#1
I wonder which picking technique is the best to use. Currently, I use alternate picking, but I wonder if there is a picking style out there which is more accurate and has better sound?
For example, paul gilbert uses 'inside and outside picking'. There's also 'economy picking'. Which one is the best for accuracy and a good sound/tone?

Edit:
Okay, so i've watched a video by Joe Satriani about Alternate Picking, and i've angled my pick (first i had it straight on to the strings). I notice, that mostly I reach the strings where the notes are, but sometimes I go too far away from the target string, or not enough toward the target string. This is probably something to do with my wrist/arm movement, so, here is what I do now:
I pick the notes on a string using my wrist, but to go a string lower or higher, I move my arm.
So what am I doing wrong?
Last edited by robinlint at Oct 22, 2009,
#3
For tonal control alternate picking is the best. Think about it, if you can alternate pick it's easier to break out of it and do a little sweep or rake. You can also mix in legato with it.

If all you do is eco pick, then when it comes time to wanting a fast staccato run to sound brutal you're going to have trouble.
#4
Quote by Ikonoklast
For tonal control alternate picking is the best. Think about it, if you can alternate pick it's easier to break out of it and do a little sweep or rake. You can also mix in legato with it.

If all you do is eco pick, then when it comes time to wanting a fast staccato run to sound brutal you're going to have trouble.


??? song example
#5
Inside and outside picking is not a technique, as it's rather an explanation of the path of a plectrum during motion; whether it stays 'between' strings, or fluctuates 'over' them.

The idea of a good sound/tone is of course subjective, as is everything in regards to music. However, many believe, in a basic sense, that alternate picking can deliver a more controlled, 'aggressive' sound, and provides ease of control over dynamics. You may encounter instances of both inside and outside picking, depending on the passage.
Economy picking is often regarded as having a more legato, or smooth tonality, though a lot of players tend to have difficulty learning the technique; though in the end it is of course more economical (in certain situations) than strict alternate picking (or even when used in conjunction with alternate picking).
Which brings us to, really, the most important point; which technique best suits the piece? You'll have to look for practicality, tonality, dynamic value, and many other characteristics of the piece to decide which is more efficient. Obviously economy picking is useless in the field of a stream of 2 note per string runs, and if your alternate picking is weak... well, the side effect is clear. A fast run may sound choppy with strict alternate picking, so economy (or legato, to reinforce the idea of using the most practical technique) might be more practical; the list goes on, and you can even experiment with hybrid picking, right hand legato, or flamenco techniques to achieve the right tone/texture.etc. for the piece

It's more about learning all the techniques possible, and learning how, where and when to use them that matters, to get the best out of your playing and a piece of music.
Last edited by juckfush at Oct 22, 2009,
#6
Quote by juckfush
Inside and outside picking is not a technique, as it's rather an explanation of the path of a plectrum during motion; whether it stays 'between' strings, or fluctuates 'over' them.

The idea of a good sound/tone is of course subjective, as is everything in regards to music. However, many believe, in a basic sense, that alternate picking can deliver a more controlled, 'aggressive' sound, and provides ease of control over dynamics. You may encounter instances of both inside and outside picking, depending on the passage.
Economy picking is often regarded as having a more legato, or smooth tonality, though a lot of players tend to have difficulty learning the technique; though in the end it is of course more economical (in certain situations) than strict alternate picking (or even when used in conjunction with alternate picking).
Which brings us to, really, the most important point; which technique best suits the piece? You'll have to look for practicality, tonality, dynamic value, and many other characteristics of the piece to decide which is more efficient. Obviously economy picking is useless in the field of a stream of 2 note per string runs, and if your alternate picking is weak... well, the side effect is clear. A fast run may sound choppy with strict alternate picking, so economy might be more practical; the list goes on.

It's more about learning all the techniques possible, and learning how, where and when to use them that matters, to get the best out of your playing and a piece of music.

Thanks! This is great advice . I'll have to practice my alternate picking a bit more, then, since it's kind of inaccurate. And then i'll move on to economy picking, because i'd like a smooth, legato sound
#7
Quote by juckfush
The idea of a good sound/tone is of course subjective, as is everything in regards to music.

