Flat picking speed


gregmchir
Registered User
Joined: 11/17/19
Posts: 52
gregmchir
Registered User
Joined: 11/17/19
Posts: 52
09/18/2020 2:28 pm

Are there any tutorials for increasing flatpicking speed I eventually want to be fast enough to play Hot Rod Lincoln

Thank You


# 1
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,308
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,308
09/18/2020 3:59 pm
Originally Posted by: gregmchir

Are there any tutorials for increasing flatpicking speed I eventually want to be fast enough to play Hot Rod Lincoln

The most important & time consuming part of playing that is going to be repetitious practice until you can get it up to speed.

Start by learning the line exactly, then playing it slow enough that you can play it consistently & evenly in time. Work toward using very small, economical picking motions. Just enough to graze over the string to down pick the note & then back for the next up stroke.

You want to aim for a very loose & relaxed motion with no tension in your arm, hands or fingers. Not easy to do at first!

Depending on your current skill level, here are some exercises that might help you ramp up to speed.

Ben does some basic alternate picking exercises on all the strings that can help beginners.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=19333&s_id=1489

Then in the next level he adds another note in the mix, which is definitely aimed more at the riff you are trying to learn.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=19338&s_id=1491

I have some basic scale exercises aimed at the same type of thing but adding scale degrees.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=13236&s_id=743

But all of that eventually has to be aimed at learning the exact notes of the riff in the song. Check out the lesson on the intro of the song. Tom does a great job of breaking it down & playing it slowly.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=17054&s_id=1276

Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 2
Carl King
GuitarTricks Video Director
Joined: 10/08/07
Posts: 466
Carl King
GuitarTricks Video Director
Joined: 10/08/07
Posts: 466
09/18/2020 5:19 pm

Seconding what Schlegel says here. "Just enough to graze over the string to down pick the note & then back for the next up stroke."

When picking fast for this sort of thing you probably won't be digging way into the string -- it's just the very tip of the pick. It's a tiny arcing motion rather than a straight up-and-down. (Exception here might be Paul Gilbert as he seems to be able to pick really hard AND fast but he's a freak.)

Other area to think about is which muscle groups / joints you are using.

Similar to when walking / running, there's going to be a shift between different major muscles depending on the speed of picking. For instance, when you walk it's a different set of muscles and motions than when you're running. They overlap, and it's the same with picking. At a very slow tempo it can totally be wrist.

When you reach a significant speed there's probably going to be more bicep involved. If you try to use only your wrist it will probably get exhausted pretty quickly. Michael Angelo Batio locks his wrist firmly and goes entirely bicep at high speeds. (Exception here might be Yngwie but he's Yngwie.)

But yeah, the key is just take a metronome, set it at (whatever slow tempo) and play cleanly. Increase it by 1 or 5 bpm every few minutes. When it gets to be too hard, slow it back down, then increase again. After many days / weeks / months you'll see the progress! This is how I have increased my dexterity time and again.

-Carl.


Carl King[br]GuitarTricks Video Director / Producer

# 3
gregmchir
Registered User
Joined: 11/17/19
Posts: 52
gregmchir
Registered User
Joined: 11/17/19
Posts: 52
09/20/2020 11:55 pm

Thank You for the tips Carl and Christopher I also switched to a smaller pick and that seemed to help a little


# 4

Please register with a free account to post on the forum.