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FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Alternate picking messes with me.....for now.

Contributing Member


Too Much GAS
Oct 22nd, 2017 09:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have always been primarily an economy picker when it comes to the fast stuff. I can do what has been recently tagged "downward pick slanting" pretty well. But, when it comes to strict alternate picking across the strings, at high speed, with an odd number of picked notes on each string, the alternate picking screws with me.

I have been a subscriber to Troy Grady's Cracking The Code website for a few years now and he did a very good job of explaining the picking mechanics involved with high speed picking across the strings and the different techniques involved with doing that.

I finally tackled the 2 way pick slanting technique involved with doing fast alternate picking. I've been working on it for about 3 weeks now. I don't practice every day but go at it with gusto for a number of hours on the weekends. I'm starting to get it but, it's still a bit rough.

It's really hard to break old playing habits after 50 years of ingrained problems with my technique. I'm going to get it though. I'm making progress.

I wish I would have taken lessons as a kid. Then I wouldn't have to break all these bad technical habits.

This stuff is hard.....



Oct 24th, 2017 12:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

Two words, metronome.

And every day is essential IMHO. Weekends don't cut it.

Contributing Member


Too Much GAS
Oct 24th, 2017 04:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

The metronome and me have been on a first name basis for decades. I get a little time here and there during the work week but, the weekends are the only time I have to really work on things technical in depth. Every day would be my preference. I'd spend 5 or 6 hours, or more, every day if I could.

I have to be at work every day at 6:00 AM and have a 50 minute commute each direction. I get up at 4:00 or 4:30 AM and leave the house about 5:00. I get off by 3:00 most of the time. By the time I get home, make and eat dinner, clean up the mess, and spend a little time with the misses watching TV, it's time for bed. Then it starts over.

I do the heavy lifting on my guitar practice on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I still get up at 4:00 or 4:30 but Mrs. Nin doesn't get up until about 9:00. That's when I get to really practice. Once she gets up the honeydo list starts and the practicing thing stops for the most part. I have about 3-1/2 acres of yard to mow every week during the summer and it has to be done weekly or it gets out of hand with all the rain we get here. That takes me 2-1/2 to 3 hours to do if I don't do any trimming. If I trim everything it takes from sunup to sundown to complete. That will be stopping soon. The yard is going dormant for the winter so, I'll have some more time if "The List" doesn't keep getting longer. If I get one thing done there's usually 2 or 3 more things on it that weren't there when I started.

If my arthritis doesn't disable my hands I'll have to wait until I retire to fix my serious technical problems. 6 more years and I can do that. Until then all I can do is fit it in where I can.

Contributing Member


the downtime
Oct 24th, 2017 11:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

The very cool thing about alternate picking (and especially pick slanting) is that players generally all figured this out on their own.

This--out of necessity for speed and articulation. Pick slanting was not a conscious thing that players were going for, and it's also something they probably weren't even aware of.

This was way before Grady broke it down in his astute analysis vids.

It gives me faith in humanity. I'm heartened by how many players can independently work to improve their technique--and virtually all of them arrive at the same basic conclusion.


LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Oct 24th, 2017 01:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

I personally think a lot of the slanting of the pick happens on its own. Maybe if you have bad habits, you need to think about it. But one technique that I've worked on when wanting to alt pick more quickly is circular picking. Really does work in minimizing the amount of movement needed. It may not be appropriate for all styles or situations, but it's a useful exercise.

Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Oct 24th, 2017 08:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

Troy is the man.

You're on the right track.

Contributing Member


the downtime
Oct 27th, 2017 03:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

ninworks, have you seen Ben Higgins' vid on alternate picking?

He does a very good job of describing and demonstrating

economy of motion.

Contributing Member


Too Much GAS
Oct 29th, 2017 10:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

I HAVE seen Ben's videos. He has some great insights as well.

FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Alternate picking messes with me.....for now.

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