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What's the weakest "link" in your flatpick technique

Many students struggle with either the left or the right hand technique. Some have a problem with the slower one having to catch up (and keep up) with the faster hand. I was wondering how many out there have a challenge trying to keep up with the fingering hand. I mean like your picking hand (L or R) struggles to "track" with your fingering hand.

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Both can be a problem for me depending on what I'm playing. I've been transcribing David Grier's version of "Arkansas Traveler" from his wonderful "I've Got the House to Myself" record. Many folks here have probably heard it. For the first two times through the tune there is a lot of string crossing, in many instances crossing 4 strings, picking only one note on each string - listen to the recording and you'll hear what I'm talking about. Doing this fast is a daunting task. Playing regular tunes I can hack 'em out around 126 bpm (click equals half-note) reasonably clean, but this solo is simply breaking my heart. I can hardly play it clean at 88 bpm.
My problem is coordination between both hands. I can speed along but most of the time I’m out of sync. Please help!
Hi Bryon,

If things start out working together, then get out of sync as you are "speeding along" it could be because you are speeding up as the song progresses. If that's the case, you should try working with a metronome.

Most sync issues can be addressed by slowing the piece, passage, or lick down to a point where you can easily play the hardest part. This could be anything from a tricky lick to a chord change. Then slowly bring the entire piece up to speed over a period of time - with special attention on the synchronization.

The rule I guess would be to never sacrifice accuracy for speed.


That's about the best advice there is. I played/strummed/outofsync/goingnowhere for many moons. It wasn't until I met the metronome that it clicked (pun intended). With all seriousness, great advice!

I can keep time with the metronome up to a point. After that my coordination falls apart. I've read and tried all of the snake oil remedies but none seam to work. Is there any way to get over this wall?
Hey Bruce - some great tips there - especially about RELAXING!!! (that didn't LOOK very relaxed, did it?)

What is Dan refering to when he says "folded scale"?
Thanks Bruce,
That makes a lot of sense. There are two "folded scales" that I find the most useful and can also be applied to arpeggios for a great sound. The first is the one we've been referring to and the second is the one that moves in thirds. Like in G it would go G B, A C, B D, F A... ending with F# A, and finally G.

Fun stuff!
Thank you all for the tips.

Bruce.......I like the idea of "Then record yourself". I'm going to give that a try. Listening to myself may help identify weak areas.
My bandmates call the practice recording device the "humilatron", and by golly it is...

Yeah Mark, My band mates refer to the amazing slowdowner as "not alcohol either" .



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