i'm pretty poor at picking, kinda got used to alternate picking now but i need to improve on my standard greatly before i can progress on to the harder styles of picking. i was wondering what songs are particularly good for improving alternate picking?
I realise that all songs will help improve my playing to a certain extent, but I'm looking for a song that is particularly good for more rapid improvement in picking.

thanks, sorry if i didnt put that across very well :/
Practise songs like Sweet Child O' Mine and Snow (Hey-Oh) to improve your picking speed and scar tissue and californication are easier ones that you can use to improves knowledge of where the strings are and are good for practising skipping strings.
I assume you are a beginner...There are no actual songs that can make you alternate pick like John Petrucci. That said, I'm pretty crap myself, but there are some exercises that helped me.

The easiest way would be just try going up and down your pentatonic scales, at different speeds and different positions on the fretboard. Then using the pentatonic, try and make your own licks. Improvise, at different speeds and stuff. Download a backing track, and go all pentatonic on it
There are many songs which use the pentatonic scale
Try the stairway to heaven solo, you should have it nailed very soon if you are dedicated.
Or even a Pink Floyd solo, like comfortably numb.

Or you could use pedaltone ideas,
If you're a metal-head, try the intro to Master of Puppets.

Or try some not so fast, but quick-picking while holding a chord
Try the intro to Paradise City

Mix it up. If anything feels difficult, play slowly and slowly speed it up when you are comfortable.
My guitar teacher gave me this to practise picking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Nd8vTOUnO0#t=05m08s

Now it's obvious you won't be able to play it at that speed for a long time (neither will I), but slowed down it's a good exercise. It also gets you used to quintuplets. The key is to start out super slow and making sure your fingers are doing the most economic motions. You'll need tons of patience.

Good exercises that come to my mind are also picking sweep arpeggio shapes with alternate picking, maybe doubling or quadrupling every note (this one is also from Mr. Petrucci) or just the typical 1-2-3-4 chromatic thingy. Basically I recommend getting John Petrucci's instructional video.

Or you could use pedaltone ideas,
If you're a metal-head, try the intro to Master of Puppets.

Well... Master of Puppets is famous for being strictly downpicked
Last edited by Flibo at Jul 31, 2011,