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LightNbolt

Help in adjusting pick for upstrum

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I'm practicing some rhythm patterns. I'm listening to my upstrums and they definitely sound inconsistent. Most of the times it sounds horrible. It feels like my pick strikes the high E string only and doesn't quite glide over the rest. I've been trying to adjust the angles and such, but looking for any other suggestions.

Thanks.

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I had to look at myself strum. It seems like a reasonable rule of thumb. Probably because down strums tend to fall on the beat so you want a strong bass to empathize that. The upstrokes tend to be the off beats so don't need the bass as much.

Keep your hand relaxed on the down stroke like it is falling past the strings. At the end of its' arc, if your hand is properly relaxed your hand will naturally turn slightly outward so that the pick is pointing on around a 45 angle between guitar and floor. Use the natural rebound in your wrist to start the upwards strum. Your wrist is turning as you strum like you were opening a door. The arc of the wrist turn will lift the pick off the strings around the 3 or 4 string. It should be a very natural relaxed movement. You can practice it in the air a couple of times to make sure you stay relaxed. Picking is a combination of for arm and wrist, mostly wrist. Hope that helps.

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It feels like my pick strikes the high E string only and doesn't quite glide over the rest. I've been trying to adjust the angles and such, but looking for any other suggestions.

Thanks.

As mentioned, relaxing is most definitely the key. However, to help you along sometimes a thinner pick can help. As you improve step up to thicker picks. Once you've got the hang of it your pick selection will be based on the sound you're trying to achieve instead. :)

I've got a dvd instr. and it said on an upstrum to just hit the bottom three strings, is that a given? anybody got a theory on this?

This is roughly right however like most things it's not written in stone. In fact, varying the number of strings you hit -- depending on when are where in the tune you do it -- will often give the tune more flavour.

Another advantage is that it makes changing chords easier during the upstrum - often you can even upstrum on all open strings in between chords and it'll sound okay.

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