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Thread: increasing picking speed

  1. #1
    all around psycho
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    increasing picking speed

    what are some good exercises solely for picking speed. I can only do 16th notes at 104 bpm and i wanna know some exercises to increase this

  2. #2
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    hey wiechfreak ... my same problem ha? picking speed!?

    bluqq that sucks big time ... so this is my practice drill for increasing my picking speed see if you like it.

    My personal point is that i don't want to be fast on chromatic exercises only so this is what i do ...

    I set my metronome to a tempo ... currently it's 120 (probably it will stay like that for at 3/4 more months)

    Numbers indicate finger. All exercises are across all strings (down and up) and across all neck (moving up in frets) in 16th's always taking care of my alternate picking.

    Chromatics
    1. 1234 (downward) 4321 (upward)
    2. 1432 - 4123
    3. 4123 - 1432
    4. 1324 - 4231

    The fun part
    Scales
    I do 2 octave 3NPS up and down the neck in ...
    triplets
    16ths
    The exercises are assuming 1,2,3,4... are the notes of the scale
    123, 234, 345, 456 (triplets)
    1234,2345,3456 (16th)

    etc be creative always think of new ways to tackle your problems.

    I consider the second part scales the most important (for me). It helps finger independance on left hand, clean playing, alternate picking on right and increases your chops

    as you see there is nothing you don't find on a good guitar book or on ibreath's articles so it's just the matter of taking up ideas and adapting them for yourself

    anyway hope that helps sorry i took too long good luck
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  3. #3
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
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    Well, it's not necessarily the exercise that will give you speed. Speed comes with patience and time, just as long as you remain focused on accuracy and relaxing. Petrucci said that he won't increase the metronome's tempo until he can play the piece perfectly at least ten times in a row, and then only about 6-8 bpm's at a time. There are dozens of exercises in threads and articles on this site so would suggest doing a little research. Try the difficult picking licks thread started by Szulc. Try all of the excellent articles on picking by Eric Vandenberg. Focus on quality before speed and slowly you will notice results as long as you remain persistent. Steve Vai has said that it takes a long time to develop fast picking speed. Unfortunately, it's true. Have fun though. Change it up. Make up your own little etudes concentrating on inside and outside picking (see articles and threads for more). This site is full of picking licks, so get pickin!

  4. #4
    Laiho's heir guitarist wild_child's Avatar
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    another thing with picking is making sure you stay consistent. You don't want to change the way in which you pick as the tempo increases. If you pick with your elbow when you play fast, you pick with your elbow when you play slow! same if you pick with the wrist. The key to this is relaxation, in both hands.

    The ticket to playing fast is not the ability to pick fast however (although obviously it is required) - it is being co-ordinated at high speeds; your finger is on the fret exactly when you pick the note, and your next finger is on the new fret exactly on the next note etc.. this, IMO is by far the hardest thing (concerning speed) to master. The key is feather light touches, high level of LH finger independence and supportive fingering.

    As was said, practice the good 'ol chromatic excercises with a metronome. Your focus should not be to play as fast as you can, but to play as accurately as you can at a tempo on your limits. Once your goal is reached, then you may increase the tempo, hence the development of speed as a "side product" of accuracy.
    "Remember, it's all good, everything goes and there ain't no damned rules or boundaries. So get off! Tear it a fresh ***, tear it hard, rip gaping holes in it! Make tracks, leave marks!

    "forever stronger than all" - Dimebag Darrell

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    I dont see any problem here in the first place. You didnt acquire the ability to pick 16th's at 100+ bpm without doing something right. Keep doing what you're doing, do it a little faster, and keep it fresh!
    ________
    Buy E Cigs
    Last edited by Vilesilencer; 08-24-2011 at 08:31 PM.

  6. #6
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    This question is kinda weird, as itīs "I wanna be able to play something at that and that speed, someone show me an exercise". The way the question is put it right now, it seems almost as if it doesnt matter WHAT to play at that speed, as long as it is above 100 bpm.
    To me, thatīs kinda the wrong way around
    Eric

  7. #7
    all around psycho
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    hey eric welcome back. It's not like I'm a spee demon and all i wanna do is gain speed (I'm not even into shred) I'm more of a classic rock guy. I'm learning fade to black and my left hand can do it at nearly the right tempo but my picking is whats slow. So that's all i was asking.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiechfreak
    hey eric welcome back. It's not like I'm a spee demon and all i wanna do is gain speed (I'm not even into shred) I'm more of a classic rock guy. I'm learning fade to black and my left hand can do it at nearly the right tempo but my picking is whats slow. So that's all i was asking.

