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Anahootz My last Doc Watson thread (30) RE: My last Doc Watson thread 26 Jan 02

Speed comes in direct proportion with practice. As a bluegrass player (Mandolin, then Guitar, then B**jo)attimes, speed is the essence of the music. I constantly look back on my short but winding path as a picker to try and figure out what worked, and what didn't..and use this information to make appropriate guesses as to what will get me to the next level. A few tips: 1) Speed in picking an instrument comes not in the traditional sense of being able to move your digits or hand/wrist exceptionally fast, it comes from EXTREME ECONOMY OF MOTION. Repeat this like a mantra...then go watch someone like Vince Gill, who can play the bejeezus out of a guitar, but doesn't seem to be moving either hand at all. Check out a video of your newfound idol, Doc Watson, and watch the absolute in economy of motion. 2)PRACTICE WITH PURPOSE 3)Without the guitar in hand, you can still practice. I accomplish this by "finger drumming" of sorts...trying to move the digits of both hands in absolute unison. Another key to speed is to be "Synched up" with right/left, and this, although goofy-sounding, seems to work for me. 4)PRACTICE WITH PURPOSE 5)Get a metronome and learn how to use it to your best advantage. 6)PRACTICE WITH PURPOSE 7)VISUALIZE PERFECT PLAYING 8)see 2,4, and 6. By this, I mean don't just pick up the guitar and noodle around. At some point, develop a plan (Not "I will play like Doc today"). Be realistic. Strive for 2 more Bpm, or something equally as challenging, but accessible. Hope this might help a skosh.

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