#1
 I never thought about my picking really until recently. I believe a lot  of my problems stem from the ways I learned. I taught myself what I know  for the most part. I was a 14 year old kid with a guitar and didn't  care about technical stuff. Now it's coming back to bite me. I may sound  like a noob in this post.
 
I've had a problem with alternate picking at slow speeds, and with  string skipping. And now I'm really trying to tackle all of my problems.  The first problem I noticed is with when I was trying to learn sweep  picking. Coming upwards, my upstroke, is terrible. It's off time and and  not near as fluid as my downstrokes. And to be completely honest, I'm  not sure if I've alternate picking multiple strings right. To play fast  parts that alternate between multiple strings I usually start with a  down, let my pick flow over the string I want next, and come up with an  up stroke.
 
I've also noticed that I have a problem with just regular alternate  picking for higher speeds, my timing for the first few notes is off. I  noticed I let my fingers do a lot of the work with picking at higher  speeds. I kind of push my thumb down for the downstroke and move my  index finger in combo with thumb for the upstroke. This is in  combination of small wrist movements, but I remember hearing that  picking is mostly about the wrist.
 
I think it's because I developed a bad habit. I like to lock my pinky on  the bottom of the pickup, and end up using my fingers like I said. I  guess I figured that would make more accurate.
 
One last little tidbit, I notice guitarists like Jason Richardson change  style when they are picking extremely fast. He kind of balls up his  hand to pick extreme speed sections. I've never learned this, but if  it's an actual technique, I'd like to know it.
 
I understand some people may believe I'm trying to get too in depth with  things, but I'm willing to go back to the very basics. I want to really  improve as a guitarist. I've never practiced, I've always just played  and made music. I'll be a total noob again if means becoming a robot in  the endgame.
 
Sorry for the long post, but I've been practicing and I want to know what I should actually work on.  
#2
guitarplayerk I have been getting back into technique after a very long period of not being able to play properly due to serious injuries to both hands.

I decided to investigate alternate picking (I used to use economy picking, but always had issues.  I also learned Tom Hess's Thumb muting picking technique, which is excellent, BUT, it has one major flaw ... it's impossible (for me at least) to used damped picking,which adds huge expressiveness, and I couldn't generate a really powerful pick).

Hence I learned about a guy called Troy Grady.  He's done tons of stuff on picking.  E.g.  

I invested in his picking course.

The very interesting part of this technique is the angle of the forearm/wrist/hand, in relation to the plane of the strings.  Instead of being parallel to the strings, the hand is at a slight angle (place your picking hand flat on a table, then rotate your forearm so the thumb side of your hand comes off the table ... angled like that).  In turn this means the picking motion, after picking a string, is lifting up slightly into the air, giving clearance to reach the next attack on the string, and the pick itself is slanted. e.g leaning towards the floor, or leaning towards your head, rather than being vertical to the guitar.  You're sort of picking into (towards) and away from  the guitar body, rather than backwards and forwards parallel to the strings.  But the motion is a lot subtler.  The pick is also rotated so less of the pick face contacts the string.  But it also means other stronger muscles are getting involved, so a much greater pick attack, at speed, is possible, with control.

This minor adjustment has made a huge difference for me.  Now I can generate a lot of force with no obvious effort, and my error rate (missing strings as a I cross them) is rapidly reducing.  I suspect ultimately that I'll roll these mechanics back in with economy picking.

I'm practicing on an acoustic, as it's more challenging, andgradually cranking the speed.  I'm now up to 200 bpm, 1/16ths, just picking a single note, and can control the force to pick out any 1/16th at speeds of up to 160 bpm.  I am also just practicing small 3 or 4 note patterns.  Firstly, just static on one string.  Then moving horizontally along the string.  I'm struggling at 180 bpm, 1/16ths here.  I'm also practicing across 2 adjacent strings.  Just small groups rather than charging around.  That's accurate at 160 bpm, and improving at 172 bpm (1/16ths).

I also use 1/4, 1/8th, 1/8th note triplets, and at lower speeds, 1/16th note triplets.

But I also spend some of the practice super slow, so I can really focus on my motions, and watch out for tension/stress.  The battle is half won with the right mental approach.  My practice goal is to try an exercise, (or fragment of music etc),. observe very carefully what I'm doing and how I feel, and then correct problems I've spotted.  My practice goal is not be blazingly fast ... that is a vague guiding goal (though to be honest I think a little speed goes a long way these days.  It gives light and shade.  I am much much more interested in musicality, and not technique for technique's sake).

I'd say that for each minute I spend on technique, I spend around 15-20 minutes practicing rhythmic ideas, phrasing, new chord voicings, growing my musical vocabulary and tools I can use, including reusing old ideas in new situations so the whole context changes sound-wise.  I never practice stuff I'm already good at.  I'm always looking how to advance as a musician.  I'm a perpetual student of music.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jul 14, 2017,