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EricV
08-16-2002, 11:55 PM
Alright, before the shred-freaks on the board go "Dude, are you now listening to Nu Metal only or what ?", here is another cool pickign lick for you to work on.
Itīs from the legendary Racer X-tune "Frenzy" ( an insane instrumental which opens their debut "Street Lethal" ). In case youīre not familiar with the band... Paul Gilbert plays guitar for them, and when this album was released he was like 18 or so...

There is some amazing guitar playing on those Racer X-Albums, and most of the solos definitely will send you back to wood-shedding.
Anyway, this is the firts part of the "Frenzy"-Solo. This will make you focus on fast picking on all strings, especially on the lower ones. Start out slowly, work on each segment bit by bit, then use a metronome to speed it up...
And check out those Racer X-Albums....
Rooooooock :)

Eric

The Bash
08-18-2002, 08:40 PM
Hey Eric that's really cool.
Actually I'm Familar with the song.
Interesting note is the obvious use of the Classic Paul Gilbert Exercise. Paul definatly practices what he preaches cause he uses that little ex. and it's variation (as you show in your picking lessons) a lot.

Quick question: How would you yourself approach that first measure (I'm assuming you'd pick the first note, do the legato stuff then on the next note pick it the opposite direction)
That is countine straight alternate picking as if the hammers/pulls weren't there.
The classic Over The Mountain lick is another example.
I'm just asking cause that's how I play the Rhoads lick I know a lot of guys will count the the hammer/pulls then countine picking wherever side of the down up they happen to be on.
It just seems easier to me to go down up all the time on pick notes and let the legatto stuff fall where it may.
Exception being a very long string of legatto notes.

EricV
08-18-2002, 09:39 PM
Hi there,

Yeah, Paul is using that little lick / fragment quite a bit. Anyway, this passage ( first measure ) was pretty tough for me, cuz I couldnīt get the legato-picking-merge to run smoothly.
Meaning: I can alternate pick the stuff, and I can do fast legato, but to switch from one to the other was hard to learn. So I sat down and played those first few notes for hours.
I approached it the way you suggested: strict alternate picking. 1st note down, legato, first note on next string up etc.
Working on all that Gilbert- and Morse-stuff throughout the years really helped to develop a sturdy alternate picking-technique, meaning that I do strict alternate picking 99% of the time.
So to answer your question: Yes, strict alternate picking, with the legato falling in between.

At the GIT, I did work on economy picking, but in real life, I hardly ever use it, Instead I am sturdy, doing all alternate picking.
I canīt put into words how much Paul and Steve influenced my picking technique, how much their playing inspired me to work on it... I used to sit down for hours working on variations of the PG-lick, or learning short bits from Racer X-solos, or working on Morse-licks. It helped tremendously ( the PG-lick by itself helped so incredibly much, itīs amazing, although itīs just a 6 note-thingy )
And I love those guys music anyway, not only because there are so many "chopbuilder-licks" in there...
I will soon write another article for Ibreathe, this time giving away a real chopbuilder, an etude that helped me ( and other players I know ) quite a bit...
Eric

NP: Tim Pierce- Guitarland

The Bash
08-18-2002, 10:14 PM
I kinna thought you did. I found the 99% thing intresting cause it says a lot about a persons musical personality. That's not to say one shouldn't work on every tech. imaginable (there's great benefit in that) but one does (when playing real life music) graviate towards his or her influnces or even psychological make up (if there is such a thing).
I don't know if this is true of everyone but I know for myself there's certain licks or techs (such as tapping/ sweeping etc.) that even though I can do them on some level don't sound good to me when I myself do them. For example when playing real music I don't tap a lot mainly cause it dosen't sound musical when I do it. It sounds forced and non inspired. That dosen't mean I hate tapping it just means I hate My tapping :)
Even though I don't pick at warp speed I find I'm drawn to picking licks and thus find I do those kinna things a lot in my own way when I play.
P.S. I always found that little dminor run Rhoads did in Mr. Crowely kinna tough where he mixes the down/up with legato not cause it was fast but mainly cause its not that fast was very hard at first for me to keep my left hand from just taking off during the pull offs. It really helped to work that up with a met. using just picking then as a straight legatto thing using no picking. So that kinna hit me as a major hint to practice scales mixing up the picking and legatto at a slow tempo.

EricV
08-18-2002, 11:15 PM
Hi there...

VERY interesting conversation...

