#2
because its not all about speed my friend just because its faster to play doesnt mean its better.
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#3
No one said it was faster, sometimes it's just the easiest/quickest way. Why alternate pick something if economy is the better route - vice versa.
#4
Dynamics my friend...dynamics.
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#5
Neither is better than the other really, if you practice either one well enough you can quite easily do everything the other can.
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#6
Economy picking IS alternate picking that reduces useless movement...
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#7
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#8
Quote by AlucardZero
Economy picking IS alternate picking that reduces useless movement...


THIS. its gold. but ultimately its personal opinion. from the moment i picked up a guitar with a pick I economy picked, I could never understand why you would use an upstroke when you're going downwards, so I reduced the useless movements.

and dynamics has nothing to do with it: hitting the string with a downstroke instead of an upstroke won't make a difference to anything unless you're playing a powerchord, and then instead of sounding in a root - fifth order it sounds in a fifth - root.
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#9
Quote by Shadow_Hawk
and dynamics has nothing to do with it: hitting the string with a downstroke instead of an upstroke won't make a difference to anything unless you're playing a powerchord, and then instead of sounding in a root - fifth order it sounds in a fifth - root.
I'd say I disagree with the bolded but that's actually just wrong. Are you trying to say sweep picking some arpeggio would sound the same as alternate picking it? Cause it wouldn't, that's just wrong.

In my opinion (and logically), you have more control over your dynamics when alternate picking. I'm sure you could - with much practice - acheive the same with economy picking, but I hardly think it'd be worth the amount of work you'd have to put in. I practice both, but I use economy picking only for short, fast bursts of notes that are too quick for me to alternate pick.
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Last edited by ramm_ty at Dec 6, 2008,
#10
im practicing economy lately cos Shawn Lane does it, and hes definately the fastest, best guitarist ever. but its tricky to get the hang of.
#11
Well, having a good alternate picking technique is always a good thing. Start with that first. Master it! Then, if you want, go to eco.

Example A: 2 strings, both ajacent (lets say D an G)...you are doing a moderately fast thing where it's pretty much those two strings. You can't really take a more economical route other than to alternate pick it. Whether you use inside or outside picking, right? There's just no other way to go than alternate picking here...

Get my point?

EDIT:
Quote by greatwhiteone
im practicing economy lately cos Shawn Lane does it, and hes definately the fastest, best guitarist ever. but its tricky to get the hang of.

Something tells me that he also has good alternate picking technique for the predicament that I just described above...

Yeah, I used 'predicament'! Something tells me that I spelled it wrong, though...

EDIT...AGAIN:
Quote by AlucardZero
Economy picking IS alternate picking that reduces useless movement...

It may reduce the movment that you claim to be 'useless'...but there's a reason a lot of people can sweep pick faster than they can alternate pick, and eco. picking is a lot like sweep picking. It's just on a smaller scale.

Think about it; if you're doing 'smaller' sweeping motions at high speeds, it's going to be easier to speed up between those two strings isn't it? Thus, if done badly, it can sound very uneven. It's personal choice, Yngwie eco. picks and he's great, but he worked on it hard, I'm sure, to make it sound so good.

I guess the point(s) I'm trying to make here are

1. If you do eco. pick, make sure you can alternate pick just as good.

2. Make sure to practice the more 'economical' motions that you would experience between the strings. This way, it won't sound uneven when you speed it up.

P.S. See below for 'Example B'.
Last edited by The.new.guy at Dec 7, 2008,
#12
Alternate picking has become a habit for me, where my hands are so used to going down-up that there's no thought in the process at all. Obviously, with enough practice economy picking has the same effect.

I think a big part of it is that when I decided to rehaul my technique, I couldn't keep time nearly as well with economy picking. When following a downstroke with a downstroke, I would tend to rush the second one a little bit, leading to a sloppy sound. I didn't have that problem with alternate picking, so I stuck with it.

