Just saying hi - since the instructions told me to do so. I’ve been playing guitar off and on for some time now - but picking it up after about a 10 year hiatus. I would noodle on my acoustic regularly but my electrics and amps have sat collecting dust for over 10 years. I’ve been back at it hard for about 2 months now - and have reclaimed my previous mediocrity fairly quickly. I’ve been breaking my own picking technique down and hoping that the year’s subscription I just signed up for here gets me over that hump. Looking forward to learning a lot here but my primary goal for signing up is probably the same as most - I want to find that fluidity and speed that I feel I’m about 20-40bpm shy of ( in terms of sixtuplets). Hopefully it’s not too late for me to develop that ability
Thanks for signing up! Definitely not too late. First steps, I’d recommend getting an understanding of which picking motions are available versus which ones you’re using. You may not be using the one you’re best at, and even if you are, greater clarity can be had by understanding how it works and zeroing in on the feeling of doing it smoothly. If you’re a wrist player currently, I recommend the two crosspicking broadcasts we did recently, since they also double as our best introductions to wrist motion.
Thanks. It definitely helps to have a starting point - there’s a lot of material to go through. I think i was naturally developing a bit of both - DWPS and UWPS - I feel like I’m more natural with UPWS - but I swear it changes daily. What i’m trying to figure out is how to find that effortlessness I see, and hear about. I haven’t found that and I find myself bumping into strings at certain times - that breaks things up. Hard to explain just typing. Looking forward to improving here. Thanks much
That may very well be. For example, if you are using wrist motions, then you may actually be switching between different wrist motions depending on the phrase. Coming to know exactly which arm position and type of wrist motion you are using will make it a lot easier to understand what is going on and how to control it. And to be clear, by motion I don’t mean “uwps” or “dwps”, but the actual hand or arm motion that is creating those picking types for you. Again, those Crosspicking broadcasts will break down a lot of that, so I’d check those out.
I will head there as soon as I finish the intro video …i’m only 45 min in Is there a place on this forum to upload picking videos for analysis? Might help me optimize my search through the material. But - yes - cross picking vids first. I’m in a hurry because I feel like I’m in the process of completely deconstructing my picking technique and in certain instances - it feels like starting over to a degree. It’s interesting to analyze my own technique that was just developed largely in isolation. I wish this stuff had been around when I was much younger.
Yes we have a category for sharing videos for feedback: #technique-critique
You can’t upload video files here directly but if you paste in a YouTube link it will display nicely embedded on the forum. From that category page, click “New topic” and you’ll see some further tips / instructions for recording and sharing video
Indeed, as Brendan says we have the Technique Critique forum. But I would hold off on that until you’ve had a chance to absorb the “Intro to Picking Motion” broadcast and at least the first “Crosspicking with the Wrist” talk. Reason being, those talks cover a lot of basic stuff that you’re going to want to know anyway, so anything you post can be the next level question more along the lines of “this is what I think I’m doing based on what I’ve watched, is that the case”.
I don’t want to get myself in trouble with the forum here but I feel like I have stalled out at the starting line even though I"ve been a member for a couple of weeks now - before even getting started. I still haven’t made it all the way through these 1st 3 seminars - they exceed my attention span - and kids… they get in the way too. 2 hours is a lot of video - especially if you’re like me and think that time (when practice time is so hard to get to begin with) should be spent with guitar in hand. So far all I have learned is that there are a lot of people posting for technique critique whose technique I would like to have!! . I need a go practice this…and this… until your fingers bleed set of instructions i think…
No trouble at all - feedback is always welcome.
Are you referring to these?
Sorry for the confusion, but that’s not where I’d recommend starting! We just put up a new “start” page a few days ago, and that’s here:
If you’re interested in getting a handle on picking motions specifically, this is currently where we’d recommend starting.
The first video is a survey of common picking motions you can use to see which ones feel natural. We recommend trying a bunch and see which ones work for you.
The second is an overview of how to do crosspicking patterns using wrist motion. On the surface! But more generally, this talk covers so much of our latest understanding of how to actually get your arm situated on the guitar, and how your wrist actually works, that we included it here.