Hear hear!

My whole thought on the whole "which way to I pick to get this tone" or other equally little stylistic things like that, is that you should simply play what's comfortable to you. Don't let that stop you, of course, from learning new techniques.


As for me, I tend to prefer alternate picking, but switch to economy once in a while.
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#8
Quote by Martindecorum
??? song example

Well i don't really have to provide evidence, but, take Technical Difficulties.

Listen to the version by Paul Gilbert, and then go and listen to a cover by 'jonnybarvo' who eco-picks it. No where near as tight sounding.

This doesn't require evidence, if you've got a pair of ears you can hear economy picking sounds more fluid and smooth.
#9
Okay, so i've watched a video by Joe Satriani about Alternate Picking, and i've angled my pick (first i had it straight on to the strings). I notice, that mostly I reach the strings where the notes are, but sometimes I go too far away from the target string, or not enough toward the target string. This is probably something to do with my wrist/arm movement, so, here is what I do now:
I pick the notes on a string using my wrist, but to go a string lower or higher, I move my arm.
So what am I doing wrong?
#10
Quote by robinlint
I wonder which picking technique is the best to use. Currently, I use alternate picking, but I wonder if there is a picking style out there which is more accurate and has better sound?
For example, paul gilbert uses 'inside and outside picking'. There's also 'economy picking'. Which one is the best for accuracy and a good sound/tone?


listen every picking technique has its own sound, its totally up to you, what kinda sound u wanna give to ur play, but just one picking style sounds really boring , u must mix different types of picking to make ur play more like a pro .
#11
There is no "best" picking techinque, you just use whatever sounds and feels right for whatever you're playing at the time...depending on your mood you may even use different picking styles for the same thing at different times. For anything where out and out speed isn't an issue a lot of players will wander in and out of alternate, economy and straight up or down picking.
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#12
Quote by steven seagull
There is no "best" picking techinque, you just use whatever sounds and feels right for whatever you're playing at the time...depending on your mood you may even use different picking styles for the same thing at different times. For anything where out and out speed isn't an issue a lot of players will wander in and out of alternate, economy and straight up or down picking.

And do you have any advice on my arm movement? Is it okay that I pick the strings with my wrist but move my arm when switching to another string?
#13
Quote by robinlint
And do you have any advice on my arm movement? Is it okay that I pick the strings with my wrist but move my arm when switching to another string?

Yes this is the best way unless you have massive massive hands ala Paul Gilbert.
#14
Quote by robinlint
And do you have any advice on my arm movement? Is it okay that I pick the strings with my wrist but move my arm when switching to another string?
I think most people do that - otherwise you're wrist angle would be completely different on the high e to the low E, which would affect your tone and loads of other stuff I'd imagine
#15
inside and outside picking is the best, did you know paul gilbert is the best picking and accurate play.. and the most important, people forget that practice picking with no metronome. use metronome for great picking, whatever your picking style... cheeers...
#16
Quote by neptunose
inside and outside picking is the best, did you know paul gilbert is the best picking and accurate play.. and the most important, people forget that practice picking with no metronome. use metronome for great picking, whatever your picking style... cheeers...


English isn't your first language, is it.
Quote by dmtransmutation
What the Grunge-haters think is just mindless musical nonsense, in reality is the restoration of the old rule of harmony to not write an entire song in one tonality/key
#17
Quote by zhilla
I think most people do that - otherwise you're wrist angle would be completely different on the high e to the low E, which would affect your tone and loads of other stuff I'd imagine

Alright, thanks
#18
Quote by Elden G20
English isn't your first language, is it.

Maybe it isn't, but his advice is good.
#19
down with middle finger, down with index finger, up with middle finger, up with index finger.
#20
Quote by robinlint
Maybe it isn't, but his advice is good.


