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Alternate picking

Technique
Admiral  
10 Jun 2009 07:53 | Quote
Joined: 10 May 2009
Germany
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I just have a question, i recently read in a book about strict alternate picking. And it said that for example if you do a downstroke and play a note, do a hammer on and the want to hit the string again, you have to do the downstroke again.
I mean, for me it works for normal stuff, but when it gets to complicated i just always catch myself playing that one with an upstroke. I would just be interested on how you are doing that? And if you are using really strict alternate picking?
JustJeff  
10 Jun 2009 10:13 | Quote
Joined: way back
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I use economical picking... meaning whatever direction my next string is in is the direction that i pick.

So if I am going to pick the B string, then pick the A string, then back down to the G string, i will upstroke the b, downstroke the a, and upstroke the G.

But if i am playing straight across, E, B, and G string, all of them would be upstrokes.
Guitarslinger124  
10 Jun 2009 10:18 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
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Moderator
What just Jeff said is the easiest way to do it man. But the most importent thing is that you play what is comfortable for you to play, although you shouldn't be afraid to try different styles because you might find a way to pick that you like better.
Admiral  
10 Jun 2009 10:47 | Quote
Joined: 10 May 2009
Germany
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
Thanks guys, until now i was also mostly using economy picking until now, and now i am trying to change the way of my playing. I like the idea of the strict alternate picking, its just so hard to change my the habit of economy picking, haha. But is anyone here playing the way i described? just to hear some opinions
telecrater  
11 Jun 2009 00:14 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
United States
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Hey Admiral,

All you need to do is concentrate for a week or so on economy picking I'm sure you'll pick it up.

It's hard making changes like that because you go back to sucking for a bit while you relearn how the play. but in the end i think you'll find you'll be able to play faster and cleaner, or at least the potental will be there :)

good luck
Admiral  
11 Jun 2009 04:17 | Quote
Joined: 10 May 2009
Germany
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
Thanks tele, i will very much do so, it will take a while. I was just curious how many of you really use this technique with the picking as i described it. Because pretty much all my mates all go for economy picking.
telecrater  
11 Jun 2009 06:53 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
United States
Lessons: 8
Karma: 13
wait did i read you wrong. Are you an alt picker or an eco piker

If your and echo picker i would not change a thing.


Alternative picking (i call alt picking)

-----------2-----2-------------------------
--------3-----3-----3------------3---------
-----2------------------2-----2------2-----
--0------------------------0---------------
-------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------
d u d u d u d u d u d u

Economy picking (i call eco picking)

-----------2-----2-------------------------
--------3-----3-----3------------3---------
-----2------------------2-----2------2-----
--0------------------------0---------------
-------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------
d d d d u d u u d d u u


Eco is reall the way to go you pick based on the direction your going in the future. This also leads to sweep picking that i still can't quite get down.
Admiral  
11 Jun 2009 07:04 | Quote
Joined: 10 May 2009
Germany
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
haha, tele, i am an eco picker at the moment, but i want to change to alternative picking. And in the book i read they say that even with hammer-ons and pull-offs you have to stay on a constant picking rhythm so like this for example:



--12p9------9--12p9--13p9--12p9------9-------------------------
--------10-----------------------10---------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------
d d u d d d d u


would that be correct alternative picking?
telecrater  
11 Jun 2009 19:25 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
United States
Lessons: 8
Karma: 13
No i would say what you have is eco picking

Taking that same set of notes...below would be alt picking




--12p9------9--12p9--13p9--12p9------9------------------------
--------10-----------------------10---------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------
d u d u d u d u


By the way what book are you working out of?
blackholesun  
11 Jun 2009 19:32 | Quote
Joined: 04 Jan 2007
United Kingdom
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Moderator
No, I think Admiral was right. Every beat has a down-pick and every offbeat uses an up-pick or a pull off, so that a constant picking rhythm is used.

I find that economy picking is the best to use. There aren't any rules in music though, so if alternate picking feels best for you then go with that.
Admiral  
12 Jun 2009 04:03 | Quote
Joined: 10 May 2009
Germany
Lessons: 1
Karma: 12
Ok, thanks for the help guys! I will try some of that alternative picking and see how it goes, until now i'm fine with it.

@telecrater:
I am working from "Speed mechanics for lead guitar" written by Troy Stetina. I quite like that book. I can only recommend it.
telecrater  
12 Jun 2009 12:03 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
United States
Lessons: 8
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@blackholesun

Yeah i guess your right I just assumed that alternative picking meant just that that every other pick of the string was down and the other 1/2 of the time it was up.

is that by Troy Stetina? I've got the same book.

Yeah Troy does push a strict Alt picking but then later in the book (page 48) he introduces Sweep Picking Arpeggios where he throws all ahat alt picking out the window. Then He moves even further way from strick alt picking in part II and works toward more eco picking.

