View Full Version : Picking Hand

10-06-2002, 02:31 PM
What's up?

I been thinking alot the suggestions you made in your picking articles.

I'm wondering should I relax my right hand as much as possible?
A friend of mine keeps telling me I'm using too much strength in my right hand when I'm soloing.

I remember somehing about Eric saying that he could hear the sound of the pick when Paul Gilbert is soloing. Won't that mean he is using quite a lot of strength?

- Beast

-NP: An Evening W/John Petrucci & Jordan Rudess

10-06-2002, 03:16 PM
Hey Beast,

Funny that you ask. I just finished another article focussing on that yesterday, but it will be a lil while till itīs gonna be published on ibreathe ( thereīs another one in line first ).

OK, yes, you can hear Paulīs pick clearly. This has to do with several factors...
- His sound ( lots of treble and presents... uhhhh... presence... inside joke, if you have seen his first video youīll understand )
- His choice of pick ( some picks generate less picking noise )
- of course, the way he picks:

Yes, he really whacks the strings hard. I dunno whether you have seen the GIT-interview with Paul at the Racer X-Site yet, but he explains it there.... he used to practise without an amp, picking hard in order to hear himself.
But you can pick hard even though you relax your right hand. Relaxing ( your friéndīs right about that ) really is the key anyway, both for the left and the right hand.

OK, hereīs how to do it ( PG- and EV-style ):
Rest a part of your forearm on the guitar, on the upper part above the bridge. Keep your wrist relaxed. Keep your hand floating. Donīt anchor it, donīt rest it or press it onto the bridge ( you might slightly touch it with the palm, but itīs best if you "float it" all the way ).
Then, play a continuous picking exercise such as the "Paul Gilbert-lick". Move the hand from the wrist. Slant your pick so one side is closer to the floor. Donīt squeeze it too hard between your index finger and thumb. Hold it tight enough so it wonīt slip away, but dont get yourself a blister.
Anyway, if you really rest your forearm on the guitar and keep your hand floating, you should be able to pick hard while still relaxing your wrist ( Try to exaggerate the picking-motion at first ).
Itīs tough at first to not hit the G-string accidentially, but keeping the hand afloat helped me to avoid that.
After a while youll find the exact right way, fixing each little detail one by one. Eventually, it should work...
You should be able to play the lick at a decent speed, accurately ( without hitting other strings ), with enough "whack" to get a good tone out of the string.
Finally, when you move to the lower strings ( i.e. playing on the low E- and A-string ) try to have your wrist and hand in the same position and move them the same way that you do on the upper strings.
More on all that in the article I mentioned, which should be out in a few days

NP: MacAlpine / Brunel / Chambers: Cab

10-06-2002, 03:18 PM
Hereīs the link to the MI-interview with Paul at Racer Xīs official site once more: CLICK (http://www.racerxband.com/videos/pgmrbig.avi)
Might take a while to download ( you will have to download it before you watch it, cuz it wonīt play right "streaming" ), but itīs worth the wait

10-11-2002, 04:44 PM
I wanted to ask you this q for some time but some how I just couldn't find the time to ask u.

When you are shredding is your pick moving in circular motions or strictly just up and down?

I find that when I try to play faster, my pick moves in circular motions but when I'm not, its tends to be going up and down.

Is it the same when you are string skipping? I find that when I'm string skipping, my pick is moving up and down would I be able to gain more speed if my pick is moving in circular motion? I find it hard to move in circular motion when string skipping.


NP : Deep Purple - In Concert W/The London SYmphony Orchestra

10-11-2002, 09:16 PM
Hi there...

The pick goes straight up and down, no circular motion or motion into any other direction. The pick is slanted, which is important.
The motion is the same for alternate picking, string-skipping, even sweeping to some extent ( when I sweep, I tend to slant the pick a tidbit less, but in general, itīs the same motion and angle )

Basically, one of my rules always was:

a) When you play fast, the motion should be the same as if you play slow. Meaning that if you i.e. start practising a lick at a slow tempo, everything should remain the same once you speed it up.

b) The way I hold the pick and the picking motion should stay the same for most techniques. Sure, when I i.e. strum on an acoustic guitar, it may be different, but for most lead techniques, I always go by that rule.

Hope this answers your question