This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Picking with your Wrist or elbow....

Discussion in 'Chris Broderick' started by Shredfiend, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. Shredfiend

    Shredfiend Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Hey Chris, I was wondering what your thoughts on picking from the wrist are versus the elbow or a combination of the 2.

    I know most people say wrist is better. There are some fantastic pickers using their wrist out there. But I've seen a few, like Vinnie Moore or even Greg Howe(one of my favs, even though he's more of a legato player) use more of an elbow motion.

    I also see a lot of guys who start with their wrist for slow and medium tempos and then their elbow creeps in on their faster stuff.

    I tend to use my elbow a lot even though when I do a lot of down picking for rhythm I use the wrist.

    Just wondering what your thoughts were.

    Thanks.
     
  2. the alumnus

    the alumnus Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2002
    Messages:
    483
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    going really fast with a lot of elbow requires a lot more movement and energy. and it is easier to fuck up your arm with that elbow work out. that's why wrist is better.
     
  3. Chris_Broderick

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Hey Shredfiend,

    I have many thoughts on this:
    1st is that everyone is built different, Paul Gilbert picks with wrist while Petrucci picks arm, I could never pick fast with wrist.

    2nd any time you can use a larger muscle group to do a job then use it (in this case meaning arm) it will fatigue less easily.

    3rd you are missing one of the most important arm movements availible, arm rotation. In the end my picking is a slight combo of these three movements, wrist for slower intervalic (large string skips) riffs, upper arm for speed and volume, arm rotation for speed without over exertion (this is what I am working on currently so I can pick faster with less effort).

    I know this didn't ansewer your question but it should get you looking at the mechanics of your arm to help you define how it should work.
    Take care, Chris.
     
  4. JazzIII

    JazzIII Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario


    Chris, please allow me to geek-out for a sec with a couple of questions.

    When I saw you in Toronto (opening for Helloween), I was close enough to observe your playing in great detail. My observation, when it came to the faster picking passages was that you'd use your wrist to pick any given string while using your arm to transfer the pick to another string. Am I correct in my assumption here?

    For me, I'm primarily a "wrist picker", moving my arm very little. I've experimented with other ways (arm only, finger movement...) and all have shown some degree of promise. Yet, I tend to stick to the wrist method with increasingly good results.

    Kel
     
  5. Shredfiend

    Shredfiend Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Over the years I've been more of an elbow picker.....not that I didn't want to model the cool flick of the wrist moves of Gilbert, DiMeola and McGlaghlin(guys I've noticed using their wrists). Even Michael Angelo Batio, uses wrist technique-even though it's more the motion we make when we knock on a door rather than the a side to side motion.

    I just gravitated to the elbow because for me it was about 40% faster. I was a big Vinnie Moore fan back in the day too and it seemed to work well for him.

    I'm @ a place in my playing where I'd like to gain another 10-15 bpm 16ths on my steady down picking, and another 30 or 40bpm on my strict alternate picking. Also more control and a bit more explosive out of the hole....hehe.
     
  6. Chris_Broderick

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Hey JazzIII,
    I always considered myself to be more of an arm picker, however I think arm rotation can be easily mistaken for wrist motion.
    Take care, Chris.
     
  7. Shredfiend

    Shredfiend Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Hey Chris....just wanted to say thanks....this was good advice.

    Most guys claim to be a 'wrist picker' or 'elbow picker'. For me it seems to work best as a combination of movements. Working the elbow rotation has helped a lot. A movement I really hadn't thought much about before.

    I also read a Tuck Andreas article recently that helped.
    I was always thinking of picking as either elbow or side to side wrist motion. Now I see it as several. Kind of as Tuck put it......Elbow, forearm Rotation, Translation(side to side wrist), and oscilation(forewards and back wrist movement, like knocking on a door).

    The side to side wrist movement doesn't work well for me and I wasn't really thinking in terms of the others. But when I practice Elbow movemtents, arm rotation, and oscilation seperately in a session and put them all together I'm getting the results I'm after.
     
  8. Chris_Broderick

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Glad to hear you are achieving the results you wanted. It sucks because most things that we try to explain in music are a vague attempt at defining all of the processes involved.
    Take care, Chris.
     
  9. DiMeolaFire

    DiMeolaFire Acoutics

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I myself find it many times over easier to use my arm when I get into faster runs. Lately do to my Dimeola fixation I've been speeding up picking with my wrist to a steady 5nps? I've never been to amazing at counting my nps. Generally, for slower licks I use alternate picking from my wrist, but when we get into some Greg Howe, Steve Vai, and Chris Impelliterri style quick licks, I use my elbow and wrist in conjunction for more speed. When I happen to be switching strings, skipping, etc. I use my entire arm. It's all general feel to which attributes your style of playing, just look at how Friedman holds his pick.
     
  10. Shredfiend

    Shredfiend Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    The wrist has really picked up for me lately.......

    I wasn't really analyzing the all movements enough......I was thinking more of elbow or side to side wrist motion(side to side doesn't work well for me at all). Kind of oblivious to arm rotation and forward and back ward wrist motion.

    I read what Chris said in this thread and I read an article on Tuck Andreas' web site and realized I was ignoring 2 other key movements. Forearm rotation and foreward and back wrist type motions(like knocking on a door-Michael Batio uses this as did Shawn Lane and George Benson).

    That motion thatworks so well for DiMeola unfortunately doesn't work for me.
    I've been working out my picking every day for atleast an hour-I work the elbow motions first, then the elbow rotation next. Lastly focusing on the Forward and back wrist motions. Then I just play and it all comes together. Quicker/almost effortless with more control. I'd been sitting at a plateu for some time before that.

    I watched a couple of our last shows on dvd the other day and I could see the results.
     

Share This Page