Hi there,

I've been playing guitar on and off for about 6 years now, and my alternate picking technique is still trash. I've tried several books and exercises to increase my speed, but to no avail. Now, I just focus on learning songs. The problem with this is that even basic songs require a speed of alternate picking that I just can't achieve.
A few months ago, I was trying to learn the entirety of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs", but got stuck at the first part of the solo, where one has to pick the bottom three strings quickly. I spent several days simply going at it with a metronome, starting at a comfortable pace and increasing the BPM by two, and decreasing it by one each time. This hasn't helped. Currently, I'm trying to learn "Give Up the Grudge" by Gob, but I'm still trying to master the small solo section at regular speed, but to no avail.

I feel stuck, since I can't focus on technique because I don't learn anything from it, and I can't learn even basic songs because they also require pretty good technique.

Any suggestions?
start off like 20bpm lower than "comfortable". make sure you're playing perfectly. muscle memory takes a lot of effort, especially when you're trying to get a technique to a point of fluidity it's never been before.
modes are a social construct
Work on both. Take the song down to a tempo where you can manage it, no matter how slow that is, and play it there until you are entirely comfortable with the piece. To the point where you don't really have to think about what you're doing; the more you have to think the less chance you'll be able to speed up at all. Repeat this as much as needed, increasing the tempo by small increments until you get to the target speed.

It may take a while but when you get there it'll be pretty much effortless to play it and you'll be able to do it in front of people because your muscle memory will be strong enough.
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