How to practice properly without hurting yourself

Hey @Troy & everyone reading, I´m new here! I’ve been playing guitar for like 9 years and been struggling though picking technique :sweat_smile: . I had a guitar teacher who told me things that weren’t true (like “The only correct motion of picking is alternate picking without a wrist resting point” which made me feel frustrated cause i saw that my progress was minimum compared to the hours practicing :cry: ). So i stopped taking lessons with him and started developing my picking technique on my own :upside_down_face: . I decided to have a wrist resting point on the bridge and doing economy picking. I made some progress, i started playing faster and relatively clean (i recognize it was sloppy, but sounded ok with distortion, and it was enough to satisfy my selfesteem as a musician :fire: :guitar: ) but the problem with that was unnecessary tension in both of my arms :sob: (because i wanted to play fast “by force”) and ended up with tendinitis in my pinky. I wanted to play fast and clean, so i watched your Youtube Cracking The Code episodes and discovered that mixing downward and upward pickslanting (like the Gambale´s System Economy Picking) worked amazingly well in cleanness and speed. But i still have an issue i would like you, and everyone reading, to help me to fix (and hopefully help others in my situation :sweat_smile: ): if i try to practice fast with economy picking, i feel tendinitis-like pain, have some difficulty articulating my scale runs (specially in runs, it sounds sloppy when i start and i struggle to continue my picking mechanics though the rest of the strings), and it sounds sloppy (even if i can differentiate every note, they’re not as clean as i wish they sound). So, now that i explained myself, my question is the following one: How can i start practicing to gain speed and precision without hurting myself in the process? Should i start playing fast and sloppy while i “clean it up” as i practice? Should i start with a medium spreed and build up speed and precision? And in both of those cases, how can i release that tension that i acquired through the years in order to practice and play fast and effortlessly? Thanks for your help men! Yours is a noble duty! Greetings from Bolivia! :bolivia:

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In my experience, good-proper technique feels like a breeze, as if you’re not even trying. So I suggest going for the path of least resistance and not pushing yourself in any brute force approach. If that leads to economy picking, some pull offs, let it be. Do not push yourself. Pain is not gain.


And as will be suggested, take some video of your playing right now. Don’t “wait” until you’ve developed a new technique, just clip a few 20-30s clips of you doing the same or similar scales or runs at speed and have the experts look over it and offer suggestions.

Try and take video in good light and as of similar an angle as Troy and co. do with their Magnets. This is the go-to info page for taking video and what/how to post it.