Your right, maybe what I said was uncalled for.
Quote by dmtransmutation
What the Grunge-haters think is just mindless musical nonsense, in reality is the restoration of the old rule of harmony to not write an entire song in one tonality/key
#21
hi,
i still dont know how to post threads so sorry about this interrupting your thread,
it was going to be about what style of picking you think would be best for playing metal,
so far iv gotten away with alternate picking but i recently been working on the song Slanderous by Machine Head and I cant get it, so im thinking of switching to economy picking but i cant get into the habit of it...
i used to play lots of things like Gojira and BFMV and alternate picking works alright with them but now my brother has dragged me into Slipknot which i used to play alot of but this time im tryin to get some of Mick Thomson's solos, but my alternate picking isn't working,
so I thought I'd see what other people think about it, also if someone could tell me how to post threads that would be awesome =]
sorry again
#22
Quote by Martindecorum
??? song example


Any Zakk Wylde solo.

It wouldn't sound right without the extreme pick attack.
#23
Quote by cam67p
hi,
i still dont know how to post threads so sorry about this interrupting your thread,
it was going to be about what style of picking you think would be best for playing metal,
so far iv gotten away with alternate picking but i recently been working on the song Slanderous by Machine Head and I cant get it, so im thinking of switching to economy picking but i cant get into the habit of it...
i used to play lots of things like Gojira and BFMV and alternate picking works alright with them but now my brother has dragged me into Slipknot which i used to play alot of but this time im tryin to get some of Mick Thomson's solos, but my alternate picking isn't working,
so I thought I'd see what other people think about it, also if someone could tell me how to post threads that would be awesome =]
sorry again


I'm afraid the only answer is practise for getting your alternate picking up to speed, start VERY slow with a metronome (around 40-60bpm) and don't speed up until you can play it perfectly every time. Also the create thread button is on the top left of the screen on the main forum page (eg. Technique forum, Musicians Talk). You'll find it underneath the control panel button. Just follow the prompts.
Quote by dmtransmutation
What the Grunge-haters think is just mindless musical nonsense, in reality is the restoration of the old rule of harmony to not write an entire song in one tonality/key
#24
Quote by Elden G20
I'm afraid the only answer is practise for getting your alternate picking up to speed, start VERY slow with a metronome (around 40-60bpm) and don't speed up until you can play it perfectly every time. Also the create thread button is on the top left of the screen on the main forum page (eg. Technique forum, Musicians Talk). You'll find it underneath the control panel button. Just follow the prompts.


ok awesome, thanks for the advice, just out of curiosity what style of picking do you use?
#25
Quote by robinlint
I wonder which picking technique is the best to use. Currently, I use alternate picking, but I wonder if there is a picking style out there which is more accurate and has better sound?
For example, paul gilbert uses 'inside and outside picking'. There's also 'economy picking'. Which one is the best for accuracy and a good sound/tone?

Well Paul Gilbert is a straight alternate picker when it comes to speed licks, the inside - outside thing just refers to whether he starts with an upstroke or downstroke to get an outside pick stroke when he switches strings.

Accuracy has nothing to do with picking style, only with how well you practice.
Quote by Ikonoklast
For tonal control alternate picking is the best. Think about it, if you can alternate pick it's easier to break out of it and do a little sweep or rake. You can also mix in legato with it.

If all you do is eco pick, then when it comes time to wanting a fast staccato run to sound brutal you're going to have trouble.

Frank Gambale is the master sweep picker in my opinion and he is an economy picker, he sweeps a lot of runs with 3 note per string runs in the middle of the sweep so he can economy pick through it and keep his sweep going. He is brilliant

Greg Howe economy picks a fair few of his runs, the same with Marshall Harrison and they both can play "brutal staccato licks". My point is that economy picking usually only sounds smooth because that's what the player wants to sound like. The way you accent notes is what affects your tonal control not whether you use two of the same stroke in a row. It's similar to how if you play 3 note per string runs people generally accent every third note, but with some practice that doesn't always have to be the case.

