#1
So, I've been playing for about a year. I've only played using only downstrokes which i know is very bad. Now, I figure if I want to be a decent guitarist, I have to learn to alt. pick. So how would I go about doing this since I've been only using downstrokes for a year? Theres only about three songs that i've learned so far that I could alt. pick on. Should I just practice those songs alt picking since I'm familiar with them? Will this make learning new songs harder? What else should I do to improve this technique?
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#2
Scales. For instance, Down strum on open E, put your finger on the 1st fret and up strum the string on the 2nd fret, do this till you get to the 4th fret, then move on to the next string, all the way to the high e, rinse and repeat till you can do it swiftly.
#3
The way I learned was by playing the e-minor pentatonic scale with alternate picking.
I did the scale up and down with alternate picking until it became very fluid and really fast. Then once your hands get used to the motion, try it in music when you see eighth notes.
#4
Instead of making a new thread, I have a question. Is there ever a situation, besides chords, that is better without alternate picking?
#5
Alt. pick EVERYTHING. I had the same problem for you when i have played maybe 7-8 months. It will be annoying the first week or two but when you get it it will be so much better.

It wont make new songs harder, but songs you already are used to play with downstrokes will be harder in the beginning but when you can alt. pick you will play them so much better and cleaner.
#6
Dude don't stress I did the exact same thing. I actually switch off between only downstrokes and alternate picking depending on what i'm playing. If you can already play songs good using downstrokes then why fix what isn't broken? So I'd suggest learning some new songs and riffs and learning them using alt. picking instead of changing stuff you already know. BTW CKY RULES!
#7
Quote by OsokDracul
Instead of making a new thread, I have a question. Is there ever a situation, besides chords, that is better without alternate picking?


Metallica uses (almost?) only downstrokes in the palm muted parts of their songs because it sounds heavier.
#9
scales. for 7 months all i did was down stroke and playing scales fixed every technique problem i had. it'll probably fix yours also if you practice properly
#10
Quote by Duhduhdadanny
Scales. For instance, Down strum on open E, put your finger on the 1st fret and up strum the string on the 2nd fret, do this till you get to the 4th fret, then move on to the next string, all the way to the high e, rinse and repeat till you can do it swiftly.


Yup. I read about this so much that it scared me, so when I started about 8 months ago I was doing alt. picking day one.

Try this excercise I do. I helped tremendously. Start on low E. Do the cycle then move to the next higher string. Finger to fret. Go slow and alt pick.

E: 1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 3, 4, 1 3, 4, 1, 2 4, 1, 2, 3
A: 1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 3, 4, 1 3, 4, 1, 2 4, 1, 2, 3
D: 1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 3, 4, 1 3, 4, 1, 2 4, 1, 2, 3
etc....
Last edited by Axe Murderer at Apr 24, 2008,
#12
I don't know if this will help, but I started downpicking for ages, then I learnt to sweep pick, and I just intergrated the up and down strokes onto just one string etc.
Not sure if that will help =P
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#13
actually, one more quick question. Should i just practice these exercises for a week or two and then start playing songs again?
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#14
I have a pretty good guitar exercise I made that will help you with alt picking - you are going to have to start it at around 40% speed - so if you have GP let me know and I will send you the file.
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#16
Practice the exercise AND learn songs; learn to play the songs with alternate picking. That's the best way IMO, but can get frustrating. It's up to you really..
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#17
Alternate picking is hugeeeeeeeeeee i can't even imagine picking up guitar without it i guess we all have our ways though. Try going up a down the neck alternating like first string 1-2-3-4 then backwards 5-4-3-2 up and down the neck. Thats how i started and i still do that good for building speed.
#18
Quote by AznElliot518
Practice the exercise AND learn songs; learn to play the songs with alternate picking. That's the best way IMO, but can get frustrating. It's up to you really..


Yep. do both. It will be awkward at first with the songs either way since you arent used to it.
#19
Quote by OsokDracul
Instead of making a new thread, I have a question. Is there ever a situation, besides chords, that is better without alternate picking?


Metal bands (Metallica especially) prefer to downstroke on riffs such as the MOP intro cause it creates a heavier tone.

Playing scales is the best way. and if that bores you choose a riff you enjoy and slowly try to adapt to playing it alt.
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#20
Everyone is going to have their own way of doing things. The key is to do everything just once, and then find out which you like best. Then rinse repeat.

I still do the following as part of my warm up exercises. It's simple and you can do it with just one string or all of them (which I'd recommend). Start on the high e, 1st fret 1st finger (down), 2nd fret 2nd finger (up), 3rd fret 3rd finger (down), 4th fret 4th finger (up). Then do the same thing again while starting on the 2nd fret and work your way to the 5th fret. Do this until your 4th finger gets to the 12 fret, and work your way back down the neck. Once you're back to the 1st fret with your first finger, move down to the B string, etc.
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#21
Picking styles vary wildly depending on the player, some are strict alternate pickers, some prefer economy picking, which is using the least picking you can using hammer ons and pull offs wherever possible. Its all a matter of preference in the long run. Picking everything strictly alternate is however the most efficient way of progressing,

Now as got the downstroke only thing with metallica its only really used like that when palm muting the strings.
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