More Anton Oparin love - what do we know? Any of his students in here?

Hi Everyone,

Very late to the party with Antons playing, but geez! what a beast!! The main things I like are the tone, control and versatility of his technique.

I appreciate there are a few posts on him already, but not a lot of info on his courses (do they cover anything that Troy hasn’t already addressed?)

I’ve reached a bit of an impasse with my own technical development and figured I’d give strict wrist (deviation) picking a go for a while - I figure if nothing else it’ll help with my cross-picking which is never a bad thing.

I’ve read that the cross-picking seminar/Q+A is a good place to start, and maybe watching all the Andy Wood interviews?

There seem to be some similarities between Anton, Paul Gilbert, and Andy so any tips/references are more than welcome.

Happy to post up some progress vids/insights as I get more comfortable with it all.

Cheers!

Anton is great, and yes his technique is similar and/or broadly the same as Andy’s. However I would recommend not trying “choose” a technique that you want to learn, but insteading improving upon whatever it is you already do that is working well, or close to working well. That’s the fastest route. You can always learn new techniques over time. But getting good at something is the best way to know what “good” feels like, and gives you a solid reference point for learning other techniques down the line.

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Hi Troy, thanks for the response and I totally agree.

I guess I should of prefaced that by saying this isn’t in an effort to acquire an ok/intermediate technique (I have that already) but rather to broaden my understanding and experience :sunglasses:

I’ve signed up for his courses as well as here. I find that every teacher has something unique to offer and you learn something more from a different view. His courses are good, it is very similar to what Troy has presented on the picking side (focused solely on the two way pick slanting), though he has his own way and language for describing things. He also covers the basics, hand positions as well as legato. Where Troy focus mostly on the mechanics of picking, Anton is more rounded on guitar lessons.

For me, it has helped to hear the same ideas in two different ways, but essentially saying the same thing.

What I find funny is that he claims that economy picking is ‘bullshit’ )
I could translate his video on that topic if someone is interested. Basically, he’s stating that sweeping is useless, and attacking everybody who uses it, claiming that everybody who uses sweeping technique is an awful guitar player.

As usual… good guitarist - not as good personality. We’ve seen that already )

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That is exactly my take on the guy. I had i short conversation with him where he said the exact same thing. The guy has some serious chops but claiming that his way is the only way- as in everything has to be alternate picked, just puts me off. That is a very narrow point of view and from a teachers standpoint that simply will not do.

Man, I wish I were as awful as Gambale.

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Thatst was exactly what some people who tried his course said. ‘There’s only one correct way to play guitar - and it’s my way!’ attitude. Anton is famous in russian guitar community for being… hmm… not the best person in the world, including strange statements, false accusations, making conspiracy against another guitarists he doesn’t like etc
Though I can’t deny he is a great guitarist. And I’ve seen his pupils - many of them are pretty good too. So, I guess, if your teacher’s personality doesn’t mean much for you it may be worth to take his course. Kind of marine bootcamp )

It would be ebough for me to be as awful as Yngwie )

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Interesting stuff guys! I can see where some of the negative attention is coming from, but I just chalk it up to a very ‘Russian’ approach and overall demeanour. If anything I find it a bit funny…there’s a part in one of his videos where I think he say’s ‘shit’ instead of ‘shift’ and it was hilarious :smile:

Unfortunately with that level of skill coupled with the aforementioned cultural quirks, there’s bound to be some “I don’t f&^%king like doughnuts” moments a la Yngwie hahaha.

I purchased the ‘Right-hand basics’ course and it was very detailed and interesting. Essentially it’s focussed on ‘ulnarised’ deviation with a neutral/flat pick slant (unless changing strings of course)

Whilst it didn’t present any new information per se, it outlined a sensible/logical approach that is relatively easy to implement.

YMMV

I would say that in his lessons he doesn’t come across one or another, other than to be disciplined. To me, it comes across more like a classical teacher, if you have a strict piano instructor, they are going to drive home posture and hand positions. He does cover sweeping, but economy picking is where he would have an issue. He would say that it works for them, but for him, he wants to be more precise in order to control tone or volume.

My big takeaway is that he really has taken the time to build exercises that target certain motions, whether it’s the similar Paul Gilbert string changing exercise, or left hand coordination. As a student of guitar for 30+ years, like Troy, he has brought many ah ha moments that have unlocked things in my own playing.

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I agree, and my observations were purely in jest. I have purchased his right-hand basics, string switching, and muting lessons. The right-hand lesson is the best IMO, and has been the most useful to me.

His method absolutely works, but as Troy has shown us most methods do with some practice and understanding.

For anyone interested, here is the gist of it:

  1. Hold the pick securely with no movement whatsoever (he recommends holding it with a fairly standard angle pad style grip supported with your middle finger to prevent any wiggle)

  2. Pick solely from the wrist using a deviation movement.

  3. Have the pick 90 degress to the string (i.e no slant at all) unless you are changing strings.

  4. Use the angle of your thumb to keep the pick at the same angle (edge picking angle) when changing between strings so it’s always the same.

  5. Keep your anchor point consistent and mute by lowering the pinky side of your hand into the string rather than the edge of your hand by using (as an example) downward pick-slanting.

Very militant and specific (maybe that classical/Russian background) but I can imagine this being a solid and sensible starting point (especially for beginners) as it’s easy to teach and replicate and everything is accounted for.

About two weeks into trying it out on myself. I am very used to playing with a downward slant (years of habit) so the ‘neutral’ picking angle is a work in progress. Without question however, it does result in a very uniform sound as downstrokes and upstrokes are very similar sounding.

If anyone has questions fire away, by no means and expert but feel like I have a good grasp on what’s going on fundamentally with his approach :slight_smile:

How does he cross strings? He seems to advocate that the pick be trapped on both up and downstroke with the pick path travelling in a straight line.

He is doing two way pick slanting. A large portion of his picking lessons really drive home the technique of working on two way. Almost everything that has a pick stroke, he will have some sort of need for a two way pick slant. Pick three notes, legato, pick four notes crossing strings, legato, vs straight alt picking (he does that too).

I will say for being so young, he really has dialed in his technique and the why it works.

I sound like an ad, but he is good. Troy obviously is the pioneer and perhaps more on the technical side of the why it works, where Anton is the application. (Troy obviously does this with the Yngwie and Eric series as well)

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He uses two-way pick slanting as shredhead7 mentioned. He does however, keep the pick ‘trapped’ and between strings (straight line) when playing multiple notes on a single string. If you’ve watched paul gilbert or marshall harrison it’s very similar to them.

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