Can someone, in depth.... tell me... what exactly is economy picking, and is it a must learn technique?
It is a combination of sweep and alternate picking. You play notes on the same string with alternate picking and notes on adjacent strings with sweep picking.



The picking would go D U D D D D, the last 4 down strokes being a sweep.

This is a pretty useful technique to learn.
^^^ he explained it quite well, it is used quite a bit for "speed picking", known as sweep p icking. Sweep picking is when you let the pick "sweep" across each string, almost as a strum but picking instead. "Behind Blue Eyes " Intro ( limp bizkit version ) is a good example of it.
Oh and it's not absolutely needed but sure it's a good technique to work on.
Quote by blinnk16
it is used quite a bit for "speed picking", known as sweep p icking.
No. This is different that sweeping because you use alternate picking when you play notes on the same string.

Sweeping only refers to playing notes on adjacent strings.
economy picking isn't meant to replace any other type of picking like alternate, but to "economize" your picking....to get the most out of as little movement in the picking hand as possible...hence the name "economy" picking...if you were to alternate pick the lick posted above, you'd be jumping and skipping over strings to keep a constant D U rhythm, when instead you can sweep the last four notes...it's a good thing to incorporate into your practicing
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