I’ve had the realization that part of my picking accuracy lagging where I want it to be is actually due to fretting hand timing and particularly ascending, where I tend to rush a little bit. This is particularly true on string changes I guess where I tend to group sort of like -1-2-3-- (next string) ----1-2-3 a little rather than like 1–2–3-- (change) 1–2–3 (exaggerating a little, and likely with super confusing notation).
So, one way I thought might be fun to combat that, is to come up with some patterns that REALLY stress my ability to be rhythmic while moving from string to string, idea being more “normal” patterns will feel easy by comparison. I always liked the sound of this as a descending motif in Technical Difficulties so I figured I’d turn it into a DSX string skipping picking drill, though I’ve also been practicing this legato.
Basically, on the G string, 9-10-12, jump to the high E fr 8-10-12, then loop bacl down 12-10-8 etc etc etc. Then take that “shape,” and walk it up and back down the C Major scale.
This is about as fast as I can play this before things start to fall apart.
This isn’t very close to my single string trem picking speed limit, which says pretty bluntly raw pick speed isn’t the limiting factor. Two obvious culprits are 1) the string skip - you’re coming off a downstroke (good!) but basically need to overshoot the high E and then catch it with an upstroke. That’s a pretty “big” movement, and while big motions aren’t necessarily bad, I think the change in size could potentially be causing rhythmic issues at speed…? Also, while it’s not too bad here, at higher speeds fretting accuracy does become more of a problem, from a mix of just remembering what notes I want, and then the uneven grouping thing starts to be a problem.
Posting mostly for
- accountability - I hope to have a faster update in a few weeks, and
- Because while starting with speed is kind of the mantra here, I think this is already at a fast enough clip that the mechanic is clearly capable of playing fast. And I wonder if just getting a 6/8 drum beat going and gradually working up the tempo might actually be a pretty effective way of tightening up the groove and getting my fretting hand up to smooth speed here.
Anyway, thanks for listening to me think out loud!
(this is a Strat into a Mark V at basically SRV-plays-the-blues level of gain - more gain might help (though, come with its own muting issues), but I also think this is something that I SHOULD be able to play faster than this with a fairly clean tone. Besides I love how this amp sounds with singlecoils at this level of saturation, the guitar soudns huge and it sounds smaller as I turn up the gain).