My teacher is an extremely proficient forearm-rotator so I’ve decided to choose that as my principle mechanic, as of about 8 months ago. It wasn’t just the teacher, when miming trem picking in the air, that motion just felt the most natural, relaxed, and mechanically sound to me. I thought I was doing pretty well with it, until I tried to tackle a riff that Mark Holcomb posted on his IG- a palm muted, off and on machine gun type bursts of 16th notes at around 230 bpm. I maxed out at around 210 or so, and I noticed even at around 200 I would feel fatigue after a full measure of straight sixteenths.
Now when I “air” pick, I can easily sustain that for awhile. Even at 230, while I can’t sustain it nearly as long, I should be able to handle the full measure of 16ths that pops up a couple times. But once I bring this to the strings, I tighten up, or tense up, or something. This makes me feel like I’ve been rotating the wrong way this whole time, and that I’m using different muscles when I mime picking, than when I actually pick.
Since this discovery I’ve been trying non stop to bring the relaxed, fluid, and much faster miming motion to the guitar, but I’m just having no luck. It seems like any sort of resistance just shuts the motion down. I’ve tried the following:
Adjusting pick grip from as loose to as tight as possible
Anchoring and de-anchoring the forearm on the guitar
Playing with the guitar flat on my lap
planting fingers- no luck at all here, I can’t even mime the motion at all with my fingers planted
The closest i’ve come, is by turning the pick around to the round side, I am able to sometimes replicate the motion with the pick sliding across the strings. But not every time, and having the pick backwards is obviously not ideal.
Any advice is hugely appreciated, whether you’ve dealt with this yourself or have an outside perspective. Thanks!