On Wed, 20 March 1996, Mikko LivolaHear some audio samples of fast picking on STRAD TO STRAT (Click on Bumblebee).
wrote: > How can you play so clean and so fast ???? By muting strings immediately when they are to be silent, playing in the "sweet spot" of the string, and holding the pick in a way that improves the repeatablility of the stroke. > How you pick so fast and how you hold your pick in hand ?? The short answer is that I use economy of motion. Specifically, when picking every note of a fast section as in the Flight of the Bumble-Bee, for example, where on average, at least 2 consecutive notes may be played on the same string, I use alternate picking. For many of the 32nd/64th note arpeggios found in Paganini Concertos, for example, I haven't found a way around using sweeps (plucking one note per string over multiple strings all with the same up or down motion). As opposed to holding the pick with the ends of my thumb and index finger as is very common, I hold the pick between the flattest part of the thumb just opposite the the area beneath the thumbnail (but closer to the joint than the tip) and side of last joint of my index finger. When playing lots of fast harmonics, I finger the node of the harmonic with the index finger of my picking hand and hold the pick between the same part of the thumb and the side of the last joint of the middle finger. This forces the holding finger to be bent somewhat towards the wrist. > Do you pick with thumb or with wrist ? This method forces the picking pivot point to be in the wrist rather that the thumb, because the finger can't bend sideways. > Which is better style? What ever works for you and the style you are interested in of coarse, but I have found the following advantages with the method described above: This method of holding the pick allows for a very firm grip with little effort as more pressure may be applied over a greater surface area, generally. This, combined with a heavey pick gives very fast response to slight movements of the wrist. Playing fast harmonics with alternate picking is less awkward. It's easier for me to use the heal of my thumb and remaining fingers of the right hand to mute strings that need to be quite will picking others. The picking angle can be changed with ease, which comes in handy when modulating tone, volume and playing right hand harmonics with alternate picking. Also, I have found that it is easier to play harmonics with the side of the thumb this way (though this only works on a down stroke). My whole right hand usually stays very close to the strings. So close that I can feel enough of the strings and bridge and body and edges of pick-ups with the heal of my hand and side of my thumb that I have a lot of feedback about where my hand is at all times. This makes it easier to make big jumps from the 6th to first string as in Paganini's Caprice No. 13 and 22 and even in Bach's Sonata's and Partitas for Violin, etc. THEN... On Mon, 29 Apr 1996, kyle jones wrote: > i've found two similar placements on the thumb (in both of the > following cases the pick is positioned such that, if a dividing > line were drawn from the point of the picking end back through the > body of the pick dividing the pick in two equal halves, this line > is exactly perpindicular to the thumb, when the thumb is held > straight out.) > one position is such that the pick rests almost entirely on the > "meaty" part of the thumb, > the other such that the pick rests on the 2nd joint of the thumb. > (in my brief experimentation with this, the latter allows for a > REALLY fast, relatively relaxed staccato repeating pick - i'm blank > on the term for this.) > also, two positions for the index (with a wide range of varibles > between): > while the joint of the index finger is seated on the pick there are > a variety of angles (relative to that perpindicular line on the > pick mentioned above) along which the tip of the index finger might > sit: > if another line were drawn on the side of the index finger from the > joint to tip, this line could run perpidicular to the line on the > pick (pointing the tip of the index finger right back toward the > wrist) or any lesser angle almost up to being parallel to the "pick > line," at which point the tip of the index finger would begin to > interfere with the pick's point of contact. On the thumb, I just use the joint as you describe. For the index finger, I actually vary the angle depending on a few things. I tuck it back "out of the way" so it points towards my wrist when I'm producing harmonics with my thumb, sometimes. Sometimes it's more in line with the pick, especially with a certain warp of the pick (which I've become very sensitive to: sometimes a new pick warps while I am playing and forces me to change my grip in the middle of a tune). Generally, I find that the angle averages somewhere in between, though. Somewhere around 45 degrees between your lines of reference.
How do you skip strings using fast alternate picking?.
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