#1
I`ve always been a downpicker and i need to learn alternate picking i feel like I could save a lot more energy that way. but when i do it feels weak and choppy. My down picking makes an aggressive tone but as soon i for instance try to alternate pick an open palm muted string it is weak and has no definition or bite its only for slow and moderate alternate picking. i can tremolo alternate pick fairly well. here`s a video showing the kind of alternate picking. i struggle with. this is for a pedal demo but watch how he plays. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdJh8glADD4&list=UUs9AN-WTBsWP72aewXlNKUA
#2
I usually find that my alternate picking sounds crap if i angle the pick too much. To correct this i tilt back slowly until i get the tone i want but also so the angle stays at a degree where it's easy to alternate pick smoothly.

It's kinda hard to know what your specific problem is without seeing a vid of your playing though.

If it's not your picking angle then the other thing to watch is that you're not playing faster than you can with a degree of control. So what i mean is if you can only play fast but wimpy (picking-wise) then you need to slow it down to where you can pick properly and then build the speed up from there.
#3
Sounds like you just need to get a metronome, and alternate pick away Lol for a few weeks and you'll sound like him. Try stiffening you finger grip on the pick more
#4
Just keep practicing with a metronome.

Work on a couple strings with a simple phrase. Move the same phrase to different strings too.

Don't worry about it too much, just keep at it a bit everyday.
#5
I think good, efficient alternate picking is one of the hardest things to master in lead guitar playing. It seems so simple, and in a way it is, but getting it to sound and feel the way you want it to is going to be a long road. Understand this and don't get frustrated if it takes longer than you feel that it should. Enjoy the journey and keep at it!
#6
Quote by slyrez
I`ve always been a downpicker and i need to learn alternate picking i feel like I could save a lot more energy that way. but when i do it feels weak and choppy. My down picking makes an aggressive tone but as soon i for instance try to alternate pick an open palm muted string it is weak and has no definition or bite its only for slow and moderate alternate picking. i can tremolo alternate pick fairly well. here`s a video showing the kind of alternate picking. i struggle with. this is for a pedal demo but watch how he plays. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdJh8glADD4&list=UUs9AN-WTBsWP72aewXlNKUA


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6N8G7lTI2M

Use the wrist
#7
the best way to approach ANY new technique is to use a metronome and begin by setting a tempo at which you can execute the technique, riff, passage, whatever, PERFECTLY. This can be very annoying at first but the payoff is worth it. When you get to the point that executing the technique becomes effortless at the starting tempo you chose, clicck the metronome up 2 notches at a time until you reach a tempo that causes you to make mistakes and then back the tempo down 2 notches. Now practice the technique at the new tempo etc. This type of practice is very tedious and it can be difficult for some people to exercise the self discipline to stick with it. If you are one of those people then a good way to handle it is to use a clock or stopwatch and work in "time blocks". Pick a length of time , 5 minutes for example, and then use the clock to force yourself to stick with it for that amount of time. Then give yourself 10 or 15 minutes working on something that doesn't drive you insane. Repeat as needed. This is the best way to develop the muscle memory you need for a technique to become effortless.
#8
It means you suck...........jokes, believe it or not mate, we have all been there, well almost all of us I suppose, I have. Took me months to be able to alternate pick properly, and my advice is not to give up. As the others have said, use the metronome or just tap your foot to a steady beat, quite handy when u don't have a metronome near by. Remember synchronization is the most important part of alternate picking, well actually it is one of the fundamentals of becoming a clean fine tuned player. So practice your picking hand but remember make sure it is always sync with your fretting hand. The good biting big tone you are looking for when you pick up will come naturally in my opinion once you can alternate pick at moderate to high speeds, which you will achieve by taking the advice these others give you. Your problem right now is muscle memory, but just do 3 notes a string runs these are the easiest ones you could do, don't worry about your up picking not having tone at the moments, I would advise focusing on synchronization and muscle mermory, trust me, as you get better doing this, your up picks will sound more solid.
#12
If you really want to cure the problem listen to all the advice in this thread!

However what do you actually practise to get the picking skills down cold?

What is the one thing that will benefit the picking in all areas going from where you are to pull off any Yngwie or Paul Gilbert you want?

After having done some serious practise of a book I got back around 1993 I can recommend to get Speed Mechanics by Troy Stetina and get to work! Never worry about picking done thats it! Its the "bible" and if I can get it down at age 40 so can you!

Or the more in depth very long overall course by Pebber Brown.
Last edited by anders.jorgense at Dec 18, 2014,
#13
The whole advice above is absolutely spot on.

One additional point ... this is all about extreme awareness of what movements your picking hand is making (and of course, sync with fretting hand) ... literally looking very closely at you hand and observing if your hand is moving too much, or coming too high away from the strings, or moving too far as it picks a string.

This is where playing really slowly comes in ... it gives your brain a chance to see what's happening and what needs fixing.

Don't rush to speed up ... give your brain a really good chance (a few weeks playing really slowly) ... then gradually speed up ... you may be amazed!

Good luck, Jerry