Speed Picking - Requested

by DSheffar (Apr 27, 2008)

Hold the pick with only about 2mm or 3mm showing, or whatever feels comfortable. Tilt the pick about 45 degrees, so diagonally to the string like in the diagram below (not the greatest I know).

String= ----
Pick= \


Many players use arm motion, so a slight rocking of the elbow, to gain speed, but this can be bad for your arm in the long run and create a lot of tension, but again whatever feels comfortable. I recommend using the wrist and "vibrating" it... i.e. so not plainly strumming but flowing with the wrist.

Alot of the motion can do with hand position. The way you hold the pick. Some people close their entire hand, some people, like Willy Adler from Lamb of God use weird ways to hold the pick, he holds out his middle and ring fingers, creating tension in the tendons mid-way up his fore arm to generate lots of speed.

Some good ways to get better at speed picking are: Get a gyro ball, its like this plastic ball that has a separate inside and you twirl the thing to get it going really fast, its for tendinitis and what not, but within a week of using it I noticed an easy 30bpm improvement and since I bought it, with practicing and this ball I can play sixteenth notes on 180bpm, maybe not amazing but I haven't been playing for THAT long. Another way is to practice chromatic scales, in this order:


And continue that pattern. Its vital to link your left hand to your right hand, synchronize them perfectly - use of metronome is vital.