Hey everyone! I did a video about my biggest guitar technique problem, which is string crossing when alternate picking.


It would be really nice if you took the time and give me some advice!

I am basically trying to figure out you can get the tip of the pick over the next string when alternate picking. Up until now I found several ways to do this.

- the up and down movement of the hand I describe in the video

This would actually be the ideal thing for me if I could just do it fast enough, but like I explain in the video, this would mean transcending the capabilities of the human body.

- leaning the pick forward

This makes Upstrokes very easy because the pick is always at the right angle, but makes downstrokes difficult because you hardly hit the string and also you need more effort to get it over the next string.

- moving the pick from the index finger and the thumb

This also gets the pick in the right angle for upstrokes, downstrokes don´t seem to work that well. Also, I don´t like picking that way.

- rotating the wrist in combination with the sideways movement of the wrist

Still experimenting with this, might work someday.
There are two things here that I would consider are your problem but before I go on to those I'll just say this: you're right that the string changing motion is what really limits alternate picking, getting that aspect of picking down is one of the hardest things you will ever try and do.

Now, on to the issues:

Firstly: you're using too much of the pick to strike the strings in my opinion. The more of the pick you use to strike the string the more effort it's going to take to pass through the string for a start and also you'll need, as you've discovered, a larger motion to skip over strings which leads to problem two.

Secondly: your motions are just too big. If you watch some truly great alternate pickers (Malmsteen, Gilbert, Andy James, Guthrie Govan, Shawn Lane) you'll see that when they're really going for picking their motions are tiny. Again, this is one of the hardest things you'll ever do but it's one of the two real keys to being able to pick fast: your motions have to be as small as possible and your hands/arms have to be as relaxed as you can make them.
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