It seems that whenever I play two notes per string starting with a down stroke I'm much slower than if I start with an upstroke. Like Eric Johnson pentatonic patterns. I'm also faster playing three notes per string than two beginning with a downstroke. Is this normal at all? Is there really a proper way to do it? It kinda makes me feel like a beginner... I have an audio clip to show the difference. Sorry for sloppiness, fingers hurt from playing nonstop for hours lol.

Sounds like you're just more comfortable starting with an upstroke. If it worries you, practice it to a metronome or a song or whatever, perhaps playing whatever line you're trying to do starting both ways.

There's no point to playing things at break-neck speed, so get up to the speed you want and then practice getting up about another 10-bpm (at most, really) faster. That way you have a buffer.

Also, I would imagine (although I don't have research to prove it) that starting with an up stroke sort of 'winds the hand up' in a sense. You're fighting gravity with the first note and then working with gravity for the next and maybe that's making it easier/faster for you to hit the notes you want.

It could also be that you're just not used to it as much as the other way. I've been playing for quite a long time and I still find things that give me problems for a few days/weeks. It's all about muscle memory and you will always come across things that you haven't developed the muscle memory for. Don't let that make you feel amateurish. It's a journey, not a contest

Honestly, how a guitar player gets from point A to point B defines them as a guitar player, and maybe that's just your way of approaching it. It's not something I'd worry about, but it never hurts to work on things that you're having trouble with
Last edited by mjones1992 at May 28, 2014,