On each page of the new “getting started” guide we included a set of goals at the bottom. This is basically a checklist to make sure you’re getting out of these lessons what we want you to be getting out of them. Hopefully that can help make things clearer and more hands-on. Each of these videos is 1-2 hours long, so there’s a bunch of stuff in there. The goal list can help you boil that down to what matters most.
Let us know if this helps clarify.
Are you referring to these?
No - My poor choice of terminology. I think I called them seminars just because of their lenght and my inability to sit still and get through several hours of material. It was the crosspicking session you did that I think was recorded live. And there was one before that equally as long - I forget the title. .
Sorry for the confusion, but that’s not where I’d recommend starting! We just put up a new “start” page a few days ago, and that’s here:
Yes! Thank you. That’s what I needed. I had not seen this. Thanks much!
Valid. We have this stuff there now because of anything we have done it addresses hand motions the most directly. And from forum feedback over the last 9 months or so, this is what most new users seem to be missing.
But this long format is not the way we ultimately want to present this stuff. It’s too long to know where all the sections are . So we’re working on more bite-sized chapterized versions of these that we can direct everyone to when they first get here.
So questions from us, to you, as a new user:
Is getting situated on hand positions and picking motion part of what you were looking for when you signed up, or were you looking to start with something else?
Would a chapterized presentation of similar stuff be more helpful? Or did you have in mind a different style of teaching altogether?
The problem here is we are trying to simplify a super complicated and fairly large topic, ie picking technique. And we’ve got people coming from all different backgrounds, preferences, and expectations. We want the learning process to be as easy to follow and streamlined as possible, and that’s tricky if everyone has something a little different in mind. So feedback on what you were expecting can be helpful.
I’d like to think there’s a relatively simple way of getting this stuff up there that is short, to the point, hands-on, and entertaining that will work for most people. We just need to know a little more about what works for different folks.
I’m going to jump in – I hope this is okay – and give a perspective that might put me in the minority here. The reason I’m doing this is that I recently signed up for MiM and had my own thoughts on the format and on the format of the Antigravity/Pickslanting Primer/etc. seminars, and since you brought the topic up in this thread, it seems like the place. I hope this might be helpful and not come across as shitting on CTC (which it’s not intended to be, I promise - why would I be in this forum otherwise). Plus, I think I learn very differently from a lot of people, so this should be treated as a single data point rather than an attempt to speak for the masses. But without further ado:
I would personally much prefer more of your “two-minute tutorials” for video instruction with exposition and asides and narrative in text format rather than in an hour-plus video or series such as Talking the Code or seminars. Chapterization gives a nice narrative, but I would much rather just have a road map. “Here are the pieces, here’s how they fit together, here’s the big picture again, now go play your own guitar.”
(Edit and note: obviously there’s some linearity that’s necessary – you have to be able to assume a certain hand position before you can start picking at all! But the way the pieces fit together isn’t always obvious in a chapterized format.)
I personally get as much actionable information from your forum posts, for example, as from videos a lot of the time. This is not because I don’t think you’re good at these long-form videos (the execution is superb), but because I don’t personally find them optimal for learning. Narrative and asides give me an information overload that makes it difficult to hold the entire big picture at once.
Disclaimer: I’m a research scientist-in-training, so I’m used to getting some new concept in a hyper-concise text-and-pictures setting. YMMV and probably will.
This is all great feedback, thanks. This is exactly what we’re looking for. We realize not everybody wants to consume information the same way, so the grain of salt we take with all this stuff is that whatever approach you prefer might not be the one someone else prefers. Hopefully, there’s enough overlap that we can get everyone happy.
Then you’ll be happy with what we’re working on, which is a kind of “Wikipedia with video” style presentation. We’ve written all kinds of little widgets for this. This blog post we just put up uses some of them, so you can have inline video examples and pictures with the text:
I think the bigger issues aren’t so much technical presentation as content. We are attempting no less than to demystify the entire world of physical motions used in picking technique. Not everyone needs all that information though. And a reference-style textbook detailing every possible way of doing something is probably going to alienate a lot of people. Even user-friendly ten-minute video tutorials on different topics can be a turnoff if there are twenty of them, each on different picking motions and a new user is not sure which one they’re supposed to watch.
