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Author Topic:  Pick blocking / speed picking
Dan Klotz


From:
Houston, Texas
Post Posted 30 Apr 2016 11:05 am     Reply with quote

I want to work on pick blocking and also try to improve my speed picking chops for uptempo tunes. Is there a particular course that you would recommend?
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 1 May 2016 12:45 am     Reply with quote

I hope Dan won't mind if I ask a further question. I have been playing long enough to realise that both palm- and pick-blocking are necessary skills. But is so-called speed picking only done with pick blocking?
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George Seymour


From:
Notown, Vermont, USA
Post Posted 1 May 2016 3:41 am     Reply with quote

http://www.stevesrecordingstudio.com/

Hey Dan
I wouldn't hesitate to get Steve Palousek's speed picking material, the real key is to do it over and over and then do it some more. I also got some of Paul Franklins stuff from him when I was at Jeff Newman''s school in the early 80's on cassette that is good.
How's the Rittenberry treating you, Steve is playing one also!
So mote it be
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 2 May 2016 6:30 am     Reply with quote

Here's a great example of speed featuring Paul Franklin playing the steel ride. The licks he does @ 1:54-1:59 just knock me out every time I hear 'em! Whoa!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y92TWunleUc
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chris ivey


From:
california - r.i.p.
Post Posted 2 May 2016 9:08 am     Reply with quote

Ian Rae wrote:
I hope Dan won't mind if I ask a further question. I have been playing long enough to realise that both palm- and pick-blocking are necessary skills. But is so-called speed picking only done with pick blocking?

speed picking is playing fast single note (mostly) lines.
blocking, no matter how you do it, stops unnecessary strings from ringing. do it however you can.
paul is different from jaydee maness....and doug jernigan.
i've found that no matter how i do it, i can play one note as fast as anyone. Laughing
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chris ivey


From:
california - r.i.p.
Post Posted 2 May 2016 9:14 am     Reply with quote

everyone seems to copy paul and buddy.
but the more unique styles of john hughey and jaydee
come from a different approach. equally if not even more exciting. i don't hear people copping their fast stuff much.
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Ian Worley


From:
Sacramento, CA
Post Posted 2 May 2016 9:25 am     Reply with quote

Donny Hinson wrote:
Here's a great example of speed featuring Paul Franklin playing the steel ride. The licks he does @ 1:54-1:59 just knock me out every time I hear 'em! Whoa!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y92TWunleUc

Here's another clip that was in the sidebar when I clicked the link Donny posted above:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icqzCti1Z1c

It's Travis Toy playing the same solo, and it provides a really good look at his excellent pick blocking technique. Only achievable through countless hours of practice.
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chris ivey


From:
california - r.i.p.
Post Posted 2 May 2016 9:45 am     Reply with quote

countless hours of copying. let's hope these young technicians develop a sound of their own someday.

paul, tommy and doug grew up emulating buddy at very young ages. now they are masters of their own domain.

(unlike george and elaine)
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Ian Worley


From:
Sacramento, CA
Post Posted 2 May 2016 10:04 am     Reply with quote

Countless hours of copying (emulating) and mastering excellent world-class technique. Sorry, I just can't fault that. I certainly can't play like that, can you Chris?

Everything that is "original" derives from something that already exists. "...there is nothing new under the sun". Jerry Byrd influenced Buddy, Buddy influenced Paul, Paul influenced Travis, etc. ad finitum. Plenty of copying going on all down the line.
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chris ivey


From:
california - r.i.p.
Post Posted 2 May 2016 10:34 am     Reply with quote

i wasn't faulting it. that's how we all learn.
but it's nice when it goes the next step to individual style.
no i can't play like any of them. i'm very lazy.
i would venture to say most players are better than i. i think i've developed a little of my own lazy style though.
....but look how cute i am !
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Dan Klotz


From:
Houston, Texas
Post Posted 2 May 2016 2:04 pm     Reply with quote

Ian.
I've done mostly palm blocking up to this point. I didn't mean to imply that speed picking can only be done one way. I've just seen that some of the players that pick block a lot can really burn. If there's one course or two to purchase, it doesn't matter. I'd like to learn both techniques. I'm always looking to build a better mousetrap.

George- Thank for the link. I will check that out.
The Rittenberry is treating me very well. I can't tell you how much I love that guitar,

Thanks for all of the replies and info. Maybe I'll get there some day!
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Asa Brosius


From:
Nova Scotia
Post Posted 2 May 2016 4:44 pm     Reply with quote

What people term speed picking is doing what you normally do (slow picking?) faster. Could also be called 'playing faster'. I'd suggest upping the tempo on whatever you practice with, and deconstructing a fast song/solo you like. Buck Reid has some excellent fast tunes tabbed out which you can find on his website, and I'd recommend some of Travis Toy's vids on youtube- a few offer a good view of the right hand as he tears it up.
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Jim Pitman


From:
Waterbury Ctr. VT 05677 USA
Post Posted 3 May 2016 1:06 pm     Reply with quote

Now that I've got familiar with guys like Buck Reid and Doug Jernigan, not to mention the Big E, the advantage of one over the other, pick blocking vs palm blocking, is not so much to do with speed but rather the length of the single note envelope. I think you can play fast with either technique.
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Bruce Derr


From:
Lee, New Hampshire, USA
Post Posted 3 May 2016 8:21 pm     Reply with quote

And there are other techniques. Didn't Buddy use his pinky curled under his palm?
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Dan Klotz


From:
Houston, Texas
Post Posted 3 May 2016 8:51 pm     Reply with quote

So what would be a good instructional course to learn pick blocking?

