#1
I started playing guitar about a week ago (played piano until I was 17, so pretty easy to pick up) but I'm having some difficulties with alternate picking on 3 notes per string exercises/scales. I always seem to end up picking economically when switching strings, the way it comes naturally...
But I really want to stick to alternate picking. Not anchoring my pinky helped, and now I noticed that if I sway my hand after every pick, it forces me to alternate my picking strokes. So after every downstroke, I sway my hand upwards with the pick pointing downwards (and vice-versa after upstrokes), basically preventing me from stroking in the same direction again.
I haven't seen this in any lessons and was just wondering if this is a good technique or if it will form a bad habit in the long run. I only do this on 3 note scales and stuff, it's easier than thinking about what stroke I just did.

Maybe someone has some good tips on how to work on alternate picking?
#2
I can't see why you wouldn't want to flow from one string to the next. Doing so will save effort, and reducing any effort you can will improve form.

I seriously doubt anyone would consider economy picking to be a BAD habit, but a few might consider strict alternate picking to be one. If you still want to alternate pick as much as you can, maybe start with an upstroke or something.

Edit: As far as alternate picking exercises, try practicing major/minor and the chromatic scale up and down the neck. I think cyberfret.com has a program that will show you tons of different scales in any position.
Last edited by lycosid at Oct 25, 2009,
#3
Alternate picking came to me naturally actually, if I think about what I'm doing I'll start trying to economy pick it and **** up.
#4
Quote by Nilpferdkoenig
Alternate picking came to me naturally actually, if I think about what I'm doing I'll start trying to economy pick it and **** up.


Grrrrr... I envy you. I can play so much faster when I don't have to think about strictly alternate picking. The string to string picking is what's most frustrating, particularly outside picking. I always end up losing my rhythm and hitting the upstroke harder, so all the benefits of alternate picking are essentially lost.

If alternate picking is something that just takes persistent practice which will pay off in the long run (consistent beats? smooth picking flow? what's the appeal anyway?), then I'd be happy to keep working on it. But if it's something that's completely useless anyway, should I keep doing it?
#5
Basically the rule is so long as you're not tensed or stressing anything, then you're doing it right, and the rest is just semantics. So keep playing! I always alternate picked from day one and now I'm wishing I had a more economical picking style. It's about balance, mostly. When I'm galloping or playing rhythm (rhythm?) alternate picking is a necessity, but when I'm playing lead, I need economy. Just practice both styles and you'll already be better than a lot of people.
#6
Quote by lycosid
Basically the rule is so long as you're not tensed or stressing anything, then you're doing it right, and the rest is just semantics. So keep playing! I always alternate picked from day one and now I'm wishing I had a more economical picking style. It's about balance, mostly. When I'm galloping or playing rhythm (rhythm?) alternate picking is a necessity, but when I'm playing lead, I need economy. Just practice both styles and you'll already be better than a lot of people.


Alright, I'm just gonna keep working on alternate picking. It'll probably improve after some practice anyway. Once I have that down, I'll be able to evaluate what's better for me.

But anyway, has anyone ever heard of that swaying technique? It sounds stupid now that I think of it... I think I'm just gonna tough it out with scales and a metronome.