View Full Version : Old dog, new tricks...DUDUDU

Sep-13-2005, 11:47am
It has recently come to my attention, and the attention of a professional guitar teacher, that some of my picking strokes are not consistently down up down up. When "briskly" playing an extended G scale, for example, when I change strings from the A to the E, I will play 2 downs, and not "down up". It always just seemed like an effecient way to pick, with minimal loss of movement. To pick this correctly, I literally would have to move my pick further down to pick the correct "up" stroke. I have recently spent hours trying to correct this, and it is not working. Am I doomed? I have been playing for quite some time, and my finger memorization for certain scales and licks that involve more than one string are set in stone. Is there a way to teach and an old dog new tricks (correct this problem) or is it even worth it.

Sep-13-2005, 12:53pm
Do the John Moore picking exercises as slowly as needed to maintain the alternating pick directions, and practice the scales very slowly with the correct DUDU. It may not be a big thing, but I think it's worth correcting.

Sep-14-2005, 11:33am
Hey if it makes you feel better you are not alone. I am alos having to "relearn" my pcik direction on both Mandolin and Guitar after having an experienced instructor and professional mandolin player critique my technique.

Its difficult after you've already formed bad habits.

Oct-06-2005, 12:43pm
I am learning to cross pick and I notice at times that 2 upstrokes or 2 downstrokes in a row are called for. I thought I had it figured out. It seemed that you always picked in the direction of the next string to be played, alternating if staying on one string. This made sense to me, since it meant if you needed to change direction you did it before the note so you were "accelerating out of the turn" as you pick the string instead of decelerating while coming to a stop to change direction. But then I found other passages that did not follow this line of thinking. It could just be the material I am using, I don't know. Byt my line of reasonaing still makes sense to me and seems natural.

Oct-06-2005, 2:32pm

I'm glad you brought this up. I've just begun working on crosspicking and find it easier to continue alternate D U, even when cross picking. Does anyone know if this is going come back to bite me in the future?

Oct-06-2005, 2:44pm
[QUOTE]picked in the direction of the next string to be played

That is EXACTLY what I am doing, and seems natural, but is not DUDUDUDU according to the Thile video, and others. Some of the more complicated stuff I "try to" play (Typsy Gypsy), I now feel like I have to relearn it b/c it is not DUDUDU. Which by the way...IS IMPOSSIBLE!

Tom C
Oct-06-2005, 3:04pm
If you learn a tune at a certain tempo and do DD from "G" to "D" string, when you play it with somebody else at a different tempo, it's too hard to chage the timing of going from one string to another. DUDU keeps you more steady with the tempo.

I learn from a professional most people know, if there was one thing he'd always correct me on is the ups and downs -right from day one. Of course there are exceptions but I did not need to know about them at the time.

What tough about typsie gypie? The only problem I have sometimes is the 1st to 4th fret reach cleanly. The pickin is straight foward.

Oct-06-2005, 4:48pm
I am new to this, but I disagree about the timing issue. Even if picking DD, I will do the "sewing motion" between notes because that motion is what keeps the rhythm for me. If I make an exception because there is no string to skip I am thinking too much and am more likely to screw up.

Tom C
Oct-06-2005, 5:01pm
IMHO You can't do that if you're playing 1/8 notes. There is no between notes -especially if it's played quick.
If it's a waltz or something slow, I would play downstokes on everything I can.

Oct-06-2005, 6:01pm
"when I change strings from the A to the E, I will play 2 downs, and not "down up". "
I started out with the same problem, not even realizing I was doing it until I read about proper picking techniques on this forum, and I started paying closer attention. I honestly think it helped my timing, to go back and relearn a few songs/licks using the DUDUDU motion.
It wasn't easy to 'relearn' however, even though I've only been playing a few months. I had to slow down and repeat the licks over and over many times, to get into the 'habit' of DUDUDU. Good luck if you decide to relearn your methods!

Oct-06-2005, 7:30pm
IMHO You can't do that if you're playing 1/8 notes. There is no between notes -especially if it's played quick.
If it's a waltz or something slow, I would play downstokes on everything I can.
My context is crosspicking, where it is very common to skip a string between notes, so you have to do the sewing motion. Most the notes are even tempo, but there are a couple of rolls that include a little "add on" eighth that's the next string played in the same direction (basically a strum of two strings). The stuff I am playing is quarter notes, but eighth is a goal. I am pretty new at it.

Oct-07-2005, 9:57pm
I decided to try purer DUDU tonight, no matter what note is next or what the cross picking book (written by someone famous here, mostly as a bad business person but also as a pretty good picker). After about ten or fifteen minutes, I was tempted to come back here and delete my earlier comments. I haven't been doing it for years, so there wasn't much to "unlearn". Inside fifteen minutes I gained speed and accuracy; not much, but enough for me to note the difference. It's hard to put in words, but I was wrong about decelerating. I don't because it isn't time to think about that yet while playing the note. I play it the same whether I will need to turn around for the next note or not. Anyway, just in case anyone put too much stock in my earlier comments, now I am not so sure...