However, I don't think either is truly "faster" than the other. Both are equally capable techniques.
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#13
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
I think a big part of it is that when I decided to rehaul my technique, I couldn't keep time nearly as well with economy picking. When following a downstroke with a downstroke, I would tend to rush the second one a little bit, leading to a sloppy sound. I didn't have that problem with alternate picking, so I stuck with it.

This whole paragraph supports my thoughts on it...

I will call this 'Example B'...
#14
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
Alternate picking has become a habit for me, where my hands are so used to going down-up that there's no thought in the process at all. Obviously, with enough practice economy picking has the same effect.

I think a big part of it is that when I decided to rehaul my technique, I couldn't keep time nearly as well with economy picking. When following a downstroke with a downstroke, I would tend to rush the second one a little bit, leading to a sloppy sound. I didn't have that problem with alternate picking, so I stuck with it.

However, I don't think either is truly "faster" than the other. Both are equally capable techniques.


+1.

I'm a strict alt picker too for exactly the reasons you gave, as well as the overall physical feel of it.
#15
Quote by greatwhiteone
im practicing economy lately cos Shawn Lane does it, and hes definately the fastest, best guitarist ever. but its tricky to get the hang of.


Shawn mostly alternate picks...

I mean, obviously he uses economy picking sometimes, but he also does just about everything.

Read the sticky for my view on economy picking. tl;dr - just learn how to economy pick. It's a useful pickstroke to know, but it's not a complete system.
#16
lol to the guy saying alternate sounds the same as economy. It's the difference between the angle of ur down and upstroke that provide the contrast between the 2. Because they are slightly different, the dynamic effect will be bigger (think double bass drums with 1 kick tune a bit out-of-tune with the other kick)

Also for faster single string passages u must use alt pick.

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#17
Quote by Freepower
Shawn mostly alternate picks...

I mean, obviously he uses economy picking sometimes, but he also does just about everything.

Read the sticky for my view on economy picking. tl;dr - just learn how to economy pick. It's a useful pickstroke to know, but it's not a complete system.



you kinda have it backwards Lane was mostly a Economy picker

he dose throw in Alternate picking though

but mostly all of the videos ive seen even on my powers of Ten VHS hes mainly doing EP he dose talk about the two

over all its best to know both techniques

theres not really a point to argue over which one is better cause every one is different if we all picked the same god help us lol

im more of an Economy picker im doing heavy study on "Marshall Harrison"
all of his stuff is mainly EP

Harrison's Economy picking and Hybrid picking are unreal! sooo smooth
he has fantastic technique i have quite a few of his lessons sheets and their pretty tough
#18
Quote by xxdarrenxx

Also for faster single string passages u must use alt pick.


??? you do know that is both?


its actually Tremolo picking is what your talking about

an Economy picker goes with Gravity so when ascending your always going to start on a next string with a Down stroke and then its the opposite coming up you fight against gravity when descending to a next string it will always be an Up Stroke

a true Alternate picker dose the opposite

when ascending to a next string its going to start with an Up stroke
and then Descending its going to be with a Down Stroke
#19
learn to use both, they both have positives and negatives for example from my experience with them:

Economy positive - Useful to play accross multiple strings at speed (most notably 3nps runs).
Economy negative - Unpracticed players tend to go out of time alot as picking the string is physically easier than skipping over in alternate picking.

Alternate positve - Picking the outside of the string can really lend to your dynamics and also accuracy.
Alternate negative - Picking the outside of the string doesn't really come naturally to a lot of people so requires a fair bit of practice.

People can judge this as a positive or negative - Economy picking offers a less defined pick attack, so it can sound smoother. Some people see this as a negative as some people like more pick attack.

Most of it is preference but I would say to learn to use both as they are really useful in different situations.
#20
Quote by The.new.guy
Example A: 2 strings, both ajacent (lets say D an G)...you are doing a moderately fast thing where it's pretty much those two strings. You can't really take a more economical route other than to alternate pick it. Whether you use inside or outside picking, right? There's just no other way to go than alternate picking here...
.

