Two Questions (Palm Place and Alternate Picking)


jasim.hd
Registered User
Joined: 02/10/17
Posts: 82
jasim.hd
Registered User
Joined: 02/10/17
Posts: 82
12/10/2018 6:56 pm

Hello, all. It’s been long time since I posted a question (or two for that matter LOL), but hope everyone is doing great and in good health.

Obviously, I have two questions that baffled me for a while as the below:

1) Lately, I’m finding the left palm of my hand is sticking to the neck while playing lead, especially when I’m improvising and I’m focusing on what to play rather than how to play it. My question is what is the right way? Is it okay that the neck rests on the palm of the fretting hand (and it gets awkward when I bend, I have to kind of raise my shoulder or arm upwards to maintain the bend, sorry for not being able to express clearly) but with pictures you get the idea. So which picture is the right way? Should I leave space between the neck and palm of fretting hand or not?

2) Up-down picking technique. A very important technique to master of course, while practicing scales, especially sequence ones, I find myself alter picking fine, but when I speed things up, I can’t seem to maintain an accurate manner of up-down-up-down picking. I sometimes do 2 downs especially if I’m moving to another string. Is it normal or should I have a very accurate manner?

As always, I really really do appreciate all your help and efforts. Thank you and God bless everyone here. :)


# 1
Guitar Tricks Admin
Full Access
Joined: 09/28/05
Posts: 3,493
Guitar Tricks Admin
Full Access
Joined: 09/28/05
Posts: 3,493
12/13/2018 6:03 pm

Hi Jasim!

1) I think it's fine if your palm is holding onto the neck. As long as you're able to play the notes correctly and comfortably, there shouldn't be a problem. The majority of guitar playing is about feel, and there are really no hard rules when it comes to holding the guitar.

Generally, the guitar's neck will naturally rest at the base of your fingers, but!

As a refresher, you could take a look at Lisa's lesson on holding the guitar here: https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=21988&s_id=1766

2) Picking is always tough, whether you're practicing scales, a quick riff or anything else. It sounds like you have the most trouble when you're going fast. You may just have to go a bit slower. One of the best ways to learn is to take it really slow and then ramp up the speed gradually.

If you want to get super duper fast at picking, check out Ben's tutorial here: https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=23946&s_id=1959

It's pretty intense.

I hope that helps!


If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.
# 2
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,393
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,393
12/14/2018 5:46 am

Hey, Jasim! Hope you & yours are well.

Originally Posted by: jasim.hd

[br]1) Lately, I’m finding the left palm of my hand is sticking to the neck while playing lead

[/quote]

It's okay if your palm is merely making light contact with the neck. But it sounds like your neck is resting on your palm (exerting downward pressure). And that could lead to problems. If your hand is holding up the neck at all it's bad because it's going to hinder your ability to freely move your hand where it needs to go to fret notes.

Especially when you say this next part.

Originally Posted by: jasim.hd

... it gets awkward when I bend, I have to kind of raise my shoulder or arm upwards to maintain the bend, sorry for not being able to express clearly) but with pictures you get the idea.

[/quote]

Either picture could be fine. But you shouldn't be resting the guitar weight (the neck or any part of it) on your hands. Your hands should be completely free & unencumbered to move freely where they need to go. They don't need to be doing double duty holding up the guitar as well as fretting notes.

Also, I don't like the angle of your wrist in the second picture. I can't see your wrist in the first, so I can't be sure there. But it looks like you are bending your wrist so it's angled out instead of in like it should be. You forearm, wrist and hand should all form a gently curving arc inward. If you bend your wrist back you are putting unecessary pressure & tension on your wrist & hands that will hinder your playing & ability to bend strings.

Look at these videos.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=13958&s_id=1141

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=12188&s_id=605

When you bend, you want to have that gently curving arc. And you want to pivot between your thumb, the place on your hand where your index finger meets you hand & rotate your wrist pushing your bending finger up. You should not have to lift your shoulder. That's an indication that you are trying to compensate for not bending from your wrist.