Quote by zhilla
I think most people do that - otherwise you're wrist angle would be completely different on the high e to the low E, which would affect your tone and loads of other stuff I'd imagine

Paul gilbert sort of talked about this on his GOOMY dvd, if you watch Paul Gilbert play, for smaller string changes he uses his wrist and his forearm helps on larger skips or changes. To keep his pick angle constant he changes how bent his thumb and forefinger is which changes the pick angle. On the thicker strings his hand is more parallel to the strings and to keep his 45° pick angle he has his thumb bent quite a bit. On higher strings his thumb is almost straight as his wrist is bent down to create the 45° angle.
^Note: Probably sarcastic
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#26
Personally, I prefer strict alternate picking to economy picking. I like the more rhythmic feel that strict alternate gives me, compared with economy picking, and I dont like how dependant economy picking is on how the notes are grouped on different strings. To me, it should be about the beat, not how the notes are grouped on the strings.
That said there are many great players who primarily eco-pick, so either works - it's mostly a matter of preference.
#27
Quote by se012101
Personally, I prefer strict alternate picking to economy picking. I like the more rhythmic feel that strict alternate gives me, compared with economy picking, and I dont like how dependant economy picking is on how the notes are grouped on different strings. To me, it should be about the beat, not how the notes are grouped on the strings.
That said there are many great players who primarily eco-pick, so either works - it's mostly a matter of preference.


awesome, for some reason I like seeing other people's opinion of their picking
#28
@cam67p: You don't have to apologise, i don't mind if people post other questions in my thread . I don't have any advice on your picking, other than that you should work on your accuracy, and if Slipknot is too fast, play slower stuff.

I had another question.. What should I do if I play so fast for a while that it drops my accuracy? How do I fix my accuracy, then?
#29
Quote by robinlint
@cam67p: You don't have to apologise, i don't mind if people post other questions in my thread . I don't have any advice on your picking, other than that you should work on your accuracy, and if Slipknot is too fast, play slower stuff.

I had another question.. What should I do if I play so fast for a while that it drops my accuracy? How do I fix my accuracy, then?


thanks, and thanks for the advice,
iv been working on my accuracy alot and I can get Slanderous at full speed now so I'm pleased with that,
I'll work on playing slower stuff like Bullet For My Valentine again, and my speed is slowly picking up, I can get the first half of the solo for Pulse of the Maggots by Slipknot so've been dabbling into the solos for their new stuff like Gematria, and my fingering was letting me down so your advice helps because I've been trying and trying to get them and losing my mind, so yeah,
thanks again
#30
Quote by cam67p
thanks, and thanks for the advice,
iv been working on my accuracy alot and I can get Slanderous at full speed now so I'm pleased with that,

Wow, you can get Slanderous at full speed? I still haven't even gotten Fade to Black full-speed. Nice job . How did you work on your accuracy? Please tell me how you've trained your accuracy like that


I'll work on playing slower stuff like Bullet For My Valentine again, and my speed is slowly picking up, I can get the first half of the solo for Pulse of the Maggots by Slipknot so've been dabbling into the solos for their new stuff like Gematria, and my fingering was letting me down so your advice helps because I've been trying and trying to get them and losing my mind, so yeah,
thanks again

You're welcome
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Last edited by robinlint at Oct 25, 2009,
#31
Quote by robinlint
Wow, you can get Slanderous at full speed? I still haven't even gotten Fade to Black full-speed. Nice job . How did you work on your accuracy? Please tell me how you've trained your accuracy like that


You're welcome
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I love Machine Head, so that helped
and I followed everyone's advice: Playing it slowly and speeding it up, it really helped, Yourself and Elden G20 give good advice, because I just keep going at it at full speed, but yer, slowing it down helps and synchronising my hands by doing random songs helps me, and I got my alternate picking going good
Last edited by cam67p at Oct 25, 2009,
#32
Quote by cam67p
I love Machine Head, so that helped
and I followed everyone's advice: Playing it slowly and speeding it up, it really helped, Yourself and Elden G20 give good advice, because I just keep going at it at full speed, but yer, slowing it down helps and synchronising my hands by doing random songs helps me, and I got my alternate picking going good


Thanks, and to answer your earlier question I do alternate picking, as it gives more control to dynamics and tone IMO, but anyway is good for you. You don't sound like a beginner but I'll just put this out there. Make sure you have alternate picking down before you move onto economy picking. Alternate picking gives you a much stronger sense of rythmn than economy when you're beginning to play.
Quote by dmtransmutation
What the Grunge-haters think is just mindless musical nonsense, in reality is the restoration of the old rule of harmony to not write an entire song in one tonality/key
#33
Quote by Elden G20
Thanks, and to answer your earlier question I do alternate picking, as it gives more control to dynamics and tone IMO, but anyway is good for you. You don't sound like a beginner but I'll just put this out there. Make sure you have alternate picking down before you move onto economy picking. Alternate picking gives you a much stronger sense of rythmn than economy when you're beginning to play.


