Topic: Pick Control - suggestions?

This could go in either Acoustic or Electric.  But since I don't play electric, here it is.

I find that when I use a pick, I struggle with being able to hit the string(s) that I want to hit when I want to hit them.  I watch and listen to accomplished guitar players and I see that their pick precision is both amazing and disheartening.

I know it comes down to practice.  My question is:  Do you have any drills or exercises you would recommend?

Gracias.

"Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid." - Despair, Inc.

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

Scales help. They help to develop muscle memory so you know the distance between the strings. For note picking I find that an anchor helps me. I will plant my pinky on the pick guard to steady my hand.


You trying something new 'Nom?

Keep Rockin!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

I hear there is this guy named Fraud Johnson (or something like that) that can make you a rock star in 30 days. Caveat emptor!

Scale picking is key I believe. I am poor at this myself due to a lack of patience and practise, but there was a time I worked on this and it helped. Like Z, I felt anchoring my pinky helped position my hand to better "align" with the strings.

good ole Justin lesson might help

http://www.justinguitar.com/en/TE-003-ScalePicking.php

Rule No. 1 - If it sounds good - it is good!

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

zguitar wrote:

You trying something new 'Nom?

Always, brother.  Always.  I am the very embodiment of the "jack of all trades, but a master of none."

"Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid." - Despair, Inc.

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

Try holding the pick at different lengths from your fingers  and different amounts of mussel grip and then what different angles to the strings.  I guess I never have thought of it since I started with a pick and not finger picking. Wish I could finger pick now.

Zen guitar is nothing more than playing the song we’re all born with inside - The one that makes us human.

–Phil Toshio Sudo
Author of Zen Guitar

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

I have found over the years that the picking hand controls volume,rhythm,expression, three key elements in making your guitar transfer the emotions your feeling into melodies and your fretting hand controls the precision and execution of a given set of notes or chord progression both work in unison to make simple chords or melodies into an art form and as mentioned scales play an important role in developing these skills to allow you to effortlessly glide from one chord or note to the next when I play a solo I don't consciously think of what notes I am going to play or any riff it happens kind of like magic the chords progression lets me create the notes in my head and my fingers execute what I feel I don't know about other musicians it would be interesting to get other opinions on this smile

"Growing old is not for sissies"

7 (edited by Tenement Funster 2013-05-24 10:13:25)

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

Two small things I find that help is anchoring the pinky as already suggested, and keeping the point of the pick barely extending beyond my fingertips (about 1/4"). A lot of the Jethro Tull music I like to play requires flat-picking within the chords, and I noticed that Ian Anderson does both of these things. Doesn't hurt to imitate someone who's competent, I guess.

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

I am fairly poor at this too. Because I play songs on guitar more than playing the guitar itself, I just do whatever riff or passage or technique I'm trying to learn super duper slowly until I get it right then increase speed as my burgeoning skill permits.

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

Russell_Harding wrote:

I have found over the years that the picking hand controls volume,rhythm,expression, three key elements in making your guitar transfer the emotions your feeling into melodies and your fretting hand controls the precision and execution of a given set of notes or chord progression both work in unison to make simple chords or melodies into an art form and as mentioned scales play an important role in developing these skills to allow you to effortlessly glide from one chord or note to the next when I play a solo I don't consciously think of what notes I am going to play or any riff it happens kind of like magic the chords progression lets me create the notes in my head and my fingers execute what I feel I don't know about other musicians it would be interesting to get other opinions on this smile

Man, that is the longest sentence I've ever seen Russell.
As for me, practice does help a lot.  I just keep playing the same pattern over and over and it finally allows me to do it without thinking down the road.

You can see all my video covers on [url]http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000[/url]
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

I pinky anchor. When you play your scales don't just play 123456787654321.

also try these
13243546578 and backward
1425364758697(11) and backward
15263748 and backward
123234345456567678 and backward
12342345345645675678 and backward
1234523456345674567856789 and backward

etc

also practice arpeggios.

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

I do not use picks,if you can get a video and watch Mark Knoffler of Dire Straits. Most of the time he will not use a pick.

my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

It all depends on what you want to play and how you want to play  it.  how you do it becomes YOUR technique.

Clapton has his tech, as does Zakk Wild as does Santana on to Roy Clark. Find what works for you and keep on truckn' lol

Zen guitar is nothing more than playing the song we’re all born with inside - The one that makes us human.

–Phil Toshio Sudo
Author of Zen Guitar

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

I thought this was an interesting note from Tom Hess (his lessons are directed toward electric but techniques can cross the lines)

Play the sequence EXTREMELY slowly first (such as quarter notes at 80-100 bpm) and focus on picking each note as hard as possible.  The most important part of this guitar speed training method is in 'picking each note as hard as possible'.  You want to train your picking hand to produce the maximum volume from each note without worrying too much about speed.  The key is to train your hand to pick even harder than it will ever have to do during normal guitar playing.  This will make regular articulation very easy by comparison.

Worth a try...
Jim

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

a big thank you to all ma teachers rite here,i find each and every article ive read very useful for me with using the pick...i wil keep on practicing

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

Just gotta say thanks to BGD for the advice on playing scales in different ways. It sorta hit me when I read this a couple months ago, so I started practicing them. Great suggestion that has really helped me a lot ... good stuff!

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

Glad I could help!

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) has some lessons on YouTube.  There's also an interview and a way to get personal lessons from him.  I imagine that it's pretty pricey though.  He's an interesting guy.  I don't ever see myself being good enough to take lessons from him though.  My playing is so bad that I'm not even good enough to be be bad.  My singing is even worse. (grin)  This forum is a great resource.  I learn a lot from it.

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

kabluie wrote:

Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) has some lessons on YouTube.  There's also an interview and a way to get personal lessons from him.  I imagine that it's pretty pricey though.  He's an interesting guy.  I don't ever see myself being good enough to take lessons from him though.  My playing is so bad that I'm not even good enough to be be
bad.  My singing is even worse. (grin)  This forum is a great resource.  I learn a lot from it.

Welcome this is a great site

Let no talents go unused

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

Mark Knopfler has a lot of appeal, not only from his amazing ability, but he's also a very humble man ... I personally find that commendable. Here's a great 1-hour clip of him sitting in dialogue with his audience in between an "unplugged" sort of performance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGlGBIzN2ls

He's definitely one of the greats.

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

Tenement Funster wrote:

Mark Knopfler has a lot of appeal, not only from his amazing ability, but he's also a very humble man ... I personally find that commendable. Here's a great 1-hour clip of him sitting in dialogue with his audience in between an "unplugged" sort of performance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGlGBIzN2ls

He's definitely one of the greats.

+1

We pronounce it "Guf Coast".
Ya'll wanna go down to the Guf?

Re: Pick Control - suggestions?

As I recall... all those many years ago when I learned I learned with a pick in my hand and the technique I used is based on a flat picking style. I used it at the time because I found it easier than finger picking and I was playing a lot of Gordon Lightfoot so to emulate the artist I focused on a pick style that honors the root of each chord. You find over time that this leads to a practiced picking technique that really makes the pick position relative to the strings almost instinctive.
As others have said, I too use my pinky on the pick guard as an anchor... coincidentally, it was that planted pinky that eventually allowed me to learn finger picking as well since this is (for me at least) an essential means of keeping your hand in the right place to do what you want.
At the end of the day though, we all know its about practice. Seems we just can't escape that!