#1
So, I've been playing guitar for upwards of four years now. I've always been self-taught, and, as a result, I never really noticed the issues with my playing, but, as I'm getting older and having a better ear for such things, I've decided I want to go back and refine my technique because it has a lot of faults. One of the most basic things I see wrong with my technique is when I'm alternate picking, and the riff switches strings, I seem to lose myself for a couple of seconds while the pick finds it's way onto the string again. I dunno exactly what the problem is, just that it's something to do with my picking hand (my left hand keeps up with the notes fine). Any suggestions?
"I'm not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a PART of hell will break loose... it'll be much harder to detect." - George Carlin
#2
learn economy picking
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#3
yeah i got that too, playing about 5 years self taught. I checked out a couple of the articles for economy picking and such to make sure im picking in the most efficient direction whenever i'm playing, besides that i like to find some sort of string skipping or sweep picking pattern that's easy for the left hand then i just slow it down and stare at my right hand looking for things it's doing wrong then i fix it at super slow then work my way back up dropping down tempo again if it ever messes up till i get something consistent pretty much. Hope it helps
#4
Wow, that helped.

Just slow all the way down, practice very slowly, make sure everything is correct
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#5
Hi,

most all guitarists have this problem to some extent or other, and we all have our own way of getting over it.
However, here is how I advise my guitar students on this subject in Scotland.

First off,
practice at a slow manageable tempo that keeps everything in the correct place rhythmically i.e. 1/4 note, 1/8 notes, 16ths or triplet 32nds etc what ever it should be...assuming you understand rhythmic values and how to tell by ear or counting...very important if you want to master this..even if you only recognise them by your own way of feeling them or naming them. USE A METRONOME!! and then dont. Swap with and without metronome.

Secondly,
break up the difficult alternate picked part into 2 or 3 notes at first making sure to place the notes in the correct place in your now slowed down bar/pre bar.

Thirdly,
Once you have mastered the part at a manageable speed (rhythmically correct) increase the metronome 2 clicks per day. Any more and your body/brain can get confused.
Ofcourse, you need to start back at the original slow tempo the next day of practice.

e.g. say you aim to play at 135 beats per minute thats your full speed, you slow it down to 70bpm (bpm=beats per minute),
Day 1 = 70bpm mastering whole lick or what ever.
Day 2= 70bpm, then once warmed up 72bpm.
Day 3= 70, 72, 74 etc
Day 4= 70, 72, 74, 76 you get the idea.

And Fourthly/Lastly:
Accent beat ONE. Attack it a bit harder, in the short term this is acceptable as it helps you focus and keeps you in SYNC which is the goal for accurate alternate picking.
Also, Try picking from the wrist if you are not already, make sure you have a FIST held and not a strumming only extended thumb and index finger type pick hold as this generaly doesnt work...unless you are Michael-Angelo Batio or Eric Johnson...they ignored the laws of physics FIST hand works best for most.

If you do this religiously everyday EVERYDAY for like a month at least, I promise you it will at least improve your alternate picking and your ability to follow a click or water torture as some like to call it.

Check this out if you want to hear fast alternate picking, solo is near the end.
http://www.indabamusic.com/submissions/show/23415

Pat Wright aka Woundstring

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Last edited by Woundstring at Jul 20, 2010,
#6
Economy picking seemed to help out a lot. I'll try your advice, too, woundstring. Thanks guys!
"I'm not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a PART of hell will break loose... it'll be much harder to detect." - George Carlin
#8
Master alternate picking first. Then, if you still feel a need to use eco., go for it.

And yes, you're right. Slow WAAAYYY down and practice it. Only make sure you're doing everything perfectly at this slow speed. Otherwise, you won't play it well sped up.
#9
Quote by HWFG1
One of the most basic things I see wrong with my technique is when I'm alternate picking, and the riff switches strings, I seem to lose myself for a couple of seconds while the pick finds it's way onto the string again. I

String crossing when alt picking is around 80% of your technique, it doesn't really mater that you can alt pick on one string. If you can't string cross when alt picking, you can't alt pick at all, simply speaking.

What to do? Get Paul Gilbert Intense Rock and practice the Paul Gilbert lick, slowly, then faster, for an hour or two every day.


12-------------------12----------------------12---------12----------
----15---13---12---------15---13----12---------15----------15----

etc. Start with downstroke, then after 10 minutes do the same with upstroke (it will feel totally different), keep strict alt picking and pay attention to what both hands are doing.
Also strictly alt picking pentatonic 2nps patters helps a lot.
Do all of the above and you should be good in a couple of years (odn't expect to master it quickly, I've heard some early Al Di Meola albums when you can hear his problems with string crossing, it took him years to master it)

p.s. I strongly, really strongy advice against even trying so called economy picking, before you mastered alt picking. It will cripple your technique in long run.
Last edited by mdeeRocks at Jul 22, 2010,