#1
Hi, electric guitar noob here.

I have a question about alternate picking : i'm already quite comfortable with alternate picking. However there's something i don't quite understand : is alternate picking always down-up-down-up-down-up-down-up-down-up-down-up-down.... ?

I was trying to play the intro of Rattlesnake shake (motley crue) :
 
d|--------------------|
A|--------------------|
F|-2--4--5---4-5------|
C|-0--0--0--0-0-0-3h4-|
G|--------------------|
D|--------------------|


And i'm having issues being fast and smooth enough for the second part, jumping from the C to the F string. I'm going for :

d|----------------|
A|----------------|
F|---4---5--------|
C|0----0---0--3h4-|
G|----------------|
D|----------------|

    d   u  d  u  d   u

(with d for down and u for up)

Is there something i'm doing wrong? Am i supposed to :
- go down-down-up-down-up-down to be more efficient (which seems awefully hard) ?
- go up-down-up-down-up-down bewteen the strings to shorten the distance? 
- or can i do it the way i'm doing it, and it's just a practice issue?

Thanks so much.
#2
I'm not for certain for this song, but I do know that alternate picking patterns will be different. Hope that helps
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#3
UltimateNoob444 all of those are perfectly valid ways of playing that riff, and all of them will sound ever so slightly different, and as you've pointed out they all take slightly different skills.  The key is picking one that you're comfortable with and sounds the way you want it to.  Personally, looking at the part I'd probably start that little section on a downstroke and go down-up-down-up-down-up.  That's me though, and that's what I've practiced, that might not work so well for you.  Try all the ways you can and see if any of them feels better.

And you're both right and wrong in saying that alternate picking is always down-up-down-up.  In the strictest sense, alternate picking is actually that a downstroke always follows an upstroke, and an upstroke always follows a downstroke.  It may seem like there's no difference but the important thing to realize is that you can start a part on either an up or down as you see fit, and it doesn't mean that what you're doing is alternate picking any less, as long as you're always doing up after down and down after up.
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#4
Thanks so much for the answers.

How can i get my picking to be smooth, synchronised and clean? Do you have any good exercices for that?
#5
UltimateNoob444 

For me it came with time. And lots lots lots lots of patience. As far as exercises go I'm sure you can find plenty using this site alone. I've been doing these every morning for a few days and I think it may help: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/correct_practice/a_productive_practice_session.html
At least I died listening to some good ass music
Last edited by TrikeScene at Mar 28, 2017,
#6
Quote by UltimateNoob444
Hi, electric guitar noob here.

I have a question about alternate picking : i'm already quite comfortable with alternate picking. However there's something i don't quite understand : is alternate picking always down-up-down-up-down-up-down-up-down-up-down-up-down.... ?

I was trying to play the intro of Rattlesnake shake (motley crue) :

And i'm having issues being fast and smooth enough for the second part, jumping from the C to the F string. I'm going for :


Is there something i'm doing wrong? Am i supposed to :
- go down-down-up-down-up-down to be more efficient (which seems awefully hard) ?
- go up-down-up-down-up-down bewteen the strings to shorten the distance? 
- or can i do it the way i'm doing it, and it's just a practice issue?

Thanks so much.

First of all thanks for actually providing supplemental materials instead of ranting in a sea of text like a lot of people do. It really helps with efficiency.

As for the first riff with the first rhythm power chords you actually are 'up' picking unintentionally(if you play those power chords with all down strokes). 

r=rest.
 
A|----------------------------|
F|-2--r--4--r--5--------------| 
C|-0--r--0--r--0--------------| 
G|---------------------------| 
D|---------------------------| 
    d  u d  u  d
 every time your wrist goes back up to make a downstroke, that is an upstroke

from there it is just up down.
-
as for your second riff. that just comes with practice. since you end the riff with an upstroke, you're in position to make a downstroke for the next riff you play.

edit: the thing is, your right hand also keeps rhythm by constantly going Down-up that is one of the reasons why we pick this way.
"ba doo doo ba doo doo ba doo daa"
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Last edited by hecks at Mar 28, 2017,
#7
As Zaphod said, all of those are possible ways to play that.  It just takes practice to get to a level where they are all comfortable.  Ideally, you should eventually learn how to play it will all of those different picking patterns, as you will not always have the option of using one pickstroke over another.  A great exercise that really helped my alternate picking is from John Petrucci's Rock Discipline DVD.  Go to 17:00 in the video and watch to 24:15.

The entire video has lots of exercises to help you improve, and I highly recommend that you watch the whole thing if you have time, but the part I referenced will be a huge help to your alternate picking.
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