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Struggling with fast fingerpicking

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

  1. bengolding


    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

    Jul 18, 2009
    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.

  3. Righteous Thunderer

    Righteous Thunderer

    Jan 25, 2010
    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


    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

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


    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


    Jun 28, 2011
    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


    Jun 26, 2008
    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

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


    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


    Jul 10, 2007
    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


    Apr 7, 2014
    +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

    Apr 22, 2011
    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


    Feb 16, 2013
    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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