|Photo by Carlo Cavero on Flickr|
If you are having trouble learning Charlie Parker licks on guitar or from your favorite jazz guitar heroes. Then it is time to have a second look at your picking technique. Your guitar picking technique may be in for an overhaul. The alternate picking that you are currently using at the moment may not work at fast tempos as it does for slow and moderate tempos. You will notice things start to fall apart when you bump up the metronome over 200 bpm.
From my personal experience I tried alternate picking and economy picking and had no success with both. My alternate picking would just break down when I tried to learn Pat Martino lines at the at the proper tempo. The tempo would usually be over 200 and I had no trouble playing the guitar phrase at a slow and a medium tempo, but at the regular tempo it just wasn't cutting it. I did this for almost 30 years trying to make alternate picking work for me. What a colossal waste of time and it was like trying to open up a locked door with the same key. All I got was the same results all over again . The idea of getting a locksmith to cut and make the correct key that would open up the door would of made more sense. Instead, I kept using the wrong key for 30 years. That is what alternate picking felt like. So the moral of this story is to find the right guitar picking technique that will work for you. Find the right key that will open up a new door to speed and bring your picking skill up a notch. Finally, the door opened up for me and picking fast lines were made easy where I could execute them with ease at a quick tempo. If I can do it, so can you and don't be discouraged. Use the internet and keeping researching different stringed instruments and their related picking techniques. It doesn't have to be guitar, it can be derived from a lute, mandolin, or different styles of music like classical or bluegrass.
In part two of Struggling with your jazz picking technique over fast tempos I will demonstrate the picking technique in a guitar lesson. I will show you exactly what I'm doing in terms of picking motion and movement. I will give you a back story on where I got this picking technique from and which of one of my guitar heroes influenced me to play this way. All I can say that the picking technique was inspired by a New York based jazz guitar master who as since passed on. I took some lessons from one of his students who showed me the technique. So stay tuned for the second part of this blog guitar lesson article.
One more important note: I'm not telling anyone to give up on alternate picking because that picking technique is great for playing other styles of music like rock, blues etc... I'm just sharing my experience that alternate picking doesn't work for jazz guitar, at least for me it didn't work out.
In this video I'm using a #wesmontgomery guitar solo as a study to work on my chops for fast tempos. Playing fast tempos and licks is something that I struggled with for a long time. I think I figured out a picking technique that works for me at these quick tempos. If you are struggling with your jazz guitar picking please don't hesitate to contact me if you want a lesson on this particular #guitarpickingtechnique that I'm using.
If you are interested in hearing more or purchasing some of Wes Montgomery music check some of his albums on the links below:
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