Breaking the speed barrier alternate picking

Guitar Tricks Forum > Technique and Style > Breaking the speed barrier alternate picking

salmonsuede

Registered User

Joined: 01/17/12

Posts: 3

After decades of strumming sloppy mid tempo rock, I'm determined to master some shred licks. I've noticed that I have a nasty habit of holding the pick parallel to the strings, which is detrimental to speed playing. Are there any tricks to locking the pick into that 45ish degree angle that allows one to rip rapidly through the licks? Also, in the interest of creating the all-important pick hand wrist fulcrum, is it better to rest the edge of the hand on the bridge, or the fingers on the pickguard, or is opinion evenly divided?

Thanks for your help!

#1

After decades of strumming sloppy mid tempo rock, I'm determined to master some shred licks. I've noticed that I have a nasty habit of holding the pick parallel to the strings, which is detrimental to speed playing. Are there any tricks to locking the pick into that 45ish degree angle that allows one to rip rapidly through the licks? Also, in the interest of creating the all-important pick hand wrist fulcrum, is it better to rest the edge of the hand on the bridge, or the fingers on the pickguard, or is opinion evenly divided?

Thanks for your help!

hunter1801

Registered User

Joined: 01/26/05

Posts: 1313

You'll get all sorts of different opinions....and in the end it's like anything else with guitar. Whatever feels most comfortable and works for you is the best way to do it. Just experiment and find what you get better results with. For the 45 degree thing, it's a matter of either just tilting your wrist forward more, or maybe even tilting your whole guitar UP so the neck points more towards the ceiling.

Rusty Cooley has some tips here. I recommend you watch it all, its just 5 min:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRGKTkVxcyM

Marty Friedman (my personal favorite guitarist) shreds with the weirdest most annoying hand position. It's almost like his hand is upside down and he is pointing the pick up. Watch some of his videos to see what I mean. Hard to explain.


Edit: as far as "anchoring". Just like the above, everyone has different styles. I think Michael Angelo Batio anchors with his pinkie or other fingers on the pick guard. Others just use the bridge/strings to rest the side of their hand on.

#2

You'll get all sorts of different opinions....and in the end it's like anything else with guitar. Whatever feels most comfortable and works for you is the best way to do it. Just experiment and find what you get better results with. For the 45 degree thing, it's a matter of either just tilting your wrist forward more, or maybe even tilting your whole guitar UP so the neck points more towards the ceiling.

Rusty Cooley has some tips here. I recommend you watch it all, its just 5 min:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRGKTkVxcyM

Marty Friedman (my personal favorite guitarist) shreds with the weirdest most annoying hand position. It's almost like his hand is upside down and he is pointing the pick up. Watch some of his videos to see what I mean. Hard to explain.


Edit: as far as "anchoring". Just like the above, everyone has different styles. I think Michael Angelo Batio anchors with his pinkie or other fingers on the pick guard. Others just use the bridge/strings to rest the side of their hand on.

salmonsuede

Registered User

Joined: 01/17/12

Posts: 3

Thanks! Actually, tilting the guitar upwards was instantly helpful... crazy how simple things make a big difference.

#3

Thanks! Actually, tilting the guitar upwards was instantly helpful... crazy how simple things make a big difference.

CSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 4431

Hey & welcome to GT.
Originally Posted by: salmonsuede
After decades of strumming sloppy mid tempo rock, I'm determined to master some shred licks.

I have a whole series of tutorials aimed at getting you started on this goal.

Speedy Ideas Series 1: Building Speed
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=287

Speedy Ideas Series 2: Major Scale Patterns
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=928

Speedy Ideas Series 3: Minor Scale Patterns
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=929

Speedy Ideas Series 4: Advanced Minor Shredding
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=973

Speedy Ideas Series 5: Advanced Major Shredding
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=980

Have a look at those & please ask more questions as necessary. Ben Lindholm also has some speed building tutorials from a slightly different perspective than mine. Be sure to check them out as well!

Best of success. Smilie
Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#4

Hey & welcome to GT.
Originally Posted by: salmonsuede
After decades of strumming sloppy mid tempo rock, I'm determined to master some shred licks.

I have a whole series of tutorials aimed at getting you started on this goal.

Speedy Ideas Series 1: Building Speed
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=287

Speedy Ideas Series 2: Major Scale Patterns
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=928

Speedy Ideas Series 3: Minor Scale Patterns
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=929

Speedy Ideas Series 4: Advanced Minor Shredding
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=973

Speedy Ideas Series 5: Advanced Major Shredding
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=980

Have a look at those & please ask more questions as necessary. Ben Lindholm also has some speed building tutorials from a slightly different perspective than mine. Be sure to check them out as well!

Best of success. Smilie
Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

salmonsuede

Registered User

Joined: 01/17/12

Posts: 3

Thanks! This should keep me busy for quite a while.

#5

Thanks! This should keep me busy for quite a while.

CSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 4431

Originally Posted by: salmonsuede
Thanks! This should keep me busy for quite a while.

You are welcome! Best of success with it.
Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#6

Originally Posted by: salmonsuede
Thanks! This should keep me busy for quite a while.

You are welcome! Best of success with it.
Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

gdengelbrecht

Registered User

Joined: 07/07/09

Posts: 34

Originally Posted by: salmonsuede
After decades of strumming sloppy mid tempo rock, I'm determined to master some shred licks. I've noticed that I have a nasty habit of holding the pick parallel to the strings, which is detrimental to speed playing. Are there any tricks to locking the pick into that 45ish degree angle that allows one to rip rapidly through the licks? Also, in the interest of creating the all-important pick hand wrist fulcrum, is it better to rest the edge of the hand on the bridge, or the fingers on the pickguard, or is opinion evenly divided?

Thanks for your help!

Just start by angling your pick slightly so that it glides over the strings easier and then find a comfortable spot for your picking hand. I get up to speed and master some licks I would definitely say one has to start with small picking patterns or drills and expand from there.

This way one will get good stamina as well as build some good technique over time.
http://www.georgeshredking.com/

http://guitarlessonsinvredenburg.com/

#7

Originally Posted by: salmonsuede
After decades of strumming sloppy mid tempo rock, I'm determined to master some shred licks. I've noticed that I have a nasty habit of holding the pick parallel to the strings, which is detrimental to speed playing. Are there any tricks to locking the pick into that 45ish degree angle that allows one to rip rapidly through the licks? Also, in the interest of creating the all-important pick hand wrist fulcrum, is it better to rest the edge of the hand on the bridge, or the fingers on the pickguard, or is opinion evenly divided?

Thanks for your help!

Just start by angling your pick slightly so that it glides over the strings easier and then find a comfortable spot for your picking hand. I get up to speed and master some licks I would definitely say one has to start with small picking patterns or drills and expand from there.

This way one will get good stamina as well as build some good technique over time.
http://www.georgeshredking.com/

http://guitarlessonsinvredenburg.com/

Guillermostaggs

Great Shadow

Joined: 03/17/12

Posts: 40

thanks chris

love your lessons man thanks for speed building

#8

thanks chris

love your lessons man thanks for speed building