it was over, as people were leaving, they would be commenting "the readings were all so excellent, but did you hear that first guy! He must have read the entire poem in only 30 seconds... maybe faster... he was so good!"... never mind! :dance:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
MR. Crumb,

OK, now what you posted makes a lot of sense. Thank you for such a detailed post also.

No one has ever mentioned working out the licks so that the string changes are all on the down stroke (at least not that I have come across). That is something I will need to take a look at for sure.

The Gambale technique is what I am trying to rid myself of, so I am familiar with it.

Now the Shawn Lane technique you referred to is interesting. I will try to find some of his stuff for sure. If you have an example or two, that would help me to understand what you mean. What I am uncertain about is that the string changes frequently involve playing the first note with my first finger. That would be a tough hammer on...or would it really be a pull off, followed by picking the next two notes?

I am using the metronome practice, but I will try to find the Petrucci video since he specifically addresses my issue.

Again thanks for the response and the examples. Also, I like the poetry analogy :p ...I guess I would be impressed!!!!

Peace,

---------------
Legato
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
I agree with Mr. Crumb. Also you should learn to economy pick. This will greatly help you getting across those strings. I have a exercise in powertab that will help you for picking between strings if you want me to email it to you. I can also do up some economy examples if you like, just let me know.:thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
of course, in my experience, a metronome and persistence really helps a lot too :bannana_g

I also found the old Paul Gilbert instructional tapes to be great - that guy is a demon when it comes to alternate-picking.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top