Poll: What do you prefer, Alt Picking, Economy Picking, or a healthy mix of the two?
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View poll results: What do you prefer, Alt Picking, Economy Picking, or a healthy mix of the two?
Alternate Picking
29 71%
Economy Picking
24 59%
Voters: 41.
#1
Personally, I've always been an alt picker, but there are some situations in which I could see economy picking being useful. However, is it worth spending a decent chunk of my practice time on for the off chance that a particular scale run will need it? Or is it perhaps more common than I think it is?

I've been a guitarist for a few years over a decade now, so I prefer to make good use of my time when I practice. I'd like some of your opinions, and if you support economy picking, maybe let me know which genre you tend to float around when you play.
#2
Both! Always both.
Never limit yourself to one style/direction.
It's very common in a lot of metal.
#3
i do it accedently i dont really pay attention to whether im doing one or the other unless im down picking or sweeping i only make sure i hit the notes right
i play classical,blues, rock,some jazz,and metal
#4
I practice my alternate picking a lot more than my economy or sweep picking, but then again I am playing genres spawned by the blues, for the most part. I've recently started playing harder rock tunes by Randy Rhoads and Van Halen, which helps develop my economy picking, but for the most part I feel like my alternate picking is the base of my right hand lead technique and the economy picking is just Santa's little helper.

EDIT: I feel like the preference depends upon whether the music one is playing features predominantly pentatonic/blues scales or diatonic scales.
Last edited by STONESHAKER at Aug 14, 2010,
#5
Don't attempt to economy pick if you can't alternate pick perfectly.
I use it only when I transition between playing an arpeggios, otherwise I have no use for it and I don't like the sound of it. I am not Frank Gambale tho
#6
I think it's good to know how to do both, but i find myself using economy picking more than i did recently. I don't always pay attention what stroke i use when improvising, but i work on both in the practice room.
I mostly play jazz. I recommend both.
Last edited by hippieboy444 at Aug 14, 2010,
#7
I would honestly prefer alternate picking but there are many instances where economy picking becomes more useful so I would actually say a healthy mix but that wasn't in the choices so I chose alternate picking.
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#8
Thanks for the replies so far.

As you may have guessed by my forum title, I play metal when I pick up my electric. A lot of metal lead seems to me to be alt picking, sweeping, or tapping. I'm thinking maybe introducing economy picking might allow me to do some things not commonly heard in some types of metal.

Then again, there are so many different branches of metal, I'm sure there are plenty of heavy bands that use economy picking to get the job done. It just depends on how crazy the solo is. Right tools for the right jobs situation.
#9
I'm fairly adept in both (/ego) and I do whatever feels naturally to be honest. People argue that you can hear a difference playing. You may hear it if YOU are playing, but I doubt you can tell if anybody else is.
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#10
I prefer economy picking, it feels a lot more natural to me.
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#11
Quote by stwstl5926
Thanks for the replies so far.

As you may have guessed by my forum title, I play metal when I pick up my electric. A lot of metal lead seems to me to be alt picking, sweeping, or tapping. I'm thinking maybe introducing economy picking might allow me to do some things not commonly heard in some types of metal.
.


I don't play metal, so keep in mind the same rhetorics would apply, but practicing economy picking has helped my sweeps.
#12
Quote by hippieboy444
I don't play metal, so keep in mind the same rhetorics would apply, but practicing economy picking has helped my sweeps.

I think it's good to keep an open mind about cross-genre techniques, so to speak. Borrowing techniques from other genres is one of the ways progressive metal remains progressive.

And that's a good point. I'm actually great at sweeping, but perhaps practising economy picking well help me get my sweeps a little cleaner at more insane tempos.
#13
Another observation of mine...

You use economy picking a lot when you're traveling up and down the fretboard.

You use alternate picking a lot when you're playing sequences.
#14
I use alternate picking for two string licks and slower-tremelo stuff, so alternate, the rest is hammered and pulled-off.
#15
Quote by Nilpferdkoenig
I use alternate picking for two string licks and slower-tremelo stuff, so alternate, the rest is hammered and pulled-off.

Legato techniques can be helpful when the passage has an equal number of notes per string, or some other quality that makes the pattern fairly balanced. However, sometimes slurs can cause a passage to sound horridly uneven, and your only other option is to pick every note.

Apart from that, picking has more bite than slurs, which is sometimes necessary. After reading some of the opinions in this thread, I'm thinking my best bet at being as good a guitarist as I can be is to keep economy picking in my practice time.
#16
Since I was a violin player for 6 years before playing guitar, I just some how picked up economy picking without even knowing I was doing it. Although I do it (economy picking) naturally most of the time I still make sure to use alternate picking when appropriate.
#17
i like to use alt picking because it just feels right, however i like the way economy picked licks are played lots of string crossing.

But i dont like to use economy picking cause i think its lazy even though i know its harder to do
#18
Quote by derpdragon
Since I was a violin player for 6 years before playing guitar, I just some how picked up economy picking without even knowing I was doing it. Although I do it (economy picking) naturally most of the time I still make sure to use alternate picking when appropriate.

Isn't it funny how things like that tend to carry over? I played double bass (or contrabass, or whatever you prefer to call it) in elementary school orchestra. Of course, that means I never got very far with that particular instrument, but I will say when I started getting into more advanced electric guitar, classical vibrato was what I naturally did at first. I didn't learn about contemporary bending until a couple years after I learned my first solo. And it served me well in the end, because I ended up studying classical guitar, where it's practically a sin to do vibrato by bending. (Unless the music calls for it, of course)
#20
i prefer economy picking
because there are situations (in scale runs for example) where you pick between to strings or you pick outside the two strings. So for example you do an upstroke on the high E and then a downstroke on the B. With economy picking you do another upstroke on the B so that makes it a tiny bit quicker, but when you start to play really fast that tiny bit means alot!
Economy picking takes some time to get used to if you always alt. picked everything.