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  1. #51

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    Arrange the 120 Right hand exercises by Giulliani for pick style. That should cover it!


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #52

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    He probably was mainly trying to get the point across that in order to play fast bebop, sax type arpeggio lines you have to sweep pick. Its impossible to alternate pick fast arps at the speed a sax or piano player can play them, for example. Every player who alternate picks also uses sweep picking atleast on ascending arps at high speed, its just not possible otherwise. The best example of this is every metal guitarist ever. They use strict alternate picking on most things, but use "economy" or "sweep" for insanely fast arpeggios.

    Many times I have seen Jimmy discourage people from copying his picking if they already have something that works then going on to give examples of great guitarists that use different techniques. I think this was probably a case of him doing a bad job explaining what he meant.

  4. #53
    i'm with jzucker. economy always feels a bit floaty for me, and sounds the same way. i spent ages trying all sorts out, economy, legato etc, but eventually just accepted i alternate pick everything. I'm not saying it's the only way, or the best way, but for me, i have to accept that it's what i do. presuure on, push comes to shove, i'm gonna pick everything, really loud. since i accepted it, my playing (or confidence in my playing?) shot up.
    my advice to students, if their technique is not yet formed, is to think of the sound you want, then base your technique around that. If your technique is already well formed, then i think you have to stick with it and accept it, and work with that. i Know this is not everyone's solution and that you'll shoot me down for it, but.... gotta put it out there

  5. #54

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    Not like I practice what I preach, but it's best to learn both alternate and economy picking. There are certainly benefits to each method when tackling different situations. I've watched Bruno's DVD and what he says makes sense if you want to go through the trouble of learning, from scratch, a different technique. I tried it, it wasn't working for me so I ditched it.

    Also, playing fast doesn't make you a pro. If you're interested in fast, get into some gypsy jazz technique. Those folks are about as fast and accurate a guitar player you'll ever see without the need to hide behind effects to cover up nuances.

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    Who hides behind effects to cover up nuances?
    Well I'm not talking about Jazz guitarists here. I'm talking all your metal, tapping, shredding folks. They can't pull some of that (probably most of that) stuff off clean. Besides maybe the Al Di Meola gang, I can't think of more faster/cleaner/melodic players than the gypsy jazz players like Django and the Rosenbergs.

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    From the clip posted looks like he does a heavy downward slant and when he switches strings he hits that string with a downstroke first, like they do in gypsy picking. I would take a guess he is also using mostly rest strokes on the down stroke.

    Joe Pass said he always used a downstroke when changing strings, regardless of string direction. He thought it gave lines more definition. He also used a lot of hammers and slurs, so he wasn't picking everything.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit59
    Of course, most prefer to use down strokes on the strong beats, but that doesn't really have any bearing on the definition of alternate picking.
    How come? If a measure has four quarter notes and a player who claims to use alternate picking, literally, plays all four notes with down strokes, because they're strong beats... see? It isn't literally alternate picking, is it?


  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojo27
    How come? If a measure has four quarter notes and a player who claims to use alternate picking, literally, plays all four notes with down strokes, because they're strong beats... see? It isn't literally alternate picking, is it?

    Of course not...

    Well when I said "strong beats", I think that implies subdivisions of at least 8th notes, which yield strong and weak beats, note choice-wise too (guess I was sort of thinking in terms of bop).

    alternate = up, down ad infinitum...

  10. #59
    I think most people can not play strict alternate picking in any tempo relaxed, so then we have to find other methods to get the tones out of the guitar.

    There are some that seem to have the genetics to do it, like Benson or Martino, I've even had students who was not very advanced, but still had a really nice, relaxed alternate picking. It just falls natural for some.

    For me it don't, so I've had to explore many of the other options. One method I like when doing runs on three tones per string is to play pick pick hammer-on, it helps hold the arm relaxed, and I like the sound of it.

  11. #60

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    Hey Matt,
    What Jimmy Bruno says in his video is misrepresented here. I have his lesson on sweep picking and he remarks that if you try to use all down strokes you will never acquire the speed to play sax solos etc. He is more to the point of showing technique such as how to hold the pick to strike the strings on the bottom of the point on down strokes and the upper side on up strokes. He also shows not to use the wrist but to use the elbow and keep the wrist straight. He shows several picking patterns and then mentions he has a lesson book with dozens of picking patterns a student should check out. He shows how to use different patterns for eighth notes and triplets etc. So like most guitarists he has a variety of patterns to get the technique to get his sound. Check out Frank Vignola. He is a buzz saw who uses many picking styles.