If you were economy picking you would start: down then down again, then alt pick. If you were alt picking, you would start down then up (or opposite) then keep going.

I do half and half economy/alt picking cause I'm lazy. It feels easier and smoother for me to only economy pick descending patterns, but I alternate pick ascending patterns because gravity makes me economy pick unevenly in ascending runs. Yes, I am blaming gravity

There is no better or worse way to do it, like people have said if you work on one hard enough there's no reason you shouldn't be able to everything the other method can.
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#21
Quote by Phrygian_12
you kinda have it backwards Lane was mostly a Economy picker

he dose throw in Alternate picking though

but mostly all of the videos ive seen even on my powers of Ten VHS hes mainly doing EP he dose talk about the two

over all its best to know both techniques

theres not really a point to argue over which one is better cause every one is different if we all picked the same god help us lol

im more of an Economy picker im doing heavy study on "Marshall Harrison"
all of his stuff is mainly EP

Harrison's Economy picking and Hybrid picking are unreal! sooo smooth
he has fantastic technique i have quite a few of his lessons sheets and their pretty tough


Can I first of all say that I totally agree on both the "know both" and "MH rocks" front, but what parts of the POT vhs are you talking about where he talks about eco picking? Iirc, basically the only time the transcriptions mention it is the 5s pentatonic stuff off power solos, and I've gone through the booklets pretty extensively.

Not hating on you, just curious where you're getting it from, as almost every picking example is pure alternate (once again, willing to be shown otherwise ).
#22
i have to agree with the personal preference opinion, and there are differences in the sound between the 2 (not huge but still present). if you disagree with this, you should realize that you are also disagreeing with people such as paul gilbert and michael angelo. and im willing to bet they know more about it then you do.

Anyways, economy picking is useful to give a kind of blur effect between strings. And from the mouth of paul gilbert himself, alternate picking will allow you to better control how hard or soft you attack the string (dynamics).

personally, i prefer economy cause its a more natural motion for me, and takes no thought process at all. if you are trying to play fast, you should not have to think about what you are doing. if you do have to think about what youre doing, you will not be able to shred very well or reliably.
#23
Neither one is natural or unnatural, just different. If you "fall in" to doing one over
another, you've simply made no effort to discover why the other one IS different in
feel and sound and also can take its place as something you may WANT to do. Thus,
you've put a limit on your playing in that aspect.
#24
Quote by edg
Neither one is natural or unnatural, just different. If you "fall in" to doing one over
another, you've simply made no effort to discover why the other one IS different in
feel and sound and also can take its place as something you may WANT to do. Thus,
you've put a limit on your playing in that aspect.


Do you not have a picking style that just kind of takes shape once you start to play? I know I can use both economy and alternate pretty well but economy tends to come through a lot more in my improvisation, hence I would say it comes pretty naturally to me.
#25
Quote by Helpy Helperton
Do you not have a picking style that just kind of takes shape once you start to play? I know I can use both economy and alternate pretty well but economy tends to come through a lot more in my improvisation, hence I would say it comes pretty naturally to me.


seconded, "what comes natural" ultimately will define everyones unique style in my opinion. they might feel the same to some people, but i definitely feel a difference.
#26
Quote by Helpy Helperton
Do you not have a picking style that just kind of takes shape once you start to play?


Not really. I use alternate when I feel like alternate, economy when I feel like
economy. It just depends on the mood and texture I feel like at the time and that's
about all it is.
#27
Its not one or the other guys. They are two different ideas. I do both depending on the situation and recomend you all get proficient at both and apply them how you please.
#28
Quote by edg
Not really. I use alternate when I feel like alternate, economy when I feel like
economy. It just depends on the mood and texture I feel like at the time and that's
about all it is.


That's pretty cool, how long have you been playing if you don't mind me asking. It's just that I still have a strong urge to play economy whenever I pick up the guitar. I do a lot of alternate excercises and play with thought when alternating, but everytime I pick up the guitar the first thing my fingers want to do is play 3nps with economy. Just asking really because i'm wondering if working at alternate picking will ever make it feel more comfortable or 'natural' than economy for me.

I know the obvious thing people will say that it's just muscle memory, and that's right it is, but i like it. Is it ever possible to get muscle memory to remember both picking styles equally?
#29
Ok, what I've already said still holds -- alternate and economy are simply 2 different
forms of expression -- but, I'm going to make a general statement and explain it.

If you wanted to pick which one was more "natural" and of general use, I think it would
clearly be alternate picking. Because nature, given 2 systems that produce a single
result, will choose the system requiring less "energy". At first glance, economy appears
to require less energy, but that's only when you don't look at the entire picture or
consider that mental energy is just as necessary to "power" the system as physical
energy, and is perhaps even more important of a factor.

The total system is "picking a note" which can be broken down into 2 subsystems: the
left hand and right hand. Both mental and physical energy have to be pumped into
each system to operate the entire system so that the desired result is produced.

In alternate picking each subsystem is relatively uncoupled. Regardless of what the
left hand is doing, the right hand is just doing DUDUDUDU.... But, there is still a synching
requirement between the 2 systems.

In economy picking, there is still the same synching requirement. But, in this case
there is now a MUCH higher degree of coupling. In physical systems terms you'd say
constraints have been added to the system and degrees of freedom of been reduced.
The right hand must now "know" when the left hand is going to change strings AND
it must factor that with the state of whether or not it has just completed an U or D
stroke. When a total system gets MORE complex by adding constraints and decreasing
it's degrees of freedom, it requires MORE energy to operate it. In this case its mostly
a lot more mental energy.

So, overall I'd say, if you've found economy picking to be more "natural", you're going
against nature. Probably it's because, considering only physical efficiency and the
ever-present obsession with speed, you practiced the types of things that lend themselves
more easily to economy picking over and over in order to reduce the mental energy
needed at playing time. What you'll find is that as the left hand complexity goes up,
economy picking requires A LOT more total energy to keep the system operating, whereas
alternate picking tends to be an even amount of energy over all kinds of left hand
complexity (because it's far less coupled).
#30
To HELPYs question:
I wouldnt say you could get them exactly equal but then again how could you measure. Helpy you said you play eco and feel natural at it so you spend the most of your time on that. If you want to ge better at alt picking you would have to spend time doing that to increase that ability. The amount of effot you put into practicing any technique is going to determine how good you get at it. If you want to increase your alt picking do some excersises or play a song like Ozzy - Bark at the Moon which will get you into the feel of alt picking. Theres sections you might want to eco pick in Bark at the Moon but stick to alt pciking just on that song even in those spots. Then you will pick up a little more ability to do both techniques.

Theres other songs you could try thats just the best example i could think of if your interested in trying increase your alt picking abilities. That song helped me a lot with alt picking technique as your alt picking non stop pritty much the whole time.
#31
Quote by edg
Ok, what I've already said still holds -- alternate and economy are simply 2 different
forms of expression -- but, I'm going to make a general statement and explain it.

If you wanted to pick which one was more "natural" and of general use, I think it would
clearly be alternate picking. Because nature, given 2 systems that produce a single
result, will choose the system requiring less "energy". At first glance, economy appears
to require less energy, but that's only when you don't look at the entire picture or
consider that mental energy is just as necessary to "power" the system as physical
energy, and is perhaps even more important of a factor.

The total system is "picking a note" which can be broken down into 2 subsystems: the
left hand and right hand. Both mental and physical energy have to be pumped into
each system to operate the entire system so that the desired result is produced.

In alternate picking each subsystem is relatively uncoupled. Regardless of what the
left hand is doing, the right hand is just doing DUDUDUDU.... But, there is still a synching
requirement between the 2 systems.

In economy picking, there is still the same synching requirement. But, in this case
there is now a MUCH higher degree of coupling. In physical systems terms you'd say
constraints have been added to the system and degrees of freedom of been reduced.
The right hand must now "know" when the left hand is going to change strings AND
it must factor that with the state of whether or not it has just completed an U or D
stroke. When a total system gets MORE complex by adding constraints and decreasing
it's degrees of freedom, it requires MORE energy to operate it. In this case its mostly
a lot more mental energy.

So, overall I'd say, if you've found economy picking to be more "natural", you're going
against nature. Probably it's because, considering only physical efficiency and the
ever-present obsession with speed, you practiced the types of things that lend themselves
more easily to economy picking over and over in order to reduce the mental energy
needed at playing time. What you'll find is that as the left hand complexity goes up,
economy picking requires A LOT more total energy to keep the system operating, whereas
alternate picking tends to be an even amount of energy over all kinds of left hand
complexity (because it's far less coupled).


Edg, this is absolute gold. It also encapsulates the entire reason I chose to practice alt. over eco. when I was starting to play.
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#33
It's best to have the alternate picking foundations down before you start to incorporate economy picking, TS.
#34
Quote by Freepower
Can I first of all say that I totally agree on both the "know both" and "MH rocks" front, but what parts of the POT vhs are you talking about where he talks about eco picking? Iirc, basically the only time the transcriptions mention it is the 5s pentatonic stuff off power solos, and I've gone through the booklets pretty extensively.

Not hating on you, just curious where you're getting it from, as almost every picking example is pure alternate (once again, willing to be shown otherwise ).



its not an example he just talks about the two


but there is a part where he applies Economy

its when he talks about Groupings

the Legato/picked lick he dose

he starts on the High E with an Up Stroke and each time hes going to a New String its An Up Stroke

although he dose it again later but he AP's it

im not trying to argue

all i was stating was that he talked about them

again really i don't understand the whole "Picking War"

its just two different ways to play with each has their own effect

every one has their own taste

i Personally am more of an EP but i do like hybrid alot and i some times catch my self using it more then EP


neither of these techniques make you fast
the only thing that lets you do so is yourself(im sick of people asking about these two and then expect that one of them will make you play like PG or JB)

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#35
I agree that the ultimate is to have a great command of both, and then choose which based on what sound you want (rather than which is easier).
Since I am a mere mortal and have limited time and ability, I struggle a bit with decisions like this - do I diversify, or concentrate on the one I prefer and really do my best to master it?

Ok, lets say you have a run which starts on the D string. It has 3 notes on the D string, then 2 notes on the G string, 2 notes on the B, and 2 notes on the high E.

Now, using strict alternate picking this is quite a tricky run to pick cleanly if it is fast. You have the option of starting with a downstroke on the D string. But this means that every single string cross is an outside cross. Not so easy.
Or to avoid this, you can start on an upstroke, which would mean all the subsequent string crosses are inside crosses. But it is harder to start a fast run with authority on an upstroke.

Now, if I was to ecomony pick just the cross from the D string to the G string, the whole problem goes away. But I feel that if I did this, I would be robbing myself of the opportunity to use this lick to work on either my outside crossing, or my ability to start fast runs on an upstroke with confidence. But if I go the hard route - well, I've just built upon a skill that can be applied to a great variety of different picking patterns and my whole picking ability comes up a notch.

Like I said, I struggle with decisions like those sometimes. I dont want to make things needlessly hard on myself, but at the same time I want to make sure I'm making the most of my opportunities to improve my ability.
#36
Quote by Phrygian_12
the only thing that lets you do so is yourself(im sick of people asking about these two and then expect that one of them will make you play like PG or JB)


Damn straight.

Anyway, thanks for the Shawn examples, I might look those up later.
#37
Learn both. Youll soon discover your preference if you spend enough time on it. Everyone is saying the same thing basically. There really isnt a "better" way. I can do both equally well and serve their purpose the way they were designed to. I prefer to alt pick as I do have more control over it and do find that I mess up a bit when eco picking at times. Just depends on what the moment calls for.