#1
Hey guys (and gals),

I've been playing for about 13 years now, and I figured it's about time to learn alternate picking...

I can tremelo pick pretty well, and play some mean galloping riffs, but what I'm really trying to learn is how to use alternate picking for playing leads and scales and whathaveyou.


I've been working on a minor scale lately, and I can play it pretty clean with downstrokes, throwing in the occasional pinch harmonic, but obviously, I can only go so fast with downstrokes.

Problem is, when I alt. pick it, it just doesn't sound as clean - the upstrokes don't ring out like they're supposed to, at least all the time. On the lower strings it sounds kind of muddy, too. When you're playing a scale with alt. picking, do you mute the notes after they ring for a bit just like you do if you're downstroking? I suspect that's where some of my "muddyness" is coming from - an inability to mute the notes properly when using an upstroke. Any tips on this? Hopefully I've explained myself...

Another way to say it is that at least on the lower strings, it comes out sounding almost like an arpeggio, rather than individual notes in succession - which sounds like sh!t with distortion, lol.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#3
for starters, you need to practice alternate picking so that all pick strokes sound clear and even.
Since you're just getting into it now... this will take time no matter how long you been playing.

RE: muting... I don't really understand your question.
Generally, most people use the pick hand to mute lower strings and the fret hand to mute higher strings.

And sometimes a finger to play a string and mute its adjacent strings at the same time.
#4
This might sound patronising, but... if your upstrokes aren't as clean as your downstrokes, trying playing the scale more slowly until all notes are as clean as each other, then once you've mastered them at that speed, gradually increase the tempo.
#5
Quote by cringer
for starters, you need to practice alternate picking so that all pick strokes sound clear and even.
Since you're just getting into it now... this will take time no matter how long you been playing.

RE: muting... I don't really understand your question.
Generally, most people use the pick hand to mute lower strings and the fret hand to mute higher strings.

And sometimes a finger to play a string and mute its adjacent strings at the same time.


By muting, I mean killing off the notes of the scale once they've rung out for a bit, so it sounds like a lead line instead of an arpeggio.

And I'd never heard that about using the fret hand to mute the higher strings, I'll work on that. (I've never had any lessons and it probably shows in some of my "techniques."

I've definitely used my fretting fingers to mute adjacent strings, however.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#6
Quote by retrocausality
This might sound patronising, but... if your upstrokes aren't as clean as your downstrokes, trying playing the scale more slowly until all notes are as clean as each other, then once you've mastered them at that speed, gradually increase the tempo.


That's not patronising at all - I have to start somewhere. It's very hard for me to slow it down, because I can play pretty fast and clear with downstrokes. But I realize the benefit...my fingers just want to go fast, lol.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#7
When you gallop or trem pick does it feel tense or are you really relaxed?

By muting, I mean killing off the notes of the scale once they've rung out for a bit, so it sounds like a lead line instead of an arpeggio.

And I'd never heard that about using the fret hand to mute the higher strings, I'll work on that. (I've never had any lessons and it probably shows in some of my "techniques."


You definitely want to read the main technique sticky then - click "technique" in my sig.

The muting vid is here - www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIEnzboW0Hc
#8
13 years of downpicking ? Whoa...
Why do you want to learn alt picking if you were able to play everything up until now using downpicking? You got a skill right there :P use it
#9
Quote by Freepower
When you gallop or trem pick does it feel tense or are you really relaxed?


You definitely want to read the main technique sticky then - click "technique" in my sig.

The muting vid is here - www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIEnzboW0Hc


When I gallop it's pretty relaxed - I could do it all day, lol.

But trem picking is another story, it depends on how fast I need to go. I'm definitely not extremely tensed up though, if that makes any sense.

Thanks for the video - I'll definitely try some of those techniques!
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#10
Quote by DocArunas
13 years of downpicking ? Whoa...
Why do you want to learn alt picking if you were able to play everything up until now using downpicking? You got a skill right there :P use it


Because I can't play everything I want to play. My lead guitar playing is kind of weak, to be honest with myself. Most of what I've played over the years is more rhythmically inclined. I can play blues scales pretty fast with all downstrokes, and cleanly on top of that. But that's not what I want to play...

I've just reached a point where the solos and lead lines I'd like to play are impossible with all downpicking, despite how fast I can do it. Also, it gets tiring to play all downpicking; alt picking could help save energy. I would eventually like to learn sweep picking as well, but I think alt picking could be just as good and more practical.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood