#1
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?
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#2
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.
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#3
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
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#4
yes,you need to learn alternate picking.start with some exercises before going into songs,
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#5
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.
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#6
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?
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#8
Alternate picking is as essential to guitar playing as masturbation is to men.
#9
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.
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#10
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.
#11
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.
#12
yeah alternative picking greatly increases your speed as i learned recently.try it on Du Hast by Rammstein
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#13
Speed Kills Lesson - Michael Angelo (Batio) has helped me with both my speed and alt. picking. (Although Im nowhere at 180 bpm 16th notes). =)
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