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by MortenFaerestrand
    I think most people can not play strict alternate picking in any tempo relaxed, so then we have to find other methods to get the tones out of the guitar.

    There are some that seem to have the genetics to do it, like Benson or Martino, I've even had students who was not very advanced, but still had a really nice, relaxed alternate picking. It just falls natural for some.

    For me it don't, so I've had to explore many of the other options. One method I like when doing runs on three tones per string is to play pick pick hammer-on, it helps hold the arm relaxed, and I like the sound of it.
    Years ago I devoted quite a bit of dedicated practice to alternate picking, then some to economy picking as well, so now I rarely think about it - I think I just instinctively am going for whatever is appropriate for the sound I want at any given second.

    BTW - I checked out your YouTube channel - very fine playing!

  13. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit59
    Years ago I devoted quite a bit of dedicated practice to alternate picking, then some to economy picking as well, so now I rarely think about it - I think I just instinctively am going for whatever is appropriate for the sound I want at any given second.

    BTW - I checked out your YouTube channel - very fine playing!
    I've spent som much time and been so frustrated with my right hand technique that it is rediculous, and still to this day I'm extremely focused on it when I practice (depending on what I practice of course) so that I won't have to think about it when I perform, and I manage to play the ideas that I have.. It's a constant struggle! haha! (I'm actually writing this when taking a break from practicing different paradiddle patterns on the guitar, with almost all of the focus one where to put the up/down strokes!)

    That said, I'm pretty happy with my technique these days, some of the changes I've done the last year has worked out really well

    I'm glad you like my playing, thank you for saying so!:-)

  14. #63

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    Another player who uses this definition of alternate picking - Steve Morse. That guy can alternate pick anything.

  15. #64

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    Not to nitpick or get into this whole semantical thing, but the only definition of alternate picking I have ever heard is down on downbeats, up on upbeats. I have never heard of the idea of simply always going down up regardless of the rhythm.

    My understanding has been that the whole point of (my definition of) alternate picking was to provide a strong rhythmic foundation. You really feel the downbeat, you really feel the upbeat.

    This is for the most part how I've always played, though when I was learning some specific horn solos I got into more sweeping and slur-oriented stuff.

    I think it's actually pretty limiting for speed, but it makes things much tighter and more precise.

  16. #65

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    Music is not relegated to perfect subdivisions of the beat. Think of playing quintuplets, septuplets, etc. How are you going to play those with "proper" 8th notes. Alternate picking as studied with Martino , Sandole, Smith, etc., has been around for over 60 years. Your understanding of it is ok as a sub-categorization of the concept but to keep insisting that it's the mainstay of this technique if incorrect IMO.

  17. #66

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    nope morse strictly alternates for the most part as does ellis. Cross picking is strictly alternate too. But once again, nobody just alternates strictly like a robot. Anyway, no offense but this is a silly discussion IMO so I'm going to bow out.


  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    Morse has said in interviews, verbatim, he picks down on a downbeat, up on an upbeat. What he does when he gets to crazy rhythms I don't know - he doesn't play that many crazy rhythms.
    don't know about that but I studied with his teacher at the University of Miami and played several picking etudes that morse wrote which were strictly alternate.

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeAcci
    Also Jack I know you said you're done with this discussion, but a more practical question:

    Are you really saying that if you have a line that goes

    1+2+3 4+|1+2+3

    That alternate picking means you do an upstroke on beat 4 of measure one? THAT seems crazy to me.
    Depends on the tempo. Technically beat 4 is no different than the "and" of an 8th note in terms of jazz phrasing.

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    Alternate picking means *ALTERNATE*. Not, alternate according to the subdivision of the beat. That is the generally accepted terminology in jazz pedagogy.
    I'll try for a condensed version of yesterday's book-length treatise. This is my opinion, based in much reading of guitar magazines, instruction books, and in using instructional tapes, CDs, videos, etc.

    At Berklee, 1500 guitar students per year learn “Alternate Picking,” a term which must be defined the way most people who use the term intend it to mean. Bill Leavitt’s 3-volume guitar method, initiated in 1966, teaches this way of picking – down on the down-beats, up on the ups. See the first two thumbnail pics. Every decade, about 15,000 people, from Berklee’s “jazz pedagogy” alone, assume this definition of alternate picking. And how many students do these players reach? Crucial to Leavitt’s method (as well as to “flatpicking,” discussed next) is that down and up-strokes must be indistinguishable, unless the player is intentionally accenting a note. So, “literal” alternation of the pick is in no way superior to Leavitt’s (and others’) method in this way.

