Afternoon fellas, managed to dig out a CD i forgot i had from ages ago. Its called Electric Guitar Teacher and its pretty good actually.

It has different stages to work through but at the end of each stage you get to learn two songs.

Im currently learning Bush - Swallowed and Placebo - Nancy Boy.

Now it shows you a video of how to play the songs ( i.e where to put your fingers and what strings to hit etc ) - and both songs are played with down strokes.

Considering most of the song consists of plucking two strings over and over i thought id have a go at alternate picking - but i just cant fathom it out yet, i can alternat pick one string but cant get the hang of two as i either miss one string completely or hit too many strings.

Is there some trick to alternate picking two strings? Maybe you need a particular pick or need to alter the pick angle etc.

Im currently using an old pick my mate gave me - it just says USA Nylon .60 - it has a textured feel to it but it still moves around in my fingers when im playing.

Any tips or do i just keep practicing?


You just need to practice more. It's not the pick or the guitar, it's just because you're a beginner. Keep at it.
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You'll get used to it, just start slow and then speed up as you get accustomed to the technique.
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Yep, everyone had problems when they first tried alternate picking. And then they had problems again when they tried to do it on multiple strings and more difficult finger patterns!

Keep practising it, but do it SLOWLY and CLEANLY. If not you'll only practise bad technique. If you practise the right technique slowly and often enough you'll muscles will remember the pattern and you'll be able to speed it up in small steps (don't go rushing from 40BPM to 140 or anything like that)!

Also, when I say slowly, I mean reaaaally slowly. You should be aware of what your muscles are doing. If you feel your shoulders tense, relax them! If not you'll only tense them even more when you're getting up to speed.

If you're having problems reaching the strings you might wanna check out the anchoring thread:


If you pin your hand down on the bridge/strings it's normal you can't reach the other strings. So..if you anchor, raise your hand of the strings/bridge, relax your shoulder and move from the elbow to change strings. You can still pick with the wrist, but the actually string changes should be done from the elbow.
Not only would it disrupt the fabric of time and space, but it would totally ruin the surprise!
mute. instead of arching your fingers over the other strings, rest them on the other strings, so that even if you aciddentally hit an unwanted string it wont make a sound. you can strum easily like this. it does infact make a small sound though when you play hard so this isnt recomended for really clean songs.