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Economy vs alternate
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jason3000



Joined: 12 Aug 2016
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:44 pm    Post subject: Economy vs alternate Reply with quote

Hey Scott,

I know this may be a borderline teaching question, so feel free to shut me down. But do you have any general rules or advice for economy vs alternate picking?

I've been learning economy picking more and more, and I find it hard to improvise on the spot using it. Alternate is easier because you don't have to think or plan ahead. Maybe I just need to stick with it longer and it will become more intuitive.
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Scott Henderson
The Man


Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 2005

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would be a teaching question if I knew the answer, but unfortunately I don't. I've heard the term "economy picking" but I have no idea what it means. I guess I use alternative picking but I'm not even sure about that. You could say that technique has never been much of a concern to me, which is why I have no chops compared to the players of today. I just play legato and pick as little as possible. Is that economy picking?
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dizzy



Joined: 26 Apr 2006
Posts: 359

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott is good at economy touring:)
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daschwarjazz



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott Henderson wrote:
That would be a teaching question if I knew the answer, but unfortunately I don't. I've heard the term "economy picking" but I have no idea what it means. I guess I use alternative picking but I'm not even sure about that. You could say that technique has never been much of a concern to me, which is why I have no chops compared to the players of today. I just play legato and pick as little as possible. Is that economy picking?


Economy picking is essentially Frank Gambaleís technique. Sweep picking is a big part of it, of course, but itís used for scalar lines as well. Letís say youíre playing a 3 note per string major scale. Instead of alternate picking every note, youíd pick down, up, down, and then down again when moving up to the next string. You follow this pattern until want to switch directions, at which point youíd play two notes on the last string and pick down, up, and up again to move down to the next string. So basically you play an odd number of notes per string to go one direction, and an even number when you want to change directions.

Itís a cool technique but I find it kind of limiting as you have to organize the notes in a very specific way, especially for your left hand. You might get some mileage out of it, but I donít think it fits your style.

Thatíll be $50, please!
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Scott Henderson
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Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 2005

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good one Dizzy! Snare drum please.

daschwarjazz, thanks for clearing that up. Some of my students are working on that technique but they just call it sweep picking. It is a bit more scientific in the way you have to arrange the notes, but the people who do it well like Gambale make it sound really seamless.


Last edited by Scott Henderson on Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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jason3000



Joined: 12 Aug 2016
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I hear from time to time some pentatonic licks you play when changing strings that sound very smooth, and hard to believe that they're alternate picked when changing strings. But it's hard to really know, which is why I asked Smile
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Scott Henderson
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Joined: 20 May 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you're hearing is a combination of my pick and middle finger when playing fast lines which require changing strings - no way could I pick that fast. It's not the best technique for playing lines which need to swing, at least not for me, but it works for some things like fast blues phrases.
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jason3000



Joined: 12 Aug 2016
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, had no idea you were a hybrid picker. The is what I consider hybrid picking. Do you have a general formula to this or is it more of a feel thing?
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Scott Henderson
The Man


Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 2005

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I call it a "last ditch effort to have chops" thing. I never practiced it - in fact I've never practiced technique in my life. For me being known for my technique would be an embarrassment - I want to be known for my phrasing, note choices and tone. That's all I've ever practiced on.

Whatever chops I have were developed out of necessity by having to learn hard lines that I or one of my bandleaders wrote, and playing at fast tempos. Hammer-ons and pull-offs were the only way I could figure out how to get the job done since my picking technique is almost nonexistent. That came to be known as legato. "Hybrid" picking is something I started doing without even thinking about it, because it seems natural to me. I didn't even know the name for it until just now. Thanks for teaching me what to call what I do! Smile
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Thanasis



Joined: 14 Feb 2017
Posts: 129
Location: Thessaloniki, Greece

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some moments that are unreal technique wise and we all know it. Here are a few, I could go on forever, but I dont want to bug you all the time.

Spears piece - the end of the solo just before the sax comes back in. I mean how picking is supposed to sound so smooth?

The Big Wave - The whole solo. Wow. Especially all the motifs movements are just unreal.

Rituals solo, there is phrasing in there that no one has ever played on electric guitar. Not particularly fast, but so personal and soulful beyond comprehention.