    Over the past thirty or forty years, “flatpicking” – a relatively new way of playing guitar, has been born and is flourishing world-wide – just check Google, YouTube, etc, if you aren’t familiar with it. It’s essentially playing fiddle tunes, Celtic & Irish music, bluegrass, Western swing, jazz, Gypsy stuff – and it’s played on acoustic dreadnought guitars, heavily strung, played very hard and very loud. Two of the earliest and best practitioners of this music, Russ Barenberg and Dan Crary, also happened to be excellent writers, articulate teachers, and musicologists. Both released some extremely influential instruction material (books and Homespun Tapes cassette lessons), which taught and inspired tens of thousands of new flatpickers. Alternate Picking, as practiced by probably 98% of these guitarists, is no different from the approach taught at Berklee. Barenberg grew up around Berklee and has taught there. I’m not sure where or how Dan Crary adopted this approach. Both cite this as one of the few “rules” – with plenty exceptions, of course – if one is to attain proficiency in this incredibly difficult (“athletic” is a good word), very fast, aggressive, technically intricate, improvisatory style of guitar playing.

    I didn’t scan anything from Dan Crary. I could have scanned all day, though, from many different music books – magazine articles galore, the "sources" are myriad. Note the two scans (#3 & #4) from bebop guitarist, Joshua Breakstone’s 2009 Cherry Lane book, Jazz Etudes for the Beginning Improviser. Breakstone has to his credit nineteen or twenty albums and CDs, as a leader, and he teaches in New York City. He learned jazz largely from Sal Salvador, who also used Alternate Picking, I believe.
    The Mel Bay scan is from 1973. The Barenberg scan is from 1978. Leavitt’s (the first two) are from 1966.

    Alternate picking, as defined by this most-widely-used sense of the term, is so popular, I think, because it *does* connect the often elusive problems about pick direction, to the music. To most players (I’m not one!), down-strokes feel more natural than do ups. Playing a down-stroke on a down-beat and an up-stroke on an up-beat makes all the sense in the world, once the feeling of playing this way becomes ingrained into muscle memory and the autonomic nervous system and all that stuff. And it doesn't take long! One book I have, by a shredder, I think, tells the reader to imagine a string tied between his picking hand and the toe of his shoe. Tap your foot. Your shoe goes down on down-beats, and the string pulls your picking hand down: a down-stroke. When your pick moves up for the up-stroke, the string stays taut, as your foot is coming up on the upbeats. Goofy, maybe – but it illustrates how this method depends on the link between musical “feel” and pick direction. Your right hand becomes almost like a pendulum, rocking to the beat.

    Now: alternate picking is intended to be a sort of “grounding” system, so that most of the time there will be no question about pick direction. That’s all it is! It’s as natural as tapping your foot. But OF COURSE you can’t play “modern poly-rhythms” with this approach. The strings of triplets that make up so much 6/8 Irish music leave the alternate picker to do as he sees fit. I don’t know of a single player who uses this approach without recurring exceptions.

    You can learn and use this method without being bound to it inextricably!

    Sweep-pick all you want – nobody’s going to yell at you. Read the magazines, buy some new books, check the Internet: learning a beat-related system of applying down-strokes and up-strokes to playing a guitar with a pick – this is simply the way it’s done now. In most cases. Because it works SO well for so many so quickly. In most cases.
    Last edited by Kojo27; 05-17-2011 at 06:14 AM.

  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit59
    kojo - ya killin' me ovah hee-yah!

    I think you're simply confusing something that most alternate pickers happen to do with the actual definition of alternate picking.

    If I was playing through an etude of bland mid-tempo quarter notes where there purposely were no strong or weak beats and I was picking up-down ad infinitum OR down-up ad infinitum - either way - I'd still be alternate picking.

    I personally like to think like a drummer, and strive for complete independence, IOW, I should be able to accent notes the same whether I'm on an upstroke or down.

    Haha! I _so_ appreciate your amicableness, if that's a word... some can't disagree without becoming disagreeable -- you know?

    But hmmm.... honest, I'm not sure (in your first sentence) what you're calling "alternate picking," since that seems to be at the heart of the whole silly thing. But silly can be fun, so let's fight, okay? : )~ What are you referring to as "the actual definition"??? To me, there's no question of what it means (refer back a bunch of posts where I went on about how words get their definitions - but you know that...)

    Still we have this "literal" down-up, ad-infinitum concept, a way of picking where the direction of the pick does indeed alternate -- but that doesn't have beans to do with how it's actually defined. Ask a linguist. Or not, it's up to you.