I've been playing for about five years now, but I still class myself as a beginner because I'v had lessons, and I know scales and keys and all that stuff, and now I teach myself... But when it comes to techniques and different methods, I can play them but I dont know what they are, and when I find out how you're really meant to do them, I mentally discard everything I'v learnt, so it takes me ages to learn one thing, but I pick up songs easy and all I do now is alternate pick, but about this time last year I was playing everything down strokes so I picked up on alternate picking, but UG is helping me alot because there are people everywhere that help me learn, so yer...
thanks
#34
Quote by cam67p
I've been playing for about five years now, but I still class myself as a beginner because I'v had lessons, and I know scales and keys and all that stuff, and now I teach myself... But when it comes to techniques and different methods, I can play them but I dont know what they are, and when I find out how you're really meant to do them, I mentally discard everything I'v learnt, so it takes me ages to learn one thing, but I pick up songs easy and all I do now is alternate pick, but about this time last year I was playing everything down strokes so I picked up on alternate picking, but UG is helping me alot because there are people everywhere that help me learn, so yer...
thanks


Cool man, you considered taking lessons again at some point? I took them at the start of this year and they helped incredibly. Really helped with technique and understanding basic theory. Even if its just for a few lessons i'd suggest for anyone do it.
Quote by dmtransmutation
What the Grunge-haters think is just mindless musical nonsense, in reality is the restoration of the old rule of harmony to not write an entire song in one tonality/key
#35
Quote by Elden G20
Cool man, you considered taking lessons again at some point? I took them at the start of this year and they helped incredibly. Really helped with technique and understanding basic theory. Even if its just for a few lessons i'd suggest for anyone do it.


I'v thought about going back to them, but around where I live the only lessons available are blues and country stuff, so they dont keep me really excited about it, but I can read a fair bit of theory but I can't stay concentrated for very long, because it isn't my sort of music...
My music teacher at school is helping me alot with theory, and I have a jam session on twice a month and I'v become very good friends with the people there and they teach me things like how to see patterns in their solo's with different genres, so that's in a way my lessons, but I dont really rely on them...
#36
Quote by cam67p
I'v thought about going back to them, but around where I live the only lessons available are blues and country stuff, so they dont keep me really excited about it, but I can read a fair bit of theory but I can't stay concentrated for very long, because it isn't my sort of music...
My music teacher at school is helping me alot with theory, and I have a jam session on twice a month and I'v become very good friends with the people there and they teach me things like how to see patterns in their solo's with different genres, so that's in a way my lessons, but I dont really rely on them...


Ok fair enough, Jams are worth 5 days practise in themselves, great for your timing and phrasing hey. What sort of music you into?
Quote by dmtransmutation
What the Grunge-haters think is just mindless musical nonsense, in reality is the restoration of the old rule of harmony to not write an entire song in one tonality/key
#37
Quote by Elden G20
Ok fair enough, Jams are worth 5 days practise in themselves, great for your timing and phrasing hey. What sort of music you into?


It's on 2 nights every month, but it's so awesome when it's on, just to see the range of talent and genres people play...
At the jam, we mainly play blues, but with different people come different genres, so each genre gets it's own set, so that part is good...
When I'm there, I usually play blues, but about 10 of my friends and I play metal, but we play different subgenres of metal, like we usually play Hand of Blood, by Bullet For my Valentine but next time we're playing Awaken the Dreamers, by All Shall Perish..
With the blues though, it's great, they're just simple songs, but everyone has a turn at having a solo in every song, its awesome. One of the people that goes there who I'v befriended, I swear he puts everything he has into it, in my opinion, he plays better than hendrix, and Hedrix was a god to me, he's nuts...
I love that place, I made a MySpace about it, if you want the url, just ask...
Sorry, I got carried away, I mainly play Metal, stuff like Metallica, Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, stuff like that, What about you?
Last edited by cam67p at Oct 30, 2009,