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#1
I know there are a lot of threads on this topic; believe me I have used the search function, but I'm afraid I never got a real answer; probably because none of the right questions were asked. So, please, bear with me and try help me out.

A few weeks ago I decided to look into my guitar playing technique. Worst decision of my life. As far as I WAS concerned as far as the notes and tone was right, the world was all okay. So I never cared too much about my technique. Unfortunately though, a few weeks ago I tried playing Yngwie Malmsteen and realized my phrasing ( especially my ability to stress the accents) was absolutely pathetic when playing this one run. My rhythmic grouping were all over the place. I've played Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai, Guthrie Govan, Satriani, Gambale, hell, even a very limited number of licks of Shawn Lane but never, never had I come across a 3 note per string group with 4 notes in the middle.


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D U D U D U U D U D D U D D U D U

I'm talking about the first run in Far Beyond the Sun after the intro. When I try to pick every note in this I always falter and my rhythm is just off. Is this because I always economy pick? Or directional pick , whatever you call it.

I economy pick in the sense that, if I'm descending and I end a group of notes with a downstroke I'd continue that motion on to the string bellow. If I end it on a up stroke, obviously, I'd start with a down. The only other instance where I have come across a pattern like what Yngwie Malmsteen did in that song ( and I know he uses it a lot) is in Satriani and Jazz. For both of which I use a lot of legato playing so I'm not bothered with the Yngwie articulation. But I want that!

So my question? Is alternate picking more rhythmically easier than economy picking? I know the concept of alternate picking being the intuitive integrated-into-your-muscles metronome is there and valid but really can't my economy picking really attain that level of rhythmic stability, so to speak? Should I switch? Or should I continue with my style of picking for a few more weeks just to see what happens?

This might sound unrelated but I can play chromatic runs that are consistently 4 notes per string perfectly. But when I try to play 3 note per string chromatics and the odd 4 note per string chromatic playing 16 notes is again, very very hard. And again, if it is relevant I can play and mix up 2 notes per string and 3 notes per string pentatonic things all the time. But then again the, the phrasing is a lot, lot different, but I do manage 16 notes.

So switch to alternate now, when I'm confident now that I could change without practicing 29 hours a day for the next 6 months or later when I'm too far into 'my style of picking' and try to kill myself as a result of the consequent brutal failure.

You know the irony of this....Yngwie Malmsteen economy picks only ascending licks( Unless he's sweeping of course). Freak.


[EDIT]

Sorry, for screwing up the tab, but you get the idea. Please, any help, advice and insight would be much appreciated.
#2
This is why I want people to learn alternate picking before economy picking.

In your case, just practice the lick more. Why would you expect to do anything else than that when learning Yngwie?
#3
Because it's not just about Yngwie. I've studied Yngwie for a while now and the way in which he plays scales in octaves, simply by shifting his position and playing 4 notes per string every 3 strings made an impression on me. I know it's not a big deal, but I want to use this in my own improvising and playing and I'm afraid that in the long run Economy picking and how I do it will be a big habit I shouldn't have gotten into. So, it's not just this case, it's the whole big case, you know. SO the real question, should I switch to strict alternate? Wasn't really about this lick. But yeah, you ARE right, practice practice practice.
#4
People find success with strict alternate picking, strict economy picking, and a mix of the two. I have a mix leaning towards alternate picking. If you've found success by economy picking, don't change your playing because of one lick.
#5
Why wouldn't you want to learn both and be proficient in both techniques? You've already proved that alternate is better than economy in some situations and vice versa. Learn them both. Learning more is only going to make you better and give you more freedom. LEARN EVERYTHING.

Especially alternate picking
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#6
I guess you both are right, again. That's the sucky thing about discussions like this; no one can really be wrong. But why wouldn't I learn 'em both? Well, I don't want to switch between modes, so to speak. I don't want to go into alternate picking mode for one like and economy picking mode for one like and sweep picking mode for another, which most guitarists I think do. Correct me if I'm wrong. I'm aiming for a technique ( not sound) reminiscent of Eric Johnson or Frank Gambale. Those people fly around the fingerboard and they're playing and use of techniques are so fluent and synthetic. If you tell me that it's possible to this via learning strict alternate picking and economy picking and sweep picking, I'd be willing to go for it. I know Michael Romeo does a good job of it.