    As I stressed, with alternate picking, ala Leavitt et al, a player must be able to "accent notes the same whether...on an upstroke or down." Some of the ad-infinitum proponents seem to think only they could do that - or am I wrong? My playing down-strokes on down-beats doesn't mean they're going to be stronger than my up-strokes. That's one of the first challenges in learning this method - to be able to accent (or not) at will. With flatpicking, especially bluegrass, there's lots of syncopation - lots. So up-strokes are doing the accents in most of that, and they have to be powerful to sound right over a fiddles, banjos and drunken clog dancers, or whatever's at a bluegrass gig.

    Sorry if I'm totally confused. Are you saying you believe the "up-down-ad-infinitum" players pick according to the beat anyway? In your first sentence, I mean...

    KJ (I'm off to bed; it's all yours for a while.)

  22. #71

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    BTW, for anybody actually still interested in this thread, go to YouTube and watch the right hand work of Julian Lage (if you can! ahem)... Isn't he using beat-related picking, except of course in rhythmically impossible situations? Seems so to me, but I could be wrong. (He's a "flatpicker," in every sense of the word, by the way.)

  23. #72

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    First of all, I disagree about Lage. He definitely does some consecutive downs and ups and he does so with impeccable time, dynamic, etc. I'm taking a lesson with him in a few weeks, so I'll let you know what he says about these issues!

    Second, while I don't share your enthusiasm for this definition of alternate picking, I am a little confused about Jack Zuckers definition.

    Jack, expanding on a question I asked earlier:

    If you have this rhythm, (let's just say all one string, and Q=220) how would you pick it?

    1+ + +4 |1TL2TL3 4

    With 1TL meaning 8th note triplets starting on beat 1

    I would probably pick it like this

    1+ + +4 |1TL2TL3 4

    but within your strict definition of alternate picking it would be

    1+ + +4 |1TL2TL3 4

    even if that's the definition of alternate picking, does anybody actually play that way? Would you play that rhythm with those strokes?

  24. #73

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    Wanted to add, if that passage were in "Mel Bay's Modern Method for Guitar" it would be stroked (hah) like this:

    1+ + +4 |1TL2TL3 4

    interesting eh?

    For another take on 'alternate' picking, I took a lesson with a guy who was really into bulgarian music. A lot of that stuff is in 7 or some other odd grouping. The traditional way that those guys play that stuff is to do down on the down beats and up on the upbeats. So there often would actually be two downs in a row - one at the end of the measure or phrase and one at the beginning. 7, for example: DUDUDUD|DUDUDUD

    He claimed that without these strokes the phrasing for this type of music just doesn't come through.

    (edit: i finished this post before your last one came through)

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    i do it all the time Jake and so does martino, benson, etc. If the tempo is above 220 it becomes very hard to do consecutive upstrokes. Try it at 250 or 300 and you'll see...
    At 300 I don't have a problem picking upstrokes at that speed, but at that tempo I can only feel so many consecutive upbeats at a time. One measure is fine, but two measures is too long for my hearing, currently. That's a hearing issue for me, not a technique issue. If there's at least one downbeat in there I can do it. With this one measure rhythm: 1+ + + + , repeating is possible for me to do at 300 with DUUUU. I believe in the video I played that rhythm a bit but it was probably more like 250, maybe more.

    At 300 bpm, 8th note upbeats are happening at a rate of 300 per minute, but they have the same length as quarter notes. So it's like playing all 8ths with upstrokes at 150, or 16ths at 75. That's not very difficult, I'm sure not for you. I think the challenge there for anybody to do two or more measures of upbeats at 300 is probably more the hearing than the technique. Do I have the math right here?

    Not that it really matters...but I'm skeptical of the claim that this is how Martino or Benson would tackle this rhythm. I'll accept that in some circles (maybe down south?) alternate picking is defined how you are defined it. But honestly, and really no offense intended, I'd be really really surprised if Benson or Martino - or Joe Pass or Herb Ellis - would use those 'purely alternating' strokes you describe. I know your response might just be "it's how they do it, you're wrong" but is there any decent video or ANY source we can both see that shows either of these guys playing a more syncopated rhythm so we can actually look at their right hands? It seems like when either of these cats does something more syncopated, with triplets etc, there's heavy use of economy or sweeps involved, not pure alternation.

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    jake at 300bpm, 8th notes are happening at 600bpm.
    8th notes are. But we're not talking about all 8th notes. We're talking about just playing upbeats. The upbeats alone are recurring at a rate of 300 bpm, not 600. I just posted a clip, I can share it if you like, but I'm only visually relating the math I just explained here.

