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Post new topic trying different techniques to play fast
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Author Topic:  trying different techniques to play fast
Myk Freedman


From:
Brooklyn
Post Posted 28 Nov 2017 6:39 pm     Reply with quote

I've been exploring some different techniques in an attempt to play faster lines. Here's where I'm at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cj3CwNXBzSM&feature=youtu.be

What do you think?
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Stefan Robertson


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 12:04 am     Reply with quote

Sweep picking is A great technique to have in your arsenal.

But speed is simply down to ~Hand, Eye, Fingerpick co-ordination.

Possibly get rid of the distortion.
Use fingerpicks
~Metronome and start slow and increase the speed.

Hammer -Ons are another way to approach speed picking.

So 4 key elements that offer variety to your performance and can be done at speed.

Fingerpicking with whatever type of blocking you know
Hammer-ons
Sweep Picking
Rolls


I left Harmonics out as I think its not usually a speed sound you go for but can be.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 6:51 am     Reply with quote

Interesting technique, but I too would like to hear it with a cleaner tone. It would make it easier to hear exactly what's going on. An interesting approach though and worth exploring.
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Michael James


From:
La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 7:33 am     Reply with quote

One way to get speed is to utilize open strings with hammer ons and pull offs. Study the technique dobro players use.
Granted it's not going work in every situation but you will be surprised how much you can do.
Another tip is don't drive on icy roads. It could be dangerous. Smile
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 8:54 am     Reply with quote

Speed on a string instrument is a combination of knowing where you're going, having the technique and muscle memory to execute what your brain is telling you to do, and that elusive X-factor of each individual's central nervous system wiring. For some of us, that speed brake is hard-wired so the speed limit is damn hard to surpass.

On a non-pedal steel, it gets even harder than a plucked string instrument because notes on the same string need to be articulated at high speeds or they just become a blur. Hammers and pulls work well but they are pretty dependent on certain keys, tunings and chord progression. e.g. can you play fast whole tone scales with hammers and pulls? Maybe...

The sweep picking you're using is one way to articulate fast arpeggios but it can grow old pretty quickly if you can't change the underlying scales or harmonies easily.

Debashish Bhattacharya has probably the fastest right in the business. He seems to use a lot of wrist with a kind of bounce off the string in the thumb. His fingers seem to be straighter that the curled position many modern pedal players use. Not quite sure how knowing this helps anyone.

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

On the jazz forum, there are pages and pages on George Benson's unique way of holding the pick and how that leads to facilitating speed. Is there a steel guitar equivalent to Benson picking? Beats me!

This Tom Morrell cut has some pretty fast non-pedal playing in a swing context:

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

Joaquin was no slouch in the speed department. He had his set licks that facilitated speed in certain ways - such as the 7th chord position one whole step below the tonic chord. People who saw him in person have described his hand as "floating over the strings". He probably used pick and plan blocking in conjunction with left hand bar blocking - something the Hawaiian greats excelled at doing.

Here's Doug Beaumier's interesting speed picking exercise: http://playsteelguitar.com/wp-content/uploads/C6LapSteelSpeedpicking.pdf

anyway, good luck in your explorations, Myk!
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Myk Freedman


From:
Brooklyn
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 9:36 am     Reply with quote

Hey everyone, thanks for checking out the video and for sharing your thoughts. Lot's to think about.

As the arpeggios are starting to feel more natural I'm beginning to work on a system to play scales in this manner. Oddly, as Andy was writing about playing the wholetone scale I was practicing that very sequence! The scales are a lot trickier to sweep pick, but not impossible. Opens a lot of doors to be able to play different modes.

I tend to not focus much on utilizing open strings for speed lines because it's too key dependent and I play a lot of chromatic music. That's why I'm interested in developing an approach I can use over any progression/key.

I have to chuckle a little when people say they'd like the distortion removed so they can hear what's going on. The distortion is as part of what's happening as anything else. Winking
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 9:49 am     Reply with quote

Myk, I dig the noise element especially.

For an experienced player of music, like Myk is, sometimes there is no traditional way for you to play what you're hearing except to physically invent it yourself.
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 10:57 am     Reply with quote

Whole tone arpeggios are such a cool sound!

Have you tried a flat pick? If you're after single note runs, sometimes you can pull off stuff with a flatpack that would not be possible playing fingerstyle. In C6th tuning, diminished arpeggios should be very playable via sweeping because of the way they lay out on there fretboard. I'll enjoy hearing what you come up with, Myk.


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Guy Cundell


From:
More idle ramblings from South Australia
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 1:44 pm     Reply with quote

Very cool.

