Ive been really trying to improve my alternate picking recently and noticed theres lots of songs that i cover that i cant figure out if im playing with the correct technique. Ill put some examples at the bottom but basicily its when you palmute the e string and pick it once followed by picking the a string un palm muted. this is played back in forth repeteadly and really fast (and in many different variations) and ive noticed that i cant alternate pick that fast so out of instinct. So instead i down pick each string which works but feels sketchy and i can only do that so fast. Am i supposed to alternate pick this or does it really matter? heres some examples.

The devil wears prada-goats on a boat- 1:07 to 1:15
Asking alexandria- A single moment of sincerity- 0:49 to 0:58
Miss May I- Apologies are for the weak- 0:11 to 0:38
I know the miss may i one is different then i described but if you really listen to the rythm in that verse youll understand what im talking about its really hard to alternate pick while changing strings that fast.
I just played the first song you posted both ways: down picking and alternate. I watched a live version of the song and it looks like it is strictly down picking. Why does your down picking feel sketchy? If the song is too fast for the down picking you CAN do alternate, however, it will sound less "low end." When alternate picking the riff, rest your palm on the low E string and use a down, up, down, up picking pattern starting on the E string. If you cannot get up to speed, take it slow and work with a metronome.
Last edited by Ampersand87 at Jun 1, 2010,
my bad if i didnt say it right i have alot of trouble with the up picking its the down picking thats really easy. I can alternate pick really easy on one string but when im supposed to alternate pick between two strings it just doesnt feel right. but if down picking both strings is a correct way to play then i guess ill just work on getting that perfected.
It depends mostly on the feel you want to get - downpicking is going to feel more chunky, alt picking will be a bit more fluid. There is a speed consideration too - past a certain speed it becomes virtually to downpick everything - there are a few exceptions but that's typically around 220 bpm in 8th notes (I'm not talking about your current speed - rather just a realistic guide of what can be reached w/ practice). After that point, alt picking is pretty much your only option.

Short version, you need to learn both approaches and use the appropriate one for the feel and speed of the piece you're playing.
if down picking both strings is a correct way to play then i guess ill just work on getting that perfected.