  27. #76

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  28. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    jake, you're missing almost every other beat on that and you're turning the time around.
    Nope. You're misunderstanding.

    I demonstrate two things:

    One is this rhythm: 1 + + + +

    I'm playing it in time.

    Then at 1:04 I'm playing all upstrokes and I am intentionally playing on the downbeats to demonstrate that it's not the pick speed that's the problem, I admit that I can't hear consecutive upbeats (with no downbeat) at that tempo so I don't bother trying to play all consecutive upbeats.

    Make sense?

    First I demonstrate a rhythm that is mostly 8th note upbeats with one downbeat thrown in (beat 1.)

    Then I am playing all quarter note down beats (with the metronome set as a half note) and I do it with upstrokes.

    Make sense? We on the same page?

  29. #78

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    Well, shoot, I don't know, sounds pretty locked in to me. Can you demonstrate the same figure with your technique?

    at 1:34 - 1:41 (on the previous video) are you really telling me I don't sound like I'm playing downbeats with the metronome?

    Anybody else have any opinions on this?

    Look, I've really, really, let my ego get the best of me on this one and I'll admit it. I do a lot of work with the metronome, and I'd really be surprised if this isn't "in." I really, really should just let it go though because I don't even know what we're talking about it anymore. But I'm going to be really surprised if other posters here think I have bad time on these clips, and that I'm not locked in to the beat.

    Anyway, LAST clip, and if this isn't good enough, then well back to the shed for me:

    Here I play the rhythm (1+ + + +) at a bunch of different tempos. I totally lose it at 330, but everything else feels pretty good to me. At the end I try some longer strings of upbeats at 300, and that wasn't all that great, but the rest seems pretty much in time...

    And again, I am NOT advocating that this is the best way to do things, this just happens to be the way I've been "trained" to play a rhythm like this.

  30. #79

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    Sorry to jump in late... but what is the end or goal of your picking discussion...Playing music right... jake your picking looks cool... but at the tempo of your videos... sounds like your not close to being able to play, buy that I mean your able to hang on with the tempo with your right hand... barely. But actual playing....phrasing with dynamics and articulations... I'm not trying to get on your shit... I wonder how many players could hang at that tempo... anyway I have no problem at that tempo, don't need to think,(about my picking) just play what I hear. My point is if your simply playing for enjoyment, cover what you like etc... most guitarist never really ever get their technique together... with any picking style... Get something together to the point where you can cover... and continue to practice all the different picking methods.
    What do you do when reading a chart at that tempo... with cool rhythmic lines... I had to read through this Victor Feldman tune called "Joshua", the other night. Way cool tune, at around 280, and the arrangement, well the tune has a 3/4 section, but anyway the section were reversed, tune was in 3/4 and the usual 3/4 sections were in 4/4 with dotted quarters from 3/4 equal to the half notes from the 4/4 sections... nice feel...very common modern rhythmic use nowadays. Anyway if I had to think about my picking...well I was already smelling fumes. Lets write or play an existing line that uses more than steady scale type movement and see how many ways we can pick... I'll gladly write something quick... but might be over the top. There's a simple tune called "Ambleside" by John Taylor, I think it's in the Sher European Real Book. It's not to difficult and uses arpeggios and some 4/3 figures... The tune is very difficult to solo over, but that's a different subject. Or pick a Brecker tune or Christian McBride's "In A Hurry".... burnin easy tune... just an Idea... At the tempos we're talkin about, I would guess were in the advance group of players, but that is probable good for examples, just may be beyond most players technique level.... Best Reg
    Last edited by Reg; 05-17-2011 at 11:20 AM.

  31. #80

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    That was a great point JZ. But i still agree with what Jake was saying. When it comes down to it, whatever works for you is the answer. But me being a perfectionist, am never satisfied with where and what i am doing. So even though i am an established alternate picker who use eco picking, i am always trying to find a different way to do the same thing. It always opens new doors rhythmically and forces me to practice and think outside of the box. How else can one continue to grow?

    Jz, i loved the point you made about Martino's use of three note dim, alternate picking every 3rd note. I am going to give this a few hours of my attention and see what happens. I love talking shop with people that know what is going on.

    BTW, I am surprised no one mentioned Eubanks. He is a monster alternate and eco picker. Remember any of his early work? Especially his acoustic stuff. Very inspiring.