Thanks again for all of the input.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 4 May 2016 12:51 am     Reply with quote

Joe Wright has some pick blocking material
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Jonathan Shacklock


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 4 May 2016 1:22 am     Reply with quote

I'd recommend Don Curtis' course. Not that I've mastered this but if you have the time and patience, it's the best one I've come across on speed picking. Despite the title you are encouraged to learn the phrases both palm and pick blocking style. Good luck!

http://www.steelguitarscanada.com/online-store/products-page-2/a-reserve-list/don-e-curtis-speed-picking-e9-pick-blocking-improvisation/
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Jeff Harbour


From:
Western Ohio, USA
Post Posted 4 May 2016 4:39 am     Reply with quote

Joe Wright's DVDs are great for both picking styles, long lessons with lots of detail.

I would add though that you shouldn't force yourself to learn to pick one of the styles if the other is natural to you. Of course, there may be something to be gained by "attempting" to learn it... but don't get hung up on it.

I've mentioned this in another thread before, but if you listen to the Vince Gill song on "The Big E" Buddy Emmons tribute album, you will hear Paul Franklin and Tommy White trading solos. One pick-blocker and one palm-blocker, yet it is obvious that neither is lacking any speed whatsoever. But, I'm pretty sure both of them attempted the other technique and decided it wasn't for them.
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Dale Rottacker


From:
Tacoma Washington, USA
Post Posted 4 May 2016 5:39 am     Reply with quote

I believe I read someplace, sometime, where Paul said he couldn’t get the hang of palm blocking... For whatever reason Palm blocking was never natural to me and something I would have to consciously think about... Pick blocking on the other hand, requirers a lot less thinking on my part, although if I played trickier passages, which I don’t/can’t Confused I’m sure more thought and mapping out would be helpful ... I’ll also block with my bar hand as well... both with my thumb and bar tracking, along with my middle finger on occasion ... I think I heard once that Mr. Emmons said he used whatever means was necessary to block what needed blocking... If that’s true and I think it is, then one size does not fit all situations or ones own natural approach.
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Ian Worley


From:
Sacramento, CA
Post Posted 4 May 2016 10:20 am     Reply with quote

Dale Rottacker wrote:
...whatever means was necessary to block what needed blocking...

Wink the music that comes out of the speaker is all that really matters
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chris ivey


From:
california - r.i.p.
Post Posted 4 May 2016 1:33 pm     Reply with quote

Dale Rottacker wrote:
I think I heard once that Mr. Emmons said he used whatever means was necessary to block what needed blocking...

which is what most of us older players have said
all along!
ian is right! my responsibility ends at the grillcloth also, when it comes to soundmen, etc.

before electronic tuners and super techniques and really smart teacher types telling how things 'must' be done, we all just used to try to figure it out logically for ourselves.
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 4 May 2016 7:50 pm     Re: Pick blocking / speed picking Reply with quote

Dan Klotz wrote:
I want to work on pick blocking and also try to improve my speed picking chops for uptempo tunes. Is there a particular course that you would recommend?

Joe Wright's Technique Bundle. It really pulled my right hand technique together. Now my fingers are faster than my pedals.
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Dale Rottacker


From:
Tacoma Washington, USA
Post Posted 4 May 2016 11:41 pm     Reply with quote

chris ivey wrote:
Dale Rottacker wrote:
I think I heard once that Mr. Emmons said he used whatever means was necessary to block what needed blocking...

which is what most of us older players have said
all along!
ian is right! my responsibility ends at the grillcloth also, when it comes to soundmen, etc.

before electronic tuners and super techniques and really smart teacher types telling how things ‘must' be done, we all just used to try to figure it out logically for ourselves.


Chris, I may not be quite as old as you, but certain I’m not as accomplished as you either... Very Happy
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Dale Rottacker, Steelinatune

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*1990 Jim Lindsey Special, Quad Original Bill Lawrence 705 PUP’s, 8x8 Gary Hogue Clone
*Black n Gray, Mullen D-10 8x7/ *Blue Sho-Bud Pro 3 Custom 8x6/ *Black Sho-Bud Pro 3 Custom 8x4
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Johan Forsman


From:
Sweden
Post Posted 5 May 2016 1:39 pm     Reply with quote

My cat agrees to use whatever means necessary, he is a good blocker I would say. Never fast but gets notes blocked. Shocked

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Mark van Allen


From:
Watkinsville, Ga. USA
Post Posted 5 May 2016 2:19 pm     Reply with quote

Nice cat !
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