Speaking of which, you guys no any other guitarists who use economy picking extensively in their playing?
#7
Using proper directional picking as opposed to strict economy picking you can play any amount of groupings of notes on any adjacent strings. I am referring to directional picking where the only rules are when you are ascending, start the new string with a downstroke...when you are descending start each new string with an upstroke. This is how I pick and don't have any problems with any groupings of notes.As far as accents are concerned work on accenting with upstrokes etc.
Andy
#9
Check out George Bellas. He is strict economy picking. Look up some of his videos on youtube...the guy displays the most amazing examples of economy picking from someone who is strictly an economy picker IMO
Andy
#10
Quote by Andy_Mclaughlan
Using proper directional picking as opposed to strict economy picking you can play any amount of groupings of notes on any adjacent strings. I am referring to directional picking where the only rules are when you are ascending, start the new string with a downstroke...when you are descending start each new string with an upstroke. This is how I pick and don't have any problems with any groupings of notes.As far as accents are concerned work on accenting with upstrokes etc.
Andy



Yes, I guess I use directional picking. Sorry my tab and the direction of picking thing, bellow was out of sync but what I do is what you do, I think. Exactly what you said, infact. If it's okay can you let me know how long you've been playing and how good to your ears your phrasing is? Because what I'm really concerned about is that in the long run 'directional picking' would hinder my phrasing in any way. I want those strict, firm and loud accents that Paul Gilbert gets with the same ease and logic of directional picking, you know. What kind of music do you play?

By the way, is there any real difference in tone between strict alternate picking and directional picking?
#11
Quote by MisquotedTeabag
By the way, is there any real difference in tone between strict alternate picking and directional picking?
Yes, the attack is different.
Quote by TGautier13
Because e-cred on a sub-par 4Chan knockoff forum is what everyone strives to achieve.
We believe - so we're misled
We assume - so we're played
We confide - so we're deceived
We trust - so we're betrayed
#12
Quote by ramm_ty
Yes, the attack is different.



Yes, I've seen that answer all over the place, but how so? I mean I hold the pick parallel to the string for my improvising ( It's the tone I want) except for when I chug on the e-string. How can the tone of an upstroke be different from the tone of a downstroke? Or is more about the time period in between strokes that affect the 'attack', in which case that'd imply there is a difference between a musicians ability to use either technique for accurate phrasing. So my next question? Does it affect phrasing at all? I mean, if you truly master directional picking, does it lack the same sort of rhythmic phrasing alternate picking has?
#13
Like I say check out George Bellas...his playing is flawless with awesome phrasing. I have been using directional picking for about 3 years and it does not hinder my phrasing. To me phrases begin ni my head and I use picking or legato or whatever to best present my phrases...so if I want to accent a phrase in a certain way I will conciously think about it just like you have to do with alternate picking.If you never practiced accenting beats etc with alternate picking you would face the same problem. The point is alternate picking doesn't instantly give you the power to accent beats(sure you may naturally accent the first note in every group of 4 if you have been practicing licks with a metronome 4 notes per click etc but this wont work with groupings of 5 or 7 or 2 etc etc), it still has to be worked at.
Concerning the sound they do have a different sound, although its not so different. Directional has a more sort smooth edge to it because of the mini-sweeps that are at the core of it but the majority of the time you are still technically playing with alternate picking ie on each string .
Andy
#14
Quote by Andy_Mclaughlan
Concerning the sound they do have a different sound, although its not so different. Directional has a more sort smooth edge to it because of the mini-sweeps that are at the core of it but the majority of the time you are still technically playing with alternate picking ie on each string .
Andy
Yeah, alternate picking is more staccato and economy is more SWOOSH.

