Hi. Ive been playing electric guitar for four months. I only down pick. The fastest songs I can play are Metal Militia by Metallica and Phantom of the Opera by Iron Maiden. Do you think I need to sit down and learn how to alternate pick? I can on random notes (down,down,down,up) but I cant go steady (down,up,down,up) You think Im alright?
Ibanez RG2EX1(all black :P)
Standard 15 Watt Ibanez Amp
Ibanez Weeping Demon Wah Pedal
um i started on playing stairway to heaven solo. That song is where i learned to alternate pick. Try it on that solo, only using alternate down and ups, no 2 ups or downs consecutively. It will come easier and easier.
Gibson SG Standard
Ibanez S2170FB
Peavey JSX
Marshall 1960A
yes, alternating pick greatly improves your speed and is much more economical than just down or up picking.

Try out some excercises like the Steve Vai 10hr workout, i think it is

EDIT: not all of it :P just the first few until you get it down
My Gear
Line 6 Variax 600
Epiphone G-310
Ibanez RG350EX
81' Ibanez Blazer Bass

Line 6 Spider III 75
Line 6 POD X3 Live
Fender ToneMaster Mini
Boss DD-2 Delay
Boss CE-2 Chorus

My Band
Band MySpace!
Band UG Profile
yes,you need to learn alternate picking.start with some exercises before going into songs,
Quote by Gunpowder
The Pit is to intelligence what a black hole is to light; it's devoid of reason and logic, and nothing can escape it's shadowy depths. Once you enter, you cannot leave.
if you're the least be interested in improving on guitar, do yourself a favour and learn how to do it. The earlier you start to do it the easier it will be.
Quote by Lukeisonfire
tool and opeth definitly dont play tube amps . You cant get those distorted sounds out of it. tube is for like beatles stuff right?

Quote by evilbeaver22
You're right, just about the only thing better than a Spider 3 is an MG : )

Upstroke is just as important, I suggest you start incorporating it into your playing. After a while you'll see the improvement in your technique and it becomes second nature. The same thing goes for i.e. using your pinky. Start doing it now, and you'll see the difference. You'll thank yourself later.

That doesn't however mean, that you'll have to sit down and not enjoy yourself while playing. Just start doing it little by little, testing different licks and riffs as your playing progresses and evolves along the way. Don't waste your time worrying about it, this is all about enjoying yourself, right?
Pamposh’s final question before drifting into a state of transcendent ecstasy was, “But Master, if everything is an illusion, then why does anything matter?”

To which the master replied, “It may all be an illusion, but it’s a very real illusion.”
Alternate picking is as essential to guitar playing as masturbation is to men.
I just started practicing alternate picking yesterday while playing scales, I can now fly through the scales, learn it because in the future it will be much more difficult.
Quote by 20cdndollars
You are god, floppypick


If that's how you read my name, leave a message saying so on my profile
Yes you should learn, trust me it makes things a lot easier down the road. It usually comes naturally once you just loosen up and play, at least it did for me.
Alternate picking is absolutely vital to being able to play fast, much more that sweeping, tapping, or trills.

However, alternate picking means that the note are changing, not just playing down up down up on the same note. I'm guessing that you can down up down up pick a static note, as I don't believe that anyone in the world can downpick the Metal Militia riffs.
yeah alternative picking greatly increases your speed as i learned recently.try it on Du Hast by Rammstein
My Gear
Ibanez GSZ 120
Aria Pro II SL
Starfire Mega 10
Boss MT-2 Metalzone
Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor
Marshall MG100 DFX
Speed Kills Lesson - Michael Angelo (Batio) has helped me with both my speed and alt. picking. (Although Im nowhere at 180 bpm 16th notes). =)
Quote by Iamonfire
Dear sweet zombie Jesus, I just creamed my pants.