I've had this book forever and not really gotten very far in it. I star and work for a couple of weeks and then put it down. I think it's a good book if you can keep at it. I've found it very metally (not a word i'm sure). I'm not so much into metal but would really like to paly faster lead.
Admiral  
12 Jun 2009 14:36 | Quote
Joined: 10 May 2009
Germany
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It does change quite a bit at the end, but i guess there is not only one way for everything. But I still really like the book, he does have some good advice. It is quite metally, but it also really helped me to play a lot cleaner and get more independence with my fingers. It does get quite boring and repetitive tough, i agree.
telecrater  
12 Jun 2009 18:34 | Quote
Joined: 13 Jan 2008
United States
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cool, how far along are you?

I got throught the first 20 excercies or so. I does help with the finger independence and legoto type stuff. I should put it back into my practice routine.
Admiral  
12 Jun 2009 19:17 | Quote
Joined: 10 May 2009
Germany
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Well, the cool thing about the book is that you can never finish it =D there is always more to do, but i did pretty much everything, at a moderate speed except for the flight of the bumblebee, i didnt bother to learn that yet because it sounds horrible, haha. You have a strict daily routine? not bad, i am still trying to get there
carlsnow  
18 Jun 2009 14:15 | Quote
Joined: 29 Apr 2009
United States
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i tell my students to pick with 'economy governed by practicality'
being too strict on yourself can lead to some bad habits.
chop things up a bit; intermingle a strict-tempo strict(positional)-economical phrase with a sweeping lick ...
or run all your scales/modes backwards and beginning with an UP-stroke then 'normally' but with the UP as 1.

String Skipping while while cross-picking(what i call 'alternate')and so forth is a big help as well
One very easy route to Right Hand Speed =
play (beg. low) the four 'main' Octave shapes downwards in 3rd position(fret) then come back 'up' saying in that position and cross picking all 7(i use, lol) positional octave-shapes.

i'm not uber-fast like another teaching friend of mine, i only hit Quads at 200 (800bpm) but i DO keep trying, lol, as speed can be a nice asset to a lead at times(imo); when i warm my right hand up (aka practice speed) i like to mute the neck (w/L) and begin cross-picking one string. I'll do this from 1/4's to 1/16-trips around 180 or so and then switch strings, rinse and repeat, lol. after this i start playing (try 1/8th trips) the E to the D to the A to the G etc, and work my way back up. i then add "some 3-not/1-sting lick" and 'run it' the same way (in position) all over the neck, the I'll move to a larger spread such as (strings again) E G A E D B A E etc... so i have to move around even more.

then back to reality and warming the LEFT hand LOL!

anyways , hope someone got some kinda usable tip from the above mess!

Cs

JazzMaverick  
18 Jun 2009 15:13 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
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Moderator
Whoa guys! Economy picking is well and truly amazing, BUT it's also limiting! Don't get stuck in your ways just yet!

The best approach to any style is to know all the picking styles! If you just do economy, you won't be able to play as fast as you could should you be alternate picking.

My advice is to learn them both and know when to use them appropriately! You'll be much better off if you can alternate between the two.
macandkanga  
18 Jun 2009 15:17 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
I agree with carlsnow. I economy picked for over 30 years without even knowing it and thought that I should be able to play faster based on my experience. I looked into it and discovered strict alternate picking. I have been trying to relearn my picking tecnique and it has just messed me all up. Now I do a combination of both depending on the sequence of notes I'm playing and on what strings and how fast I want to play.

No matter what you decide to do, practice with a metronome at low speeds until you can play your sequence perfect over and over again and increase the metronome each time you master that speed.
Admiral  
18 Jun 2009 15:46 | Quote
Joined: 10 May 2009
Germany
Lessons: 1
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Good point there Jazzy. I have been economy picking until now, i know it. I just wanted to get the approach to the alternate picking right, so i asked the question i wasnt sure of. But of course, it depends on what you play and its always good to be armed with all weapons, haha :D
carlsnow  
29 Jun 2009 07:13 | Quote
Joined: 29 Apr 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 23
sounds like some of ya are seeing this as an either/or situation

( i could be wrong...easily)

any picking style, on it OWN = limiting.

spread yerself around, somtimes a sweep, sometimes, alternate-picking, sometimes Travis-picking(etc), sometimes 'chicken-pickin', sometimes fingers/thumb..
...and sometimes no picking at all.



league  
29 Jun 2009 09:42 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Lessons: 2
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You got a point there Carl learning and using many styles allows one to play ranging styles and pieces of music.

I definitely use many different types sometimes I can get through a whole song with only downpicking and sometimes I use alternate or my thumb and fingers, and classical style.

Currently my favorite is thumb and fingers similar to Bossa Nova style(Thanks to Jazzmav)

or a type of South American music called "Baguala"

Specially since I can play most Latin American music which uses many different picking strumming styles.


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