  32. #81

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    Hey Rich...I'm lazy, but here's a video of Alone Together I just posted for the Standards Practical Group thread in the Jazz Guitar lessons section.You can see my picking pretty easily... I don't think about it...If you post a version of This month Tune, Nica's Dream, I'll post what ever you want.... I'll post the picking examples... I'm just trying to get more player involved... sorry ...Reg

  33. #82

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    There's more than one way to skin a cat. No Benson picking here. I'd love to have this guy's right hand chops. I love the woody kind of throaty tone he has as well.

    Last edited by Flyin' Brian; 05-19-2011 at 06:02 PM.

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richb
    C'mon Reg, I'm not that gullible mate, all you have to do is just admit you can't play only the "and's" at metronome 300+, and that poor old Jake was doing pretty darn well considering! It's easy
    OK What ever you say... here I started at 300, the fasted tempo Jake got up too and played scales and arpeggios... like I said... that isn't that fast...why don't you post some of your playing. Reg

  35. #84

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    This thing with picking UPSTROKES at 250 - 300 MUST be easier for those who have this system of down on downstrokes, up on ups, ingrained into their muscle memory, it seems to me. Jake pulled it off, no problem. I can do it sloppily... I can do it sometimes at 250, but not at 300. I think it's the trained reflex of many thousands of "offbeat upstrokes" that makes this possible.

    A player NOT trained this way is going to have a hell of a time of it, IMHO, as his fast up-strokes aren't reflexively related to the beat of the metronome.


  36. #85

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    I can play either the down or up beat of the 8th notes of the quarter... write out the the line and I'll play it simply... To some maybe playing one is harder ... not to me... there's no difference in speed or tempo between playing the down or up beats ... 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + . The numbers would be the down beats and the +'s would be the upbeats... You can play either the numbers or the +'s and your playing quarter notes. How do you come up with 8th notes. There are no posts on this thread of anyone playing 8th notes in time,( the numbers and the +'s) with all up strokes... (twice as fast)...If you have trouble playing at 300... show an example at a slower tempo what you would like to see and I'll post at tempo...
    And I agree a player should be able to play either the down or up strokes for either 8th note from quarters. Obviously picking technique becomes an issue when the tempo increases and with steady 8th notes. As I posted earlier we should pick an example or faster head for example and show how we might pick using the different techniques. playing one note is pretty useless. Reg

  37. #86

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    sorry the volume is so low - roommates are home, I like to be respectable - gonna have to crank it to hear.

    Not perfect, I'm no pro. This is definitely above 250. Clearly, it's possible to play the figure with the beat-oriented picking. I mean, if I practiced this for a month I'm sure I could get it tight. Also, for some reason I played the line a step higher than written, don't know why...

    Jack no hard feelings at all, Reg neither.

    I was just talking about how I've perceived the term "alternate picking." That's all. I know there was nothing personal in this thread.

  38. #87

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    metro is at 2&4, half note 150, so Q note 300

    I think of it as groups of three notes, the middle note is going to be with the click if the click is set to be 2 and 4, so I anchor that middle note to the click.

    If you are listening for the rhythmic accuracy, that's what I'm shooting for, having the middle note of each phrase with the metronome. Not perfect, sure, but nothing is!

  39. #88

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    Sounds good to me, Rich!

    Somewhat unrelated to Rich's last post, I think there are two big sources of confusion in this thread:

    1. Confusing the term "upstroke" with "upbeat." Unfortunately I think there's been some uh, "synonimizing" going on. In my original video or two I addressed both the rhythmic elements and the stroke elements separately. Or, hah, tried to. And I think there was some confusion there.

    2. The fact that HEARING the upbeats at these fast tempos is quite difficult. Honestly, I think I can play upbeats better than I can hear somebody else do them. I think there's been confusion when people post clips because, and I might be wrong, it takes quite a rhythmic ear to be able to even HEAR 8th note upbeats - that means the ands - at 300bpm. I know several participants in this thread can hear this quite well and are involved in these kind of tempos in a professional setting, I'm just saying it's fast enough to hear consistent 8th notes, it's even harder to just hear the offbeats.

  40. #89

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    Okay – hear ye – ha. Umm, honest to goodness, no grudges or hurt feelings or even anger or any of that here. And Jake: I’m very sorry if I overstepped in trying to take up for you – I know you’re a big boy and all that, but I need to explain a thing or two.

    Not that long ago, in a county that borders Jefferson County, a teenager, who pretty much had nothing but his musical dreams and a Gibson Hummingbird, went to take “lessons” from an old self-taught wizard of a player, semi-famous, and the old guy, having no discreetness and not understanding anything about teaching music, told the boy he’d never learn, because he couldn’t tune his guitar exactly so, without a tuner – or something like that. The kid went straight home and killed himself.

