upstrokes on crack


View Full Version : upstrokes on crack

04-27-2006, 10:17 AM
Today I was doing some picking exercises on one string. I did some downpicking only and I noticed I could easily do it at about 60% of my alternate picking speed limit besides the fact my stamina wore out kinda fast. I was surprised by that because I expected to achieve 50% with a lot of efford. After that I tried upstrokes only and I simply failed to achieve anything speedy at all. Now I was wondering if any of you think that practising upstrokes only will aid my alternate picking. The same question aplies for down picking aswell. Did practising those two seperately help your alternate pinking somehow?

04-27-2006, 10:30 AM
Yes, the secret behind Paul Gilbert's alternate picking :p:

It's just logic, really.

04-27-2006, 10:39 AM
Working the muscles = good

Logic :p:

04-27-2006, 11:21 AM
Ok thanks. Hate to say the already thought so thing but I wanted to be a bit more sure before I put a ****load of time in it.

EDIT: Maybe the fact PG only used his middle finger is the secret behind his fast position shifts. :D

04-27-2006, 01:25 PM
Yes, the secret behind Paul Gilbert's alternate picking :p:

It's just logic, really.

Haha, he said in a video interview in total guitar that the first 8 years he played guitar he only played with upstroles because he thought you had to.


04-27-2006, 02:34 PM
^first 2 years, first 8 years he only wanted to be a rythm player.

04-27-2006, 02:40 PM
^With upstrokes.

See Heart - Barracuda :p:

04-27-2006, 02:47 PM
Don't squeaze the pick, that creates a lot of muscle tension. If you sharpen your picks it makes things a lot easier because you can hold the pick away from your strings to the point where only the tip of it touchs. The combination of those two can really make things easier. I go for like twenty minutes straight.

04-27-2006, 03:39 PM
Practicing your upstrokes can do wonders for your picking. Although I still wouldn't call my chops anything worthy of the title "Shred" they really didn't start coming together until I started learning Ska, which was quite a while after I started trying to shred. (In Ska generally all rythym is played on upstrokes which forced me to clean them up alot)

04-28-2006, 10:06 AM
I already use kinda sharp picks (jazz III) and try to hold them as loose as possible. Problem is they tend to get out of angle a bit when I loose grip. I'm going to practise a lot of upstrokes now with accents each four beats and each six beats. Hope it will finally give me a more secure picking hand.

04-28-2006, 02:56 PM
Are you talking about those little teardrop picks? Get a big pick and file the very end to a point.

04-28-2006, 04:03 PM
I don't think having a certain plectrum will help your technique, it's whatever you're comfortable with. for practising upstrokes, try doing that and if you can try practising sweeping, but obviously upwards (as in from high strings to low) that would probs help alot.

04-30-2006, 08:50 PM
What do you use to file your picks? and can you explain like exactly how you do it? I use dunlop .60 mm btw.

05-01-2006, 02:38 PM
I don't actually file them I use a razor knife to cut the points into fine triangle. I cut from the wide end to the thin end .

05-04-2006, 07:52 AM
Are you talking about those little teardrop picks? Get a big pick and file the very end to a point.

But I love small picks and I don't think a bigger one will help me that much.

05-04-2006, 08:07 AM
Before he dispensed with them altogether, Joe Pass used to break his picks in half--I use very hard picks which i struggled with at first...
Basically, practising a combination of downstrokes and upstrokes WILL make you a better picker over time---many people practise Paul Gilbert style three note per string things with down-up picking but they struggle with the upstrokes at speed, its more natural to strike down than to swing over onto a new string and then do an upstroke. In short, if your downstrokes are stronger than your upstrokes then you'll struggle---watch some footage of Morse, DI mEola, lANE Or Paul and youllsee how small the movements of their wrists are, thats because theyve struck a perfect balance between ups and downs.

05-04-2006, 08:56 AM
^I just finnished practising upstrokes for 40 minutes today (planned 20 but it took me longer to get to my target speed). I understand how important the balance is. I figured out some single note rythm riffs to get more comfortable with it while noodling around aswell. I especially noticed how I strugle with going strings up so I practised some self made licks for some time but probably not enough. I love the sound of decending runs and they just don't go as easy as the ascending ones (I know that is in the left hand aswell. Working on that too.). But now I'm going back to my sightreading practising :) thanks for the information.

05-04-2006, 09:14 AM
Id suggest something like this to begin with--


as sixteenth notes--practise with a metronome S---L---O---W---L---Y, first time round do all downstrokes, then all upstrokes and keep that going for a while--or just do all upstrokes. Then id try elaborating this idea over two or more strings-


this one is triplets...Its important that you dont get too used to downstrokes or upstrokes as you'll end up doing some messy bastardisation of economy picking.

05-04-2006, 10:15 AM
I did those exercises a lot already. But indeed not with upstrokes only. Somehow I've got the concept of alternate picking really inside now (i use it awell when doing legato for the picking) so I won't get more used to only down or up that easily.

05-04-2006, 03:37 PM
I;ve been practicing only upstrokes a bit lately but the thing you want to put the ability of your downstrokes on pause to work on your upstrokes? Basically what I'm asking is should they be on the same level or can your downstrokes still be stronger, but your upstrokes are efficiant enough to go real fast?

05-04-2006, 04:16 PM
Well, many people don't even work on upstrokes, I would doubt even insane shredders like Cooley or Lane never really focused on straight upstrokes, so I wouldn't think they'd have to be on the same level.

but think if they were.....

05-05-2006, 08:10 AM
i decided to do a few hours practising yesterday with simple open string style lick-


ETC etc---I started doing all downstrokes, then all upstrokes, then alternate picking, each time going up to the twelfth fret, then descending before moving onto the next variation-when back to zero i changed strings and repeated it...
My metronome was on pretty slow, 60bpm sixteenth notes, but i worked wonders. A problem i find, is i can sort of switch off when practising ONLY alternate picking because the basic motion is not that hard, but it requires a lot of concentration and scrutiny to refine, but with this method i found myself having to concentrate the whole time and i refined my technique a great deal.

05-05-2006, 04:22 PM
^Good idea. I'll do that tonight. It's good to do scales or scale sequences to though because it requires lots of string changes.

05-06-2006, 11:49 AM
^^Seems I inspired some people :). Good idea to combine the three pickingstyles so you connect what you practise. I just practised 0-o-o-o-0-o-o-o On one string for a while and changing to a different one when I think I did enough on that string for the moment. Also practised it in triplets. I found out it at least made me more comfortable with starting licks on upstrokes and playing accents on upstrokes. The last thing is really nice because thos upstrokes most of the time are on the up beats. A little step closer to those dynamic paul gilbert style licks which have accents on weird spots.

05-06-2006, 03:13 PM
Cool, I was playing little excercise-type licks I made up starting on upstrokes to, real great workout. I found the fastest speed that I could play it starting on a downstroke comfortable and then slowly worked up to that speed starting on an upstroke. Then I cut the speed in half and worked on doing all downstrokes and all upstrokes, then brought that up several BPM and tried playing it starting on a downstroke faster that i did originally and It was yeah that's a good way to increase speed and strength to.