You could try doing this by application, e.g. “You like a certain style of music? Great, learn these things.” That works for gypsy jazz or bluegrass where the techniques are something more specific. But what do you tell a jazz person? There are about a thousand ways to use a pick to play “jazz” (whatever that even means) including a variety of alternate picking motions, economy picking motions, and combinations of the above. And none are better or worse than any of the others.
How do you filter this for people who just want something simple? That’s the harder question.
I think having something like a wiki, as you mentioned, (probably not publicly-editable, but I digress) is the best solution to this entirely. When I mentioned “information overload,” it wasn’t because I don’t personally enjoy learning about the entire world of picking technique that exists – just that videos aren’t how I absorb large amounts of information best. A wiki/encyclopedia-type format coupled with video clips might be the best way to let people go exactly as far down the rabbit hole as they want – like a safety line while climbing. And the post you linked I think is a great move in that direction. Looks like my habitual longposting wasn’t necessary in this instance after all!
IHi Troy – I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I actually followed the links you sent (after I had already responded) and at least the first “session” or “seminar” – anything in the 2 hour range qualifies I think - was in fact the first one I watched. I did get through all of it although admittedly with a number of starts and stops. Perhaps I’m the only one that struggles to sit and watch 4 hours of video but I do. You’re probably thinking well, that’s just your personal shortcoming, and I’m sure you’re right but it is what it is. I will say, I didn’t go to Yale but I do have an advanced degree in Electrical Engineering from a fairly decent engineering school which I offer not as proof of intelligence (it is most definitely not) but at least as indicative of some ability to wade through tedium when needed – although as I get older I think my ADHD seems to get worse. I guess my point is I’d be surprised if I were the only one struggling with the idea of 2 hour sessions. So, since you took the time to ask – I will take the time to respond as comprehensively as I can. Here goes.
Yes – I think this long format is difficult. I am sure there are those that enjoy the dialogue and I understand that this was derived from a live broadcast but I think it’s tough for new users to really digest especially since there seems to be no clear roadmap that says – we’re starting here with the intent to get you here. I did note that you had a list of desired outcomes/outproducts listed in the link you sent and that was useful but as I restarted the video that I had already watched once – I realized I didn’t really want to sit there for another 2 hours straight. So if we substitute the term curriculum for the word roadmap – I think that really is what I would like to see. Bite size chunks help you eat the elephant – so I agree that is the right direction. If you have this curriculum mapped with say 3 minute videos with a written description of what each one is intended to show, why and what our takeaway or perhaps a baseline test should reveal – that would create a great roadmap for us to follow. Each with potential offramps for us to go explore if we find we resonate with a particular technique. These offramps should be accompanied by teaching material of some kind – in the form of tabs/exercises or a combination of elements designed to reveal or correct something perhaps, or perhaps to improve or instill a particular element. A lot to type to really explain this thoroughtly. To be honest, this is why I didn’t sign up to your site immediately after discovering it. From a distance it appears to be mostly a repository of interviews about technique – which while interesting – really doesn’t clearly show that you have a tangible learning product to offer. I think when you fix that you will find more business than you can handle. You have a brand with recognition already. I think in one of your early videos you said something to the effect of – you were the kind that need to be told …go do this…and this is what you should get out of doing this. A terrible paraphrase but I am at the office and can’t go searching YT videos here to get the exact quote. I might when I get home this evening. I think that’s what I need – a clear path to get from A to B with the tools (exercises and instructions) to give me confidence that if I am dedicated to the homework assigned I will eventually get there.
