My default technique so far

Alternate picking is my default technique, i want to be able to pick everything. It really helps if you like to improvise. Before i was stuck to certain patterns, something i did not like.
The playing in the short clip is a little above my speed limit, this is the third take. I feel that i tense up a little bit, (the weird Glen Gould noise is also because of nerves:). Not that speed is my main goal, but it helps with timing and articulation.

I tried to play a mix of arpeggios and some linear scales. I think i am cross picking here, i know i use a different technique if i play Dimeola type runs or something like that.
Feel free to come with any suggestions.


Thanks for posting! Sounds great. It’s a little hard to see what’s going on here in this video, but in general, this looks like some kind of double escape motion. (We’ve stopped saying “crosspicking” because it was confusing.) The question is whether it is the good kind or the tensiony / slow kind.

My test for everything is speed and smoothness over accuracy. Meaning, if you’re using a motion which is speed-limited in some way, whether that’s stringhopping or something else that’s not efficient, then one side effect of this is that you might not be able to go fast enough to cause mistakes. I know that sounds weird, but we’ve seen players posting clips here where they describe playing as fast as they can go, and say they feel “tension”, but the clip sounds perfect in terms of accuracy and musicality. In those cases, the only thing “wrong” with the clip is the motion feel, and the fact that it was near the limit of its capability.

So that’s one question, i.e. can you do this motion really fast to where it gets flattened out and you hit wrong strings? If so, that’s good, because that means the motion is efficient. If you can’t go faster into the mistake zone, then the motion might not be efficient, and that could be the cause of the tension.

I don’t really think pure alternate players really “play anything”, I just think that’s the impression they have. For example, when you transcribe players like George Benson (when he’s doing bebop) and Tal Farlow, who are both dwps / one-way economy type players, you tend to see fretboard shapes you almost never see from pure alternate players. Tal especially — it’s amazing how he gets around the neck with almost no pattern-based lines in his vocabulary, at least not by modern standards. Of course pure alternate is great when you are forced to play things as-written, like classical. I like all these approaches, they each offer something.

Thanks for the Great input!
I tried to play it all superfast and noticed that i have one way thats relaxed even at high speed, and one way thats cause tension. Interesting!

Technique is always a part of aesthetics. While playing on acoustic i prefer using alternate picking with some legato, for note separation and projektion. I choose to do it like that rather then using the rest stroke technique of the Django style, just a personal choice. That said i do agree with you that there is merit in knowing a lot of different ways to play something so you can choose whats right for the situation.

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Your form looks nice. I am pretty sure you are using rotation + thumb/finger + a little wrist, correct?

As far as speeding it up, I agree with troy… but with on little caveat, try it with just a few notes at a time… what I like to call bursting. 3 or 5 note bursts as fast as you can are great. It really helped me speed thing up, and made my motions a bit smoother.