I've been practicing a section from a song that goes something like this:

 | u u d d d u u u------  d u| 

I have found that in order to play this passage to proper speed that this is optimal way I can approach the passage, denoted by u for upstroke and d for downstroke.

My problem with this is that I find myself weak on the first downstroke in the passage. I find myself raking the 15 and 12 fine, but having to skip the 13 and hit it with a downstroke is causing problems with my timing. I am looking for a more general way to approach this or some advice on how to approach this.

Last edited by Angelicc at Mar 14, 2017,
Am i missing something or is this not at all relevant to alternate picking? I'd just play it like a sweep (economy picking)
Angelicc so just a quick couple of things to clear up some terminology:
  1. It's generally accepted that when speaking of up and downstrokes, downstrokes move in the direction from the low E to the high E, and upstrokes the other way.  So either you've notated the picking for your example wrongly, or you're picking it in a thoroughly unintuitive way, which probably the issue if that's how you're doing it.
  2. This is, like vayne said, not actually alternate picking at all.  Alternate picking is the idea that you pick down-up-down-up-down-up.  What you've got here is an example of economy picking, where you try and keep your pickstrokes moving in the same direction as much as possible and keep them joined in to little sweeps where you can.

That said, it's difficult to really give you much advice beyond just practicing it and being very careful about getting it absolutely right at a slow speed.  If you're having trouble with timing, slowing it down more is going to make it more difficult, but it'll be worth it because once you can get it right you'll absolutely nail the timing at tempo.
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vayne92 Yes, you are correct Economy Picking is the term more applicable, thanks for clarifying.
Zaphod_Beeblebr You are definitely correct in saying I have it backwards, that's my mistake writing it down. 

My question is how best to do the string skip when I am changing direction at the top/bottom of the sweep or if there is any tricks you employ. I ask because I identify this as one of my weak points in my playing and I am looking for ways to actively improve it in addition to slowing down my playing for such passages.