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Thread: Tremolo

  1. #1
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    Default Tremolo

    I am struggling with my tremolo. I do pretty good as along I am playing one set of strings, but when I try to play tremolo across what I would call double stop tremolo I just have trouble making ti sound like it should. I'd be thankful for any advice that you folks may be willing to contribute. I'm struggling a bit with this technique.

  2. #2
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tremolo

    It's going to be different for everyone's hands, but in my case I was holding the pick in a very unnatural way which was not allowing me to adjust the angle of the pick. I didn't realize it until I was forced to change and re-learn how I hold the pick -- a result of having the high strings slip under my index fingernail a few times, causing bleeding and severe pain.

    I moved from holding the pic in a relaxed fist posture (which allowed strings to get under my fingernails), to holding the pick in a relaxed "Ok" hand signal posture with the pick between my thumb and the fleshy end of my index finger...

    Anyway, for me this new hold determined how smoothly I can transition between pick angles. My experience since making that change is that the angle of the pick has to be able to transition very smoothly from hitting the strings with the flat face of the pick, to hitting the strings with varying angles of the edge of the pick.

    So now the goal of my pick hold is to be able to move from single picking to all of the tremolo versions without extra movements or perceivable transitions. When I changed my pick hold, all of a sudden I realized that I had tremendous easy and smooth access to pick angles that I had never experienced before.

    Stroking the string with the face of the pick is good for power strokes while single picking, including crosspicking. The edge of the pick at a near 45 degree angle to the strings is good for softer, more nuanced single picking strokes and for tremolo. The edge of the pick at a nearer to 90 degree angle to the strings is better for tremelo double-stops, tremelo triple-stops, chord sweeps, etc, because then the length of the pick easily extends its reach to multiple courses of strings. (Note that these numeric angle degree descriptions are not exact at all, they constantly vary depending on the desired tone.)

    I hope that helps. Remember, everyone's hands are different so the way people hold the pick will be different too. You'll have to find what works best along these lines for yourself.
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."


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  4. #3
    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tremolo

    I've been instructed that the grip of the pick should be much looser for a double stop than for a single. Im working on this but I'm not there yet.

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  6. #4
    formerly Philphool Phil Goodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tremolo

    Try reading this
    My advice is in post #46
    Phil

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Tremolo

    I think this is the seventh time I’ve suggested this vid...


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  10. #6

    Default Re: Tremolo

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon DS View Post
    I think this is the seventh time I’ve suggested this vid...

    That's a good lesson for learning and increasing tremolo speed. I would add that often it is desirable to play "unmeasured" tremolo so that you are not necessarily accenting the beat. It can give a more fluid, horn-like quality to your sound.
    For tremolo on 2 sets of strings (or more) a loose pick grip and a loose wrist are essential. And you're basically using the single string technique and exaggerating it.
    Last edited by stevojack665; Jun-08-2020 at 10:02pm.

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  12. #7

    Default Re: Tremolo

    I would play with your pick angle relative to the strings. Too close to parallel and you get jammed up, too close to perpendicular and you get no tone.

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  14. #8

    Default Re: Tremolo

    I made some lessons on this. The fourth lesson focuses on double stops (building on techniques from the previous lessons). Happy playing ... this is the link to the playlist. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...yfmCeFrA2zIiFo

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  16. #9

    Default Re: Tremolo

    Quote Originally Posted by aussiemando View Post
    I made some lessons on this. The fourth lesson focuses on double stops (building on techniques from the previous lessons). Happy playing ... this is the link to the playlist. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...yfmCeFrA2zIiFo
    Those are terrific videos! Thanks.
    I would add a 4th way to modulate volume. I often just change the firmness of my pick grip. Holding it tighter for more volume, and softer for less, while keeping everything else the same.

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  18. #10

    Default Re: Tremolo

    Great vids on tremolo, and beautiful tunes chosen, thanks.
    By the way, it looks like someone has hacked your YT account and put a vid that has very little to do with mandolin nor tremolo technique onto the playlist.
    If you change your password often that can sometimes help. Good luck, and thanks again.

  19. #11

    Default Re: Tremolo

    Thanks for the insight re holding the pick more firmly - useful. I looked at the playlist ... not hacked, just bad with technology (long story). Have deleted now (I think).

  20. #12
    Gypsy Mandola Gypsy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tremolo

    https://youtu.be/X7vqNh5k96o this one helped me.
    “ A Broken Heart can be a Painfully Beautiful thing for a Songwriter “
    ~Shari Windsor

  21. #13

    Default Re: Tremolo

    Hey Jon - I'm no expert, but in my years of development this is without a doubt true. And I would add to that, that the wrist also should be loosened up. Another little self discovery for me . . . was when I couldn't get a good feel or sound was to concentrate on the second strike (usually an upstroke), focusing on hitting that asap. Somehow that gets it flowing properly and always improves my tremolo. Sort of like a swing thought in a golf swing I guess.

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