#1
Hello there, I am new to this forum but have used the website for a while to get tabs and learn new things in the lesson section. I have played guitar for a little over a year and i think i have become fairly decent for the amount of time i have been playing. However i self taught and have picked up a habit of naturally down picking everything. I can play really fast with down picks and it doesn't sound any different to playing with alternates, It just looks very awkward when i play and its a very difficult habit to get rid of. Should i really be worrying about my picking style? or should i just continue playing things with down picks? Cheers, Jared.
#2
Practice is the answer to (almost) all problems. If you have a habit you want to change, only by practicing the alternative method will you succeed.

Of course, there's always the option to just create your own style using the techniques you're good at.....
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#3
Having a good downpicking technique is definitely an advantage, but I think that alternate picking is a very important part of playing guitar. Even if you didn't like fast soloing, it's a vital technique for fast rhythm playing as well.
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#4
I find it kinda interesting that being a selftaught guitarist is the excuse for everything nowadays. How many of guitarist in the 80s were self taught? Joe Satriani is self taught. I mean, should the fact, you are selftaught, say, you are allowed to do mistakes in your technique aswell as having a teacher makes your technique perfect instantly? Just a few thoughts...

To the question:
Yeah, try to add alternate picking to your arsenal of techniques. It's important to get fast rythm playing, you get a different tone out of it( kind of smooth and not as agressive as just down picks) and it will help you in many situations ; )
#5
just don't loose that downstruming thing, it rocks and not a lot of people can handle it. There have been great bands that used only downstruming sound great. downstruming is badass.

EDIT- forgot to add an "and" somewhere in there.
#6
As said, pick up alternate picking too. Just keep going at it. Eventually it'll come naturally.

I think it's good that you can downpick quickly. Many songs require you to downpick quickly to get a similar feel, such as some (or all; I'm not really familiar with the genre) metalcore and some metal.
#7
Cheers for the help guys. I think as i learn more scales and stuff i will learn then with alternates and just speed it up from there. Im mostly a rhythm player but do like to whack in the odd lead now and then, so i think learning more scales with alternates should be pretty juicy and help me speed things up in the long run. Thanks again guys, Much appreciated
#8
Quote by GaryHB
Practice is the answer to (almost) all problems. If you have a habit you want to change, only by practicing the alternative method will you succeed.



+1

I would try to learn all different styles of picking, you never know when you'll need them. Maybe you can incorporate it into a song you make, or a genre that doesn't usually use that style of playing



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#9
Quote by BSPDelta09
I find it kinda interesting that being a selftaught guitarist is the excuse for everything nowadays. How many of guitarist in the 80s were self taught? Joe Satriani is self taught. I mean, should the fact, you are selftaught, say, you are allowed to do mistakes in your technique aswell as having a teacher makes your technique perfect instantly? Just a few thoughts...

To the question:
Yeah, try to add alternate picking to your arsenal of techniques. It's important to get fast rythm playing, you get a different tone out of it( kind of smooth and not as agressive as just down picks) and it will help you in many situations ; )


As much as I do think "I'm self taught" is becoming an excuse, Satch isn't self taught; he had lessons with a few teachers and took music classes in school.
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#10
Go slooooooooooooow. Seriously, work on consistency at first, don't even worry about musicality. Just get it up to where you add something every now and then with an alternate picking strum, go for an 8th note. Get to where you're consistently playing 8th notes on the bar with every other note being alternately picked. Just speed and consistency from there, no easy way around it.

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#11
Quote by LittleRockJams
Go slooooooooooooow. Seriously, work on consistency at first, don't even worry about musicality. Just get it up to where you add something every now and then with an alternate picking strum, go for an 8th note. Get to where you're consistently playing 8th notes on the bar with every other note being alternately picked. Just speed and consistency from there, no easy way around it.

http://blog.littlerockjams.com


...

...

Always worry about musicality. If something isn't musical then what's the use of doing it?
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


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#12
I can tremolo pick really well, with triplets and all that stuff, but as soon as it comes to alternate picking and changing string it just doesn't happen, i just end up tripping over myself. Im just going to take it slow learn scales and stuff with alternates. cheers for the help though guys
#13
I have kind of a weird relationship with picking; I never really thought about how I am picking, I just played. I obviously know of the different techniques (down-picking, up, alternate, economy, etc.), but I never really think "okay, I have to alternate pick this." I just always played what felt natural and gave me the sound I was looking for.

That said, if I examine my playing, I find I primarily use alternate picking.

I would suggest learning alternate picking for the sake of having the technique in your tool box, but don't force yourself to use it even if it doesn't feel right to you just because someone says it's proper or whatever.

I would say just practice scales vertically and horizontally using alternate picking and it should come to you very quickly! Good luck!