#1
Ive been playing for about two years now and just now im starting to wonder about the actual skill that goes into picking. Ive been mostly learning to read notes and improvise. I wanted to know about sweep picking and alternate picking. when i sweep pick i start off at low e with a downstroke and sweep to high e or which ever other higher string and im not sure about the alternate picking im supposed to do when i get to the higher string and im going back up to low e. Do i pick down, and then when im coming back up just pick every string with an upstroke. Also, when doing arpeggios are you supposed to hammer on everytime or pick every note (for example would a 12 and 17 triplet be hammered on or would you pick 12 17 12? One more thing, with alternate picking. I dont want to develop any bad habits that i havent already so can someone explain when to do upstrokes and downstrokes, double upstrokes, double downstrokes etc.? It seems that most videos i watch, no one focuses on the picking techniques used. thanks a lot
Last edited by todrlz41 at Oct 10, 2009,
#2
About that "when to do" part I would say do what feels right to you. However i would recomend always doing Pinch harmonics downwards xD just kidding.
Everything dosen't have to be perfect what makes your playing "flow" the most is the right for you.
#3
-I always hammer/pulloff the high E notes, but many people pick them. I suggest you do what you like the sound of best.

-I generally use the stroke that corresponds to whether I'm on a downbeat or an upbeat, but sometime I'll start a downbeat with, say, an upstroke so that I can outside pick everything for the better feel/tone.
#4
Nice paragraphing, man...

I wanted to know about sweep picking and alternate picking. when i sweep pick i start off at high e with a downstroke and sweep to high e or which ever other higher string and iim not sure about the alternate picking im supposed to do when i get to the higher string and im going back up to low e. Do i pick down, and then when im coming back up just pick every string with an upstroke.

Rephrase please? I don't get what you're asking.

Also, when doing arpeggios are you supposed to hammer on everytime or pick every note (for example would a 12 and 17 triplet be hammered on or would you pick 12 17 12?
Depends on whether you want a smooth sound, or more freedom with dynamics by picking it. I generally pick the first and last note on a string to end/start the sweep, but it's all preference.

One more thing, with alternate picking. I dont want to develop any bad habits that i havent already so can someone explain when to do upstrokes and downstrokes, double upstrokes, double downstrokes etc.? It seems that most videos i watch, no one focuses on the picking techniques used. thanks a lot
Some people like to go strict alternate picking, regardless of what they're doing, but others like to use small sweeps in the middle of their playing. Eg:


e-17--------------15
B----15-----15-17
G-------14
D
A
E

Could be played UUUDUD (A sweep then alternate- economy picking), DUDUDU (strict alternate), UUUDHD(H=hammeron, this'd be my personal choice for this one), etc. Personally, I find it most efficient to just sweep everything I can, and alt pick otherwise- double strokes are a fallback for if I forget how to count and end up on the wrong stroke to start a sweep.

As a general rule of thumb, I try to use the least strokes possible to hit the notes with the dynamics I'm after. If I can avoid changing direction, I do- just use your head, if you can find a more efficient way to do it, go for it.
#5
If you're alternate picking: the pattern is down, up, down, up, down, up and it never changes. You always perform a downstroke after an upstroke and vice versa. You can, however, start on an upstroke if you prefer. So even when changing strings, remember, the pattern must continue!
I used to be more lenient with my "alternate" picking and do downstrokes to reach strings below the one I was currently playing and upstrokes to reach strings above (I would only alternate my strokes on single strings). My playing was a hell of a lot worse and a hell of a lot slower back then. Learning strict alternate picking was the best thing I ever did for my picking hand. I cannot stress that enough!

As for the sweeping, are you asking what picking goes on on the high e if for example you had a shape like this:
E||---------15-19p15--------
B||-----17-------------17-----
G||-16---------------------16-
?
If so, then I'd say it varies from player to player, personally I would go Down, Down, Down, Up, Pull off, Up, Up. So the high E string bit would be Down, Up, Pull off.
Other players prefer to hammer on the note rather than hitting an upstroke so they'd go: Down, Hammer on, Pull off. Or even Down, Hammer on, Up.
Here I'd just go with whatever feels best to you.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
Last edited by Aleksi at Oct 10, 2009,
#6
thanks mopmaster. You basically answered my question perfectly. Also, thanks to everyone for giving pretty good answers. Im used to posting on a crappy guitar forum that no one ever responds on so im really liking this forum a lot.