PickingApprentice - Tumeni notes-style arpeggios

Okay, so I managed to film the below arpeggios which are 8th note triplets @ 200bpm. It is the reverse picking pattern of the tumeni intro (starting on g string rather than e string). I noticed that I couldn’t get the normal way to sound as smooth as the motion felt different like I could feel the one way usx on the e-string rather than a double escape. Anyway, massive apology for the shitty quality of the video- I’m not sure it is clear enough because my house is so damn dark! And my phone camera is crap at slo-mo

2 Likes

Ah crap, I was supposed to put this under a critique post and asking for feedback - serves me right for making a video and post after 1am. @Brendan, is it okay to leave this here, or does it need to be moved/linked?

1 Like

Just moved it to a new technique critique post for convenience, feel free to edit title etc :slight_smile:

Sounds and looks pretty great to me!

1 Like

Thanks @tommo. Does it look like I’m maintaining curved motions all the time? Or are there the odd 2WPS? (Apologies for talking in old money!)

I’m trying not to too hung up on ot either way, bit interested to know.

If I get a chance I’ll upload the proper Tumeni notes picking pattern to see if there is any real difference in what I’m doing and see if I can cure the DWPS issue…

Awesome playing! I agree with @Tommo that this sounds great. I can’t really see what’s going on, video-wise, so I don’t know if you’re really getting over all the strings. But I think this speaks loudly to the larger importance of getting all the other parts of the technique working as well as you have here. We fuss a lot of about string changes but the truth is if all you ever had was a single-escape motion, good hand synchronization and decent noise control / muting, most things could sound pretty great.

I understand that we want to do better and actually learn the techniques and not rely on incidental legato or swiping and so on when we don’t want that. And the short story is it is obvious to me that you will get there if you haven’t already.

Yes, by reversing the lick you’ve reversed the picking, which puts the “inside” picking between the top two strings instead of the bottom two. This can sometimes make the motions feel different — not easier or harder in absolute terms, but you might end up getting one before ther other. Very common.

As far as acquiring each variation of a pattern like this, when you look at mature picking technique under the camera, the motions look consistent so it appears that the player learned “one thing”, e.g. the double escape motion, for example. But I think in actual practice what the player really learned is a patchwork of similar but slightly different feeling motor skills for each of the picking patterns they encounter in everyday playing. The more of these you learn, the more interconnections there are in the brain or wherever these patterns are stored, and the easier it becomes to recognize what motions will work for new ones. And perhaps this results in a greater the feeling of “knowing a motion” and the perception that you’ve learned a single, consistent way of moving your hands.

I think this is also why some players like Molly Tuttle appear to use “one motion”, in air quotes, all the time, where a player like Andy Wood appears to mix and match. In the end game, all these techniques might be learned on a pattern by pattern basis. To an observer, this might look like the “same” motion all the time. But to your brain it may be that each motion is somewhat specific to the phrase or pattern it’s used on, and it either works and is memorized for that, or doesn’t work and is ignored. I don’t know. But it’s not like it takes Andy any more mental effort to do his technique than any other great player we’ve filmed.

Anyhoo, sorry for the diversion!

Black pick on black guitar with relatively little pick exposed in the grip is going to be almost impossible to see, so I wouldn’t blame the camera per se. Do you have a white or red pick? And can you get near a window with reflected light during the day, and put the camera a little closer up? We might get a better look at things that way. And in essence what you’re looking for isn’t so much that the motion looks a certain way, you just want to make sure you’re hitting each note cleanly. It may be a mix and match type solution, or it may be a Molly-style “one motion” solution, again in air quotes. Doesn’t really matter, you’re just using the phone to verify that the notes are clean because it’s often hard to tell by feel and sound alone.

If you can include a little more of the regular speed playing with sound, that would be great just for hearing what’s going on. Slow motion is great for details but less so for motion smoothness.

Anyway great work here again.

2 Likes

Great post Troy, many thanks for your time.

This resonates with how I feel at the moment. One of the struggles I find is that when you make some level of improvement, even with one lick, your awareness increases and you can feel the difference physically. However that very same change can feel like a step back for a large part of your normal playing, because it feels so different/awkward - even if you can still play pretty well with it. Seeing it as patchwork - a nuanced collection of movements is kinda comforting!

Unfortunately I’m pretty much stuck with night playing as my day is taken up with looking after my minions on coronavirus lockdown. I’ll get more light and provide a closer look.

Still crappy with the lighting, but here is a closer look with a red jazz 3 that I found under the sofa!. Although not my normal pick, I managed to get a decent take. The first clip is with a slo-mo of 1/2 speed and the other is the same video slowed to 1/8 speed. In the clips I hear what I think is the G-string ringing out. I think it is coming from accidental pull-offs - something that crops up in other areas of my playing :confused:

Quality is still crap (can hardly see the bloddy strings!), so no offence if you don’t want to waste your time in feeding back.

1 Like

That sounds really good. That string noise will likely iron itself out over time. In my experience I wake up and for some odd reason my brain has figured the muting out and it’s gone. If there’s a problem with your movements I’m not seeing it.

1 Like

Thanks for the feedback, most of the time the pull-off issue is buried underneath the notes, but my other noise nemesis is hamonics ringing out as I lift my finger - especially the 12th fret!

Same feedback from me!

To reduce some of the string noise from the finger liftoffs, IMO there’s no shame in using a string dampener (even just a hairband), if you don’t need open strings in this section of the tune. In my opinion this can be particularly useful when recording, so you don’t have to get all stressed about muting and can just enjoy what you are playing.*

And if you are playing live, I don’t think anyone would notice!

*slightly off topic: there’s an interview/lesson with Marty Friedman where he confesses that he recorded solos with a “human string dampener”: someone just behind him, whose job was to mute the unwanted strings with their hand :smiley:

Yeah, I remember that interview! I myself go for the freshly washed sock tied around the neck approach - the Mrs says that being a human dampener is not in the contract!

1 Like

Thanks for taking another crack at this! Sounds awesome. Sounds like everyone here agrees on that.

As you’ve pointed out, the strings are not super visible, further reinforcing why we need to get everyone a mass-produced Magnet at some point!

So my only comment, and this is just a guess, but I think you might not actually be picking the last note on the top string sometimes. The picking hand makes a gesture toward it, but may not go all the way there. This is a thing you see sometimes with the camera where the hand figures out that it’s just smoother if it makes a "ghost’ movement that doesn’t actually pick. This way you can use a single escape motion to play a passage that would otherwise require a double escape motion. In this case, the whole top half of the lick becomes USX, and the last note on the stop string becomes legato, like an Yngwie arpeggio.

I think this why that last note also drops out on occasion, like around 30 seconds in clip 2, because the pick hits the string and mutes it instead of either keeping away from it or getting over it. Again, just a guess, others can comment. I’m just shooting from the hip.

Either way, totally musically useful sound here and a great starting point. If you try the reverse version of this with the inside picking on the lower two strings, you may get some more useful physical feedback.

Bloody hell Troy, you have a good set of ears! I’ll check that out!

Many thanks everyone for your feedback! I’m going try and get these 3 string arps down and flip the picking back to the proper Tumeni format. Also, I’ll explore mixing it up with other single escape lines.