#1
Hey guys,

Been playing all in all for about 8 years now. The last year i had so much trouble with my band that i barely touched my guitar and i feel pretty guilty about that.

I'm getting back into it and it feels better than ever. I'm a bit rusty but when i warm up, it feels good again.
For the most part of these years i've been sticking to my metal rhythm. Triplets and downpicking are my specialty and to be honest i feel very confident and competent at that.
Recently though, just a week ago, i found myself learning a song for a band i will be auditioning for, and a lot of their stuff utilizes alternate picking, and i'm not referring to open notes played fast, i'm referring to quite technical string skipping stuff!

All the years i spent downpicking and enjoying my galloping have come back to bite me in the arse. It's pretty embarrassing. I know alternate picking is the next big step for me as it will also help me take my leads to the next level.

What are some techniques i should be doing to feel comfortable as i do if i'm downpicking a fast riff? Should i focus on playing scales slowly and speed them up?

Also a side note, whenever i do practice alt picking, i find my pick sort of sliding away between my fingers!

I just want to be able to pull off some cool riffs with PRECISION!

Thanks
#2
I'm not the only one!!!

I've been playing guitar for about 4 years myself and I was also downstroking! About a few months ago I started learning some really fast stuff like old Black Dahlia Murder and is impossible without alternative picking to and from each string and it's like, "fuuuuuuu...!!"

But I'm getting the hang of it now, just do what you would do with anything, find a song with constant alternative picking between two strings and start slow, and find the way/technique that suits you, then hit it up fast.
#5
For alternate picking study John Petrucci and Paul Gilbert for the start. Rock Discipline is still solid. You should solve your pick problem first. I guess your fingers don´t cover enough surface of the pick. The more surface you cover, the less tight your grip needs to be. It should stick out only a few millimeters. Angle between thumb and distal index phalanx should be flat, not acuate to do that.
Last edited by Facecut at Feb 27, 2012,
#6
If you really struggling start with alternate picking on one string at a time. and a metronome. 1 note per beat working up to 8 notes( 32nd,s), then move on to alternate picking adjacent strings one note per string upto to 5 or seven then move to non ajacent.. every day for ten weeks you should be getting some where...
But this goes up to 11
#7
I do like delta said.

Start slow and with a metronome (or a simple drum track). Then work my way up (speed).

When I get bored I pick a song from a band I like that utilizes alt picking and have fun with playing it.

My issue is figuring out whether or not to start with an up or down pick when I have string changing coming up. So for example if you are changing from the E string to the A string you want your last note on E to be a downpick so you can hit the A with the same motion. That is tough for me to get used to.
#8
Quote by BlackVoid


My issue is figuring out whether or not to start with an up or down pick when I have string changing coming up. So for example if you are changing from the E string to the A string you want your last note on E to be a downpick so you can hit the A with the same motion. That is tough for me to get used to.


And not called alternate picking;-) You are describing an economy pick.
#9
Generally, there won't be shortcuts to getting good at alternate picking. Find a good routine and start practicing it. It may take some time but will be worth the effort.
#10
Quote by Facecut
And not called alternate picking;-) You are describing an economy pick.

And this is most likely not what TS would want to learn. I recommend getting comfortable with strict alternate before trying economy picking, which is not as useful anyway.
E:-6
B:-0
G:-5
D:-6
A:-0
E:-3
#11
Quote by Flibo
And this is most likely not what TS would want to learn. I recommend getting comfortable with strict alternate before trying economy picking, which is not as useful anyway.


So do I.
#12
Quote by Flibo
And this is most likely not what TS would want to learn. I recommend getting comfortable with strict alternate before trying economy picking, which is not as useful anyway.

Completely untrue. They both have their uses and are equally important. Learning both is a good idea.

TS, just take it slow and concentrate on keeping your hands synchronized. An exercise which really helped me with my alternate picking is this:

e|---------------5-9---------------
B|-----------5---------5-----------
G|-------6-----6-----6-----6-------
D|---7-----7-------------7-----7---
A|-----7---------------------7-----
E|-5-----------------------------5-

From John Petrucci's Rock Discipline DVD. It continues on with that same pattern through a series of barre chord shapes with an added third as follows: A (as seen above), C, E (12th fret), C#, G, B, F# (2nd fret).

Start off with a down stroke and do alternate picking. After you go through it all, do it again, starting with an up stroke this time. After that, do it again but this time play each note twice before moving to the next note. Again, first do it starting with a down stroke, then starting with an up. Then you do it again playing each note 3 times, and finally playing each note 4 times. The entire DVD is a great resource. You can find it in its entirety on Google Video.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.