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I need help?

eclecticeclectic IowaNew
edited December 2006 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 2
Hello everyone,
Just joined this site!
For years I have tried to increase the speed on my picking (right)hand
with no success. It is hard to play 16th notes at 120 bpm. The funny thing, I can pick extremely fast with my left hand. I've tried to copy every movement of my left hand to my right hand - to no avail. BTW, I play very relaxed, no tension. Somehow I feel as if I am accessing the wrong muscle group to do this correctly. I just ordered the Gypsy picking book hoping the rest stroke will help. My question is: has anyone else had a problem with picking speed and by switching to the GP method it has made a major difference in your quickness? If anyone has any ideas that would help, I would greatly appreciate it. I have been working for countless hours for well over 10 years trying to conquer this. One more thing, I am left handed but I have seen all kinds of fast pickers that are lefty's.
Thanks for any input,


  • MarioMario Berlin, GermanyNew
    Posts: 22
    Hi eclectic. I can't really help you out on this, as I have just started picking it the gypsy way myself, but here is an interesting article you might want to read. It's all about taking it easy, in way...

    Keep on to it!

  • nutloafnutloaf WalesNew
    Posts: 85
    Have a look at my topic- speed and the rest stroke, look at my last entry.I hope this helps[/code][/list][/quote]
    Don't stare at the stinking finger, or you will miss all the heavenly glory.
  • aa New York City✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 800
    fast twitch muscle fiber is bullshit.
    Learn how to play Gypsy guitar:
  • Josh GibsonJosh Gibson FLNew
    Posts: 29
    a wrote:
    fast twitch muscle fiber is bullshit.

    Do you have any evidence to support your claim? I'd like to know more.
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    I can tell you that the Gypsy picking technique helped me a lot, and not only in terms of speed. I can play faster now but what I think has been the big benefit is cleanlines and volume, plus i didn`t play as relaxed before.
    It does take a while and a lot of hard work to really ingrain, it really doesn`t happen overnight, but with patience you`ll get it.
    Good luck.
  • MarioMario Berlin, GermanyNew
    Posts: 22
    a wrote:
    fast twitch muscle fiber is bullshit.

    Hmm...when I posted the link, I actually didn't want to be taken too seriously, but still...there is something to that thing about 'fast twitch muscle fiber'. After all, in professional sports, there are training methods that teach you how to take advantage of exactly these FTMFs. They can't be so absolutely offtrack, can they? I mean, they've been doing this for a pretty long time, right?

    Never mind...
  • I know it’s an old post but seeing as I’m researching speed there’s one thing I’d like to add.

    I struggle to play fast but the bizarre thing is that I can tap my fingers on a tabletop easily faster than I would like to play. Secondly, I can certainly tremelo pick on one string at a fast enough speed. This leads me to conclude that fast twitch or slow twitch might not be so crucial and in my view it is most likely to be a lack of coordination, excess of tension that is the barrier to speed for most. Obviously, this comes down to the right practice.
    Wim Glenn
  • Jeff MooreJeff Moore Minneapolis✭✭✭✭ Lebreton 2
    edited February 2018 Posts: 476
    Sounds really frustrating.
    I'm a righty. I can scarcely pick at all with my left. It made me wonder if you could you be imposing right dominance over what might really be your left dominance and not recognizing your natural handedness? I've never heard a problem like I'm hearing yours. Obviously righties pick with the right and visa versa, suggesting that handedness totally dominates when it comes to choosing which direction we play instruments with few exceptions.
    Totally just brain storming. I don't know anything about this.
    "We need a radical redistribution of wealth and power" MLK
  • b7everb7ever New
    Posts: 23
    Just a mix of my own thinking and reading through other articles on practicing but maybe the best way to improve your speed is to:

    1) identify exactly what patterns you want to pick. This may be derived from asking the question, why do I want to pick fast? to keep up with a 220bpm tempo through a whole song? to hit a particular run? in any case, you have to start somewhere so lets say you want to just build general speed, then you identify the pattern as u/d/u/d (up down up down) on each string moving from string 6 to string 1 back down to string 6. if its a particular arpeggio run you want to hit, identify the pattern as u/d on each string starting on string 5 moving to string 2 back down to string 5, for example.

    2) If you are righty, practice the pattern using open strings (no left hand, just right hand). Using a metronome, start at the lowest speed you can comfortably pick the pattern. build this into your DAILY practice routine, but you have to figure out how much time to dedicate to this each day.

    3) Once you get the hang of it, slowly increase the speed a bit. for example practice 1 min at a comfortable level, 1 min at a slightly challenging level and 1 min at a very challenging level. Be cautious not to develop bad habits at uncomfortable levels though.

    4) Introduce the left hand each day using a similar method.

    This is what I've been doing in my daily routine. Practicing is a mix of art and science. When you figure it out how to do it correctly, please let me know. I've been trying to figure it out myself for a while.
  • in a study of pianists playing a multi octave fast ascending line the top pianists and people who had no experience and werent thinking about what note to play were the same speed.

    the rest of those tested were slower
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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