#1
Lately I've begun working on speedy techniques such as alternate and economy picking. Being the perfectionist i am, I analyzed every bit of my left and right hand movement just to be sure that I'm getting it done flawlessly without anything holding me back from my desired speed. In doing so, I've realized that on many of my fast runs between two or more strings, I rarely use the up-down-up-down alternating technique. When I try to correct this i find I'm much slower using the up-down-up-down motion required for quick economy picking. So before I run off to expirement a little more I figured I'd trust good ol' UG in answering a little question. Does it really matter if I'm not alternate picking 100% of the runs? Does it really matter?
Thanks for any help in advance.
#2
What matters is playing a clean, clearly articulated passage. How you get it is preference. As long as it's not hindering your playing, holding you back creatively, or injuring you, how you get it is up to you.
Do you feel warm within your cage?

And have you figured out yet -


Life goes by?
Quote by Hydra150
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It's you
#3
Quote by strat0blaster
What matters is playing a clean, clearly articulated passage. How you get it is preference. As long as it's not hindering your playing, holding you back creatively, or injuring you, how you get it is up to you.


This.

And, both techniques are useful in their own ways. For example, economy picking helps improve your dexterity, because at high speeds, your picking hand sometimes gets reluctant to move down directly without wanting to go up (for alt. picking). If you nail that, you'll have much easier time playing riffs via... sweeping for example. You would be able to sweep, stop, play something on one of the strings, then continue sweeping.

The advantage to alt. picking is that for fast harmonies or repetitive runs, you'll be able to nail them as a certain procedure would be. You wouldn't doubt yourself or ask yourself how to do it. The speed just comes, and every up/down direction in that solo section would be exactly the same every time you play it. Also, 4 note per string patterns cannot be played any other way except strict alt. picking (unless you're doing legato, but that's another story).

As for me, when I improvise, I usually stick to economy picking, UNLESS I'm playing some form of harmony over and over for a certain amount of time, in which alternate picking would be more practical in this case.

Master them both, and it will free you from any problems you may have regarding complex picking patters; it will just come to you (without having to think about what to do next).
#4
OK, thanks guys. Well here's another question for ya. How does this:

e: ------------------------------------1234-2345-------------------
B: -----------------------------1234----------------2345-----------
G: -----------------------1234-----------------------------2345----
D: ----------------1234----------------------------------------------
A: ---------1234-----------------------------------------------------
E: --1234------------------------------------------------------------


A simple speed building/alternate picking exercise become a quick lick like this:

e: ----------5--
B: ----5-6-8----
G: --7----------


I mean. . .should I really spend hours of my one life going through Ex 1 only to get to Ex 2 and pretty much have to teach my hands how to do something new all over again? Why go through something that isnt going to teach me something useful, doesn't it make more sense to spend more time on things that are for the sake of advancing musically?
#5
I mean. . .should I really spend hours of my one life going through Ex 1 only to get to Ex 2 and pretty much have to teach my hands how to do something new all over again? Why go through something that isnt going to teach me something useful, doesn't it make more sense to spend more time on things that are for the sake of advancing musically?

Personally I don't think you should. Learn proper licks, not exercises is my view on the subject.
Call me Batman.
#6
Exercise 1 is just simple chromatics, that'll help get your fingers moving and as it's 4 notes per string you'll always be picking in a downward motion when you get to the next string (even when moving from the high E to the B).

In exercise 2 you'll be on an up pick when you switch to the B string and then a down pick when you switch to the high E.

They're both worth learning because, when you're learning to alternate pick, one of the biggest things to get used to is the string changing. Even if you don't like exercise 1 chromatics can be a good warm up.
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B.C. Rich NT Jr. V (With Seymour Duncan AHB-1 Blackout in bridge)
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Marshall MG15DFX
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#7
Quote by The Fret-Dancer
OK, thanks guys. Well here's another question for ya. How does this:

e: ------------------------------------1234-2345-------------------
B: -----------------------------1234----------------2345-----------
G: -----------------------1234-----------------------------2345----
D: ----------------1234----------------------------------------------
A: ---------1234-----------------------------------------------------
E: --1234------------------------------------------------------------


A simple speed building/alternate picking exercise become a quick lick like this:

e: ----------5--
B: ----5-6-8----
G: --7----------


I mean. . .should I really spend hours of my one life going through Ex 1 only to get to Ex 2 and pretty much have to teach my hands how to do something new all over again? Why go through something that isnt going to teach me something useful, doesn't it make more sense to spend more time on things that are for the sake of advancing musically?

Well, the first one is just a chromatic drill - you don't do it to write licks, you do it to increase the coordination and link between your pick and fret hands, build dexterity, and increase stamina. You can also incorporate slides and trills into it - hammer ons and pull offs, to make it more complex.

It doesn't become a quick lick - it's just a drill. You can achieve the same goal by

A) Learning bits and pieces of solos from artists you like and playing them as you would a drill or

B) Learning scales and running those as you would a drill.

Either way, they strengthen the same aspects of your playing.
Do you feel warm within your cage?

And have you figured out yet -


Life goes by?
Quote by Hydra150
There's a dick on Earth, too
It's you
#8
How ex.1 becomes ex.2. Ex.1 is good exercise for getting your left and right hands synched up. The sync you develop with ex.1 lets you play ex.2 better (and pretty much any other lick you might play).
When I have a reasonable amount of time to dedicate to practice, I find chromatics a pretty good use of 10-15 mins for working on LH/RH sync. Not more, though, since there are so many other skills you need to develop on top of just the LH/RH co-ordination (for example, ex.2 requires an outside string cross that you don't get from ex.1).