Quote by TGautier13
Because e-cred on a sub-par 4Chan knockoff forum is what everyone strives to achieve.
We believe - so we're misled
We assume - so we're played
We confide - so we're deceived
We trust - so we're betrayed
#15
It is different because your downstroke is more prone to having a heavier attack ie gravity. But, the difference in sound between alternate and directional has nothing to do with upstrokes..the difference comes in the way you cross strings...every time you do 2 consecutive downstrokes or upstrokes its going to sound different because its all one motion as opposed to alternate picking where crossing strings has 2 separate motions. But remember, when playing with directional picking alot of the picking is merely alternate picking inside the strings as opposed to outside. If you master directional picking your rhythmic phrasing will not be lacking. Your rhythmic phrasing comes from you and your concept of rhythm..not how your pick moves across the strings.
Andy
#16
I must add....to summarise any aspect of your technique is not going to determine how you phrase. You determine how you phrase. At the end of the day technique is just a means to play what you hear in your head. Any arguments about accenting etc in relation to phrasing can be solved by working on those aspects with whatever technique you are using
Andy
#17
Quote by Andy_Mclaughlan
It is different because your downstroke is more prone to having a heavier attack ie gravity. But, the difference in sound between alternate and directional has nothing to do with upstrokes..the difference comes in the way you cross strings...every time you do 2 consecutive downstrokes or upstrokes its going to sound different because its all one motion as opposed to alternate picking where crossing strings has 2 separate motions. But remember, when playing with directional picking alot of the picking is merely alternate picking inside the strings as opposed to outside. If you master directional picking your rhythmic phrasing will not be lacking. Your rhythmic phrasing comes from you and your concept of rhythm..not how your pick moves across the strings.
Andy



Yes, I guess that's what I wanted to hear, but still like the poster above you, apparently Economy picking is "Woosh"? Is that true? And when you say the sound between crossing a string in alternate picking and the sound of the mini sweeping inherent to directional picking, what exactly do you mean? Essentially, economy or alternate, it is just a pick. Can you control that woosh to get a better chunk?

I think I'm convinced I can improve phrasing with my picking style, but what about tone? Quite simply, can I get the same tone my guitar heroes like Gilbert, steve Morse, Becker with economy/directional picking?
#18
I also understand what you say about Technique being means to achieve something music. Believe me I do. I have not given a wooden nickel about a Technique until this darn Yngwie lick. But unfortunately there is something called bad technique which is what I'm trying to avoid, you know? I'm listening to George Bellas and that just tilted the scale in the favour of Directional picking big big time.

[EDIT]

Does George Bellas use directional picking or economy picking though? As in does he modify his right hand technique to make sure he ALWAYS changes string with a mini sweep or are those independent? I'm aiming for the latter.
Last edited by MisquotedTeabag at Dec 16, 2008,
#19
In my opinion it'd be very difficult to get the hang of accenting the second downstroke in a two downstroke series.

Your first instinct would probably be to move FASTER into the second downstroke...but that doesn't really work if you're trying to keep time. I think you really have to take a look at the mechanics behind 'accenting' a note and compare them to the mechanics of the economy/directional picking motion. IMO, alternate picking is more conducive to consistently nailing accents in any situation. Because you're making two separate motions, you can apply a completely different magnitude of force (or whatever it is that creates an accent) to each motion. If you're just moving through two strings with a single motion, logically you wouldn't have as much control over each pick attack. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it seems like it can be done much easier with alternate picking.
Quote by TGautier13
Because e-cred on a sub-par 4Chan knockoff forum is what everyone strives to achieve.
We believe - so we're misled
We assume - so we're played
We confide - so we're deceived
We trust - so we're betrayed
#20
Quote by ramm_ty
In my opinion it'd be very difficult to get the hang of accenting the second downstroke in a two downstroke series.

Your first instinct would probably be to move FASTER into the second downstroke...but that doesn't really work if you're trying to keep time. I think you really have to take a look at the mechanics behind 'accenting' a note and compare them to the mechanics of the economy/directional picking motion. IMO, alternate picking is more conducive to consistently nailing accents in any situation. Because you're making two separate motions, you can apply a completely different magnitude of force (or whatever it is that creates an accent) to each motion. If you're just moving through two strings with a single motion, logically you wouldn't have as much control over each pick attack. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it seems like it can be done much easier with alternate picking.



I know it can be done. And yes, that is a problem. Accenting second note on the downstroke. Again, it CAN be done. But who's done it? Who's done it to the same level someone as a strict alternate picker has?
#21
TS, just on the subject of the first post, everyone has trouble with this kind of thing with either picking style until they stop mentally associating "2nps" or "3nps" to note choice and picking stroke choice and develop the ability to move between the various fingerings with ease.

I would suggest you spend a while practicing runs that are made of irregular groupings per string, eg,

3nps
2
3
1
4
3
2
2
1
4
1
3
4

Etc. Then this'll be a piece of cake.

As goes accenting, you can still eco pick and have great dynamic control and extreme "snap" when you want it, listen to Marty on Exotic Metal Guitar. Otoh, experiment with alternate picking.

