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Re: Alternate picking

Postby Wonks » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:29 am

Slight correction. Van Halen was 'Brown sound'. Clapton was 'Woman tone' (so we now know what he was doing ;) ).
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:17 pm

:clap: :clap: :clap: Yup, and 'Crazy Eddie' too :bouncy:
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby Lala » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:36 pm

This is really starting to do my head in :madas:

Growing ever more frustrated with little or no progress, I've come to the conclusion that the problem definitely lies more with my left (fretting) hand than my right and specifically when playing a descending passage of notes with my 4th, 3rd and 2nd fingers.

So I started doing a little exercise this morning...

I set my sequencer up in 3/4 time, with a metronome click set at 200bpm, with the first beat in the bar heavily emphasised.

Right hand : picks one note per click, strict alternate picking

Left hand : starting on the 6th string, fourth finger plays 8th fret, third finger plays 7th fret, second finger plays 6th fret, over and over for four bars, 876, 876, 876, 876.

Then move to the 5th string for four bars and so on.

I cannot believe how hard I find this exercise, it gets harder still as I go up the strings, on the first string my finger independence is a joke.

Anyone care to give this a go and report back, honestly (!), how they find it ?

Nick
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby The Coastal Path » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:27 pm

Just tried this - yep, it's tricky. For me, I can play it reasonably easily, but it asks a lot of the muscles in my wrist - I can feel the unfamiliarity of fingering in this way. The key for me is to use classical technique, so when fingering the 8th note, all fingers are down, then release each finger in turn before placing all back down.

A lot of these kind of exercises have the effect of making you use unfamiliar muscles - which is why they are so good. I don't know if you've tried it, but my favourite is one called the spider...

https://www.justinguitar.com/en/TE-201-TheSpider.php

This one really helped my co ordination a lot... going from high to low on the strings I found very difficult to start.
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby Lala » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:38 pm

Hi CP,

Yes, I know the spider, although I didn't know it was called that, I saw Satriani demonstrate it in a guitar mag years ago and it's been part of my warm up for years - it's a great test of co-ordination but I've only tried the basic version, I'll give the one that climbs the neck a go too !

Thanks for your reply :thumbup:

Nick
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby blinddrew » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:01 pm

just found this, which is potentially relevant for this thread: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awFeDMNiKX4
(I don't think it was linked before)
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:02 pm

I saw it a day or so ago, a mate linked to it on FB. She can play a bit :) Have a look out for The Carrivick Sisters from Cornwall too, Charlotte plays guitar, mandolin and banjo, Laura plays fiddle and dobro.

The palm resting is frowned upon in certain circles (Gypsy Jazz for starters) as it does affect the tone (though she is barley resting her hand)...... I'd be curious to see some other Bluegrass players lead technique to see if it is common or not.....
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby blinddrew » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:09 pm

Yep, familiar with the Carrivicks, it was more the camera angles on this one that was interesting.
Plus she can play a bit. :)
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:49 pm

Yup, agreed. I've seen that device that holds a camera phone somewhere else recently, excellent bit of kit.
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby BikerDude » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:45 pm

Do it over and over and over.
Sit watching TV with your guitar and just play triplets over and over and over.
Commit it to muscle memory.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYYhqZSBkPE
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby CS70 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:58 pm

Lala wrote:This is really starting to do my head in :madas:

Growing ever more frustrated with little or no progress, I've come to the conclusion that the problem definitely lies more with my left (fretting) hand than my right and specifically when playing a descending passage of notes with my 4th, 3rd and 2nd fingers.

So I started doing a little exercise this morning...

I set my sequencer up in 3/4 time, with a metronome click set at 200bpm, with the first beat in the bar heavily emphasised.

Right hand : picks one note per click, strict alternate picking

Left hand : starting on the 6th string, fourth finger plays 8th fret, third finger plays 7th fret, second finger plays 6th fret, over and over for four bars, 876, 876, 876, 876.

Then move to the 5th string for four bars and so on.

I cannot believe how hard I find this exercise, it gets harder still as I go up the strings, on the first string my finger independence is a joke.

Anyone care to give this a go and report back, honestly (!), how they find it ?

Nick

Yes I do that, I invented that exercise it mainly because I like to get my fingers do things that they initially wouldn’t. It will get easier with time but will do very little for your picking left-right coordination . It basically trains the left hand.

The only way to improve that coordination is to split the problem in two: single string picking and string jumps. The first is tricky because you have different tensions on different strings, and your hand needs to move to different positions and the pick angle changes. The first string has higher tension than the others and it’s often the hardest. There’s no other way than play slow and precise and accelerateonly when you have perfect articulation at that speed. It’s also so that you have to alternate pick very very fast to get decent spedd and that is kinda unnatural (at least it was to me) and you risk to tense up your right shoulder, and then it can’t work. Slow must be!

For string jumps, the main issue with the left hand is that if you naturally tend to want a pivot. Now the more your hand position is far from classical technique, the more you’ll tend to have your pivot point on the fretboard rather than the neck... which is good for two, max three strings but makes fast runs on all the six strings very hard. A classical or semi classical position (thumb behind the neck, all fingers free to move) helps immensely; but you can also get away (like I do) with something more compromised, so long to learn to keep your touch very lighton the fretboard and especially the finger that you use as pivot at any given moment. There’s no question that the classical position is the easiest and ultimately the fastest - look at D’angelo and most speed metal players.
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby Wonks » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:00 pm

But then Paul Gilbert is most definitely a thumb over the top guy, and he's no fretboard slouch. So it's what works for you.
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby Johnsy » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:37 am

The context is rock/metal, but this guy's analysis is one of the more interesting.

The 'Cracking the Code' series linked here will ring a lot of bells for some:

https://www.youtube.com/user/troygrady
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby CS70 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:44 am

Wonks wrote:But then Paul Gilbert is most definitely a thumb over the top guy, and he's no fretboard slouch. So it's what works for you.

Indeed, light touch, long fingers and the part of the hand between thumb and index does not touch the neck. It works for me as well, but it’s a harder way. The classical approach works for everybody all he time. It’s just a little more uncomfortable at start. Had I known 34 years ago...
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby Dr R » Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:47 am

This is a really encouraging thread. :D Especially all the comments about practice slowly.
I'm now 50 and just starting to learn to play bass guitar - having wanted to do so since I was about 19. It's ridiculously hard compared to anything else I've ever done, and my fingers are wondering what they did to upset me. Maybe when I'm 60 I'll be tolerably competent, but for now progress is at least non-zero.
For me "shredding" would be playing "The Chain" at the right speed with proper muting!
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby Wonks » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:35 am

Just keep going Dr R. You'll be amazed how far you get within a couple of years, let alone 10.
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:55 am

+1 A friend of mine started playing bass about 4 years ago, she was gigging after a year and now plays double bass in her husband's Gypsy Jazz trio. Had a great weekend a couple of weeks ago at March Manouche and got the chance to jam with them over the weekend, always good fun.
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby Dr R » Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:07 am

Thank you Sam and Wonks.
The rather excellent bassist at church has a target for me to be able to play on a Sunday by this time next year without the band cringing. :bouncy:
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:18 am

Definitely an achievable target. Stick at it and concentrate on timing and simplicity, good bass playing doesn't have to be flashy or complex. Good luck........
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Re: Alternate picking

Postby Wonks » Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:21 am

Timing is everything with bass playing. You don't have to make it complicated, but it's important that the timing is right, so practice with a metronome or a drum machine.
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