Look at this video when I talk about bending.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=20406&s_id=1614

[quote=jasim.hd][br]2) Up-down picking technique. A very important technique to master of course, while practicing scales, especially sequence ones, I find myself alter picking fine, but when I speed things up, I can’t seem to maintain an accurate manner of up-down-up-down picking. I sometimes do 2 downs especially if I’m moving to another string. Is it normal or should I have a very accurate manner?

You are describing economy picking. Changing direction from constant up-down alternate picking to do down-down or up-up briefly in order to change strings. That's fine if it works for you. It might be that you need to refine your picking technique.

You need to make sure you have no tension in your hands, use the lightest possible pressure with your pick, slightly tilt the pick & graze over the strings without digging in too far.

Look at these videos on speedy picking.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=287

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=928

[br][quote=jasim.hd][p]As always, I really really do appreciate all your help and efforts. Thank you and God bless everyone here. :)

Great to hear from you! Merry Christmas & holidays to you & yours. Let us know how your guitar playing goes in the new year!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 3
jasim.hd
Registered User
Joined: 02/10/17
Posts: 82
jasim.hd
Registered User
Joined: 02/10/17
Posts: 82
12/30/2018 10:46 am
Originally Posted by: Guitar Tricks Admin

Hi Jasim!

1) I think it's fine if your palm is holding onto the neck. As long as you're able to play the notes correctly and comfortably, there shouldn't be a problem. The majority of guitar playing is about feel, and there are really no hard rules when it comes to holding the guitar.

Generally, the guitar's neck will naturally rest at the base of your fingers, but!

As a refresher, you could take a look at Lisa's lesson on holding the guitar here: https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=21988&s_id=1766

2) Picking is always tough, whether you're practicing scales, a quick riff or anything else. It sounds like you have the most trouble when you're going fast. You may just have to go a bit slower. One of the best ways to learn is to take it really slow and then ramp up the speed gradually.

If you want to get super duper fast at picking, check out Ben's tutorial here: https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=23946&s_id=1959

It's pretty intense.

I hope that helps!

Hi, Admin. And sorry for late reply. :)

Lisa's vidoes always helpes, a great refresher indeed. When I hold the guitar it feels natural, but sometimes when I'm into the zone (for the lack of better words LOL) I forget about how I'm holding the guitar and I find myself clutching the neck, so just wanting to check.

[br]For the picking thing, yes I agree very tough, I reckon I'll have to go back to basics and start slow to have a solid foundation then more on from there. Bens' tutorial it's cool I loved it, but man that's fast. :D

Thank you so much for your help, I really do appreciate it wishing you a happy New Year and a great 2019. :)


# 4
jasim.hd
Registered User
Joined: 02/10/17
Posts: 82
jasim.hd
Registered User
Joined: 02/10/17
Posts: 82
12/30/2018 10:58 am
Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel

Hey, Jasim! Hope you & yours are well.

Originally Posted by: jasim.hd

[br]1) Lately, I’m finding the left palm of my hand is sticking to the neck while playing lead

[/quote]

It's okay if your palm is merely making light contact with the neck. But it sounds like your neck is resting on your palm (exerting downward pressure). And that could lead to problems. If your hand is holding up the neck at all it's bad because it's going to hinder your ability to freely move your hand where it needs to go to fret notes.

Especially when you say this next part.

Originally Posted by: jasim.hd

... it gets awkward when I bend, I have to kind of raise my shoulder or arm upwards to maintain the bend, sorry for not being able to express clearly) but with pictures you get the idea.

[/quote]

Either picture could be fine. But you shouldn't be resting the guitar weight (the neck or any part of it) on your hands. Your hands should be completely free & unencumbered to move freely where they need to go. They don't need to be doing double duty holding up the guitar as well as fretting notes.

Also, I don't like the angle of your wrist in the second picture. I can't see your wrist in the first, so I can't be sure there. But it looks like you are bending your wrist so it's angled out instead of in like it should be. You forearm, wrist and hand should all form a gently curving arc inward. If you bend your wrist back you are putting unecessary pressure & tension on your wrist & hands that will hinder your playing & ability to bend strings.

Look at these videos.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=13958&s_id=1141

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=12188&s_id=605

When you bend, you want to have that gently curving arc. And you want to pivot between your thumb, the place on your hand where your index finger meets you hand & rotate your wrist pushing your bending finger up. You should not have to lift your shoulder. That's an indication that you are trying to compensate for not bending from your wrist.

