Since returning from NashCamp a few weeks ago, I’ve been more diligent with two things. One, I’ve been more structured in my practice, allotting about one third of my time to each of three categories: playing songs I already know, learning new material and techniques and working on trouble spots and other such things that require greater than usual detail.
Secondly, I’ve been practicing single string style more. That’s because I’ve been more inspired by it since getting one especially helpful tip from Bill Evans while at NashCamp; be sure to adjust you right hand up and down as you move from string to string. That, along with picking a bit more lightly, has made a surprising difference in the clarity and quality of my single string playing. By keeping your exact same hand position in relation to each string, you’ll have much better control and minimize mistakes such as accidentally picking the adjacent string.
With this new technique, I’ve been able to increase my speed on single string licks by roughly 20%. That’s a pretty big leap! And a quick one as well.
As a related item, I see this also works with certain more difficult melodic techniques that have been giving me consistent problems in times past. For instance, one tune I like to play is ‘Orange Blossom Special’ a la Carl Jackson. Part of the chorus, though, has always been tough to pull of at greater speeds. Using this movement of the right hand as the strings change underneath has helped increase my speed on this as well. I see here that it’s the same issue as with increasing speed with single string.
Thanks for the helpful hint, Bill!