Time Lapse - A brief moment at the intro that has baffled me for three weeks now and I still cant get right, cause it is hard to play. Not to mention the incredible note choices.

Lady P anyone tried to feel the rhythm for this track? That is technically harder than playing every single Michael Angelo Batio tune.

New album:
Even trying to play the composed parts is terrifying.
But:
Church of Xotic dance- the one and only crazy run during the first solo. Legato I guess, but again what the hell...

Sphinx- The run on the solo the third time the Emaj chord comes in.
Explosion.

Vibe station - Beginning of the second solo after that octaves melody. Blues lick, but has anyone tried to figure it out?

I could go on for years, but those are a few I find very challenging from a technical point of view. Not to mention the notes and rhythms and contour and everything.
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Scott Henderson
The Man


Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 2005

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Thanasis, I didn't know anyone paid that much attention to my playing. ha ha I appreciate the kind words, but I have to tell you that most of that stuff is really easy to play, and the only thing which might make it hard to figure out is the fingering. A lot of my students get hung up on that because they're not experienced enough to hear the difference between wound and unwound strings, and they seem to think everything's always played in the same area of the neck.

The hardest thing I do on a technical level is play lines which jump to another area of the neck but sound seamless. The jumps can be difficult, but the stuff that sits in one area of the neck is super easy, and when I show it to my students they always learn it really fast.

Thanks for the compliment on the phrasing and note choices - that's the hard part, and a continuing road of study which never ends.

Jeff Beck said in an interview that he plays stuff that's easy but sounds hard. I'd have to say the same thing - once you get the fingering, everything I play is easy, especially when compared to guys with real chops. John McLaughlin, Oz Noy, Bruce Forman - I could go on. These guys have blazing fast picking abilities that make me look like a snail. Anyway, we all wish we had more chops, but I guess when it comes down to it, that's the thing I'm the least interested in practicing.
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Thanasis



Joined: 14 Feb 2017
Posts: 129
Location: Thessaloniki, Greece

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I had the time I could easily write a 500 page book about everything Ive heard from you and explain why I like it. And then another 500 page book on how you shouldnt over analyze your favourite players and try to do your own shit, unlike me.


But to get to the point of the topic, I would say that the fingers serve the soul. So it is not exercises that we are after, it probably is the thing that we have in our minds that needs to get out there and be communicated, plus to prove weve done our homework right and show off a few tasteful licks weve stolen (younger dudes like me).
All technique serves the different expression details that are expressed through legato, string skipping, fence climbing, alternate picking etc..
Also, a good sound helps to get some of them working.
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jason3000



Joined: 12 Aug 2016
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It blows my mind that I never caught this technique you were using all these years Scott. And your welcome to telling you the name for the technique Smile

Were you using this same technique back in the tribal tech days?
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Scott Henderson
The Man


Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 2005

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think I used it at all during the TT days. In those days my guitars were set up for speed, not tone. I was using 9's with really low action, so legato playing was much easier. Now I use 10's with medium action, so the hybrid technique probably made up for things that were too hard to play legato. That's just a guess actually - when it comes to technique I don't pay much attention to what's going on, I just do what feels natural.

When my students ask me questions about technique, I sometimes have to study how I'm playing because it's become like breathing - it's so "automatic pilot" that I've forgotten what I'm doing.
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Petar



Joined: 26 Oct 2017
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott Henderson wrote:
I don't think I used it at all during the TT days. In those days my guitars were set up for speed, not tone. I was using 9's with really low action, so legato playing was much easier. Now I use 10's with medium action, so the hybrid technique probably made up for things that were too hard to play legato. That's just a guess actually - when it comes to technique I don't pay much attention to what's going on, I just do what feels natural.

When my students ask me questions about technique, I sometimes have to study how I'm playing because it's become like breathing - it's so "automatic pilot" that I've forgotten what I'm doing.


Troy was talking about how SRV played with 13ths.
Bruce then acknowledged the fact that he was tuned to E flat, as if that makes a big difference.
I would love to see the look on Bruce's face, when he tries to play blues and constantly bend with 13ths on E flat.
He is looking it from a jazz guy's point of view but it's completely different, if you don't have to constantly bend notes.
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