Picking hand: "closed/relaxed-fist" style vs. "open/dangling" style. Some Q's.

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by RockStarNick, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. RockStarNick

    RockStarNick Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,531
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Location:
    North NJ
    OK, I have a few questions about picking hand style vs. speed and accuracy and such.

    OK, so last night while playing, I was trying to force myself to use the
    "closed relaxed fist/shredder" method of picking hand, for lack of a better word. If it's just open notes and runs, I can kinda get the hang of it, but if I'm trying to do any sort of palm mutes whatsoever, I just can't do it.

    How do some of you guys do ANY palm muting worth a damn with that kinda picking hand. I feel like with my picking hand closed in a relaxed fist, my knuckles are in the way of where I want to palm mute.

    For me, I have to have my middle, ring, and pinky fingers kinda just dangling in order to do any good palm mutes.

    But then when I try to do palm muted single note fast runs, I feel like my pick placement is just out of whack.

    I feel like in other aspects of my playing, those 3 dangling fingers are holding me back. I feel like I've used them as a crutch to get more downward force when strumming, and just as an anchor to know where I am when picking. But I feel like I really want to progress my technique further lately.

    Any tips to keeping that hand kinda closed, and STILL be able to do palm mutes and stuff.
     
  2. shredtheater

    shredtheater Member

    Messages:
    312
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Location:
    England
    watch the gambale speed picking dvd. He covers muting and i uses the closed fist approach i think your refering too. Personally my fingers spread out similar to John Petrucci , cant say i have any problems but ive practiced alot.
     
  3. speedyone

    speedyone Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,947
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Location:
    Papillion, Nebraska
    I play with the closed-fist sort of style, but have gone through MANY techniques over the years.

    The key, I think, is simply repetition-- a LOT of repetition!

    Some techniques will seem more natural/easy to you at first; I used to have my 3rd 4th and 5th fingers splayed, and put my ring finger on top of the bolt securing the middle pickup of my strat to the route (for extra stability). Though it felt natural to me, it limited me when playing different techniques.

    Perhaps you could find a local player/guitar teacher who uses the closed-fist technique to give you a personal demonstration? That way, you could see close-up how that person mutes the strings, angles the pick, etc.
     
  4. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

    Messages:
    34,719
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    In a van down by the river
    You will find examples of both styles who can play damned fast. Closed; Gambale, Pat Metheny, open; Patrucci, Steve Morse, Greg Howe.

    Metheny regularly says when asked about his picking style, he doesn't recommend it. As stated above, it is what you feel comfortable with, and spend time practicing. Often times it seems, it is small stuff like this that helps establish our personal style.
     
  5. RockStarNick

    RockStarNick Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,531
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Location:
    North NJ
    Yeah, I was suprised the other day when I watched petrucci, that he actually doesnt use the closed fist kinda method.

    Paul gilbert has this relaxed claw thing going on.

    Steve vai atually has a VERY relaxed open hand kinda thing going on, for the most part.
     
  6. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,475
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    we eat a lot of cheese and drink a lot of beer
    Is there a reason you can't do both?
     
  7. stevel

    stevel Member

    Messages:
    12,958
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    And is there are reason you have to play fast at all?

    Steve
     
  8. burchyk

    burchyk Member

    Messages:
    72
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    +1, and to add to that, I think I could always play faster then THINK :messedup
     

Share This Page