New and too slow to rock and roll video


Hello again. I recently posted a message in the introduction section and someone advised me to film my playing to get more advice from forum members, and so I did:

I could use some help on tips how to play this lick a little faster, and on what is going on in my picking for Im not sure what I see here.

In other words: is it a good idea for me to just start getting the tempo up with this or should I already adjust my picking somehow?

By the way its the first time that I filmed my playing so its a little strange for me to see what Im doing with my hands in the first place.

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Love the tune, super catchy. Off the bat I’m going to say that I’m not the best at analysing picking motions, so hopefully someone else will chime in to confirm or correct me. It looks to me that generally there is a ‘double escaped’ picking motion happening, meaning that your upstroke and downstrokes are escaping the plane of the strings. This is a good thing as it makes arpeggio based 1 note per string stuff smooth and possible to get up to the fastest rockabilly tempos. My questions are:
1- Can you tremolo pick easily with this motion at a high speed? If so, then it is worth keeping going with as it works well.
2- what part are you struggling with
3- what is the goal tempo?

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First; thank you for your response!
Tremolo picking… I took some time to try it out, and it seems to work fairly o.k.
I also took some time to reaaly focus on what is happening in my lack of speed and I felt that my main problem is a slow fretting hand.
(I tried a few hours to pick small sequences on one,two and finally three strings, and that is where my tempo is teally slowing down)
So…I’ll be practicing that for a while and I’ll see what will come out

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Hi! Thanks for posting and sorry for the delay in seeing this. It really depends on what your goals are, but if you’re looking to develop a little more speed in your picking hand, I’d say the tempo you’re playing in this clip is really too slow to know if the motions you’re making will become an obstacle as you try to go faster.

The best way to test this is to… go faster!

Next time you get a minute, if you can try a little test, that would be helpful. Get a metronome and set it a tempo like 150 beats per minute, and try to tap on a table twice for every click. The clicks are quarter notes so you’ll be tapping eighth notes. As you tap, try to use just your wrist for this. If you can do it for at least a couple bars, keep raising the metronome. What’s the highest metronome setting you can go and still do at least two bars (eight clicks) of tapping?

If you think of each tap as a downstroke, and each time you lift your hand back up as an upstroke, then your tapping is basically like alternate picking sixteenth notes at the same metronome marking. So this is a quick, back-of-the-envelope measure of your alternate picking speed. It’s not a perfect test, and most people seem to be able to do this a little faster than they can pick. But it will get you in the ballpark. As just one example, I can do 240bpm for at least a couple bars, but when it comes to actual alternate picking, 210bpm sixteenth notes is a more realistic benchmark of a speed where I can actually play real music.

The idea here is this gives you an idea of your real-world potential right now. If you can do the table tap test way, way faster than you can actually play, then that’s an indication that you’re probably just not using the right picking motion.

With that in mind, I’d also recommend watching the intro to picking motion talk if you haven’t already:

This will give you an overview of the most common motions that are out there, with some instructions on how to do them.

Thanks again for posting and let us know how you make out!

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Getting serious about my playing
Really need help

In relation to your introduction post and the comment about an apparent speed fetish (my terminology, not yours :)) in these here parts, it’s worth pointing out that navigating strings with a pick is sufficiently challenging that one doesn’t really have to go that fast without butting up against certain mechanical obstructions. Just in terms of fluency and phrasing, you can hit a wall quite early if your ducks aren’t in a row. :slight_smile:

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