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 Need some guidance,tips and help :) 
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Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:42 am
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Post Need some guidance,tips and help :)
So I've been playing for nearly 2 years now :)
Even though the first year was like picking up the guitar once a month and banging a few powerchords and thats it, but around a year ago I started to play serious and i've become a fan of PG thanks to my friends introduction of his songs.

So when I practiced and watched his video lessons I stumbled onto him saying something along the lines of "Your left hand steers and your right hand pushes the gas, If you cant steer dont press the gas" or something like that and I practiced alot so my left hand is pretty developed, I don't know but the problem is now my right hand can't really keep up with it :S

Are there any good exercises to make my left and right hand in sync :S?

Thanks guys.


Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:26 pm
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is evil...Evil Joe

Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:50 pm
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Location: New Jersey
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Check out John Petrucci's rock discipline book, it has a ton of great exercises for that kinda stuff!

Or even better, check out Intense Rock 1 and 2 :)


Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:48 pm
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is evil...Evil Joe
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I know Intense Rock 2 (Paul Gilbert instructional video) has his 3 note-per-string scale pattern. Where basically you can just take a minor scale (or any thing really) and play the first four notes. Ascending and descending. Playing the root/2nd/3rd on one string and going up to the next string to grab the 4th. Just playing that pattern over and over helps sync up your two hands.


Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:56 pm
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Who needs to pick :D http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_TfvFftf4s

Being serious, I think some people aren't just meant to pick. I know practice will get you closer to it, but I honestly think the reason why some people get it real quick is because they are built for it (like how they are physically).

I for one, can't tell my genes to extend my pinky, it's way too short. That being, I never use it for playing "properly" especially in the higher frets cause my fingers cramp and my pinky never 'gets there'. It's very difficult to explain.

Anyway, my point being, you should know your limitations. You can also try other techniques so you can find your forte. (I'm not telling you to give up easily, though, I'm just giving you a heads up)


Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:01 pm
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Motorman
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I've always believed in the amazing adaptational powers of the human body. The first 2-3 years of playing, I COULD NOT cross strings when picking. My hand got exhausted so easily, and I'd just lock up with really easy shit. Mind you, I was putting in 6 hours a day, so it was definitely a confidence breaker.

So I busted my ass trying to get it in shape. Another two years in (and wasting a few months getting the ending Scarified arps.......BACKWARDS) and I felt I could keep up with the best of 'em. I really think its just a matter of perspiration. Muscles are designed to develop, and while you can't change your finger length (I've got 3cm on Vai, but who needs that with freaks like Shawn Lane), but I feel anything is doable, you just gotta do it.


Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:50 pm
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Tab Master
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I'm actually having this same problem too. I'm left handed so my fretting is much better than my picking, so I find Racer X stuff really hard to play, but just literally practising the songs you can't play helps ALOT.

I obviously have no idea what songs you've heard of Paul's, but check out stuff like:

Technical Difficulties
Scarified
Motorman
Scit Scat Wah
Loud N Clear
etc...

And just pick out the licks you can't play, practice them with a metronome for hours and hours a day and in a few months, you'll progress.


Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:04 pm
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Thing is most of us don't have the 6+ hours to practice. Honestly, if I didn't give up on picking, I never would've discovered hybrid picking, hammer-ons from nowhere, slide vibrato, economy picking, etc.

When I gave up on one technique, I discovered that others complied with my fingers better.


Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:05 pm
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Motorman
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I think everyone here has great points.....

The reality is with any high level technique when playing any instrument (and Paul is the Mt Everest of alternate picking melodically [there are faster, like Rusty Cooley, but honestly he's so fast it doesn't sound clean anymore!]), there is only one way to get there - practice. If you listen to Paul's vids, he will tell you that it took him like a good 9 years to develop his picking to where he was comfortable with it (or, in my view, unbelievable at it). And then mid way through he also changed the way he uses his pick. There will be points you will want to chuck your guitar into a ditch (like every time you see that intro to Intense Rock 1 and think Mofo!), but tomorrow is another day on your individual quest to becoming the guitarist you want to be.

Like MDuCran says, metronome it up. In terms of alternate picking, I think the best thing to do is to pick a couple of Paul's sextuplet, three note per string patterns, slow them down and play them till your blue in the face. Those patterns are all through Paul's music, but the good one's are IMO:

Technical difficulties @ 1.01 to 1.05
Viking Kong 2.46 - 3.11 - this one is my favourite, because in the last 6 note pattern, Paul's builds up speed and remains clean - that pattern is a really good alternate picking strength builder
Scit Scat Wah (off extreme volume live) - .22 - .25
The curse of the castle dragon - pretty much the whole thing!
Norwegian Cowbell - .36 - .42 this tune made me play guitar again after 6 -7 years not playing, it's Paul famous pattern.

In my view, the reason Paul is so great is not that he's quick - it's that he is cleaner than almost anyone in the world. His picking hand is is flawless!

Most of all, good luck and have fun! Personally, my picking hand is my biggest challenge, courtesy of playing Satriani legato riffs through my teenage years, my right hand is super fast. But I really have work at my alternate picking!

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Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:36 pm
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Thanks guys for all the great feedback! I'll start working on the picking exercises!
Again thanks a bunch!


Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:34 am
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I hit a wall with my speed and didn't improve for many many months.. despite practicing every day for a couple hours. So I decided to mess around with not only different picks, but different picking techniques, change the angle of your wrist, the way you position your hand (if you anchor or float or keeping it parallel to the strings or angled), your arm, even how you hold the guitar.. whatever and find out what let's you use your wrist alone to pick the most comfortably. I believe you can see it in your arms muscles if you play in front of a mirror and find what causes the least stress but let's you pick the easiest and most efficient. In the past like 2 weeks I think I've improved my speed a ton and the change in angle of my arm/wrist was very minor.

Try it out. It's not hard to change your technique a little bit.

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