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economy picking vid

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by JohnM, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    Yes, for many of you this is beating the old dead horse, but I still find people all the time that want to get economy picking under their belt.
    Sooooo....here's a little introduction to the wonderful world of cheating...err...uuh...economy picking :D

    I was very careful to add the disclaimer that economy picking can be very easy to incorporate into your playing, but to get it locked down and rhythmically as tight and synched sounding as (good) alternate picking, it takes a lot of work.

    And of course, in some instances nothing works as well as good 'ol alternating.
    enjoy!

    http://johnmcniel.com/blog/economy-picking-fun/

    .
     
  2. Free

    Free Member

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    Like your Hybrid picking lesson, this lesson is really well presented too. I really like your style of presenting fundamentals. Though I'm relatively advanced technically, it's always interesting to go back and look at fundamentals. And, it's obvious that you are a very accomplished player - easily deduced by your technique and feel on lessons at higher speeds.

    I wanted to elaborate on economy picking. I hope you don't mind. You already touched on the important rhythmic aspects of the technique, so I won't go there. When I had taken a close look into the technique years ago, I realized that I prefered the attack and feel of alternate picking to econmony picking. The economy picking was great for the way it faciliates a very smooth legato feel and how it so easily transfers into sweeping, but it lacks consistent attack (some players may prefer the tonal smoothness of economny picking, of course).

    So, I would stress to students how the technique impacts tone. And, for what it's worth, most of my favorite Jazz and Rock players employ pretty strict alternate picking. And, though I'm not a big fan of his style, even shred players like John Petrucci employ pretty strict alternate picking. No speed hinderances with Petrucci on alternate picking - have you seen him on Rock Discipline - absurdly fast and accurate.

    Additionally, I've heard teachers and witness accounts of students experiencing fatigue/stress on the picking hand/wrist with economy picking. Though movement is lessened, stress can be increased because of the control needed to execute the technique. Even though the player is not jolted technically in any way, the follow through from the previous adjacent string/note is governed slightly, and that takes control (stress).

    Just some points to consider for you - and maybe your students, if agree with any of this. All said, I VERY much enjoy your lesson style!

    -Mike
     
  3. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    Thanks Free - very true about the tone/rhythm thing.
    I have to say though, that when done right, economy picking can be equally relaxed as alternating, but it takes a bit of concentrated effort, and you made a good point about the 'restraint' it requires. That is the key to the tension thing...relaxing enough to let your pick flow in whatever direction the string change dictates. Gambale for one is obviously a master at that.
    As far as tone, I used to hestitate to show beginning students the technique, because it can discourage development of good alternate picking, which is crucial for playing a lot of styles of music. Economy (to me) is sort of an 'extra' trick to have in the bag, as opposed to players like Gambale that really base their whole style on it. Of course everyone is different.
    I did make a point to advise practicing without distortion, because it's much easier to do econo-picking with a lot of sustain than with a dry clean tone.
    The nylon players Strunz & Farah have amazing alternate picking chops, and to try to get that tone and rhythmic precision using economy is almost impossible!
     
  4. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    nice lesson john. well presented too.
     
  5. SvenHock

    SvenHock Member

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    Very nice and thank you.
     
  6. Elektrik_SIxx

    Elektrik_SIxx Member

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    Just as I'm trying to get into economy picking, inspired by Jimmy Bruno and all the gypsy jazz guys, this lesson comes along and it's already very helpful.

    Your whole site is very tastefully done and the lessons are very well presented, as already mentioned.

    Oh, and I never heard a Tele through a Deluxe sound this fat! What OD were you using, if any?
     
  7. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    Thanks a lot Elektrik - glad you got something out of it!

    As far as overdrive, if I'm using a clean amp, I use the Xotic AC and or RC boosters most of the time. They seem to fatten up a tele pretty well. I also use the amp overdrive in my Suhr OD50, which is pretty fat as well.
     
  8. Tri7/5

    Tri7/5 Supporting Member

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    Let's be straight here... other than hand movement, when executed properly no one will ever tell the difference in whether you alt pick or economy pick.

    I went from alt picking for years to economy as it suited my style better.
     
  9. Free

    Free Member

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    Wrong - I disagree strongly. If you can't tell the difference in the smooth legato effect of economy picking vs more percussive attack of alternate picking, I question how closely you're listening. That's the straight fact. Now both styles can approximate similar tone and feel, but each respective technique definitely facilitates the tones mentioned.
     
  10. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    Agreed 100%. In fact, the reason I advocate learning economy picking is not for speed reasons. I can play just as fast with alternate picking. I use it when I want the attack to sound more like a saxophonists legato technique whereas alternate picking is more like tonguing every note.
     
  11. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    aaaah I love a lively debate...:munch

    I think economy can be developed pretty highly (just listen to Frank G) but there will always be patterns/licks/runs whatever that CAN'T be executed w/economy. You have to find an alternative way to play the lick. (for example, anything with an even # of notes per string) Frank's whole approach is based on that fact.

    Using a bone-dry clean tone, there's definitely a tonal difference between the two techniques, (alternate being the more precise and even) at least in my experience. This becomes very very evident when you stick a strict economy-picker in a bluegrass jam :rolleyes:
     
  12. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    You can also hear it in hard-bop stuff. The guys who use economy picking are not quite in the pocket the way guys like Benson, Martino, Wes, Van Ruller are. Not to say that bop has to be played a certain way. It's just different for sure. Even Gambale alternate picks when he's playing 8th notes in the pocket in a jazz context.
     
  13. Tri7/5

    Tri7/5 Supporting Member

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    So out of any two random players you would be able to tell absolutely which is using which technique?

    I highly doubt it... I bet you'd be around 50% guessing right just out of sheer odds.
     
  14. Free

    Free Member

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    GREAT examples here. And, nothing beats Martino's articulation and feel as far as I'm concerned ;).
     
  15. Free

    Free Member

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    Listen, if you can't HEAR what we're talking about, there's no sense in trying to convince you. I stand by what I'm saying completely. End of story.
     
  16. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    All you have to do is listen to the guys who use economy picking when they are playing in a straight-ahead context. Gambale,Pass, Farlow, Bruno and compare them to Benson, Martino, Van Ruller. The difference is pretty obvious. I'm a pretty good economy picker (even written a couple books about it) and speak from experience.
     
  17. Thwap

    Thwap Silver Supporting Member

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    Sorry, but it is a pretty definite difference.
     
  18. Jon

    Jon Member

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    What a strangely aggressive post within what WAS a perfectly reasonable thread. Starting with "Let's be straight here..." - this implies that the previous posters were somehow not being 'straight'...and that you are going to cut through all the bullsh*t that they've been spouting to show them up as inferior musicians. Then "no one will ever tell the difference"...again the implication is that anyone who says you can tell the difference is definitely lying or deluding themselves. Maybe you didn't mean for it to come across like that (if you did then that's certainly immature), but it certainly did, judging by the other replies to your post. Perhaps some time developing social skills could be built into your practice regime?:D
     
  19. hottub

    hottub Member

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    I can't seem to keep my hand movement moving across the strings without it bouncing when I pick. Is there any remedy for that? Or is it just the way I pick?
     
  20. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    Just practice slowly. Try playing 3 consecutive strings with ddd uuu over and over again. The goal is one one glide down and one glide up and not 3 picks down and 3 picks up.
     

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