    Now, I never once thought Jake was that unsure of his abilities, or that unstable, but after Mr. Zucker’s SECOND remark about Jake’s not being with the metronome, despite Jake’s explicit statements that he felt he was in sync – I felt stunned at first… Mr. Zucker is one hell of a guitar player (and I do want a copy of your book, sir), and Jake disappeared from the thread, and oh shit – I found myself thinking, what a tactless, hurtful thing… and that was entirely unnecessary – and so on.

    So, I don’t know. Overreaction, I guess. Jake's gone off and shot himself, I must have been feeling.

    This is very, very unlike me – to get in somebody’s face, practically. Maybe, Mr. Z., if you’d responded to my first statement, I wouldn’t have yelled so loud the next time. Not blaming you – just trying to figure why I would do something so odd (for me, that is.)

    Anyway, I’m cool. Really – no grudges, nothing of that sort here. Apologies to any and all I might have pissed off. I’ve been told, all my life, that I don’t know my own strength when I’m writing a complaint. Seems I lean toward overkill.

    (Oh, anyone need a really effective complaint letter? I write anything, $40/hour.)

    So, back to picking. Pick!

  41. #90

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    Yea... I think The topic is great... I made a quick vid... Trying to show examples of;
    1)examples of Picking, Downstroke or Upstroke
    2)examples of attack or beat location, on or off the beat.
    3)Downbeats with downstroke or upstroke
    4)Upbeats with downstroke or upstroke
    * the tempo or rate of attacks..... is different than;
    Location of attack or Duration of note.
    The beat of quarter note at MM120 is still 120... on the beat or off the beat. The location of attacks can be anywhere on the beat as long as they repeat. The duration can also be up to the full quarter note, or durations of 8th or 16th... there still quarter notes. When Rich said Jake was playing the attacks twice as fast as my 1st example, I believe he was referring to the location of the attack... not the tempo or rate of attack. And yes I have always been talking about quarter notes because that's all we've been talking about at MM300... obviously no one on this thread is capable of picking 8th notes with all upstrokes at mm300... on the beat or off. Playing alternating picking 8th notes at MM300 is quite a talent, even nothing musical. I'm not making any reference to anyone's playing... you guys all kick ass... really. And I may not be the best to give examples... I just play, I never think about which way my pick is going... I am simply trying to help. So please along with this post check out the Video and lets try and get our shit together... picking wise. I'll gladly read through whatever or play lines to show my approach... if it will help. I don't practice, I just play what in front of... there are probable better picking as well as positions many things could be played... but I usually don't get chance to work things out... I'm an average player, read much better than most, have a good understanding and can explain what I play. You can see my preference for picking from the wrist... but sometime I also play from the arm, especially on grooves... Please ask any questions... Posting videos along with verbal material seems to work well... Reg

    As always I'm just doing this off the top...If I make a verbal mistake feel free to correct... if I make a concept mistake, lets discuss.

  42. #91

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    Always kinda baffled by all the picking threads that show up on jazz guitar forums but apparently it's an issue for many players, never really was for me. Picking just seemed to come kind of naturally to me. Alternate picking works best for me. My alternate picking is economy picking in that I think it's important to only move the pick only as much as needed to get the job done. Maybe that's part of what Jimmy was talking about? Economy of motion with your picking really helps in your quest to develop speed and accuracy. I find that I still use alternate picking even when skipping strings.

    Alternate picking can cover most of your lines but for certain things sweep picking works much better if not necessary to pull them off and also for some things all up strokes or all down strikes works best. Think that may have been what Jimmy was getting at? You would have to ask him. If you think about it enough I think it's pretty much common sense when to use the different picking methods. I also agree with Jimmy that economy of motion should always be employed in your picking. So yes what Jimmy was saying makes perfect sense to me.

  43. #92

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    Well, I guess what it comes down to is picking doesn't become an issue until your hear something (either in your head or someone else playing) that you can't pull off!

    Unfortunately, by then, if you're full of bad habits it can be a frustrating process to relearn technique...

    And yes, I know this first hand.

  44. #93

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    Whit all this discussion about either alternate or economy, what about players that don't pick every note for instance John Scofield, who has great phrasing and great dynamics within his lines and also Pat Metheny. Having a great left-hand-techinuqe can be just as effective has picking each note.

  45. #94

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    i disagree that economy is the best for phrasing. It's not the best for playing with a swing groove. Economy is the best for playing out of time "sheets of sound" phrases.

