#1
I've heard both, I don't know which is right. Do I always alternate pick down/up/down/up, ie. no matter what, if the last movement was a downstroke I do an upstroke. Or should downstrokes only be used on the beat and upstrokes in between the beat?

I ask because even if you decide to play downstrokes on the beat and upstrokes on the off beats as soon as you put a triplet in there you end up reversed.

Likewise, what about different note lengths. If I have a mix of quarters, eighths and sixteenths and I strictly perform down/up/down/up etc, at some point my downstroke will be on an off beat. I've heard a couple people say that this can be rectified by continually moving the pick back and forth without hitting the strings during longer notes and rests. However, to me, continuously swinging my pick back and forth at 16ths at 140bpm, and moving the pick to whatever string I want to sound seems really like a waste of energy. I understand how that works with strumming chords and "missing" strums to alter the rhythm, but I don't see how that technique can work with fast leads.
#2
Alternate picking is always up then down, full stop. Paul Gilbert plays a lot of his alternate picking riffs starting on an upstroke, on the beat, so it doesn't matter at all, just up, then down, ad infinitum.
#3
traditionally, you downpick with the beat. that's the technique that's taught.

guitarists tend to have the mentality of "it doesn't matter how i do it, as long as it gets done", which generally leads to a lot of inefficiency.

that said, paul gilbert and marty friedman are fond of starting with upstrokes...
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#4
ok, but are paul gilbert and marty friedman consistent with up stroke on the beat, and down stroke on the off beats? Or does their up stroke and down stroke move on and off the beat as they play triplets, etc?
#5
I personally believe it's good to switch up between the two different versions. Some riffs are easier with one, and some with the other. If it sounds correct and feels natural, then you should just play it like that.
#6
This is how i learned it:

Down Pick on the beat and on the and of the beat (1 AND 2 AND 3 AND so forth)

Up pick on the beats in between (EE UH EE UH so forth)

You can probably do the converse if you're more comfortable doing that.

This is what i do when i play rhythm guitar (you can apply this same idea to your strumming to keep time). When I play Lead guitar I usually alternate pick and maybe some economy picking bits if it makes more sense.

Hope this helped.
Last edited by mrwiggles35 at Jul 20, 2011,
#7
Alternate picking means either up/down etc or down/up. Dont associate it with any form of beat of meter.

Work towards making your pick strokes equal and accent certain beats that you feel emphasise the music, regardless of upstroke or down stroke.
#8
Quote by unyinz
I personally believe it's good to switch up between the two different versions. Some riffs are easier with one, and some with the other. If it sounds correct and feels natural, then you should just play it like that.


Quote by AeolianWolf
guitarists tend to have the mentality of "it doesn't matter how i do it, as long as it gets done", which generally leads to a lot of inefficiency.


not knocking anyone, not taking a shot at anyone, not criticizing anyone. just pointing out that this is the kind of mentality i was talking about.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#9
Alternate picking means that a downstroke ALWAYS follows an upstroke and vice versa, no matter what, it's that simple.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#10
I generally find that 3 nps licks are much easier to play starting with an upstroke because that way string changes tend to correspond to the natural motion of my hand

for instance
 
     U D  U     D   U  D  U  D U   D  U    D   U  D     U  D  U  D  U  D  U  D  
E||--------------------------------------|-----------------------------14-15-17-||
B||--------------------------------------|-----------------12-14-15-17----------||
G||--------------------------------------|--------11----14----------------------||
D||--------------11----------11-12-14-11-|--12-14-------------------------------||
A||--12-11-12-------11-12-14-------------|--------------------------------------||
E||--------------------------------------|--------------------------------------||

"When losers say it's over with you know that it's a lie
The gods made heavy metal and it's never gonna die"
#11
Quote by AeolianWolf
not knocking anyone, not taking a shot at anyone, not criticizing anyone. just pointing out that this is the kind of mentality i was talking about.


I was aware that you said that. But unless I missed it, you didn't post a reason as to why it's important to always play it a specific way. Naturally, doing things the easy way wont always be the best, but for something like this I believe it is.
#12
Quote by unyinz
I personally believe it's good to switch up between the two different versions. Some riffs are easier with one, and some with the other. If it sounds correct and feels natural, then you should just play it like that.

Came in here to say this.

Quote by AeloianWolf
not knocking anyone, not taking a shot at anyone, not criticizing anyone. just pointing out that this is the kind of mentality i was talking about.

I dunno about that. If you really wanted to talk about efficiency and the advantages of ultra-efficient technique, the first technique that comes to mind is economy picking. In fact, I think what he said was exactly the opposite (the first half, anyway): be able to start cleanly with either stroke, since some riffs are easier to play starting from an upstroke or downstroke. Of course, that goes back to my point. If you want to talk about absolute efficiency, economy picking is the thing to discuss.
#13
Quote by unyinz
I was aware that you said that. But unless I missed it, you didn't post a reason as to why it's important to always play it a specific way. Naturally, doing things the easy way wont always be the best, but for something like this I believe it is.


that's just it. you're not talking about doing it one way, you're talking about doing it two ways. the easy way is best here, but the easy way is only one way. if you do it two ways, you're complicating it. think of it like this: do you use two different grips when you're writing with a pen? if you learn two ways to pick, what you're essentially doing is learning two ways to strum, two ways to shred, two ways to play -- can you imagine learning to pick all over again? obviously it can be done, but the reality is that any situation can be tackled by playing using downbeat alternate picking and economy picking. why would you prefer to learn three styles of picking over two? it's more work for the same result.

EDIT:
Quote by Geldin
since some riffs are easier to play starting from an upstroke or downstroke.


i'm a firm believer that this is all in the mind.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
Last edited by AeolianWolf at Jul 20, 2011,
#14
Quote by AeolianWolf
that's just it. you're not talking about doing it one way, you're talking about doing it two ways. the easy way is best here, but the easy way is only one way. if you do it two ways, you're complicating it. think of it like this: do you use two different grips when you're writing with a pen? if you learn two ways to pick, what you're essentially doing is learning two ways to strum, two ways to shred, two ways to play -- can you imagine learning to pick all over again? obviously it can be done, but the reality is that any situation can be tackled by playing using downbeat alternate picking and economy picking. why would you prefer to learn three styles of picking over two? it's more work for the same result.


I realize that I didn't say what I meant the right way. I meant that he should play something how it feels naturally, and not force himself to play something in a way that is new and may be awkward for him. When I said that he could switch between the two, I meant that he should play it in a way that feels natural to him.