(disclaimer: am on holiday, didn't properly read through thread since first post)
#22
Quote by Freepower
TS, just on the subject of the first post, everyone has trouble with this kind of thing with either picking style until they stop mentally associating "2nps" or "3nps" to note choice and picking stroke choice and develop the ability to move between the various fingerings with ease.

I would suggest you spend a while practicing runs that are made of irregular groupings per string, eg,

3nps
2
3
1
4
3
2
2
1
4
1
3
4

Etc. Then this'll be a piece of cake.

As goes accenting, you can still eco pick and have great dynamic control and extreme "snap" when you want it, listen to Marty on Exotic Metal Guitar. Otoh, experiment with alternate picking.

(disclaimer: am on holiday, didn't properly read through thread since first post)



Mhm, that's exactly what I thought and I guess this thread pretty much convinced me to stick with what I'm doing right now. And last night, playing some tunes I did realize I can get an accent on the second downpick or second uppick at slightly slower tempos than shred speeds.


Marty Friedman economy picks? I know his picking style is, well, eccentric and I do listen to a lot of music but I never cared too much for his technique. Hmm, perhaps I should resort to some of his instructional video samples on the tube.

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement and I'm going to try come up with some like with mixed up groupings in strings like you suggested and play it a million times over.

Good day to you all.
#25
Quote by Freepower
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJodwVQK3B4

Check out his use of pick angle and depth for snap. His weird arm angle actually helps him achieve some of those sounds.



The attack is brilliant. Yeah, I'm pretty much convinced. I'll just stick with what I do and practice it a million times over. Btw, do you have any idea what Jason Becker's picking style is ( actually, that should be 'was', but f*** it) like? I know his rendition of Paganini's 5th caprice was, well, kinda sloppy ( he was 17 though) but I really loved that attack of his, and the crisp tone he got. Wonder what his picking style was like.
#26
Well, he's quite a fast alternate picker, but sweeping is his forte, but I think he's about a 13 NPS Plus at his fastest, he's certainly WAY faster than Marty.

I always preferred Marty to Jason though, I'm such a Rebel
#27
Chunky blunt wrist movements, forward angle pick (like PG), hybrid picking surprisingly often. Especially through the 5th caprice (the start of my "hybrid picking" skill mp3 is JB's physical approach to one of the arpeggio sections, I tried to get a snappy powerful tone).

Combine eco and hybrid picking, btw, and you can really get the monstrous licks down, as hybrid picking covers the main weaknesses of eco picking really well. Take a look at this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNbrqrAY0g0
#29
Well duh.

His youtube vids are pretty terrible compared to his old playing and lesson vids. It sounds like he's not putting any effort into the editing or explanation. Ffs, he rarely plays anything slower than lightspeed in those "lessons". As brilliant as he is, his youtube stuff sucks. Which is weird because his official site stuff was pretty damn good.
#30
Quote by Freepower
Well duh.

His youtube vids are pretty terrible compared to his old playing and lesson vids. It sounds like he's not putting any effort into the editing or explanation. Ffs, he rarely plays anything slower than lightspeed in those "lessons". As brilliant as he is, his youtube stuff sucks. Which is weird because his official site stuff was pretty damn good.

I totally agree, his YouTube vids don't do him justice.
#31
Quote by Freepower
Chunky blunt wrist movements, forward angle pick (like PG), hybrid picking surprisingly often. Especially through the 5th caprice (the start of my "hybrid picking" skill mp3 is JB's physical approach to one of the arpeggio sections, I tried to get a snappy powerful tone).

Combine eco and hybrid picking, btw, and you can really get the monstrous licks down, as hybrid picking covers the main weaknesses of eco picking really well. Take a look at this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNbrqrAY0g0



Yes, yes, I like the tone. I've been working on hybrid picking, mainly influenced by some Guthrie Govan licks. I can't use it faster tempos but I've always used a form of hybrid picking to finger pick chords things on the e string.

And yes, Jason Becker, the master of the sweep. I always loved Becker's attack though. Mostly because of his guitar tone but also his phrasing. Mart Friedman I've always loved for his music and music alone. Technically, he's effective, but not eye candy like Becker was. But boy did Marty no how to keep a solo spicy and interesting.

Another random, how-does-a-guitarist-picks question. Shawn Lane? Economy or strict alternate, or like Malmsteen, a bit of both?
#32
Quote by MisquotedTeabag
Yes, yes, I like the tone. I've been working on hybrid picking, mainly influenced by some Guthrie Govan licks. I can't use it faster tempos but I've always used a form of hybrid picking to finger pick chords things on the e string.

