Hey,I have been playing guitar for about 5 months now and have stuck to learning the minor pentatonic scale. I have now started practicing the major scale but i dont know if i am doing it the way i should. I am running through the scale by economy picking because i find it far easier than alt-picking. My question is should i be alt-picking it? All the books i read stress alt-picking as a must but isn't that instead of strictly down picking or does it take priority over economy picking as well? Obviously i don't wanna learn any bad habits early on so any help would be appreciated :
Economy picking works fine but don't rely on it. Learn alternate picking as well.
i'd practice both, cuz sooner or later your going to come across a song or something where you'll need to utilize both ways of picking

i was in your same spot and now i'm glad i practiced both

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Alt picking is hard to get use to at first, frustrating even... But take it really slow using a metronome, In time you shall see big improvements and you'll swap between down and alt picking without even thinking about it... Should come naturally.

It is a must to learn, as it'll be easier for faster playing or conserving energy...

Just take it slow, Perhaps 60 bpm... Or what ever speed you feel comfortable at keeping a constant rhythm.

the two techniques sort of overlap...

by definition, alt-picking is simply a constant up-down-up-down-up-down pattern that never changes. the idea behind this is that there is less effort and less strain to play fast music.

but economy picking basically takes the "less effort, more music" mantra of alt-picking, and accounts for feel... you alt pick wherever it fits, but sometimes you need to do straight downstrokes in a part for heaviness, or straight upstrokes for funk/ska purposes.

i would say that you should be able to alt pick, and you should practice it until you don't even have to think about it. alt picking is good technical practice, and is good for scales, but in actual playing situation, you should not be bound by your picking pattern. but you should use economy picking most of the time when actually jamming.
Thanks for the quick replies guys. Looks like i am going to have to get used to alternate picking after all
You SHOULD learn alternate picking. Once you master it you'll never look back. I now actually have to think to play with one side of the pick.
I've only been playing a bit over a month now (although I spend about 5 hours a day practicing) and i've been alt picking since my second week and its prettymuch second nature to me already. I say go and learn it now because it will help out alot already knowing how to do it instead of waiting til you NEED to use it.
The bass riff in Muse's Hysteria is a good one to start with because it's mainly on the one string at a time. A great one for moving between strings is the intro to Metallica's Call of Kutulu, it's quite a tricky one play with the pick, I find using the fingers much easier. But if you can master it you should have a very good hand on alternate picking then.
Id say yes...I* dont do alot of upstrokes but I had to learn..

With guitar there are alot of tiny things you can do that will
have an effect on your sound. Sometimes an upstroke can
save a riff that you were about to throw away.

Solos especially...they way you play them can totally change
the sound..sometimes alternate picking a chromatic run sounds
much more aggressive..or fluid than hammer ons and pull offs.

I suggest making up some really small chromatic licks..
play them with all down strokes....
then all upstrokes..
then all hammers and pulls
then combine techniques and that will give u a good introduction
into how the right hand effects tone..
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