#1
Hi,

I've been playing for about a year (Self taught) and can play some pretty complex songs and I think I have made a lot of progress in that year as I know a large amount of techniques and playing styles.

My problem is I have developed a bad habit of pickup only downwards. The only time I can pick up and down is for fairly slow songs and simple patterns. When i try picking upwards Im inaccurate and have a hard time hitting the correct string properly.

If anyone could let me know of a way in which I could get out of this habit, that would be great as it restricts me from playing certain things.

Thanks.
#3
It's simply a case of practising the upstroke! Try playing just one note over and over, look at your picking hand and think "down, up, down, up" and repeat that for a few minutes at a time. Repeat this a couple times a day. You should see a noticeable improvement within a few days to a week.

Also, try and keep the movement as small as possible. This should be nothing like strumming- keep the down-up movements as small as you can. In the long run, this will improve your speed and accuracy immensely!

Unfortunately, this may take a long time and a lot of patience will be required to get it to a really good speed. But it's perfectly do-able by anyone, and just think..you're very early in your guitar "career" yet- I know guys who cannot upstroke AT ALL and have played for nearly 8 years. It's good that you're trying to nail it now best of luck to you!
#5
Just slow everything down. I initially had this problem when I started playing, but I corrected it by doing all of my exercises and scales using alternate picking. Also, try and find some songs which are based around alternate picking of just one or two strings, and use them as exercises.
#6
Thanks everyone, I'll give your tips a try and hopefully I can finally master the technique :P
#7
I just recently started like a month ago, thankfully I started with alternate picking right off the bat. xD
#8
I never understood this problem. When I started playing, I just alternate picked right off the bat. I didn't know any different anyway. I had a hard time with just down picking though. It was just the opposite.
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#9
Quote by sonny bb
When I started playing, I just alternate picked right off the bat. I didn't know any different anyway.


Yeh me too!

That's not the norm though, most people start off with just downstrokes. The best way to get into alternate picking (I've found from teaching it) is to just slow everything down and concentrate on what EXACTLY your picking hand is doing.

You can do it if you think about it, and eventually you'll be able to do it (almost) without thinking about it!
#10
I didn't start alternate picking until about 2months into playing. It's an essential skill to be able to play guitar.. It makes me wonder, if you can't upstroke, then can you even strum up and down properly?
Downstroking definitely has it's advantages, and i find it most advantageous in agressive metal tracks, particularly with bands like metallica. It just has a stronger attack and more agressive sound, and combined with muting can make for some real heavy riffs.

You should probably just practise some songs that require lots of alternate picking. Even perhaps practise tremolo picking. Try some chromatic sort of scales using only alternate picking. Eventually it should become second nature to you and you'll think, how was that so hard.
#11
go back to when u first started playing and use alt picking,u will find it comes together pretty quickly.