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Thread: Frustrated because of tension when trying to pick really fast

  1. #1
    Toneologist
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    Default Frustrated because of tension when trying to pick really fast

    I've been working on improving my picking technique and I will say I have improved a lot over the years. I'm using less movement and I've learned the Yngwie thumb and forefinger bit. But I've noticed when I try to play a group of notes really fast like how I would like to be able to play it, tensions sets in and I start digging too deep into the strings with the pick. It's frustrating. I don't know how you get to pick extremely fast and staying really relaxed. Have any of you guys had a similar problem?

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    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frustrated because of tension when trying to pick really fast

    Yup lol. I'm still at the stage where I tense up my right hand and basically tremolo pick and then try to do my best at getting the notes with my left hand. I think you're on the right track though talking about Yngwie's thumb and index finger tips only moving. I noticed that too how he does that. 1 tip that I have is you can practice while wearing bike gloves because it encourages you to use mostly your last 1 or 2 joints on your fingers and focus your fine movements.
    Last edited by Clint 55; 02-07-2020 at 01:45 PM.
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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frustrated because of tension when trying to pick really fast

    i think its like anything else, practice. as soon as you tense up, stop and start over. keep forcing your hand to relax

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    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frustrated because of tension when trying to pick really fast

    Or just decide to pick like Kerry King instead.

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    Default Re: Frustrated because of tension when trying to pick really fast

    Relaxation will come with accuracy and familiarity.

    Keep trying to get faster and soon enough you'll already have played the licks you're struggling now in a relaxed manner.

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    Default Re: Frustrated because of tension when trying to pick really fast

    I usually have a shot of tequilla to loosen me up first.

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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frustrated because of tension when trying to pick really fast

    I would check out Troy Grady's Cracking the Code website. It is the best analysis of the physical motion of picking I've ever seen attempted. You learn a lot about isolating muscle groups and what is actually going on under the skin, and how many guitarists use that to their advantage (even if they don't realize it).
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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frustrated because of tension when trying to pick really fast

    For me, what has helped a lot in this area is playing a piece way the **** slower than I think that I can.


    I used to learn a piece, then use a metronome and increase speed until it was impossible to play any faster and I was making mistakes/super tense . . . then kept trying to play the piece like this and eventually get frustrated that I couldn't do it.

    Now I learn to play the piece at like half the speed or less. I make sure that my hands are completely relaxed and that it's coming out perfect every single time before increasing the metronome at all. If tension comes back in, even if I'm landing all the notes, I back it off a bit and keep practicing.

    When you do things the first way, you learn to be tense while playing fast . . . and it's really, really hard to unlearn. When you do it the second way it takes a little longer to get up to speed . . . but eventually you can play faster and more fluidly.


    YMMV, but that's what works for me.
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    Default Re: Frustrated because of tension when trying to pick really fast

    And I'm letting too much of the pick show. I need to move my thumb further down so only a little bit of the tip is showing. That automatically helps prevent digging in too much.

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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frustrated because of tension when trying to pick really fast

    Quote Originally Posted by 357mag View Post
    And I'm letting too much of the pick show. I need to move my thumb further down so only a little bit of the tip is showing. That automatically helps prevent digging in too much.
    The type of pick you use makes a huge difference too. When I started playing I was using a .073 nylon dunlop pick. Couldn't figure out why stuff wasn't working when trying to play at speed. Three or four years later I tried a Jazz III. It was like getting an enchanted object of +90 pick accuracy.
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    Junior Member BaritoneVitoND's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frustrated because of tension when trying to pick really fast

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStv View Post
    The type of pick you use makes a huge difference too. When I started playing I was using a .073 nylon dunlop pick. Couldn't figure out why stuff wasn't working when trying to play at speed. Three or four years later I tried a Jazz III. It was like getting an enchanted object of +90 pick accuracy.
    Jazz III picks are the best.

  12. #12
    Junior Member BaritoneVitoND's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frustrated because of tension when trying to pick really fast

    I couple of tricks I've used to improve right hand picking speed were:

    -Minimizing how much of the pick you are actually using to move the string. Try choking up on the pick so you have a small piece of the tip poking out and use that fine point to move the string only. I used to have this Stylus pick with a 3D cone at the tip so you can get used to practicing that way. If you dug in too far, the edge of the cone would get caught up on the string. Name:  styluspick.jpg
Views: 16
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    -Minimizing the tension you are creating in your forearm and focusing more on using your wrist.

    -If you are playing 16th notes in 4/4 try changing your accented note to every eight notes and not every four if you feel like you are getting tired out. So instead of accenting like: ONE+e+and+a TWO+e+and+a THREE+e+and+a FOUR+e+and+a, try doing ONE+e+and+a two+e+and+a THREE+e+and+a four+e+and+a

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