    Didn't someone give you several exercises to help with this already? There is no "magic exercise" that is going to help you - work with what you have, or get a guitar teacher. Scary thought, I know, but it really helps.

  9. #9
    Seany
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    You havnt made it that clear if u mean, u cant physically pick fast or if you just arnt very coordinated left and right hand sync. I cud advise (i'm still very slow at picking accuratley) to try different techniques if u cant pick fast like wild child said stick to one, I noticed much dirfference when i stayed relaxed, also in the last 2/3 months i changed from anchored pinky picking to floatng hand which was a real bich but the results were great, i can pick more accurately and fast and consistently and it doesnt where my arm out like before. I'd try that, and remeber to play accurate today, i played that PG likc and thought i cud play it fast then when i put a mtronome on i realised how sloppy i was and could only play it perfectly at a lower speed. Thats why PG sounds so good, not just cause hes fast but cause his transition and accuracy are perfect, and thats why other guitarists who are fast mentioning no names sound a little bit hasty and sloppy.

    Sean

  10. #10
    all around psycho
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    First off I meant, I can't physically pick faster than 110 bpm 16th notes. 2nd off what is anchor and floating hand picking? I think I konw but im not sure. My whole hand is off the guitar its just my wrist sort of rests on the right side of the guitar

  11. #11
    Seany
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    Ok well check out (i think) '99 ways to pick' eric v article it says about floating and anchoring in there, i guess speed comes with time and practise.

    Sean

  12. #12
    iBreatheMusic Modthor phantom's Avatar
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    First off I meant, I can't physically pick faster than 110 bpm 16th notes. 2nd off what is anchor and floating hand picking?
    you mean 16th notes at 110 bpm at all or clean?

    when anchored a part of your hand is resting on the guitar, if floating, the hand is freely floating aroud ;-). both techniques have their pros and cons.

    Edit: and speed comes with:
    a) a technique that allows you to move the hand precisely with a minimum amount of strength.
    b) practice and
    c) time
    Last edited by phantom; 10-07-2004 at 02:29 PM.

  13. #13
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    At first I wld practice picking on one string. It isn't really the hardest thing on alternate picking but it is the basic for all the longer runs etc. If you don't feel comfortable on one string you will never feel really comfortable on other more complicated stuff. You could start for example with this exercise click. Take only one or two sequenzes and get used to it. When you play it ask yourself if your pick has got a for YOU comfortable position. Close your eyes when you practice and concentrate on your right picking hand that you play really accuratly.What about speed? Speed is result of control and accuracy. So i should practice really really slow that you are able to control every movement you do.
    When you feel really comfortable to a lick try boundaries a bit for example with this tool (thx Eric for this tool ): click
    Chromatic excercises are very helpful, too. But a disadvantage is that they can be very boring because of their scary sound. Nevertheless here is a cool chromatic exercise: click
    The next step would be playing on two strings. A very very helpful tool for that would be the "Paul Gilbert Lick" and it's variations (check out EricV's articles for that). Then you could practice longer runs on several strings. Another very cool possibility which really improves your technique are classical etudes or songs like Moto Perpetuo from N. Paganini.(the tab:click)
    So I could for example create a little Practice Sheulder like that:
    20 min ---> contains 2-3 picking exercises on one string
    10 min----> contains practising 1-2 variation from the PaulG Lick
    10 min----> contains 1-2 Longer runs on several strings
    10 min ---> contains a cool Etude or what ever
    It's your dicision what, when and how long you want to practice. I show you only one posibility which works for me well.

    Another thing which is in my opinion important is attack. When I play an exercise or lick slowly I try to play it with a lot of accents like Paul Gilbert does. Through that, fast licks and runs groove much more and it doesn't sound like a computer.

    What i wanted to show you is that there aren't any magic excerices. I hope i was able to show you some possibilities to build up speed.
    And now PRACTICE PRATICE PRACTICE

    Matthias
    Last edited by MatthiasB; 10-07-2004 at 08:19 PM.

  14. #14
    Mad Scientist forgottenking2's Avatar
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    Since I haven't given much advice lately (there's too many people who know what they are talking about nowadays ... it kinda makes it difficult to add stuff) Here's one very valuable one: Play with a clean tone. If you try to play fast and you're not coordinated it will sound like crap and that's painfully obvious with a clean tone, since distortion tends to somewhat mask that (not really but some young players tend to think that a sloppy distorted tone "sounds cool") Work on something like the second theme in tumeni notes Eric has a transcription in here somewhere (Article search comes handy here) and make sure your notes sound clear. Aside from that, listen to everyone else here, be patient and work hard. Remember there's no shortcut.

    Regards,
    "If God had wanted us to play the piano he would've given us 88 fingers"

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