Improve Your Picking Hand Accuracy...



Do you ever feel like feel your picking ability fails you? Especially when you need very accurate playing... Does it ever seem like your picking totally falls apart when you're trying to perform complex scale passages? 

If you answered Yes to either of these questions, you might need some help with your picking accuracy...

In this post we'll focus in on developing better picking technique. Skilled guitarists already know that the key to the development of excellent picking technique is the right hand.

When playing more detailed scale and arpeggio passages for simplification (and for ease of use) guitarists will tend to play legato (i.e. the picking-hand does not play every single one of the notes, rather some of the notes are played using pull-offs, or hammer-ons).



The sound that we achieve is however not the same when using legato, so it would be better to learn how to increase the development of the picking hand to accurately play more complex lines using only picking technique upon each note.

BUILDING PICK PLAYING ACCURACY:
Guitar players who wish to improve their skills in this area will need to develop several accuracy techniques related to the right hand. These include...

- Excellent alternate pick strokes of the upwards and downward motion.

- A faster more accurate right hand making the alternating strokes.

- Better timing between the pick and the fret-hand's finger.

- Higher sense of meter and time, as well as, better feel for the beat.

The more accurate and perfect these areas become, the quicker and more accurate the playing will be.



HOW TO STUDY THIS:
The fastest and easiest way to develop this skill is through tremolo (fast double or triple picking of one note). Triplets can be one the most effective ways of learning to play a tremolo, so we'll focus on this idea to build your skill.

Begin each of your practice sessions with a tremolo drill. It develops (and well warms up) the right hand, as well as builds accuracy. The tremolo notes must sound dynamically equal (all sounding notes of equal volume). Tempo is also important, so use a metronome and strive for equal meter, beat and tempo when you practice.

Tremolo Exercise #1). Play through the study below until it is memorized. Then, turn on a metronome to establish a feel for the triplets and alternate picking technique within time. Build the tempo of this drill up to a speed between 132 - 152 bpm.




Tremolo Exercise #2). Play through the study below until it is memorized. Then, turn on a metronome to establish a feel for the triplets and alternate picking technique within time. Build the tempo of this drill up to a speed between 132 - 152 bpm.



Each note of the picked tremolo should be clear. Play the drill 30 times in 10x increments (with short breaks in between). Pay attention to the feeling in your right hand. If you experience pain or discomfort, it is telling you that your muscles are working too hard and require rest.

Pay attention to the location and feel of your pick-hand. Allow this hand to find the most convenient position while playing. Never force it to do the work. Allow it to function in a relaxed manner. Tension is your greatest enemy, (and the greatest cause of poor performance).

When you are good at playing these drills with tremolo, try to play them as straight time 16th-notes using all of the original notes.



HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE?
For some players, it is necessary to put in approx. 20 days of doing these drills. And, for someone else it may take 30 days. For others it may take 45 days. There is no set quantity of time that a person will be doing drills like this for. So, the best way to look at this is to say, "It will take whatever it takes."

Play your own passages by this principle, solos, improvisations, rock, jazz and blues phrases… If you have great patience, you will see huge advantages through the drilling of this technique.

If you do not see any results, most likely you were not engaged with this drill for a long enough period of time. Though it is possible to play legato or tapping, and substitute that approach for straight picking technique, keep in mind that it sounds less dynamic.Therefore, make the effort and put the time in to develop the picking skill. It is well worth the effort.

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