What are things you did to achieve economy of motion?

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Pobshot
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REcently I've noticed that one of the as qbiggest problems for why I can't play as quickly is, my fingers hover too high off the fret board and my picking takes too wide of arcs. What are things you guys have done to rid yourselves of this sort of thing?
The Wolf
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try anchoring your little finger on one of your pickups.
Zeds.Ded
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pick lighter and youl move less, play lighter on your left hand also, and you wont move as much
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prman
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The Wolf wrote:try anchoring your little finger on one of your pickups.
That`s exactly what you should NOT do! Any "anchoring" or "resting" or "fixing" is restricting the free movement of your hand and fingers.
Zebula77
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If you lower the action on the strongs, it's a lot easier to do pull-ofs and hammer-ons. Which means you won't have to move your left hand fingers that much. As far as picking is concerned, economy picking has helped me a great deal (as in raking/sweeping from one strong to the next in a down-up-down motion)
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Big Bad Bill
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prman wrote:That`s exactly what you should NOT do! Any "anchoring" or "resting" or "fixing" is restricting the free movement of your hand and fingers.
Funny you should say that, because most of the fast, schooled pickers seem to anchor their picking hands. I don't personally as I find it awkward, but I've wondered if I should be trying to cultivate the habit!

I've tried keeping my left hand movements down to a minimum-especially after seeing Tony MacAlpine's impressive and almost imperceptible finger movements when playing runs! But I can't seem to achieve this. I spent so much time on this part of my playing I neglected other more important aspects! Besides, Steve makes some pretty big finger moves when he's playing, so it can't be that bad a thing!
seljer
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the anchoring your pinky/ring fingers does hinder your playing. Its possible to get almost any technique fast and consistent with years of dedicated practice (and there are plenty of fast players that play like that, Petrucci, Batio, Steve Morse). But playing like that creates a bunch of unneeded tension in your picking hand (which might turn out to be really bad later on in life, I believe Morse has problems with carpal tunnel :() and limits your hands mobility and speed compared to not anchoring your hand on there. You don't need to tense up at all to play fast.

there are many guitarists who have stopped doing anchoring like that and have been very pleased with the results, more than than in the other direction. It takes a couple of weeks to get used to it (your hands only can do what you teach them) but after that many more possibilities are opened up

look at Paul Gilbert, Rusty Cooley, Shawn Lane, etc... for people who play without anchoring


A nice study into picking technique: http://www.tuckandpatti.com/pick-finger_tech.html
-=MelodicDreamer=-
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prman wrote:
The Wolf wrote:try anchoring your little finger on one of your pickups.
That`s exactly what you should NOT do! Any "anchoring" or "resting" or "fixing" is restricting the free movement of your hand and fingers.
Petrucci rests his pinky. I guerentee you his playing ability isn't to restricted by it.
Stephen Brown
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prman wrote:
The Wolf wrote:try anchoring your little finger on one of your pickups.
That`s exactly what you should NOT do! Any "anchoring" or "resting" or "fixing" is restricting the free movement of your hand and fingers.
Well said that man! 8)
Stephen Brown
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Pobshot wrote:REcently I've noticed that one of the as qbiggest problems for why I can't play as quickly is, my fingers hover too high off the fret board and my picking takes too wide of arcs. What are things you guys have done to rid yourselves of this sort of thing?
Just try to relax your hands. Stretch out. Then place back on guitar.
One thing you should notice is tenshion you maybe having. RELAX & play as close to each area as you can. Of course that doesn't mean your nailed to the spots to.
Your thumb action & moves will also play a factor in how your fretting hand is moving around. Watch your hand as you change area's of the guitar. You should see all different types of hand ache. Your thumb will move to compensate or it should.

If you play a chromatic line 4 notes per sting & then you play a penta blues line/bend your see your hand arche & thumb move accordingly. Try it.

& to get to the point.

By observing these little action they can have a LARGE effect. With the correct thumb & hand placement you should in effect be in-line more/closer
to the fret board to execute your actions.

However there are exceptions. Like the other day I saw Guthrie Govan have the 4 note per string hand postion. The he played the blues line he wanted followed by bending the high E with his fourth finger.Hmm
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Ricardo
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Practice "stacato". Meaning, put a little 16th note rest in between your eighth notes.
Pobshot
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Zeds.Ded wrote:pick lighter and youl move less, play lighter on your left hand also, and you wont move as much
When I try picking "lighter" or more closely together I notice the notes aren't as clean or the tone isn't as great, is this something that just needs more practice?
Pobshot
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Ricardo wrote:Practice "stacato". Meaning, put a little 16th note rest in between your eighth notes.
Hmm this is interesting, can you elaborate more on this idea?
guitarbonham
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i kinda combine the anchoring and free hand thing. i think with the free hand thing its tough to know where the guitar is when your playing and its way easier to miss strings unless your watching what your play the whole time. what it do is i let me little finger just touch the guitar somewhere under the strings so i know where the guitar is. i don't anchor behind the pickups because that just feels kinda strange. i just let it touch the body somewhere. this feels much more natural to me then anchoring or not touching the guitar at all. i also typically don't do this when im playing chords or things that don't require the same amount of accuracy as picking.
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Ricardo
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Hmm this is interesting, can you elaborate more on this idea?
Basically, if you try to play everything stacato, you have to slow down by half, control the rhythm sharply, and prepare each note. The cutting off of sound can be done with either hand, which ever one needs to work on control the most. That little blade of silence between the notes, forces you to prepare way in advance for the NEXT stroke. The preparation ends up becoming the "economy of motion". Of course you want to use a metronome, and gradually speed things back up to normal or desired speed.

I learned this first when developing right hand finger picking for classical/flamenco guitar, but realized later that it can work for picking or left hand efficiency as well. Practicing in front of the mirror helps too, so you can observe your movements and see if anything is flailing about unnecessarily. Weird thing is when you start doing stacato notes, you naturally become more efficient, just to keep in tempo.

Ricardo
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