#1
Hi, I have been trying to learn the guitar by myself for two years but i felt i can't reach the level i want so i recently started taking lessons. My teacher says you must do alternating picking always to play the fastest so i have been working on that quite a lot (I realized that i was always playing economy picking, unintentionally, which made sense to me to start with a down stroke when going from lower to higher string and vice versa).
Now, my question is when i try to learn a song, i can't decide which way to pick, especially when there are hammer-on's or pull-off's. Can someone explain how this works, does the amount of hammer-on's or pull-off's matter as well, if there are rests at the beginning or in the middle of notes how does that affect the picking, if i play a triplet and then 16th notes should i start the 16th notes with an up stroke and how do you understand when to alternate pick or not? Thanks so much for the help!
#2
it's really up to you. a lot of guys get pretty quick doing economy picking too.

if i'm doing alternate i more or less alternate every stroke unless there's an obvious reason why that'd be really awkward.

you should practise odd numbers of notes per string (say, 3 per string) so you get good at changing strings on different strokes.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#3
Don't look at economy picking as being a completely different thing to alternate picking. It's just small bursts of alternate picking passages laced together with those more efficient string swapping movements.

Stick at the strict alternate picking for a while until you get properly comfortable with it. Don't forget to practice everything you do starting with both up AND down-strokes. When that feels natural, play how YOU feel riff/licks should be, switching back and forth between alternate/economy at will. You'll end up at a point where you're not even thinking about it.
404: Sig not found.
#4
Quote by solijoli
Hi, I have been trying to learn the guitar by myself for two years but i felt i can't reach the level i want so i recently started taking lessons. My teacher says you must do alternating picking always to play the fastest so i have been working on that quite a lot (I realized that i was always playing economy picking, unintentionally, which made sense to me to start with a down stroke when going from lower to higher string and vice versa).
Now, my question is when i try to learn a song, i can't decide which way to pick, especially when there are hammer-on's or pull-off's. Can someone explain how this works, does the amount of hammer-on's or pull-off's matter as well, if there are rests at the beginning or in the middle of notes how does that affect the picking, if i play a triplet and then 16th notes should i start the 16th notes with an up stroke and how do you understand when to alternate pick or not? Thanks so much for the help!

You're asking a lot here so I'll take it piece by piece:

Quote by solijoli
does the amount of hammer-on's or pull-off's matter as well

There's no real set rule to this, it depends on the passage you're playing and your own preference. A lot of the time people like to keep their picking completely in rhythm so where there might be a single hammer on they keep their picking hand moving in rhythm and just don't hit the string. If it's a longer string of legato you might not want to do that since it wastes a lot of energy. If it's too fast you might not want to do that either since you might have trouble keeping up or you might want to line up a particular picking direction on the next picked note... there are a lot of considerations.

Broadly speaking... it should be a choice that you make. You want to develop your technique until it doesn't matter which you choose but until that point it's going to be a combination of what you want to do and what you can do.

Quote by solijoli
if i play a triplet and then 16th notes should i start the 16th notes with an up stroke

Depends 100% on the situation. Is it convenient to do so? Will that make the next bit of picking really awkward for you? Basically you take in to consideration what has just happened, what is about to happen, and what you're capable of and come up with an answer that makes sense for that situation.

Quote by solijoli
how do you understand when to alternate pick or not?

Alternate picking, in terms of what picking mechanics are available to you should really be your default choice. If something needs to be picked you should generally default to using alternate picking unless it specifically makes more sense to use something else (economy, sweeping, hybrid picking, whatever). If we're talking about the picking/legato choice then that's all about tone. They sound very different so you choose the one that would make what you're playing sound closest to the sound in your head.


In the broadest terms: there really are no rules about this. The choices you make affect the way your playing sounds and how easy it is for you to play any given passage. Everyone has things they can do one way but can't do another and sounds they prefer, the combination of those things makes up how they end up playing any given piece of music. You'll have to learn in time which are the ones you prefer.

I would also suggest that your teacher may be a little too fanatical about alternate picking. It's not the be-all-end-all of picking by any means. Functionally speaking, all picking techniques are equal in terms of speed.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#5
^ Yeah I always get suspicious of anyone who's adamant that you have to do things a certain way and that every other way is wrong.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#6
Hi, thanks for the detailed answer. How would you approach to something like this picking-wise. Thanks, and i've checked out your music, it sound very good!!
Attachments:
Untitled.png
#7
I've always been pro alternate picking.

The mandolinist Chris Thile has the greatest right hand I have ever seen and he alternate picks at all times (unless sweeping), on the grounds that is seems better to leave your engine idling than to constantly be turning it off and on (to use a silly analogy, but one I agree with).

The only time I really do anything that resembles a sweep or "economy" style is when I need to get across multiple strings quickly. Otherwise I just alternate.

A big challenge I see that steers some people towards alternate picking is accents. Economy picking can help organize the music so your downstrokes line up with accents in the phrase, but with practice one can learn to control accents with upstrokes as well and phrase well no matter which direction the strokes are.

I realize this is probably less than informative, but I would literally alternate pick that, leaving all the slides and hammer-ons as are. this would mean the first note of the (not shown) third bar would be an upstroke, but with a little finesse, that will be second nature.

Disclaimer: Like those before me, I do not claim there is a definitive way to pick. Anything that is not blatantly poor technique or grossly wasted motion is fair game. I am only sharing the method that has worked for me in my development as a player.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Last edited by Jet Penguin at Aug 17, 2014,
#8
Quote by solijoli
Hi, thanks for the detailed answer. How would you approach to something like this picking-wise. Thanks, and i've checked out your music, it sound very good!!


Well with something like that (depending on the speed it's played, I don't think it's that fast though) you can pretty much choose your picking to suit what you want out of it. I'd probably go with a Paul Gilbert style approach and try to get as many of the string changes as possible with outside picking (down on the low string, up on the high string) but that's as much because that's what I'm really used to as anything else:


e|---------------------------------------------
b|---------------------------------------------
g|-------------0h2-------4p0-------2p0---------
d|-----------------4p0h3-----4p0h2-----4p0-----
a|---------3s4-----------------------------3p0-
e|-0-0-2p0-------------------------------------

P|-D-U-D---D---U---D-----U---D-----U---U---U---


The last stroke really depends on what's coming next though: if the riff goes up again then I'm going to play a down but if it goes down then I'm going to use an up so I can get the next note with a down. It's good to be flexible with your picking; there's no point making anything harder than it has to be so know your strength and your weaknesses. That way you can make choices about the way things are played that really suits you.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.