I used to post a LOT about this subject. In fact, when I first joined UG, I'd post about it asking help almost every other day. Well, I've been stuck in a rut for a while and I've decided that it's time for me to get help again...

Okay, when I'm picking along some scale, run, arpeggio, or whatever, my upstrokes simply suck. It's not so much that they're WEAK, but they're not coordinated. I miss a lot with upstrokes and overall anything that deals with up...Descending a scale, upstrokes, strumming chords. All that good stuff.

Would fixing this problem be as simple as just doing a ton of upstrokes?

Say I made a practice schedule like this:

5 min: Upstrokes
2 min: Downstrokes
10 min: Song practice

Not exact times, but you get the idea of how I would split the time...

Does that look like a good way to do it, or should I put more time to upstrokes?
seems good.its sounds like theres something wrong with your upstroke technique so slow it down and examine what your doing in minute detail

Tell me what nation on this earth, was not born of tragedy-Primordial
practice just upstrokes?

That may help but it's not neccesarily the best way to practice it. Also you should practice it for more then five minutes, if you have the time. To get really good at guitar you're going to need to invest a lot of time practicing.

I personally would just simply slow things down, a lot. To the point where you could alternate pick with ease. Eventually you can spped things up once you get the hang of it. I would also start on one string and work your way up. Point is, it takes a lot of work/practice but it's worth it.
Yeah practice a certain part of your session with just upstrokes. I noticed my 3nps licks being very sloppy until I correctly diagnosed the problem. What I was doing is moving up too much on the upstroke on a new string. Like you play 3 notes on the low E, then an upstroke on the A - I would do an upstroke so far that it hit my low E string when stroking the A string. So I minimized the upstroke motion and everything cleared up.
I would say no, the best way to practice alternate picking is by doing alternate picking.
Slow down until you can play it perfectly then begin to speed up.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
Quote by Freepower
I've never done it but I know someone who swore by doing a week of just upstrokes.

I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy...

wait what are we talking about?

OP: I've never done it myself either, however I honestly don't see how it could hurt. If anything it would make for a nice switch-up to a stale practice routine, and may offer you a new perspective on improving your economy of motion as tenfold put it.
Okay, thanks guys. I've already started practicing upstrokes more and more.

@ d1sturbed4eva:
That little 'schedule' was just to give you an idea of how I would split the time up. I realize how much time I have to put into playing to get really good.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the reason the mighty PG is such an alternate picking monster is that he had a misconception when first learning to use a pick, that he was meant to use all upstrokes.

As a result, when he learned alternate picking, his upstrokes already had the strength that many of us lack, to achieve an evenness of sound that most of us can only aspire to.
My only concern about practicing only upstrokes by themselves would be that the mechanics might be different than if you were using them together with downstrokes as you would when you're playing stuff.

A happy compromise might be to work on a bunch of licks that use a great deal of outside string crossing and hit the upstrokes that way. For example, the opening riff of technical difficulties will do wonders for your picking. If you want to focus it even more intensely on your outside picking, you could take just the first bar - that's the 16th notes recurring pattern, without the little ascending runs, and loop the sucker for a couple of minutes at a time. PG's piano lick is also great practice. It's a little harder which is both a good and bad thing. Good because your hitting those outside picking skills even harder, bad because the difficulty makes it harder to settle into a groove with it, and get those upstrokes feeling really automatic.
Starting stuff on an upstroke is very good practice - the goal is to be able to go into the lick with the same confidence starting on an upstroke as you would on a downstroke.

@yenners - yeah, it's definately a factor, I think. It's definately a part of what makes his playing unique. And even to this day you can see that he favors his upstrokes, even though his downstrokes are obviously very strong.
Quote by se012101

@yenners - yeah, it's definately a factor, I think. It's definately a part of what makes his playing unique. And even to this day you can see that he favors his upstrokes, even though his downstrokes are obviously very strong.

and so did shawn lane... hmmm....

*goes to practice upstrokes*