I thought you might like this. Mr Dunn in Jan 1935, one of the first recordings of electric steel. In AABA form, check the beginning of the B section.

http://picosong.com/wFf2x
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Norman Evans


From:
Tennessee
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 2:54 pm     Reply with quote

Here's a fairly fast one by a friend of mine at a jam session several years ago. Listen to the hammer-ons on the ending.
http://picosong.com/wFf6x/
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Stefan Robertson


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 3:23 pm     Reply with quote

Andy Volk wrote:
Whole tone arpeggios are such a cool sound!

Have you tried a flat pick? If you're after single note runs, sometimes you can pull off stuff with a flatpack that would not be possible playing fingerstyle. In C6th tuning, diminished arpeggios should be very playable via sweeping because of the way they lay out on there fretboard. I'll enjoy hearing what you come up with, Myk.



Andy you referring to the whole tone scale or the arpeggios made from a chord
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Bill McCloskey


Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 3:30 pm     Reply with quote

Yeah...For me, this is my kind of fast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkiTlVpBo5o
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 5:49 pm     Reply with quote

Whole tone scale, Stefan. The dim idea was a separate point. I was multitasking badly today.

When I think of speed on a plucked string instrument, this is what comes to mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxJIGixKmxw

Doug Jernigan matches this speed on pedal steel playing hoedown but Tal is playing at sax speeds thru changes. None of which is all that helpful on a lap steel.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 6:23 pm     Reply with quote

Andy, thanks for posting the link to my C6 speedpicking tab. Here is the audio: http://playsteelguitar.com/c6-lap-steel-guitar-speedpicking/
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Aaron Jennings


From:
Montana, USA
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 7:35 pm     Reply with quote

I thought this conversation about Buddy Emmons technique was actually really helpful in terms of thinking about hand technique versus speed:

http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=323447

It seems a lot of those really fast guys (Emmons, Jernigan) rely on fingerpicks and blocking techniques to get those banjo rolls and high speed licks.

I might get shot for this, but I've always loved Bob Brozman when he is on a roll...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i551eU_fYkE

I love the direction you are going, and the most recent album. The distortion is sweet, and wonderful.
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HowardR


From:
N.Y.C. & Fire Island
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 8:34 pm     Reply with quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOTNpMsAndc
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Stefan Robertson


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 30 Nov 2017 3:10 am     Reply with quote

Andy Volk wrote:
Whole tone scale, Stefan. The dim idea was a separate point. I was multitasking badly today.

When I think of speed on a plucked string instrument, this is what comes to mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxJIGixKmxw

Doug Jernigan matches this speed on pedal steel playing hoedown but Tal is playing at sax speeds thru changes. None of which is all that helpful on a lap steel.


Takes amazing right hand control but it can be done. Lots of rapid Chromatics and double picking notes and arpeggios.

Like Andreas Oberg said - start slow and build up from there. Its a matter of patience and persistence
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Bill Hatcher custom 12 string Lap Steel Guitar
E13#9/F Bebop Tuning

Head & Hands to Steel your Heart.
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Bill McCloskey


Post Posted 30 Nov 2017 7:02 am     Reply with quote

Howard, thanks for posting the Rich Arnold stuff. He was amazing when he was playing dobro. unfortunately he gave up the dobro years ago. He has recently begun playing again on lap steel and tricone. He also has a new channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNKJM_EKfhZ84oIe9AB-bDg
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Bill McCloskey


Post Posted 30 Nov 2017 9:43 am     Reply with quote

BTW, Rich Arnold (Jazz McDobro) plays with 3 finger picks and a thumb pick to get that speed
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Myk Freedman


From:
Brooklyn
Post Posted 30 Nov 2017 4:25 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words, Mike, Guy and Aaron. And for all the links, everyone. I'm gonna have to work on my version of Donna Lee!
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Mike Bagwell


From:
Greenville, SC, USA
Post Posted 1 Dec 2017 5:02 am     Reply with quote

Check out Dave Easley, on youtube. He has perfected this concept of muting with the bar hand.


Spain
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LQo0FVLWt8
Giant Steps
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzyGPe3Gr-M


Last edited by Mike Bagwell on 2 Dec 2017 4:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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Stefan Robertson


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 1 Dec 2017 6:24 am     Reply with quote

Mike Bagwell wrote:
Check out Dave Easley, on youtube. He has perfected this concept of muting with the bar.


Spain
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LQo0FVLWt8
Giant Steps
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzyGPe3Gr-M


His pedal steel work sounds cleaner than his non-pedal recordings. Where he does an abundance of rolls.

I wonder what tuning he uses? Anyone know?
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Stefan aka Bilal Khalif
Bill Hatcher custom 12 string Lap Steel Guitar
E13#9/F Bebop Tuning

Head & Hands to Steel your Heart.
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Mike Bagwell


From:
Greenville, SC, USA
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 4:42 am     Reply with quote

C6 on the rear neck
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