It's a question I've asked a few people and never really got much of an answer except that I should go with the style that suits me.

But. During the entire time I've been playing (almost a year now) I've always up picked. Nobody else seems to do it, and I was wondering if that's going to have a drastic effect on my progression as a player. I am trying to learn to alternate pick everything (or directional pick, whichever seems the best). But I still prefer to just up pick everything I play.

So. If anyone could give me their opinion on this, it'd be greatly appreciated. =D
there was a famous guitarist who started with uppicking.... theres a brief mention in a UG article about it.... eric clapton? one sec Ill search.

But you should DEFINETLY learn to alternate pick, although starting with up picking is in no way a handicap

EDIT: couldnt find it, but you might want to read this.

Last edited by minichibi at Sep 20, 2007,
paul gilbert started with only upstrokes and playing with his middle finger. then he took lessons. if you wanna be like some super badass shredder then yes it will affect you.
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up picking is a lot harder than down it might be a lot better that u learned like that cause ull be a lot faster in solos
i wish i had started with up picking... i phail at it because i never practice it.

and +1 to the guy that mentioned ska. you best be bomb at that $h!t if all you do is up pick.
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up picking is not that hard actually
i found it the same way just do down pickking backwards
i played punk when i started
then moved to ska
then some how ended up playing the fall of troy weird huh
You actually have a major advantage by mastering the harder part first. Alot of players are weak on the upstroke, myself included. I've just recently sat down with a metronome to try and tame that part of myself.
If you start with upstrokes, it's going to have drastic effects on your playing. If you are a rhythm player, your strumming patterns are going to be fubar. If you're playing chords then you are going to be playing your higher notes first, which may sound good, but it's going to make it really hard for you to play many songs correctly (pretty much anything on an acoustic).

When playing scales it might be awkward for you to switch strings on the right note without there being an awkward pause.

I strongly suggest that you learn economy picking, which usually starts on an upstroke.

If you practice just regular upstroking (I suggest starting out with basic acoustic stuff, like "Save Tonight", and work yourself up to harder stuff), eventually you will be upstroking and downstroking and never thinking about it. I'm pretty sure every gutiarist remembers the period of their life when they couldn't upstroke. They probably played a lot of Ramones songs. . .
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Hm. When strumming, I do it normally. Up and down. Or just down. It's just for single note stuff, I do up pick. And I hate playing acoustic anyway. I seem to manage okay though, when playing up pick. There are some exceptions where it just doesn't work, or I need to down pick. Eg, the Into The Arena riff by the Michael Schenker Group, if you're familiar with it. I have to do that down picking. And in Master Of Puppets, the bit that goes something like:


Doesn't work when I up pick, I end up muting it, or turning my plectrum in a weird angle. But my down picking is to weak to play it down picking. Thanks for the advice though. I was always scared that I was some kind of freak, playing wrong, getting into a deeper and deeper mess.
I also suck at regular downward picking (I recently transferred from acoustic and fingerpicking). However, like some here said it's a piece of cake to learn alternative if you know up picking (I thought so at least). Been playing for 3 months on electric now and I do both economy and alternative pretty good.

I thought it was easiest to learn by playing scales.. And scales.. And...

Many scales allow economy picking and now I pretty much do it without thinking about it.

I think that when you've struck a string downwards 10 000 times or so you'll get the hang of it

I've also had periods where I've "banned" uppicking to make it hard on my self. Helped for me at least.
i up pick single notes and alternate pick chords

dont know why up i do
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