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finding the strings

Technique
Phip  
23 Jun 2008 18:02 | Quote
Joined: 23 Dec 2007
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Well i finally have a legit question (I think).
I'm having some real problems hitting the correct string at times and it's becomming a real problem and a genuine frustration. for instance i've got a couple of songs i'm working on that require alternating between the first and third string and i keep screwing up (so i'm accidentally reinforcing the wrong action which will get worse if i don't fix it!) the song starts on the third string and i'm hitting every freaking string except the third! Now, get this, my eyesight is such that i can't look down and focus on the strings, so looking isn't going to help me. I have tried "anchoring my pinky on the pick guard (i play acoustic) but obviously that isn't helping either. I figured the best advise would be "practice, practice, practice" but like i said i'm reinforcing a bad habit! when i finish with the little intro on the third and first strings i'm supposed to pluck the fourth string. you think i could hit the fourth freaking string on the first try? no way, i'm hitting strings that aren't even on the guitar, but not the damn fourth! I thought some of you might share some "tricks" on control regarding this problem.
Also, i might add that when i put down the pick and use my fingers i hardly ever make a mistake and although i could problably play "fingers only" for the rest of my life it would limit my choice of songs and i would like to become proficient with the pic.
thanks,
Phip
telecrater  
23 Jun 2008 18:15 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
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Hey Phip, Take is slow, way slow.

so zone in on what your trying to do and where in the song your screwing up. by taking it very very slow and concentrating on what you are doing (as in no watching TV :=D)and make sure your doing it right even if it's slow. you will be creating muscle memory and this will alow you to speed up eventually. but take it slow.

it really sounds like it just an issue with your picking hand, if so then forget about your freating hand and just pick e and d (or what ever strings) until it becomes natural. It make take a while.

I have been in the same boat several times, just find out which hand is the problem and zero in on it and concentrate. you'll get it.

EMB5490  
23 Jun 2008 18:16 | Quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
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u sound like me a month ago. i was fustrated as hell, couldnt get the right motion, and was askin all about this, it even affects ur sound, not useing a pick. what helped me was tht when i 'finger pick' for me its only my pointer lol, i rest my thumb on the last string. for songs like sweet child o' mine the intro which requires a ton of picking up and down, i rest the bottom of my thumb on the e string, most of the time u dont see induvidual notes of the e or a string, mostly, so im cool ther, and when i do, like going down i scale, i then move the bottom of my thumb to the bottom pickup, and rest it ther, i find this works and helps a lot.

also ur joined date is wrong, u joined after me i know it for a fact.

woh tele and i posted at like the same time, also with what tele said, i practice constantly, i want to play better, im getting the impresion tele doesnt relly like to play, if u have to force urself to practice, itll come a lot lot slower.

hope this helps

-wareagle
Ibanez  
23 Jun 2008 18:55 | Quote
Joined: 21 Jun 2008
Canada
Karma
just write down your own little exercises that practice alternating between strings
EMB5490  
23 Jun 2008 19:15 | Quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
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ahhh booorrring! lol, the best way to practice and practice constantly is trying to learn a song with the thing u wana practice. try sweet child of mine, and try song nice easy stuff, but focus mainly on every note is up pick, then down pick, up pick then down pick, eventually itll come, just keep praticing...
GRX40  
23 Jun 2008 19:26 | Quote
Joined: 20 Mar 2008
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Yar, practice is the best way, but just make sure to practice slowly.


Or if that fails completely, you could always using the picks that you put on your fingers. This way, you get the accuracy that you have with finger picking, but with a sound more similar to picking.
EMB5490  
23 Jun 2008 19:34 | Quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
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ahh thts cheating, dont take the easy way out! work for it, thts how u get good! but in all respects, a pick for ur fingeris just as good.
Phip  
23 Jun 2008 19:51 | Quote
Joined: 23 Dec 2007
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Well, does anyone here use a thumb pic regularly and for what purpose or style of playing?
EMB5490  
23 Jun 2008 19:54 | Quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
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nope not me, im taking a guess, but its to make finger picking sound better? also for ppl who cant pick, im prob wrong, just a guess.
BodomBeachTerror  
23 Jun 2008 20:00 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
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i think thumb picks are to make finger picking sound less dull..
telecrater  
23 Jun 2008 20:00 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
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I had a thumb pick back with i learned the banjo. My brother plays with one from time to time but i think it really used for finger picking with volume.

