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Struggling with fast fingerpicking

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bengolding, Mar 24, 2014.


  1. bengolding

    bengolding

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2014
    I am trying to play a song that is very fast and challenging for my music controlled assessment, only trouble is when I try to play, I find it very difficult to keep up with the time. It's not that I can't pick fast, it's the fact my fingers seem to get 'stuck' on the strings. It really affects my playing and I would appreciate any advice to prevent this, it's very important to me :)
     
  2. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    Anytime this happens I think you will find that it will be necessary to slow back down to where you can function and then speed up in steps.

    Practice.
     
  3. Righteous Thunderer

    Righteous Thunderer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    It might do you well to remember to use a light touch. I could be wrong, but to me it sounds like you're more "plucking" the strings with your fingers rather than rolling them off of the strings, therefore it slows down your playing. I did this a lot at one point due to bad technique and it slowed me down for quite a while.
     
  4. bengolding

    bengolding

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2014
    Thank you, it just seems like I try my best to play fast and then I lose focus in the process. I guess I'll see how it goes today, wish me luck xD
     
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  6. philvanv

    philvanv Gerbil Turds, Kitsap County Turd Core

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Disclosures:
    and at the bottom it says thank you, and now you can **** off
  7. zeppfan90

    zeppfan90

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    This also use to happen to me(still does once in a while). What I started doing was using my ring finger with my middle finger with my picking hand. Just pretend your middle finger and ring finger are the same finger. It is kind of difficult at first so I got some tape and taped my ring and middle finger and just practiced that way for about 2 weeks and I had it down. Just a friendly suggestion.
     
  8. eriky4003

    eriky4003

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    Zeppfan90, I use your technique at times when I find using the first two fingers doesn't sound right in particular songs. However, I don't use this method for additional speed.
    Another idea, assuming the OP is using 2 fingers, is to add the ring finger. There will be transition time to working out this method.
     
  9. themarshall

    themarshall

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    cochrane wi
    Don't overlook economy of motion. Even the lightest touch doesn't necessarily equal speed if there is wasted movement. And relax.
     
  10. Slough Feg Bass

    Slough Feg Bass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    just play the Trooper 300 times and you will be fine.
     
  11. xroads

    xroads

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    This is very useful, especially the part about rolling your fingers across the string instead of actually plucking the string.
    This has helped e a lot increasing the speed and getting more control.
     
  12. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Relax into the lick. And don't try "hard" , try smart. Also try to articulate your line by singing . Once you can do that, you can hear the lick fast enough to actually play it.
     
  13. silverwolf

    silverwolf

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Location:
    yucaipa,ca
    +1 with playing "the trooper" 300 times. It's taken me about 2 months, but it's working. Takes a lot of focus to get those fingers moving but, it will happen.
     
  14. ridethespiral

    ridethespiral Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    +1 slow it down and speed up in stages. You need to make it become muscle memory for both hands to be in sync.
     
  15. BioWeapon

    BioWeapon

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    A lot of music is written in 4/4, when I need to go fast I find that 4 fingers works best. Takes a bit of practice to strengthen that pinky tho.
     

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