My technique and it's problems and idiosyncracies

Hey guys. I have worked out a technique that is less uncomfortable than the many ways I’ve tried before but definitely isn’t perfect. I was hoping for some suggestions. First of all, I’ve found that my more successful picking involves a bit of elbow movement - not forearm! I demonstrate it at the beginning of the vid; it’s more obvious when I’m sweeping. This doesn’t seem to cause any issues; on the contrary, when I go without it I find that my hand goes a bit awry.

My two main problems are this - changing strings, where I have to awkwardly switch from a bridge anchor to a finger anchor as I run out of space to put my hand on the bridge, and problems with picking the strings non-perpendicularly. I find this a bit hard to explain, so I’ll explain that in the attached video. Apologies for the non-amplified guitar; I’ll perhaps record one with an amplifier tomorrow.

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I am not sure why you would want perpendicular picking - and I am not sure anyone actually does it (if you mean the pick tracing a line perpendicular to the strings, that is). Wrist movements for example will make the pick trace an arc, where I think the downstroke moves closer to the bridge and the upstroke goes towards the neck (if I’m imagining things correctly :smiley: )

Indeed! I guess I should say, the closer my attack is to being perpendicular, the easier time I have both with volume and control. I don’t particularly want perpendicular (or near perpendicular) picking so much as it’s the only thing I can really do well.

I see - for the volume you could try to straighten the thumb a bit (it seems bent like this: /\ , though not as much of course). If you keep everything else the same this should give you less edge picking and a more “snappy” attack. On the other hand, less edge picking increases the feeling of string resistance so you can try to find the optimal level of “thumb bump”.

I will post the results of me trying this in the morning, when I have an amp to plug into. I also feel like the movement itself is clumsy though. Why, I don’t know.

So I straightened out the thumb, but as you can see, volume is the least of my worries. What is the main problem is the inconsistent movements, and the fact that my guitar is actually shaking. It’s a mess. It’s a complete mess, but I have no idea what I’m doing wrong. It’s like I can’t get a straight arm because of the way that the strat body is shaped, and therefore I can’t get a perfect deviation movement, but I’m not sure. It doesn’t matter how much I practice, the results are the same.

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Alright so here’s a completely different technique. This one there’s no elbow movement. This is what happens when I try to do pure wrist deviation - a bit of arm movement is introduced. I’m not meaning to do it, and I’m a bit uncomfortable with how unorthodox it looks, but it’s by far the most relaxed way of playing I’ve found, and the directional issues disappear. Thoughts?

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Nevertheless MAB uses it if you watch carefully.