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Old 01-13-2013, 10:18 AM   #1
Celestus
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Difference between economy and alternate picking?

I don't really get why some people prefer strict alternate picking against economy, to me it seems like economy picking is just easier and does the same thing. It might be obvious and I'm dumb, but I don't know.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:40 AM   #2
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LOL This is because as humans, we generally (falsely) believe that everyone is just like us.
The truth is, there are distinctly different types of people out there and one aspect of that is:
different types of people learn differently:
e.g. some can learn from books, some can't.

People generally prefer alternate picking because it is faster and easier to learn as a Beginner for most (and requires less thought/planning).
Guitar already has a staggeringly slow learning curve.
Then once you are used to a picking style there are soooo many other things to focus on besides changing something that already works well for you.

Happy Jammin!
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:07 PM   #3
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Well, that does makes sense, now I know it's just preference and not sound or whatever. Thanks.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:32 PM   #4
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I prefer economy picking as well. I don't like having to pass a string just to move back up and hit it. It feels more natural. I say do whatever works for you
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:45 PM   #5
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TOTALLY just preference! And you will find Pro players that subscribe to either (like many "optionals" in the ART of Guitar)

And for that matter, MANY guitarists blend both styles in real time depending on the lick, it really should be thoughtless. You're concentrating on the feel of the music, not picking economy (unless you are learning your picking style or specifically trying to tune/program a lick playing slowly)

Of course there are tradeoffs, pro's and con's to both. But they are minor enough that for just about everything that anyone is trying to play, you can play well with either technique.

Also, whichever you choose, the other will seem "harder" and yours will seem "easier" (and be thoughtless)

Happy Jammin!

Last edited by InfiniStudent : 01-13-2013 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestus
I don't really get why some people prefer strict alternate picking against economy, to me it seems like economy picking is just easier and does the same thing. It might be obvious and I'm dumb, but I don't know.

Economy picking will yield greater speed, in the long run, if you really work at it. You sacrifice the dynamic range and rhythmic effect you'd normally get with alternate picking, though.

That's the difference between the two. Sound.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdc
Economy picking will yield greater speed, in the long run, if you really work at it.


I've actually never seen any evidence to support this...
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I've actually never seen any evidence to support this...

Agreed. The only difference between alternate and economy picking is when you change strings, so logically, the only time you could plausibly make a case for economy picking being faster is if you're crossing a lot of consecutive strings, at which point there odds are that most people would be using mini-sweeps rather than trying to use strict alternate picking (unless you're Petrucci or Junior)
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:13 PM   #9
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^ +1 to both the above posts.

While you might be faster changing strings your speed on one string will be exactly the same, so a constant run of 16ths for example won't be any faster economy picking because you won't be able to speed up any notes on the same string and thus you play the passage at the same max speed as if you alternate picked it.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:52 AM   #10
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Alternate picking is basically up and downstrokes while economy picking is a mix of alternate picking and sweep picking. The economy picking method is really similar, but if you're going from a low string to a high string, you use downstrokes. If you're not changing strings, then it's the same as alternate picking.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:25 PM   #11
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economy picking a.k.a cross picking

Cross picking is a combination of sweep picking and alternate picking.

Cross picking is designed to give the same fidelity as alternate picking without strings buzzing (as they do in sweep picking) at a faster speed than alternate picking.

Cross picking says: "If you are going to be playing an ascending scale, then why not play the scale with only one note on each string for part of the scale so that the scale can be played faster by only stroking up for a few of the notes all in one stroke."
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:20 AM   #12
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Alternate picking allows for more attack, economy picking is more fluid and smooth.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I've actually never seen any evidence to support this...

Been having a dig through some books...

With repetition licks like the two below, initially it's easier to play them faster using alt picking cuz that's what most ppl, including myself are use to.

However, if you really up the tempo, you can see how hard your picking hand has to work, when alt picking. Then try it with eco picking, the difference in movement is huge, and much less aggressive looking.

In the long run, with a lot of practice in developing efficiency, eco picking will yield greater speed with these two examples.

Straight 16ths

D U U D
Code:
- - -7-5---9-5 ----7-5---7-5 - -


Eco picking this one is miles more comfortable than alt picking.
8th note triplets

D U U
Code:
- - -9-5 ----7 - -


Try them out, for the guys who disagreed with me.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:40 AM   #14
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See you say that but that's all theoretical, same as with all the other advantages of economy picking, I've never seen anyone actually push economy picking any faster than the equivalent alternate picker.

And I really have looked
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:43 AM   #15
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Did you try those examples?
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:49 AM   #16
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The answer is actually logical. Economy picking does require less total distance for the pick to travel, but I assume the difference is not big enough to debate over it. Imo, a good guitarist should be able to do both, and use the one which is preferred.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:21 AM   #17
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I've played those examples.

Logically, eventually there will reach a point at which economy picking is faster for certain licks such as those.

Now let's play a 3nps scale, let's say G Major starting from the 3rd fret of the low E string.

This cannot logically be played faster with economy picking as while you can cross strings faster, you must alternate pick the notes on the same string. Thus meaning that you're limited to the speed that you can alternate pick, if you're playing straight 16ths or something similar.

If you're a lick with constant notes of the same time value, then unless the lick contains no more than two notes in a row on the same string it will never be possible to economy pick it faster than alternate picking as you need to use both in the lick.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon17
I've played those examples.

Logically, eventually there will reach a point at which economy picking is faster for certain licks such as those.

Good. My point proven exactly.

Quote:
Now let's play a 3nps scale, let's say G Major starting from the 3rd fret of the low E string.

This cannot logically be played faster with economy picking as while you can cross strings faster, you must alternate pick the notes on the same string. Thus meaning that you're limited to the speed that you can alternate pick, if you're playing straight 16ths or something similar.


If you're a lick with constant notes of the same time value, then unless the lick contains no more than two notes in a row on the same string it will never be possible to economy pick it faster than alternate picking as you need to use both in the lick.

Not true.

That method of alt picking the scale involves inside and outside picking at various points within the scale fingering.

Eco picking any 2 strings is faster than inside or outside picking any 2 strings. Try it.

The point I'm making there, is that it's possible to alternate pick a single string faster than when string crossing.

Last edited by mdc : 01-17-2013 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:17 AM   #19
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who cares which is faster, you're dillydallying on the dumbest shit

as mdc said it should be about sound, not feel. most of you saying you prefer economy picking probably can't tell the difference in tone and just understand that one is easier than the other in most situations, particularly if you have a sloppy technique and never worked on alt. picking properly

not that it matters though, guitar sucks, picks suck

seacrest out
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:19 AM   #20
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Yeah, now gtf back in to MT where you belong. You bassard.
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