#1
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.
#2
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!
#3
Well, that does makes sense, now I know it's just preference and not sound or whatever. Thanks.
#4
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
#5
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 at Jan 13, 2013,
#6
Quote 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.
#7
Quote 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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#8
Quote 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)
#9
^ +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.
#10
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.
#11
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."
#12
Alternate picking allows for more attack, economy picking is more fluid and smooth.
baab
#13
Quote 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
-
-
-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
-
-
-9-5
----7
-
-


Try them out, for the guys who disagreed with me.
#14
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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#16
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.
#17
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.
#18
Quote 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.

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 at Jan 17, 2013,
#19
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
Quote by theogonia777
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I want to be Hail when I grow up.
#21
Y'know, plenty of people hit 14+ notes per second with raw alternate picking. For all practical purposes, that's fast enough for anyone except if you want to get signed to Shrapnel Records or something. Arguing about "theoretical speed" is utterly pointless, given that the vast majority of players will be able to hit a given speed with just about any technique they please.
#22
Quote by mdc
Did you try those examples?


Not that exact time, I was sitting in a café at uni, but I'm familiar enough with the ideas, how they feel to me and the kinds of players who actually play that way.

The theoretical advantages of one over the other are fine... but for whatever reason it just doesn't seem to actually manifest in any player I've heard or seen; whatever technique people seem to use, if you're really good at it straight picking (alternate or economy) seems to top out at around 15-16 notes per second. I honestly don't think the real limiting factor on picking is the something that the alternate/economy dichotomy addresses.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

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#23
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I honestly don't think the real limiting factor on picking is the something that the alternate/economy dichotomy addresses.

Agreed. This goes back to my first post - the difference between the two is only when changing strings, so the only conceivable time that economy picking would have a considerable advantage would be when moving through several adjacent strings, at which point most people would be using a sweeping motion anyway (meaning that you're not bothering to employ alternate picking to do something that it is inherently bad at).

Basically, the reasons people use economy/alternate picking is because of either a tonal preference (the less common of the two) or because they naturally like the feel better. Speed isn't involved at any point except the purely theoretical.
#24
Quote by mdc
Good. My point proven exactly.


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.


No, you're missing the point I was making. You're right in what you say, but you're wrong in what you're applying it to.

In a 3NPS scale you HAVE to alternate pick the 2nd note, 5th note, 8th note and so on... Due to this, you're limited to how fast you can alternate pick properly.

Let's say for example, you can economy pick at 200bpm 16ths, but you can only alternate pick at 180bpm 16ths.

While you could cross strings at 200bpm, you could only play the alternate picked notes on the same string at 180bpm. Thus playing this scale you would be limited to playing at 180bpm unless you want uneven notes (which some players do and it still sounds good, but it's not usually desirable).

I see your point about being able to alternate pick faster on one string than crossing it, but I'm really aiming this example at when you've got to the point in your technique that you can alternate pick across strings pretty much as fast as on a single string (players like Paul Gilbert for example). Before this level of technique there won't really be a speed advantage to either style of picking since you can improve your technique of either anyway.

Whatever the case, I agree that the sound is the more important option. Hail - In GT some of us enjoy these debates over "the dumbest shit" just as you guys in MT enjoy torturing people about modes etc... I honestly find technique related discussions interesting.
#25
For most people, economy picking feels more natural at first and alternate picking takes more discipline. As other posters have said, economy picking does reduce the amount of unnecessary motion, but it sounds different than strict alternate picking.

Most players use a combination of techniques (legato, alternate, economy, sweep) depending on the situation. There's no right or wrong or best - just different sounds and different applicability to a sequence of notes.

Don't get caught up on which one will allow you play faster - there are amazing players who prefer either.
#26
Quote by Hail
not that it matters though, guitar sucks, picks suck

seacrest out
Well that just did it for me. I'm switching to bass, and I suggest everybody else do the same.

The most advantageous point of making this switch, is that it seems like playing the bass gives you stronger opinions, and is easier to talk over!
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 18, 2013,
#27
Quote by Captaincranky
Well that just did it for me. I'm switching to bass, and I suggest everybody else do the same.

The most advantageous point of making this switch, is that it seems like playing the bass gives you stronger opinions, and is easier to talk over!


Easier to talk over - LOL!