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FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Alternate or economy picker?

ninworks
Contributing Member
*******

Middle Tennessee

Too Much GAS
May 5th, 2019 08:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm a bit of both but, most I'm an economy picker. I am struggling with up-picking backwards across the strings. I never learned to do that well. Down-picking, going the other way, I have no problems at any speed. I'm what Troy Grady would call, "a Downward Pick Slanter." I'm trying to expand beyond that.

When executing arpeggiated stuff I use sweeping, economy, or alternate picking. Many times all of them in a single phrase. Whatever works for what I'm playing at any given moment. I have never been a believer that one must use any single discipline when playing. Use whatever works best for you.

I understand that using a single method can make things easier when all of the picking is of one style but, at my age and stage of development, it's too late for me to start over and learn any one of them to where I am proficient with it in any situation. Besides, I have found that using only one illuminates limitations at some point and other methods must be used to overcome them.

I have developed some exercises that I hope will help me with the weak aspects of my economy picking. The problem is that they are effective but, really boring to play through. I just have to concentrate and not let my mind wander while doing them. It's hard to concentrate and keep my focus while playing any exercise that is 30 to 60 minutes long. I'm old and my brain isn't as sharp as it once was. I have tried trimming them to be shorter but, it seems that it takes me 20, or more, minutes of thrashing them to get to a point where I'm figuring out how they feel when done effectively.

It's all about knowing what it feels like when it's working and try to remember every physical aspect so I can replicate it later. There are so many mechanical things happening at once there's no way I can keep all of them resident in my head simultaneously. I'm constantly switching from paying attention to one thing, and changing to another, and hope I play it long enough where the muscle memory takes over so I can focus on a different aspect. It's a vicious cycle. Sometimes I'm mentally exhausted after playing for an hour. I have to put it down, get up, and go do something else for awhile. Sometimes I can play something else to break the monotony and then come back to it. Usually I'll stop and go about doing something else away from the guitar.

I need a 12 step program. My name is Kenny and I'm a guitar technique addict. :o)

Peegoo
Contributing Member
**********
**********
**********
****

Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
May 5th, 2019 02:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

Alternate picker here. I don't sweep, but I have no problem skipping strings when alternate picking.

But I'm no shredder, so it works great for me.

ninworks
Contributing Member
*******

Middle Tennessee

Too Much GAS
May 5th, 2019 02:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

I want to have the ability of a shredder but, when doing guitar tracks, I seldom take it to that level. I am mostly, what I would call, Brian May meets David Gilmour, type player aiming for Paul Gilbert's technical ability. I love the musical and melodic sense May and Gilmour have. I would like to think I have it too.

gdw3

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
May 8th, 2019 03:13 PM   Edit   Profile  

"I understand that using a single method can make things easier when all of the picking is of one style"

I disagree with this premise. I use different styles all the time!

On the upstrokes you mention, I slant the pick in what amounts to the equal-but-opposite direction as the downstroke method. There are lots of YouTube vids on techniques like this. Some better than others, of course.

I think a new technique only sticks if you use it in context. If you don't play any music that calls for it, why use it? That would be my advice: pick out certain tunes you can play on with the technique(s) you want to get better at.

(This message was last edited by gdw3 at 05:14 PM, May 8th, 2019)

ninworks
Contributing Member
*******

Middle Tennessee

Guitar Slave
May 8th, 2019 03:23 PM   Edit   Profile  

""I understand that using a single method can make things easier when all of the picking is of one style"

I disagree with this premise. I use different styles all the time!""



I do as well, constantly. The second paragraph in my original post mentions that.

My statement about using one picking discipline would be primarily for beginners or intermediate level players who don't have any one particular method in their arsenal yet. It's easier at that point to learn one or the other instead of both. If someone had the right teacher in the beginning, who taught both, oh how lucky they would be. It's been my experience that lots of teachers I have known or met teach one method or the other and insist on doing it their way. I think the reason for that is that the many, or even most, cannot do both methods at a high level. So, they teach the one, either they can do best, or, that was taught to them.



"I think a new technique only sticks if you use it in context. If you don't play any music that calls for it, why use it? That would be my advice: pick out certain tunes you can play on with the technique(s) you want to get better at."


I can see the value in that but, I do primarily original music for myself and my friends. I don't really play or learn songs by others much anymore. I spent decades doing that and the process bores me most of the time. I don't need to learn how to tie my shoes anymore if you get my drift. I don't have the time to do both so I do what interests me the most.

If I want a challenge I'll write something hard to play and then develop it so I can execute it until it is effective musically and emotionally. Different techniques are another tool I use to spark new ideas.

(This message was last edited by ninworks at 05:53 PM, May 8th, 2019)

Timmer
Contributing Member
*****

Shreveport, LA

There I was one night...
Jun 7th, 2019 03:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

Both for sure. Depends on what I'm playing.

gdw3

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Jun 10th, 2019 11:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

I teach a bit, and I for sure talk about different picking techniques. But you can only cram in so much. Usually, the only time I put my foot down and insist on a picking style is if what the student is doing could lead to injury because of technique, or if what they're using does not produce the desired sound.

"Different techniques are another tool I use to spark new ideas."

Definitely!



FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Alternate or economy picker?




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