Alternate Picking Across Strings

author: Brad204 date: 03/26/2009 category: guitar techniques
rating: 8 / votes: 7 
First of all, every tab in this lesson requires strict alternate picking, and some knowledge of how to sweep pick. You know those tabs that look like this:
            PM PM   PM PM   PM PM   PM PM       
e |--------------------------------------------|
b |--------------------------------------------|
G |--------------------------------------------|
D |--------------------------------------------|
A |-------6-------6-------6-------6-------6p-4-|
E |---------4-------4-------4-------4----------|
B |--0h-4------4-------4-------4-------4-------|
And everyone at one point figures "Alrighty, I'll just hold them notes down and strum" or whatever other weird solutions you may come up with. For a song like this, we do something different
            PM PM   PM PM   PM PM   PM PM       
e |--------------------------------------------|
b |--------------------------------------------|
G |--------------------------------------------|
D |--------------------------------------------|
A |-------6-------6-------6-------6-------6p-4-|
E |---------4-------4-------4-------4----------|
B |--0h-4------4-------4-------4-------4-------|
     d    u d u   d u  d  u d  u  d u  d  u
My rule typically is: If you can't figure something out, alternate pick it. This riff follows that rule, mostly because of the palm mutes. When you have to alternate pick between strings, you have to do a lot of pick movement to avoid hitting strings the wrong way. So I made 2 riffs to practise the motions. Heres the first exercise I use:
e||----------------------------------------------------|
b||----------------------------------------------------|
G||-------4-----------1-----------5-----------2--------|
D||-----3---3-------2---2-------4---4-------3---3------|
A||---2-------2---3-------3---3-------3---4-------4----|
E||-1-----------4-----------2-----------5--------------| ect. ect.
    d u d u d u d u d u d u d u d u d u d u d u d u
As your doing this excercise remember you're not doing chords. As you move through the notes, move your fingers as if you were sweep picking. This ones fairly tough if you're just starting out, because it uses your pinky alot. Heres the 2nd exercise I use:
e||----------------------------------------------------|
b||----------------------------------------------------|
G||-------4-----------1-----------5-----------2--------|
D||---2-------2---3-------3---3-------3---4-------4----|
A||-----3---3-------2---2-------4---4-------3---3------|
E||-1-----------4-----------2-----------5--------------| ect. ect.
    d u d u d u d u d u d u d u d u d u d u d u d u
This one is a variation of the last one, using string skipping. All of the same rules apply.
More Brad204 lessons:
+ Advanced Sweep Picking Arpeggiation Guitar Techniques 10/01/2010
+ Advanced Pentatonic Movement Soloing 09/29/2010
+ Grand Theory Of Everything Correct Practice 09/28/2010
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