I’m a young French music-lover, playing guitar (acoustic mostly) and mandolin. Although I like to play the occasional blues or funk, the styles I play most are “folk” musics such as bluegrass or irish trad.
After long hours of searching for the way to heaven (finding a way to have a picking hand that works decently), I got here, watched a few vids and read a lot… And thought there was definitely something of interest going on here.
I am looking to make my picking hand faster (I’m a lefty but I learnt the “normal way” and hold the pick in the right hand): after years of quite dedicated practice, my limit (just the same note over and over, nothing going on on the fretting hand) playing 4 notes per beat, is at:
- around 108bpm if I make sure I’m relaxed (the movement comes primarily from the wrist)
- 144-155bpm depending on the day if I allow myself to tense up a lot (the movement comes from the elbow, the wrist being completely locked). This way does not sound good and I have no control at all, so it’s not really usable in a musical context.
When I see here that people feel bad about playing 16th notes a 180-200bpm (nearly four times faster than me!), I feel like they are in another world, so I’d like to join in, and thought subscribing would be the way to do it.
I’m just not quite sure what to expect and if what is covered here is relevant to my goals:
My main problem is not accuracy or changing strings (in comparison to the rest of my picking technique, my bluegrass crosspicking is actually a strong point), but just in being able to pick faster, as I cannot keep up in bluegrass/irish jam sessions and I just can’t do a proper tremolo, which is a pity on the mandolin.
I feel like I need an extra gear (or two) much more than I need to learn to steer my car (at least for now).
The style that appeals the most to me is bluegrass, and from the few free videos I’ve seen led me to believe there’s a lot a stuff that seems really interesting when it comes to rock and other amplified musics, but not so relevent to acoustic bluegrass guitar, and maybe even less to mandolin because of the double courses of strings… Am I wrong?
Well, clearly put, I am asking for advice, or an opinion:
Do you think I should subscribe because it’ll probably help my incredibly slow picking hand (and maybe change my life forever…ok I’m going too far), or did I fall in the wrong place, a great teaching platform indeed, but which would just not be suited to my problematics?
As I do not know where I am headed, I believe anybody here will be more knowledgeable than me regarding the content of CtC, and I will trust your advice more than my preconceived ideas.
If you happen to think joining the community is gonna be helpful to my music, then I’ll make the step and will be more than happy to give my impressions and thoughts about the kind of results I get in playing folk musics on gutiar and mandolin.
edit: to put thing in context, here are videos of my technique:
Wishing a great day to anybody reading this !