I am another player of Troy’s generation who was unable to figure out all the nuances of alternate picking at shred speeds. I spent years with Troy Stetina’s “Mechanics for Lead Guitar” and Later Petrucci’s “Rock Discipline”, and then even later Gilbert’s “Intense Rock” yet never achieved Yngwie-level shredding ability.
( Hopefully newer players, with access to youtube and CTC will not get hung up on the mysteries of string crossing.)
This led me to ask what went wrong for me? When players (I) start(ed) they are introduced to tremolo picking as the mechanic for alternate picking, which is then (supposedly) cultivated to be able to play all the fast shred licks.
I am wondering if the introduction of tremolo picking as the basis of lead playing mechanics is responsible for all the fail?
The basic warm up exercise of playing chromatic fours with alternate picking MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. It may help synchronize left and right hands, but that kind of right hand technique is a DISEASE, imo.
The reason I say this is by posing a question: What happens when you try to play at tremolo picking speeds and you don’t perfectly nail the pick slant for string changes? Answer: You crash and burn. Clank. Slop. It sounds like garbage. Even if your hands are perfectly synchronized, the pick getting trapped below the string makes it sound like complete fail.
What happens if you fail with economy picking or legato? The lick sounds a little sloppy, maybe the meter floats a little bit, but you get to the other side without a complete fail.
That said, strict alternate picking appears to be a high risk, high reward technique. But I question if the reward really is that high? Perhaps it is just high risk and limits a players development?
Unfortunately, to a beginner, tremolo picking is conceptually simple and easy to do in time. In fact, alternate picking can work well for many canned licks like fast pentatonic runs or single string sequences.
I think this is the basis for all the problems that develop later for a lead player when he tries to develop next level speed.
Many years ago I added sweep arpeggios to my arsenal. At first they seem difficult, but now they are integrated into my playing.
I watched CTC Volcano and Antigravity seminars and endeavored to learn some Malmsteen songs with my new found knowledge, knowing full well that Yngwie is a downslope player, and uses economy and legato mixed into his fast lines.
The truth is that…for someone who has already studied sweep arpeggios, economy picking is dead simple!
I am a big fan of what Troy has done with CTC, but I’m wondering if strict alternate picking ala Antigravity is a “dead end” technique?
I think that any player who comes at speed runs from the perspective of already knowing sweep arpeggios, that economy picking is a natural fit and MORE IMPORTANTLY, its much harder to crash and burn if you don’t execute perfectly.
Starting lead players with tremolo picking is probably the reason so many fail later on when they try to use an ingrained, automatic right hand picking mechanic with lines that would otherwise trap the pick. If players start out learning sweeps, they would naturally adopt an economy picking motion for fast lines.
Your thoughts? Knowing what you know now, is it still worthwhile to develop an Antigravity 2WPS technique, or is this system just to salvage the technique of people who have an intractable AP mechanic baked into their right hand?