Hey @Tommo !
Yeah, I totally understand why you always advise people to use what’s working, rather than deciding ahead of time what type of picker you want to be.
I’m pretty sure I’m a DSX picker naturally, and tend to use elbow the most. I’m totally cool with being that guy.
I was curious though because in the recent Rick Hollis interview @Troy mentions that he can do really fast upstrokes if he starts with tapping on the body and then rotates it into a picking position. So if I understood correctly, the tap on the body became the upstroke!
Just wondering what that felt like but I couldn’t really make it work…no biggie though.
I do have a bit of a lingering fascination with USX, partly because I can’t for the life of me figure out how to really do it.
So there’s a little bit of an ego/challenge aspect I’ll admit…but I know that part is not so important.
But the other reason I can’t seem to let it go is that my muting really sucks and I feel like the types of motion I use don’t really lend themselves to muting so much.
And by muting, I mean of course muting unused strings so my playing sounds cleaner…
but also I want to be able to play fast muted passages, such as like what Al DiMeola does, or pretty much any Scorpions-era 80’s hard rock lead guitar solo.
My pronated setup keeps the fleshy part of my hand’s pinky side pretty far from the strings. I can use it for slow-picked muting, but once I start really moving my hand it just lifts up.
I like the sound of the pinky heel muting the strings…it sounds to me exactly like what I want to copy. So I use a pretty heavily supinated position for general riffing and whatever less-challenging lead playing I do.
But since I can’t pick very fast that way, I’ve learned to use a pronated setup (thanks CTC!), at least when I’m sitting on the couch noodling.
Anyway, I can’t figure out how to mute while pronated…or using the other form I dabble in, which is where I anchor my fingers on the body and stand my hand kinda taller, swinging my pick like a pendulum…sort of a cross between MAB and Gypsy picking?
I also have a little bit of a twitchy EVH wrist rotation thing that I fool around with. It’s pretty fast but doesn’t have any anchoring so it doesn’t feel very controllable at all.
When I use the pronated form, I do some muting with the side of my thumb…but when playing fast, I feel like it just makes more noise rubbing across the low strings than anything else.
This is what I think anyway…but I’m really actually here to get others’ opinions!
Here are a dozen clips. Hope it’s not too many. They’re all pretty short.
Most of these I’m wearing my guitar considerably higher that I would for a normal gig where I’m more concerned about appearance. I think it brings the guitar closer to where it would be when I’m sitting on the couch.
I kept switching picks to try and mitigate all the scraping sounds I produce, and also I played around with my pick angle a bit…turning it more flat along the strings sounds cleaner and feels more clicky like I like, but edge picking seems to be what I end up with most of the ways I set myself up.
If I could hold the guitar with my arm practically parallel to the strings I believe I can do some pretty decent picking but that’s not really a position that I can get myself into naturally.
Also, I really feel like I always need to pick as close to the bridge as possible or else the strings are just way too loosey-goosey.
Ok I’ll shut up now.
For these last two, I lowered my guitar strap quite a bit and I’m sort of balancing the guitar against my thigh with the neck up in the air…very “rockstar” pose, which I’m totally comfortable doing if that’s what it’s gonna take. It somehow gets my hand & arm into a more comfortable position to do these motions.
12 this one is like above but I added my middle finger pressing against my index finger for more support