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PIcking cleanly at "medium" speed.


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A few years ago I started practicing on a regular basis. What I noticed was that I can do some pretty fast runs in a clean manner. I’m no shredder but I can play along with Lifeson at the intro section of La Villa Strangiato and the like.


What I realized that is that my "medium" speed was not there. It was never really there in my youth either. So I spent the last few years really working it. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. Listen to the run at exactly 3:11 of 2112. The notes are in triplets: D-D#-E, G-G#-A, C-C#-D, E-F#-G, followed by a bend to the A.




So I went back to basics and worked up from there. Now I feel very comfortable doing this. I actually pick in a little circular fashion which I think is common to a lot of players. I remember reading about Satriani’s test of good picking techniques. He’d ask people to play the first five notes of a major scale faster and faster to see if they can get past that critical "medium" speed stage where you’re picking heavily slowing and barely picking at all on very fast runs. I finally understand what he’s saying.


I still have many other things to work on, but I’m happy that this one is solved.

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Funny you should mention this now. That is exactly what I am working on with my guitar teacher now... Before I was picking each not using a back and forth motion using my wrist and going from one string to the next. This really limits your speed. Now I am relearning my technique to using a sweeping motion just over the tops of the strings... I find I'm not chocking on my notes as much.... I am not talking about sweep picking shred style either... I'm just using more arm than wrist now... Try this, see how fast you can move your wrist from left to right. Now do the same but stiffen up your wrist and use your whole arm. You can go from slow to moderate to extremely fast and it's much more accurate...

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