Phip  
23 Jun 2008 20:12 | Quote
Joined: 23 Dec 2007
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BodomBeachTerror says:
i think thumb picks are to make finger picking sound less dull..

do you mean dull as in tone or volume or dull as in " i fall asleep when i hear finger picking"?
BodomBeachTerror  
23 Jun 2008 20:20 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
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like if you pluck the string with your thumb it sounds different than when you use a pick.. perhaps dull wasnt the right word
Phip  
23 Jun 2008 20:26 | Quote
Joined: 23 Dec 2007
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no, dull is good enough, i get your meaning. i think i'll pick one up soon and give it a try with the finger picking songs that i know, not as a replacement for a regular pick but to see how it changes my sound. hell, they can't cost more than a couple of bucks so why not?
EMB5490  
23 Jun 2008 20:32 | Quote
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its really for tone. acctually, when i started all i did was pick with my 1 finger, just stopped a month or so ago, within then, i have figured out how to pick, alt pick, pinch harmonics, and trembolo picking, it all just came to me, i suggest just fighting through the miss picks and pratice using it with any song, just pick one up then down. keep doing tht, i think itll eventually come.
Ibanez  
23 Jun 2008 20:35 | Quote
Joined: 21 Jun 2008
Canada
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nah don't get used to using a thumb pick it looks retarded unles you're playing chassical stuff.
Phip  
23 Jun 2008 20:39 | Quote
Joined: 23 Dec 2007
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@Ibanez
Ibanez says:
it looks retarded unles you're playing chassical stuff

Hmmmmmmm, i'll take that under advisement........




BodomBeachTerror  
23 Jun 2008 20:43 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
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lol who cares if it looks retarded =p
Veqq  
23 Jun 2008 20:54 | Quote
Joined: 18 May 2008
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Exactly, do it!


How are you practicing though? I would imagine that if you have the fingering down, you could play it very slowly looking at your picking hand and direct it from there.
JPBeausoleil  
23 Jun 2008 21:08 | Quote
Joined: 29 Apr 2008
United States
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I use a thumbpick all the time, its the only type I use when playing acoustic. It is helpful to me in my stlye of playing. I can switch back and forth from fingerpicking to flatpicking in an instant. You can also play bass lines along with your lead to give yourself a really full sound. Also I like the tone that the a big thick thumbpick gives. The pick wont bend so you maximum control of tone and dynamics. Take a listen to my songs they are all played with a thumbpick..... http://www.myspace.com/jpbeausoleil
GuitarBoy666  
23 Jun 2008 21:26 | Quote
Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Canada
Karma: 2
I don't know how I do it but I can find the strings most of the time without looking.

Usually only when I am picking an arpeggio or a chord etc.
Not so much while soloing ;p

Yah just gotta get the feel for the strings and where they are.
GRX40  
23 Jun 2008 21:55 | Quote
Joined: 20 Mar 2008
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Phip says:
Well, does anyone here use a thumb pic regularly and for what purpose or style of playing?


Banjo players for one. :D

Also I think the acoustic guitarist Tommy Emmanuel uses one, but I'm not sure.
telecrater  
23 Jun 2008 23:12 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
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what song are you trying to learn? Could you tab out the part your having trouble with?
telecrater  
24 Jun 2008 07:17 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
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EMB5490 says:
im getting the impresion tele doesnt relly like to play, if u have to force urself to practice, itll come a lot lot slower.


Let me explain, I love to play the guitar when I'm inspired to do so. At the same time i want to get better so i need to practice. the two are not the same
EMB5490  
24 Jun 2008 09:45 | Quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2008
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o, see i just love everything about it, from the most simplest notes to the best solos.
deefa  
25 Jun 2008 07:08 | Quote
Joined: 22 Dec 2007
United Kingdom
Karma: 8
I use an alternate string picking exercise that helps alleviate this problem. I hit the first string with a down stroke, miss the next string, hit the third with an up-stroke, then down on the second, up on the fourth etc. Imagine that your pick is describing a figure of eight. Start very slowly and gradually work up. A metronome really helps with this exercise. I find it works well with the good old 1 finger per fret left hand exercise (still missing every other string of cause!).Hope that helps Phip.
keniemn  
25 Jun 2008 07:31 | Quote
Joined: 09 Apr 2008
United States
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deefa
that sounds like a cool exercize think ime goona try that shit myself in a couple of weeks when i hone my chord chandes a little more


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