Look at this video when I talk about bending.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=20406&s_id=1614

[quote=jasim.hd][br]2) Up-down picking technique. A very important technique to master of course, while practicing scales, especially sequence ones, I find myself alter picking fine, but when I speed things up, I can’t seem to maintain an accurate manner of up-down-up-down picking. I sometimes do 2 downs especially if I’m moving to another string. Is it normal or should I have a very accurate manner?

You are describing economy picking. Changing direction from constant up-down alternate picking to do down-down or up-up briefly in order to change strings. That's fine if it works for you. It might be that you need to refine your picking technique.

You need to make sure you have no tension in your hands, use the lightest possible pressure with your pick, slightly tilt the pick & graze over the strings without digging in too far.

Look at these videos on speedy picking.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=287

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=928

[br][quote=jasim.hd][p]As always, I really really do appreciate all your help and efforts. Thank you and God bless everyone here. :)

Great to hear from you! Merry Christmas & holidays to you & yours. Let us know how your guitar playing goes in the new year!

Hello, Chris. All is well thank you so much. Always good to see you here, really.

I got a bit concerned when you said you don’t like the angle of my wrist, so to show you exactly what I’m doing and to get a better idea of what I mean, I’ve taken a small video where I’m playing in it from angle that shows (I think) a better view of my wrist and palm. I also tried to bend as much as I can in the video, but the problem is that when I’m playing I kind of forget or tend not to notice if my shoulder is involved or so. Well, you can judge for yourself if I’m doing anything wrong, let know what you think, please.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHtD6z7yaQ0

For picking technique, I think I’m putting too much pressure on the pick you’re right, I should loosen up a bit. Thanks for the videos. Also, now that I’m done the core system, I’m planning to go full throttle on all your videos and lessons. :D

Again, thank you so much and happy New Year, wishing 2019 would be a good year for everyone. :)


# 5
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,393
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,393
12/31/2018 5:11 pm

Hey, Jasim!

Originally Posted by: jasim.hd

I got a bit concerned when you said you don’t like the angle of my wrist, so to show you exactly what I’m doing and to get a better idea of what I mean, I’ve taken a small video where I’m playing in it from angle that shows (I think) a better view of my wrist and palm.

[/quote]

Thanks for the video! I can't see your shoulder but I can see your hand & wrist, thanks! A lot of your technique looks fine. Looks like a lot of good bending from the wrist. Looks like you are using your index & middle fingers to help push the bend, which is good. But there are 2 potential problems I see with your fretting hand.

1. Thumb extension. There a few times when you have your thumb a little too far over the top of the neck. For maximinum leverage to bend it helps to have the pad of your thumb planted on the side edge of the neck. That gives your hand a powerful anchor to rely on, enough room for your fingers to completely curve around to the strings.

2. Finger strength. It looks like a couple of places you are struggling to get those strings bent up to pitch. :) That's mostly a matter of leverage & repetitious practice!

Sometimes once you get enough finger strength & dexterity built up you can get away with hanging your thumb over the neck. But it doesn't help bending. It only hinders it. I think it happens mostly because of adrenaline & the excitement of passionate playing. :)

Originally Posted by: jasim.hd[br]For picking technique, I think I’m putting too much pressure on the pick you’re right, I should loosen up a bit. Thanks for the videos. Also, now that I’m done the core system, I’m planning to go full throttle on all your videos and lessons.

Good deal! Glad you are able to notice that. Also, on a lot of blues type licks like this, it's fine to have such wide pick strokes across the strings in order to really dig in. but keep in mind the faster you want to go, the less you can move. You have to train yourself to keep your pick strokes very tight & minimal.

For example, near the end when you do a sequenced run (about 2:15) you get a little tangled in the strings with your pick. This is where2 things can help.

1. Move the pick closer to the brigde.

2. Keep your pickstrokes very small. Just enough to get over the string, then back across to the next stroke.

[quote=jasim.hd]Again, thank you so much and happy New Year, wishing 2019 would be a good year for everyone. :)

Happy New Year! Here's to a 2019 filled with guitar learning & playing! :)


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 6

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