#1
I want to build up my alternate and economy picking skills. It seems the universal idea is to start slow and get faster. So how slow should I start, and what exercises should I practice, or will scales work?
Thanks a bunch
#2
Check out the exercises sticky, and start as slow as you need to to be able to play cleanly and accurately.
#3
stick with alt picking only to begin with. Chromatic and 4 fret exercises were the easiest and most helpful for me. Additionally practising right hand on its own is essential as this is your speed limit.
#4
Quote by zhilla
Check out the exercises sticky, and start as slow as you need to to be able to play cleanly and accurately.


What he said.

4 notes per string patterns are a great start, but do not neglect your 3 note per sting patterns either.

I gained more technically by learning my 3 note per string patterns first, especially since a lot of scales are written in 3 note per string patterns.
#5
Quote by srob7001
What he said.

4 notes per string patterns are a great start, but do not neglect your 3 note per sting patterns either.

I gained more technically by learning my 3 note per string patterns first, especially since a lot of scales are written in 3 note per string patterns.


i would start with 4, because the left hand doesnt have to cross strings so much therefore its easier to sync the hands up.
#6
Quote by SneezeWax
i would start with 4, because the left hand doesnt have to cross strings so much therefore its easier to sync the hands up.


Personal preference.

I was just saying that I learned the 3 nps runs first and it made alot of other things on guitar easier. 4 nps were nothing after learning 3 notes per string.

I actually find it more difficult to do 2 nps licks fast than I do with 3 or 4 nps licks.
#7
I would suggest the 4 note per string exercises (as these involve all 4 fingers!). You also need to work on each hand separately, with legato, and downstrokes etc... this will increase your speed while you use the alternate picking exercises to increase your co-ordination.
#8
See everyone swears on the 4 nps, but honestly most of the stuff I play, everything is in groups of three.

So why would you practice 4 nps more when its not something that is used as often? Why commit that to muscle memory when most things are not played that way?

I do all my 3 nps patterns with the following fingering 1-2-4 and then after I do all those I do 1-3-4. All your fingers still get worked out but in a more typical approach.
#9
I downloaded the exercise compilation thing, if there are specific exercises in there that would help.
#10
slow enough to play anything evenly and perfectly. We can't give you a speed. As slow as you need to play perfect.
#11
The first alternate picking song I learned was Arkansas traveler. I think I learned it at 80bpm originaly, and it's easy to speed up once you know it well.
#12
An odd number NPS is going to be more difficult to alternate pick than an even number. If you are doing 4 NPS you are always using a downstoke when you switch strings (or upstroke if you start on an upstroke). But when you do exercises that use 3 NPS you have to alternate every string, which is harder for a beginner to get the hang of. If you are just starting out alternate picking, I'd start with 4 NPS and then move to 3 NPS when you improve.
#13
Quote by jsepguitar
An odd number NPS is going to be more difficult to alternate pick than an even number. If you are doing 4 NPS you are always using a downstoke when you switch strings (or upstroke if you start on an upstroke). But when you do exercises that use 3 NPS you have to alternate every string, which is harder for a beginner to get the hang of. If you are just starting out alternate picking, I'd start with 4 NPS and then move to 3 NPS when you improve.



Good advice. But I'd like to add:

When you switch to 3 NPS, do not start out with economy.
#15
Quote by srob7001
Personal preference.

I was just saying that I learned the 3 nps runs first and it made alot of other things on guitar easier. 4 nps were nothing after learning 3 notes per string.

I actually find it more difficult to do 2 nps licks fast than I do with 3 or 4 nps licks.

I do it this way too, unless you have a small scale guitar, alter your scales a lot or are Allan Holdsworth, it is hard to fit 4 note per string patterns into scale. Practicing chromatics may be good for finger coordination, but you don't get much musically from them.
3 note per string patterns are very common. The fact that you have to pick in a different direction every time you change strings shouldn't be a deterrent as it's just good practice.
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#16
Quote by pantera456
Good advice. But I'd like to add:

When you switch to 3 NPS, do not start out with economy.

You should play how you feel most comfortable, and if he plays 3nps patterns in economy, let him. As long as he's equally accurate, it shouldn't matter.
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#17
Quote by Deep*Kick
I do it this way too, unless you have a small scale guitar, alter your scales a lot or are Allan Holdsworth, it is hard to fit 4 note per string patterns into scale. Practicing chromatics may be good for finger coordination, but you don't get much musically from them.
3 note per string patterns are very common. The fact that you have to pick in a different direction every time you change strings shouldn't be a deterrent as it's just good practice.


Ah Ha! I knew I wasn't the only one with my thought process about 3 nps practice.
#19
Really work on 2 nps string licks as well as to me they tend to be harder to play at a fast speed than 3 nps or 4 nps licks.
#20
start from 60bpm and then increase your tempo once you achieve it...

dont go too fast when you didnt make every notes sounds clean
#21
I'm just beginning also, and I ussually start all exercises at 60 bpm. I play them in that speed until I can play them of memory, without thinking. Try to internalize the exercise or song at a very slow speed.
#22
^ I'm not beginning, just cleaning up my act. lol

EDIT: Is there a major detriment to not practicing alt. picking? I'm beginning to think that it's useless since economy picking comes more naturally to me and it just seems so much easier. Any thoughts?
Last edited by hippieboy444 at Jul 12, 2009,