Instead of pushing further with scales and arpeggios and all kind of complicated picking patterns, I took a step back. I feel like I shouldn’t rush things. I should learn methodically and what I did yesterday was not methodical at all. I skipped some things.
Today I practiced inside picking. Pentatonic scale was perfect for that. I played quite few different patterns and chose whichever to record. I also didn’t stress much about the recording. I did a mistake or two and I didn’t play perfectly to the beat. That’s what it is in reality and that’s ok. I acknowledge how much I suck. On the bright side, my picking hand feels nice and relaxed (even if it doesn’t look like that’s the case).
Great thing is that I managed to practice for 3 hours. I’m happy about that. My total practicing time now is 14 hours.
Today I’ve practiced for 2 hours. I picked up A Guide to Chords, Scales & Arpeggios written by Al Di Meola and Bob Aslanian and practiced three shapes of major scale and arpeggios as detailed in lesson plan #1. This is a great opportunity for me to go through this book as well as to work on forot picking.
I didn’t record all the exercises I worked on. I chose only the most difficult ones that include many string changes. Namely, straight arpeggios and scales broken in thirds. These things are quite a bit complicated.
I didn’t have enough patience to film myself a bunch of times and pick the best takes. I have to remind myself that this is merely a Medium Attempt and I shouldn’t stress too much about things that are not important. Afterall, I write this blog and make videos for myself, to keep myself accountable. Not for some other people or whatever.
I am still clumsy and I made few mistakes in the video. That’s ok. This video is rather accurate depiction of my current level. I’m in interesting point where I undeniably suck and my movements are graceless but I feel kind of almost comfortable.
Still, there is something that worries me a bit. I’m not sure whether I make a proper forearm rotation movement. Some movements in the video look weird. Perhaps I’ve jumped to multi-string playing too soon?
So far, I have worked on forot picking for 11 hours.
Today I tried to switch strings. At first I thought that “outside” changes were more difficult and bothersome than “inside” changes so I practiced pentatonic scales to work separately on each type of those changes. After a while I tried playing simple major scale (E shape of CAGED system) and all string changes felt rather comfortable and more or less even. I am quite happy about how this forot picking applies to string changes.
I requested for feedback on a forum and got some great advice. I was asked to pick something a bit faster and to include another camera angle where my forearm would be visible. As can be seen in the video, I did just that.
Wider camera angle taught me that I keep my pick in an upward pickslanting position. That was surprising as I thought my slant was neutral. Also, when viewing from a distance, the apparent amount of string hopping diminishes. Actually, I don’t think I hop that much, if at all. Perhaps the hopping was an illusion created by close camera position.
I am still plenty clumsy and my movements aren’t precise. Sometimes some other movements occurs. That’s to be expected as I am new at this motion pattern.
Today I practiced for an hour and I intend to add another hour. So far, I have practiced forot picking for 8 hours.
Today I included some fretting hand action. I mainly practiced an open string passage inspired by neoclassical metal which I wrote some time ago. All was fine but I’m not entirely sure if my picking motion is correct. It looks a lot like I’m string hopping even if it doesn’t feel like that. I’m sure I am rotating my forearm but as I watch my video, the pick path looks too angular. Perhaps camera angle causes this confusion. Perhaps I do something wrong.
I practiced for an hour which is totally fine. Yesterday I squeezed another 30 minutes after writing the blog post, so my total practicing time now is 7 hours.
Today I tried some different wrist angles. Namely, the amount I flex my wrist as in doing wrist curl. I felt that having my wrist bent ~45 degrees was the most comfortable. However, as I was screwing around, I noticed that bent wrist makes too flat path. Meaning, as I increase the movement, I touch few other strings which is not what I want. That’s why I had to straighten my wrist so that it makes a tighter curve and allows to escape the plane of the strings cleanly.
I didn’t count any of these explorations as my deliberate practice time. Still, I managed to practice for 2 hours today and I might spend another 30 minutes on forot picking.
I’m not totally happy about the movement yet. My hand is jumping a bit. To be exact, I feel like my wrist extends sporadically here and there as in string hopping. That’s something I’d like to avoid.
I continued on playing open strings. It’s getting way too boring. I guess I’ll dare to play something else tomorrow.
Total time deliberately spent on forot picking so far is 5 hours 30 minutes.
I’m getting more and more comfortable with this kind of picking.
I still played open strings and I guess I’ll keep doing that for few more days. Today I accidentally increased metronome to 116 bpm. I didn’t struggle much with triplets but sixteenth notes proved to be troublesome. Perhaps I shouldn’t push the tempo too early. Anyway, I did play some sixteenth notes for the recording just to see how I progress.
Naturally, my technique is still far from perfect. For some reason, it doesn’t really resemble Eddie’s tremolo picking. Perhaps I do something differently or wrong. I don’t worry about it too much right now. Important thing is that I’m getting comfortable with the motion mechanic.
I forgot to mention this yesterday: I chose a Dava pick for this attempt. Main reason for this is that Pebber uses Dava picks and I happen to own one of them. It really surprised me. It doesn’t move at all in my hand. It sticks better than any other pick that I have.
I practiced for one hour today and I intend to play for one more hour or at least for 30 minutes. Total time practiced up to the point of making the video is 3 hours.
It took me some time to actually perform forearm rotation on a guitar. I tried some different angles and I guess some more tinkering waits ahead. Especially considering my current tone which is way too scratchy. I don’t worry about that right now. I hope to fix that later. Right now I want to work on the rotation itself.
The movement, of course, felt alien. It was difficult to deal with the resistance of plucking a string. A first breakthrough happened at a 12-minute mark of practicing. The motion started to feel less awkward than before. However, it still is far from comfortable.
All I did today was picking open strings. For some reason, I used a metronome. I set it to 112 bpm and played mostly eighth notes. I tried some triplets and sixteenth notes but these were way too fast, uncomfortable, and uncontrollable. I picked each string for 10 minutes which equated to 1 full hour and was mightily boring. The recording I made was after that practice session. I didn’t practice any string changing so the first string changes ever of me doing with forot picking were captured in this video. I don’t care about that piece of the puzzle right now.
I did practice for another 30 minutes after recording and editing. That session felt much more comfortable. I played lots of eighth note triplets and I felt more or less in control. It feels like an achievement and it encourages me.
I plan to play for another 30 minutes a bit later today. All in all, I hope to end this day with 2 hours of deliberate practice time under my belt. That would be a great success.