So, I think maybe I've been using TOO much edge-picking...?

This is going to be the least-helpful video I’ve ever posted, so I apologize - was struggliong to get a good angle, filmed it in my living room with the amp in the other room for better light, and then for some reason the slow-mo didn’t “stick” when I uploaded it to youtube s the dark film from the high framerate ended up being all for nothing. :rofl: So, there IS video at the bottom of this, but it sucks and you should probably ignore it.

But, I think I’ve been using TOO much edge picking. My “relaxed” picking position is probably a pick about 30-40 degrees angled against the strings. And I’ve always found my picking kinda… uneven. Fast trem-picked runs aren’t terribly smooth, I seem to have more forceful downstrokes than upstrokes, and when I start playing more complex lines than just holding a note, patterns across a couple strings, the picking itself feels kinda uneven.

So, I don’t even remember how or why this happened, but wiithin the last couple days for some reason one day I found myself playing with a way smaller angle, comparing now probably less than 10-15 degrees, and it made a major improvement in the “evenness” of my picking. I guess holding the same hand position, but going from a relaxed thumb to a slight hitchkiker’s thumb… I can try to take pictures, I guess, since the video here is worthless. :rofl:

This has got me wodnering - how much edge-picking does everone here use? Does a smaller amount seem to translate to greater smoothness for you all, as well? If it makes a difference I use reasonably thick picks, this was a Dunlop Flow 1.0 Tortex.

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I find the same thing - there is a point where edge-picking creates the smoothness (and in turn increases speed capability), but there is only a small range of ‘useful’ edge-picking where smoothness is concerned and more I edge-pick the more it interferes with my picking motion. I couldn’t say what degree of edge-picking I use as I have tried to stop looking at my picking hand when experimenting- I find myself trying to make my picking hand look a certain way rather than going by feel. I think that the amount of edge-picking can vary from string to string depending on what playing mechanic one employs, so striving for a static amount of edge picking may not be as possible or needed. The best I can answer is “just enough” and get a feel of what the useable boundaries are.

Not a very helpful reply - apologies! You are aware of something being not quite right, just keep this awareness and you will probably find that you fall back into using less edge-picking as easily as you fell out of doing it!

Short answer: No, I don’t find that decreasing edge picking angle increases smoothness.

Long answer:

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PAG adjusts edge picking to modulate his tone, so it should be dialed in with one’s ears. Only a tiny bit is required for speed, particularly with a Dunlop Flow (what I use).

That’s interesting, @Tom_Gilroy - your reverse edge picking position is a fair amount more pronounced than even my (non-reversed) default one. Yet, I’m still kinda curious abotu this, because I absolutely do get an evener alternate picking attack when I moderate the angle somewhat. Maybe it relates to picking mechanic somehow and some mechanics allow greater angle than others? Maybe in the process on changing my angle, I’m also changing something ELSE tat’s improving my technique…? Who knows.

@kgk - Gilbert? I do find I need a little more on the lower strings than the high to prevent my pick from getting caught, for whatever that’s worth.

to me it sounded like the pick was getting hung up on some of the sequence so maybe adjust it a little at a time. I have found I have gone from medium edge maybe say 45 degrees leading edge to almost shawn lane perpendicular edge picking and it seems to smooth out more.

I think you’re underestimating just how BAD my picking technique was when I showed up here, lol. This is a pretty substantial improvement, and a flatter pick angle seems to help that further for some reason.

I have not really had a lot of success with the Flow picks. I find them to be too smooth and slip too easily over the strings.

I like them, but I like the Tortex versions more - they don’t have the rounded edges, so you get the size and shape of a Flow, but the feel of a jazz-sized Tortex, which is what I was using previously.