And yes, Jason Becker, the master of the sweep. I always loved Becker's attack though. Mostly because of his guitar tone but also his phrasing. Mart Friedman I've always loved for his music and music alone. Technically, he's effective, but not eye candy like Becker was. But boy did Marty no how to keep a solo spicy and interesting.

Another random, how-does-a-guitarist-picks question. Shawn Lane? Economy or strict alternate, or like Malmsteen, a bit of both?

Strictly alternate, but he sometimes economy picks his very fastest licks.
#33
Shawn was mostly an alternate picker, but was a scarily proficient sweeper and eco picker. Most of his licks lend equally well to alt and eco, where he alternate picks, but there's little touches of economy picking here and there to make life easier - for example, pentatonic 5s and the "6/9" lick contain a single eco sweep to stop the pattern rotating.

Ofco, lots of neat little touches all over his work, but the main business was alternate.
#34
Quote by Freepower
Shawn was mostly an alternate picker, but was a scarily proficient sweeper and eco picker. Most of his licks lend equally well to alt and eco, where he alternate picks, but there's little touches of economy picking here and there to make life easier - for example, pentatonic 5s and the "6/9" lick contain a single eco sweep to stop the pattern rotating.

Ofco, lots of neat little touches all over his work, but the main business was alternate.


How does he pick the pentatonic 5s then? I'm seeing strict alt. at low speeds but obviously he's not picking it the same at high speeds and I'm pretty sure I won't be able to see what's going on up to tempo...
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#35
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
How does he pick the pentatonic 5s then? I'm seeing strict alt. at low speeds but obviously he's not picking it the same at high speeds and I'm pretty sure I won't be able to see what's going on up to tempo...


Say he's playing a lick starting from the high e, then b and then g with 2, 2 and 1 note on each string respectively and then 2,2,1 notes on the b, g and d string respectively. At the end of each grouping of 5, he'd play a 'mini sweep' to go to the string bellow. IN other words it's D U D U D, D U D U D, D U D U D etc etc. I hope you get the idea.

That's about the only economy picking I know him to do.
#36
Quote by ramm_ty
Yeah, alternate picking is more staccato and economy is more SWOOSH.


Exactly.

But how fast does He do this eco/alt pick? And isn't the only difference between the two is that eco follows through with the last down or upstroke?

And for the quadruplets, I just reverse the direction of the upstroke while pulling it downward to the 4th string.
Last edited by Life Is Brutal at Dec 16, 2008,
#37
Quote by MisquotedTeabag
Say he's playing a lick starting from the high e, then b and then g with 2, 2 and 1 note on each string respectively and then 2,2,1 notes on the b, g and d string respectively. At the end of each grouping of 5, he'd play a 'mini sweep' to go to the string bellow. IN other words it's D U D U D, D U D U D, D U D U D etc etc. I hope you get the idea.

That's about the only economy picking I know him to do.


Yeah I see what you mean, does a similar idea apply with upstrokes for the ascending version?
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
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#38
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Yeah I see what you mean, does a similar idea apply with upstrokes for the ascending version?




It logically follows that it should, however you would have to start the lick on an upstroke and 'mini sweep' would be an upstroke as well. In other words, U D U D U, U D U D U, again the ling being 2, 2, 1 on the low e A and D ascending and continuing the pattern. I haven't seen him do it, however it's merely a reversal of the logic used for the lick I explained before. -shrug-
#39
Quote by MisquotedTeabag
It logically follows that it should, however you would have to start the lick on an upstroke and 'mini sweep' would be an upstroke as well. In other words, U D U D U, U D U D U, again the ling being 2, 2, 1 on the low e A and D ascending and continuing the pattern. I haven't seen him do it, however it's merely a reversal of the logic used for the lick I explained before. -shrug-


I thought it would be something like that, I'm just curious because the ascending fives is the main part of his REH video that I remember but I guess we'll have to wait for FP to come back before we know for sure; that guy knows Shawn's playing better than anyone.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#40
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I thought it would be something like that, I'm just curious because the ascending fives is the main part of his REH video that I remember but I guess we'll have to wait for FP to come back before we know for sure; that guy knows Shawn's playing better than anyone.



I suppose we will. I wish I had a way to get my hands on his REH video and the tab book. I'm hoping the tab book would have his pick strokes. With Shawn Lane you really have to know how to play something more than what to play. -shrug-
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