#1
I'm fairly new to guitar. I know some full songs(Paranoid,One,Breaking the Law etc.) and I realized that I can't alternate pick. I've known that I should be doing it but I've been putting it off. But now that I'm getting more serious with my practicing, I know that I have to learn it.

I'm pretty good at tremelo picking, so I know I have the speed, but I don't have the coordination. The kind of alternate picking I'm talking about is single notes(Does that make sense?). My friend said that it makes it a lot easier if you alternate pick during solos so that you can go faster, but I can't seem to do it. He suggested that I try the first part of the Stairway to Heaven solo and try to alternate pick every note, but I just can't do it. I've read that this is the most important skill to have so I really want to learn it.

Can you guys give me some advice on learning how to do this? Sorry if it didn't make sense, it's kinda hard for me to explain.

Thanks a lot for any help!
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#2
Just play it very slowly, then increase speed when you're getting it
#3
Just keep at it, it will happen. I was playing for 3 years with a really bad teacher and when I got a new one who told me I should alternate pick, it took a long time to break the habit
#6
ok thanks guys. I'll just take it slowly. Is it true that I should alternate pick with everything I do from now on, even if it's a song I already know?
Chinese Democracy is a great album, people need to get over Slash.

Proud fan of Pop, Rap, Rock, and Metal.
#7
im in the same position ur in..kinda...i started playing almost every song i already know but alternate picked.. and ..i think is starting to work..my coordination is noticable getting better..!
#8
Take it very slow, pick 4 frets say 7,8,9 & 10 and go 1-2-3-4 on each string very slowly with alternate picking to get your hands in sync.

To practice alternate picking and string skipping together just practice picking individual strings like this E D A G D B G e B. Don't worry about your fretting hand for this one it's just to get the motion down and teach coordination.


One thing that helps me sometimes if I'm learning something alternating in my head I'll say "up down up down up down..." almost like it's telling my hand which way to move. Then after a while you won't have to do that any more but it might help to start.
Last edited by snowjay at Jul 4, 2009,
#9
Try songs like the intro to Number Of the beast. That was one of my first alt picking songs. Also try Riot, Down with the Sickness, SCOM, and many others. Also Seek and Destroy is a good one for starting out doing it.
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#10
Quote by maidenfan15
ok thanks guys. I'll just take it slowly. Is it true that I should alternate pick with everything I do from now on, even if it's a song I already know?

NO!!!!

some songs are meant to be down picked
I remember when i tried out for this band earlier this year, they gave me a song to learn, and i learned it all using tremolo picking.
Lo and behold, i go to audition and did it wrong

i mean it was my fault, but in my defense i speed up a really slow song.
But NO do not do that, use it in fast passages and scalar runs. Trust me learning down picking will be pretty advantageous once you wanna sweep.
#11
Tremelo picking means very little in terms of your ability - just focus on getting both hands working together and concentrate on playing cleanly and accurately, speed takes care of itself in time.
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#13
Quote by TheShred201
And how is that? To be quite honest I see no connection between the two.

the motion

ohh...it's there


basically what i mean is that once you get used to using the motion of downpicking sweeps is easier because you're not alt picking

IMHO
i has helped me loads
#14
Except:
You have to down pick alternate pick.
To repeatedly down pick, you have to move your hand back up, in effect creating an alternating motion.
If you get in the habit of repeatedly down picking you could end up in a habit of creating a new picking motion for your sweep instead of one smooth continuous stroke.
You have to up pick when you sweep too.

Basically I see no connection between the two, but that was your experience, so whatever worked for you I suppose.

On another note I'm debating writing a new sweeping article since my sticky got deleted during the end of the Advanced Techniques forums and I don't have it saved anywhere.
#15
Quote by TheShred201
Except:
You have to down pick alternate pick.
To repeatedly down pick, you have to move your hand back up, in effect creating an alternating motion.
If you get in the habit of repeatedly down picking you could end up in a habit of creating a new picking motion for your sweep instead of one smooth continuous stroke.
You have to up pick when you sweep too.

Basically I see no connection between the two, but that was your experience, so whatever worked for you I suppose.

On another note I'm debating writing a new sweeping article since my sticky got deleted during the end of the Advanced Techniques forums and I don't have it saved anywhere.

i see your point, and i actually used your sticky a while back to learn some basic forms and arps
#17
A lot of songs. In fact most songs should be alternate picked. Chords do not, but when playing solos and riffs with single notes, alternate picking is the way. It is more efficient and allows you to play faster with less effort required.

To learn it, just keep practicing. I learned it by learning Bombtrack by Rage Against The Machine, and Hysteria by Muse. Learn to play those two songs and try to alternate pick every note possible.