About mixing up legato and picking: This is actually something that many of the "fast pickers" do a lot. If you listen to Paul Gilbert closely, you might hear that he actually does mix those two A LOT.
I mean, he could just pick every note, but he adds little legato-things in between, which makes it sound smoother. I love that sound. So I once worked on that a lot. Like, this kinda lick:

http://www.ericvandenberg.com/ibreathe/legato.jpg

So, a lot of this stuff is actually a mix of picking and legato, which gives it that smoothe sound. The picked notes add an accent, and if you do it at high speed, it really is a cool effect.

Another example would be the first two licks of "Shred Talk", my conversation with Thorsten Koehne... there he does that fast 4 note per string-lick, mixing picking and legato, and it sounds great.
It also is a nice color when you mix it up with strict alternate picking, switching between both.

Steve Morse on the other hand is someone who picks most of the fast passages. He uses legato / trills though to embellish his melodies, and he sometimes throws in some legato stuff... and when he does you can see that he actually is a master of that too ( just listen to the solo in "The Oz"... )

I actually never thaught about what this says about my personality, I just went with what was easiest or most useful for me.
Itīs I guess because of the GIT... I got so much material there that I had to learn to pick what to work on and what to put onto my shelf for later...

I definitely do have techniques that I use a lot more than others... I donīt use sweeping a lot, although I like the sound of it. When I improvise, I hardly ever do it, just because it doesnīt really come to mind. I like it though, and I use it sometimes in my live-solo.
I do a lot of tapping, since I worked on integrating it into my playing. I didnīt want to use it as a trick, where I just stop and then start doing it. I wanted it to be an integrated part of my style, where it is just as important as all the other stuff, you know, where I switch from picked stuff to tapping to legato etc.
I use a lot of pinch harmonics, and legato too.
I guess itīs a matter of taste and preference. If I find a technique or concept that I like, I work on it till I can do it. I try a lot, and if I donīt use it later in "real life", itīs most likely because it just doesnīt work for my music.
I am no slide-virtuoso. I like the sound of it, and I learned some from Brett Garsed ( MI ), and I had to use it in the studio last year, but itīs just not a big part of my playing.
Eric

szulc
08-18-2002, 11:35 PM
Eric,
What you are saying about strict AP is that you will pick down on every other (Odd) PICKED note and up on every EVEN PICKED note. No matter where they fall in time, Right?
I always thought that you were supposed to pick down on downbeats and up on upbeats or if you were playing 16th then 1 e + a (1 and + would ALWAYS be down and e and a would always be up). But you are saying strict AP means the time of the note attack is not important only the last note you PICKED, picking direction?

If this is true I might be able to learn to pick faster after all!
James

The Bash
08-19-2002, 12:48 AM
That's kinna freaky cause I actually use that exact lick as well as several varations on same idea.
Anyway that's exactly the kinna thing I do A LOT when playing faster. However I'd like to one day say I could do the Morse thing and straight pick that everybit as fast.
For example I could play that lick using only down/ups as 16th notes at about 132 bpm. (that's after I've warmed up prac. alt pick for a while.)
On the other hand I could play the thing as written at 200+ bmp
A lot time when playing live I just kinna cram those kinna licks so they may not all be sixteenths.
But those are cool licks.
I did take me a while when I was younger to do those kinna things at a slower tempo and keep it in time.
I did the inexperinced thing and was consumed by just how fast I could get it the lick (even though it was clean) and overlook the vaule of doing it very slow (devopling control). The Mr. Crowely lick showed my I lacked that at a slow to mid tempo.

The intresting thing was the slower I found and could play it in time the faster I found I could play the lick.
There's a moral in there somewhere :)

The Bash
08-19-2002, 01:21 AM
Hey I actually found My One tapping lick
It ain't clever but it works (least that's what I tell myself)

EricV
08-19-2002, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by szulc
Eric,
What you are saying about strict AP is that you will pick down on every other (Odd) PICKED note and up on every EVEN PICKED note. No matter where they fall in time, Right? ...But you are saying strict AP means the time of the note attack is not important only the last note you PICKED, picking direction?


Hi James...

Yes, thats what I mean. I guess that I started doing that learning Steve Morse-licks cuz he is doing strict alternate picking all the time. Itīs just d-u-d-u, no matter what he plays.
I drill my students on that too, and it seems to help a lot.
There are solos by Paul Gilbert where he starts on the 1+ and he starts with a donwstroke, continuing in that matter. So you usually start with a downstroke, and from then on itīs strict alternate picking, even if you throw in legato stuff in between.

Eric

EricV
08-19-2002, 01:23 PM
Originally posted by The Bash
That's kinna freaky cause I actually use that exact lick as well as several varations on same idea.
Yeah, itīs a pretty basic lick that shows an approach that many players tend to use. If you take this approach / lick, and take that PG-picking lick, you actually have two basic licks that, when used a lot and in different variations when practising will be a great starting point and enough to work on for a long time.
No long etudes, just two basic approaches, one for picking, one for picking/legato...


