so ive been playing guitar for about 1.5years now. ive made a habbit of only picking down and not alternate picking. everytime i try alternate pick i always seem to switch back to downpicking. downpicking also seems easier for me. any tips?
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Dude, you're gonna have to face it one day or another that there's no way of avoiding alternate picking. It just takes a lot of practice and discipline, like all other techniques.
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M<rockqer>M is right. I haven't taken the time to get in the habit of alternate picking yet either though.
i had a similar problem with only using one finger on bass. my teacher kept on catching me, and i got sick of it. it's just a matter of finding the right motivation to practice it right.
A good way to get yourself into the habit of alternate picking would be to slow down what you're trying to play and pay special attention to making sure you're alternate picking. When I go to learn a song, I always play it very slowly, planning my picking patterns beforehand, and speed it up. I hope this helps.
I'm going to try and give a little better advice other than "You have to start alternate picking". However, yes, you will eventually have to alternate pick, there is no way around it. My advice on how to do so would be a couple different things, start out very simply by doing small scale runs while using alternate picking. If youve been playing over a year simple scale runs should be no problem for you whatsoever. Like I said, start slow, MAKE yourself use alternate picking. After you get comfortable with that, trying playing one of the easier songs that you know, nothing fast or extremely complicated, stay away from that, because you will revert back to playing it the easiest way for you, which in this case is NOT alternate picking. Finally, once you can play an easier song, and mess with some scale runs all while using Alternate picking, my next step of advice would be to learn a song that CANNOT be played with just downpicking alone. Make sure it's a song that you like, so you will WANT to learn it. Give that a shot, you should be alternate picking in no time.
In the long run down-picking will not be able to provide you with enough speed.

Start on a single string, and tremolo. Do this by picking upwards, then downwards, and repeat these motions until you gain sufficient speed.
This might help you become accustom to the whole alternate picking idea.
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When you're practicing scales strum each note twice (8th notes) and start on a downstroke and end on an upstroke, then play the scale again and start on an upstroke and end on a downstroke. That will help.
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i never understood this, i played for almost two years only doing alternative picking, and then when my guitar teacher told me only to do down strokes for the intro to crazy train i almost went crazy trying to learn how to down pick.
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