Picking Hand Problems

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by klinic, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. klinic

    klinic SS.org Regular

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    I've always had a bit of a problem with my right hand, but have managed to get it to the point that I can play pretty much anything with what I think is a pretty inefficient technique. The problem is I'm worried about not being able to play this way in the long run if I end up wearing out joints that shouldn't even really be in use for this sort of thing, or even just tiring out during a long set.

    Here is an example of the kind of the problem. I decided to take the scale run from Metropolis as I think it really highlights the sort of inefficiencies I'm struggling with. (apologies for the really quiet playing, I can't turn up my amp too loud during the day and for some reason the metronome is WAY louder on video, even though it's only just audible over my amp in person)



    I have been watching some videos of my favourite guitar players and I think that the difference in their playing might not be so much that they're really moving the wrist and not the arm at all, but rather that they're anchoring with the long flat part of the palm and using more rotational movement while leaving the fleshy part under their thumb free to move. I've been experimenting with this and it does seem like it will be more efficient to pick quickly, but I have trouble actually implementing it, especially when changing strings. The pick angle seems to be all wrong. As you can see in the video, it's really a struggle to synch my hands together, especially when changing strings.



    Is it worth me trying to shift over to this new technique over my old one? I feel like it will set me back so far when I've already got all this lost time to make up for in getting faster.
     
  2. eightsixboy

    eightsixboy あなたのお母さんを犯さ

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    Have you watched any of the Troy Grady stuff?

    What you are showing is upward pick slanting vs downward.

    All players use some form of forearm movement/rotation. I wouldn't be to worried about your technique in the first video. I would maybe try working on implementing two way pick slanting into your current technique as opposed to trying to completely change it.

    I've somewhat changed my picking over the last year as I was an upward pick slanter as well, I honestly just pick to what feels now as trying to force a wrist angle that doesn't feel natural can cause issues in itself.
     
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  3. klinic

    klinic SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the response!

    I've looked at Troy Gradys videos a bit. It definitely explains the awkwardness is changing strings with the second method!

    It was pretty stupid of me to upload a video that cuts off my elbow as an example... but I feel like the second method is almost all forearm rotation, while the first is more of an elbow movement than forearm.

    I made a similar post to this on Reddit and the response was that I am going to end up with tendinitis due to using my elbow and I have to start guitar from scratch.

    But I do seriously worry about it. I convinced myself that I was using forearm rotation and wasn't going to do damage, but if I'm picking and then lift my arm off of the guitar the movement is definitely coming from the elbow not from forearm rotation.
     
  4. Lemonbaby

    Lemonbaby SS.org Regular

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    Welcome to the Internet, where children are heart surgeons. Everyone's different and there's a lot of players who move the elbow, forearm and what not. If nothing feels tense when playing, you'll be fine.
     
  5. klinic

    klinic SS.org Regular

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    I guess it depends. I was a bit anxious about making this video, so I was pretty tense. But sometimes I feel super relaxed and I feel like it's so effortless to play almost anything with this method. But I feel like I'm noticing more and more tension in my arm, plus there's just so much wasted movement!
     
  6. eightsixboy

    eightsixboy あなたのお母さんを犯さ

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    What a load of BS lol.

    There are plenty of "elbow" pickers out there who have no issue, MAB comes to mind.

    Pretty much explains everything.

     
  7. klinic

    klinic SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, unfortunately the laughing emoji disappeared from my post. It was a little dramatic of him haha. He was a bit of a dick, but I checked out his stuff and he's a monster guitarist.

    At the same time it isn't the most efficient technique. I've stared adjusting to the forearm rotation technique and I'm rapidly getting my speed back up, and I've found that I have increased control over dynamics and tone picking in this way. In addition my ability to navigate string skipping has increased quite a lot (except in songs that I learned the old way like Erotomania and Scarified, they're nightmares)

    I'm definitely going to watch that video and see what I can get out of it, thanks!
     
  8. eightsixboy

    eightsixboy あなたのお母さんを犯さ

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    This is more then likely due to posture and/or warm up. I am exactly the same as you. Some days I have zero tension in my forearms, other days I struggle to play at 60% speed. I have now changed how I sit with the guitar and have noticed my picking arm is a lot less tense, I'd say 75% better, this is sitting with the guitar on my left leg using a foot stand.

    I was watching a video with Rick Graham talking about how his first classical lessons were his teacher telling him to just sit with the guitar relaxed for hours at a time and that's how he learnt how to play with zero to minimal tension, I think all guitarists including myself have completely neglected this kind of thing and it has very detrimental effects on your playing.
     
  9. eightsixboy

    eightsixboy あなたのお母さんを犯さ

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    NO alternate picking technique is efficient, there is always a compromise with all styles. That's why a lot of players use more alt + economy or alt/econ + legato, even if they aren't fully aware of it. Even Paul Gilbert doesn't strictly alt pick everything, its a combo of alt + legato, Malmsteen is alter + econ etc etc. I struggle with that passage from Metropolis aswell alt picked, I actually use legato and econ picking to get it up to speed otherwise it feels to "tense" to play it strict alt picking.

    If you watch players like Petrucci you see how he has to almost force certain movements as he is trying to pick everything.
     
  10. klinic

    klinic SS.org Regular

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    That's true! But I love the sound of alternate picking, despite the inefficiencies in it, which is why I need to eliminate any other extra inefficiencies! I used to play with the Frank Gambale method, but there's just something (maybe even just an obsession with the difficulty of it!) about alternate picking that really excites me.
     

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