Originally posted by The Bash
Anyway that's exactly the kinna thing I do A LOT when playing faster. However I'd like to one day say I could do the Morse thing and straight pick that everybit as fast.
Well, many players are faster at either one of the two, Steve is an exception cuz he worked so hard on his picking... I mean, at one point of his development he decided to pick EVERYTHING and did so for a long time. That helped to develop this incredible picking-style.
So basically, you could say itīs not unusual that someone can do i.e. the legato-picking-mix faster than strict picking.



Originally posted by The Bash
I did take me a while when I was younger to do those kinna things at a slower tempo and keep it in time.
I did the inexperinced thing and was consumed by just how fast I could get it the lick (even though it was clean) and overlook the vaule of doing it very slow (devopling control). The Mr. Crowely lick showed my I lacked that at a slow to mid tempo.
This actually is an important point. Thatīs what people should use the metronome for, to make sure they can play it at many different tempos. Of course many "shredlicks" sound better fast than they do slow, but there are some that sound good both ways, and one should be able to play them in time even at slow tempos without rushing or whatever.




Originally posted by The Bash
The intresting thing was the slower I found and could play it in time the faster I found I could play the lick.
There's a moral in there somewhere :)

There sure is... itīs the old "Golden GIT-Rule"... "speed is a sideproduct of accuracy". You play it slow, you kinda work on the accuracy, making sure it sounds good, working on getting rid of noises etc.
Then, and only then, after one did that, he / she should work on speeding it up...

Eric

EricV
08-19-2002, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by The Bash
Hey I actually found My One tapping lick
It ain't clever but it works (least that's what I tell myself)

Hey, thatīs not too bad :)
One thing I did to get even more into tapping: I slowed it down and used it as an actual melodic device. Meaning that I would i.e. play a slow melody with my left hand and then add a higher melody note with the right... ( which I guess was the original purpose of tapping ), you can get some great sounds that way.
After a while I was doing that as much as I was tapping fast stuff...
Did ya see / hear the tapping licks in "Shred Talk" ?
Eric

EricV
08-19-2002, 02:11 PM
Coming to think of the downbeat-thing, I once transcribed parts of Mr. Bigīs "Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy" ( The Electric Drill SOng ), and here, Paul did something VERY cool...
He started the fast picking on the upbeat. Sounds cool. As you can see, he starts with a downstroke.
One more thing about the upbeat / downbeat ( to James ): I practise many of my licks once starting with a downstroke, then starting with an upstroke, so I donīt really think about on which beat which should fall. I just go for strict alternate picking in 99% of the cases, works for me...

Hereīs the first part of the "Daddy..."-solo:

http://www.ericvandenberg.com/ibreathe/dbllb.jpg
And the MIDI (http://www.ericvandenberg.com/ibreathe/dbllb.mid)

Eric

EricV
08-19-2002, 05:15 PM
Of course one of the important things about picking-technique is the pick... the way you hold it ( I posted about that at the forum already ), and the pick itself.
Currently I am using two different picks that I feel very comfortable with. I guess in a while Iīll just settle for one of them... theyīre both very different, both work well for me, I just gotta decide which I feel more comfortable with.
During the GIT-time I used mostly Jazz IIIīs by Dunlop ( picture below, No.1 ). Those were ok for me, but I soon found a pick that was way better for me: the Pickboy Jazz pick. ( the pink one, pictured below, No.2 ).
That one is just a bit bigger than the Jazz III, and is shaped like a regular Fender pick with a sharper tip, as if you filed some off of the regular Fenders ( as seen in the pic ). Paul Gilbertīs Ibanez-picks are shaped the same ( No.3 in the picture...please note that the PG pick actually has the same size as the Pickboy... the size relations are not displayed right in the pic... ).
Anyway, these days, I use both Dunlop Jazz III XLīs ( which are Jazz IIIs but bigger, sized like the standard Fender pick ) and Dunlop Tortex picks which I cut / file to have the exact same shape as those Pickboy Jazz / PG-picks.
Works great for me, and I feel very comfortable with it. I prefer harder picks ( both the Jazz III and the Tortex are pretty hard ones ) because they help to pick faster IMHO.

Sorry, I donīt have a working scanner right now, otherwise Iīd provide a picture of those filed Tortex-picks.
For what itīs worth
Eric

EricV
09-13-2002, 10:38 PM
BTW, the TAB of the "Daddy..."-solo above was based on the pgmrbig.avi-video I mentioned in the other thread... towards the end of that video, Paul plays it. Check out the video to hear Paul comment on this cool solo
Eric