  46. #95

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    Well okay Jzucker. All I have to say about that is I think phrasing is somewhat of a separate issue from picking technique in a way. I wouldn't agree with just anybody but I've been playing for over 25 years and IMO what Jimmy Bruno is teaching is the spot on correct approach to picking technique. Personally when I first got turned on to Bruno's playing and studying his approach my playing took a huge leap forward, nuff said for me!!! Take advantage of what he's teaching he really breaks it down so that even beginners can grasp it, all the way up to advanced players. What else can I say?

    Thanks for your great comments Jzucker, much appreciated. Always appreciate constructive feedback.
    Last edited by Double 07; 06-01-2011 at 09:37 PM.

  47. #96

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    Well economy picking in a nutshell: If you're playing notes on the same string then use your Alt. technique. If you're moving from say string 6 to string 5 then use a single downstroke to sound string 6 then string 5, thus saving unnecessary motion (economy of motion, thus the term "economy picking"). Vice versa if you're going in the opposite direction across strings. Yes, makes perfect sense and I do it all the time. I was just making the point that If I happened to move from adjacent strings and sometimes happened to use an upstroke on one string and a downstroke on the next string then personally I wouldn't necessarily sweat it. It doesn't necessarily have to be that mechanical to get the job done as long as it feels natural and I'm still able to play everything I want to play. Still essentially I'm using economy picking all of the time. Does that make sense to you?

    Also I would say using hammer-ons, pull -offs, and slides, notes that aren't even picked at all, in your technique is very cool as well.

  48. #97

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    Right. I think most folks here know what economy picking is. I go into detail about it in my book. My point is that it's not necessarily the best way to play a groovin' swing feel in a line like this:


    I'm not implying my picking technique is great or anything. And in fact, I don't advocate my students pick the way I do. I have certain flaws in my technique but I think one good thing a teacher should do is guide the student towards the most efficient way even if they themselves do not do it that way. For example, I'd guide students towards benson picking or hand on the bridge picking even though I do not pick like that.

    Last edited by jzucker; 06-02-2011 at 08:47 AM.

  49. #98

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    There is a discussion about personal styles, what each of us use and then what is the most functional picking for different styles in general. I get calls to play quite a few different styles of gigs... most of the time I cover what the style implies... unless I think I can play something that's much hipper and might elevate the music, be more entertaining... I don't try that unless I'm pretty sure of what I'm doing. I have very good picking technique and usually I still try and cover the style implied. When I played shows and musicals, gigs where for the most part your simply reading... no brains etc... The picking is a direct relationship to the notation, articulations and phrasing. And you still need to use your ears and make adjustment depending on what the instrumentation is... I still get calls where charts are completely notated out, with improve sections etc... If I'm doubling a line with sax and he's tonguing each note... I should be picking each note... unless other wise notated. And again that's my point... start with the ability to pick each attack and then adjust backwards.
    Soco had a great point about non picking styles, I hear those as personal styles... very recognizable... and I think that may be what make them work... great players and the style is recognizable. Jacks point about posting is what it's about we can all talk and usually get our concept across... but 30 seconds of playing says it all. Reg

  50. #99

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    Yesterday I finished watching Troy Grady's hour-long interview with Jimmy Bruno.
    (2-minute excerpt below)

    I enjoyed it, especially as many of Jimmy's fast lines are transcribed and can be slowed down. Jimmy's a great picker but he hasn't thought much about the mechanics of it. He can sure do it but he doesn't have a lot to say about it. Several times in the video he is asked about things and he says he never thought about that.

    It also isn't filmed the way many of Troy's videos are: the 'magnet' is not on Jimmy's guitar at all. There is some video of his picking hand but not as much as we normally see in a Troy Grady interview. (I don't know why it was done this way.)

    Still, I'm glad I watched it. I signed up for a month (25 bucks) and will watch bits of this again.

  51. #100

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    I’ve learned that the left hand is really the key to picking efficiently. Your fingerings allow for the pick to cross strings efficiently. My sense is that Benson when alt picking in most cases changes strings in descending lines after an up pick, and down sweeps when ascending lines or arpeggios when the last not on a particular string is a down pick. Of course he has some other special things he does to make it sound Alive and vocal. Being vigilant with your left hand allows for this. So the vocabulary you choose to play has to have good fingerings. Of course benson uses plenty of slurs. He really does a bit of everything. GB is definitely one of the the most clean and efficient and rhythmic, harmonic players whose vocabulary comes out do the tradition. However I believe in the end it’s all time feel. If it feels good it sounds good, no matter what the speed. Grant green, jim hall, paul Desmond, Wes are make a strong case for this.

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