Baseline testing. I mentioned this elsewhere but all I heard were crickets. J Let’s define some samples that exercise every part of the movement (or primary parts) and use those in the Technique Critique as the entry point for every submission. There are passages/exercises that could easly be defined that cover the spectrum of picking situations encountered and I think it could be pretty simple and straight forward. This doesn’t have to be extensive or complicated. I already have some in mind for that once I get to the point of posting a video – which after seeing everyone else’s videos I’m a little less inclined to do!!! I don’t want my critique to be – take up the drums! I guess the point here is as you are analytically breaking down this critical component of guitar playing – applying some testing methodology might add to that process and bring a level of uniformity to the analytics that are derived. This would prove useful as a gating function to particular entry points on the “roadmap” or curriculum being developed and might simplify the process of early engagement.
What was I looking for when I first joined? What brought me to your site – besides your creative videos on YouTube was primarily the desire to find that “thing”, that last obstruction to me finding the fluidity and to a degree, speed, that I feel I should be capable of but somehow can’t quite find except in certain brief, difficult to repeat moments. Fluidity and Speed under control and on command. I started seeing people commenting “this was what got me over the hump to that next level…” things like that resonated with me and since I was in the process of picking the electric guitar up after not touching one in over 10 years – I was also in the process of 1. Wallowing in that same mediocrity I was in when I put it down and 2. Breaking down my own technique to see what needed improving. Believe it or not – when I put the guitar down – this massive online learning repository didn’t really exist as it does today. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. So I guess it’s really hoping to find some magic formula that gets the string gliding smoothly through string changes at the speed I feel I should be able to achieve.
Obviously, the above is my opinion only and if I’ve learned anything about the internet is that it’s always “opposite day” – so no doubt I have all the above wrong.
PS – In the crosspicking video your pick flexes noticeably in the slomo videos. Do you think this helps that particular technique? I play with a 2mm RedBear pick that really has no flex at all to it.
Edit: I didn’t even notice that there had been other responses – I got this as an email and forwarded it to my work email where I worked on it periodically between things I do so I can buy groceries. . Were I to be honest - I actually though you had sent me an email and I felt really important for a little while . As I said, no indicator of intelligence I have skimmed through most of what was written as best as I can from my phone and do agree with much of the above response. Think we’re probably trying to say the same thing.
Ha! I’ve been fooled by the forum auto-emails all the time, especially when I can’t tell the difference between someone private messaging me and creating a public thread, because they look exactly the same. So you’re not alone!
In all seriousness we try to get back to everyone on the forum. And we do, absolutely, get back to everyone who emails our support box, and we try to do it quickly during business hours. So this kind of feedback is important to us so you are indeed important. Thanks for the detail of what you’ve written.
One thing I didn’t get (or may have missed) is what kind of music you play or are interested in playing. If you’re looking to achieve to mechanical fluidity that’s fine, nobody knows more about that than us what you need to know is either here now or going up soon. But we want to make sure we demonstrate things in musical styles that relate to everyone’s interests, using examples that are relevant to things you actually want to play, etc.
One thing I didn’t get (or may have missed) is what kind of music you play or are interested in playing.
You might as well have been telling my musical life story in your orignal series. I’m primarily an 80’s product and definitely lean heavily towards guitar oriented hard rock. I have developed an appreciation for many other genres over time - but when it comes to the guitar I still consider myself a rock guy.
If that’s the case, and you dig the kinds of lines we talk about in the animated episodes then that’s pretty much what the Pickslanting Primer and seminars are all about. Maybe we’ve pointed you toward the wrong starting point here. Apologies for that!
That’s the intro to the Pickslanting Primer. The Primer and the seminars are organized into single-topic chapters of between about five and fifteen minutes apiece. So it’s easy to find just by title the subjects you’re looking for, and they videos don’t take too long to watch. All the clips / examples are linked below with tab so you can jump right to them to find stuff to work on.
Our goal in linking to the broadcasts first was to bring some of the mechanical stuff up to date. But I’m seeing now that until we can organize that stuff in a more bite-size navigable way, we may just be swamping new users.
Given that, let’s try an alternate approach, and move on to the Primer when you next have time to work on stuff. It’s probably what you were looking for originally. If you find at any point that you want more info on how to do the specific hand movements (whichever one you’ve decided to use), you can always go back and consult the broadcasts for more on that.
Again thanks for the feedback!