If you are going to do chromatics, I'd try practicing a version like this, rather than ex.1, since it helps you work on your co-ordination for descending parts as well as descending:


|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------5-6-7-8-9-8-7-6------------------7-8-9-10-11-10-9-8-------------|
|-5-6-7-8-----------------9-8-7-6-7-8-9-10--------------------11-10-9-8---|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|etc...
Last edited by se012101 at Jan 24, 2009,
#10
Quote by The Fret-Dancer
OK, thanks guys. Well here's another question for ya. How does this:

e: ------------------------------------1234-2345-------------------
B: -----------------------------1234----------------2345-----------
G: -----------------------1234-----------------------------2345----
D: ----------------1234----------------------------------------------
A: ---------1234-----------------------------------------------------
E: --1234------------------------------------------------------------


A simple speed building/alternate picking exercise become a quick lick like this:

e: ----------5--
B: ----5-6-8----
G: --7----------


I mean. . .should I really spend hours of my one life going through Ex 1 only to get to Ex 2 and pretty much have to teach my hands how to do something new all over again? Why go through something that isnt going to teach me something useful, doesn't it make more sense to spend more time on things that are for the sake of advancing musically?

TS, post #8 is good about the hand sync. Be sure to do variations on Ex 1 however, not just 1234, but 4321. Just so your fingers get used to moving the other (right to left) way.

Other variations include 1324, 1423, 1432, 4123, 4213 etc.

anyway, you're a Fret-Dancer so you'll be good at all this.
#11
I mean. . .should I really spend hours of my one life going through Ex 1 only to get to Ex 2 and pretty much have to teach my hands how to do something new all over again? Why go through something that isnt going to teach me something useful, doesn't it make more sense to spend more time on things that are for the sake of advancing musically?


Hundreds of thousands of licks are based on a handful of right hand co-ordinations and just over a hundred left hand co-ordinations. You can practice the licks and you can practice the co-ordinations - if you practice either perfectly it's the same result in the end.

And prepare to be teaching your hands constantly. That's how it is if you want to be really technically good.
#12
Wow, thanks a lot for all the help guys, especially for your input mdc. Since I'm here might as well get one more thing out of my system. I'm sure all of us have picked up a magazine or read an article on the internet about our favorite shredder talking about practicing 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for however many years after being conceived and all that jazz. But I for one think the idea of spending 12 hours a day 7 days a week on practicing one's chops is, for the lack of better word, gui-tarded. As I've stated before, I have one life, and I'd rather not spend 12 hours of it only to lose all social connections and give myself carpal tunnel in attempts of acheiving maximum face melting speed. Could anyone suggest me a healthier(physically & socially)practice routine? Thanks again for helping out when you could have so easily smothered me in 'Search Bar' rants.
Cheers
#13
imo 2 hours is all one needs just 2 hrs of focused hardcore practice.What you practice is totally up to you I like using the exercises from Petruccis Rock Disicipline,Gilberts Intense Rock 1 and Troy Stetinas speed Mechanics for lead guitar.Just focus real hard and dont tense up for these 2 hrs and you will be on your way to shredding.How long have you been trying to increase your speed?
#14
Quote by The Fret-Dancer
But I for one think the idea of spending 12 hours a day 7 days a week on practicing one's chops is, for the lack of better word, gui-tarded.


Why go negative? If someone likes to practice and wants to practice that much it's not
a chore. Even though I don't practice that much, I respect the dedication. Most people
just waste time, this is time well spent.

For your practice, have some goals, figure out what and how to practice to achieve those
goals, then do that in the time you've allotted to practicing. It's not complicated. Don't
waste time on a minute-by-minute routine. If you're creating a practice routine
in order to help force yourself to practice things you don't like to do, it's probably
doomed to fail. It will work best when you simply enjoy practicing anything, and due
to limited time and quantity of what needs to be covered, you won't spend too much time
on one thing at the expense of something else. You'll know what your own motivational
mindset is best in terms what kind of a practice routine will succeed given the above.
#15
Once upon a time, I was a huge advocate of "If you don't practice 6 hours a day and dedicate your whole life to guitar, you'll never be as good as _____________." But with time, you come to find that it's more HOW you practice than how LONG you practice it. If you can practice well enough that something that takes someone else 5 hours a day to master only takes you an hour or two of practice a day, then you're just meeting a different skill set or you're more gifted - or you're just working smarter. It all depends on the person.
Do you feel warm within your cage?

And have you figured out yet -


Life goes by?
Quote by Hydra150
There's a dick on Earth, too
It's you
#16
Quote by The Fret-Dancer
Wow, thanks a lot for all the help guys, especially for your input mdc. Could anyone suggest me a healthier(physically & socially)practice routine? Thanks again for helping out when you could have so easily smothered me in 'Search Bar' rants.
Cheers

Np

Quote by Metal Society
imo 2 hours is all one needs just 2 hrs of focused hardcore practice.

This. Also, play slow and accurate. Perfect speed = Perfect playing!

I say this a alot on these forums, I know it sounds ridiculus, but try and breathe as normally as possible, cuz if you don't, it'll act like a break, and your muscles will get tired a lot quicker, and your fingers'll get all clammy, due to lack of blood flow.
#17
I usually practice for about 2-4 hours a day (More on weekends) on runs and licks and sweeping, and all the technical jazz, But Actually most of it is just for fun because of how cool some of it sounds. Like everyone else said, 2 hours hardcore is what I do, then I just noodle for a few hours lol.