#1
is it necassary to learn how to alternate pick before you lear how to economy pick. when i try to alternate pick it just seems so stupid to pick upwards on a string below the one i was playing at than just going straight down.
#2
i feel it is very stupid to.
and no, you don't have to know how to do it the 2 ways.
if you like economy more, stick to it. that's what i do.
#4
You can learn alt or economy in whatever order really, but you will find some licks are easier with econonmy and some with alternate picking. Just as sweep picking works best with arpeggio runs so the other two ways have their place in the whole tech bag as well.
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#5
Quote by shredder.cheese
You can learn alt or economy in whatever order really, but you will find some licks are easier with econonmy and some with alternate picking. Just as sweep picking works best with arpeggio runs so the other two ways have their place in the whole tech bag as well.


example on alt picking being better plz. because i've really never found something economy picking would lack on.
#6
Quote by solrac94
is it necassary to learn how to alternate pick before you lear how to economy pick. when i try to alternate pick it just seems so stupid to pick upwards on a string below the one i was playing at than just going straight down.


I don't know that it's necessary to do anything- there are some great players who play in insanely weird ways. I do think there's something to be said for learning alternate picking first, though it depends on the music you play.

Here's why it's not that stupid to do strict alternate picking even in cases like the one you mentioned: if you're playing with a heavily compressed sound (say with a lot of distortion) in very even time then it doesn't make too much difference if you alternate pick or economy pick, as long as you can get to the notes on time. But if you're playing with a swing feel and you want a lot of control over dynamics and accents, alternate picking is always going to be a bit better on that level. You just have more control over each individual stroke of the pick. You can go a long way toward this with economy picking, but you never quite get the same control. I tend to mix sweeping, alternate picking and economy picking: sometimes I will choose to play the exact same lick differently at different times because I want the accents to fall a certain way.

There are other kinds of picking too. For instance, I was taught at one point to use downstrokes for downbeats and upstrokes for upbeats when playing the heads to tunes with syncopated melodies. It helps you get a solid swing feel. I still sometimes fall into that pattern when I'm playing slower melodic stuff.

Really, I think it's best to practice both styles, but if I had to pick one it would be alternate picking.
#7
All you have to do is look at the situation:

Do you employ alt picking when strictly alt picking? Of course.
Do you employ alt picking when using economy picking? Yes.

Economy can only be used in specific situations. Whereas alternate is more
generally used everywhere.

So that might tell you a bit about which is more fundamental in terms of skill.

Additionally, the dynamics of the sound is different between the two. One
sound one way another another way. There's not really a substitute situation
here.
#8
Yeah i would say you should
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#9
ok, at this point, i don't know if people even understand what economy picking is. i really don't.
and what do you mean it sounds different? downstrokes and upstrokes should sound exactly the same. if they don't, you're using different strength in one of the two, which you shouldn't.
#10
By no means. In a lot of people, economy picking is the more naturally occurring style and I can't say that they suffer because of it. Feel free to dive right into economy picking.
#11
Quote by RCalisto

and what do you mean it sounds different?


Moving between two strings with what is essentially a single smooth stroke
sounds different than an alternated up & down (or vice versa) -- basically
2 strokes. Very different dynamically. One is more fluid, one is more
percussive.

It has nothing to do with up or down strokes sounding different.

Economy picking simple cannot be equated with alternate picking. It's only
relavent when you cross strings. Alternate picking can be either crossing or
single string. It's more relavent to compare it with all up or all down picking.
#12
i don't know about you but when i think about economy picking i don't only think about crossing strings. i think also about the alternate picking when you're playing in just one string.
many must be confusing that, and separating one thing from another.
#13
Some guitarists never learn to properly alternate pick 3nps licks, and some never learn to economy pick them. But when looking at virtuosos, you'll usually find that they are proficient with both. You'd be wise to do the same. Don't fuss over which comes first.
#14
Quote by RCalisto
i don't know about you but when i think about economy picking i don't only think about crossing strings.


Since economy picking, by definition, is only crossing strings that makes no sense
to me. To each his own I guess...

I use both techniques a lot, and I just find the situations where I want to use
one over another are pretty clear. It has more to do with the kind of sound I
want than anything else. If I could only do one or another, the sound I could get
would be limited to only the one I could do well. So, I don't see this question
as an either/or and I do see alternate picking skill as the more fundamental of
the two. It just makes sense if you look at what's going on.
#15
yes it makes sense now. i now understand why there's a global war on alt vs econ.
everyone has different definitions of each. so no one really knows what the other is thinking.
many think of econ picking as a general type of picking. alt + sweep on string changing. you separate each. alt is something, econ = sweep.
#16
Quote by RCalisto
ok, at this point, i don't know if people even understand what economy picking is. i really don't.
and what do you mean it sounds different? downstrokes and upstrokes should sound exactly the same. if they don't, you're using different strength in one of the two, which you shouldn't.


I'm pretty sure we're talking about the same thing. This is just one of those cases where it's easier to demonstrate than explain, but... upstrokes and downstrokes don't sound the same if you use a very clean tone. It's worth practicing getting them to sound the same as an exercise, but sometimes when you're playing it's better to exploit the difference.

Beyond that, two successive downstrokes on the same string don't sound like two "swept" downstrokes that move from string to string. If you usually play with distortion you aren't going to be really aware of this because distortion tends to involve some compression, and that evens out the dynamics of the strokes. That's part of why I said it depends a lot on what you want to play, and in what style you want to play it.

I learned a lot of what I play from horn players. I don't want to get into a big explanation of how a sax works, but there's a kind of "tonguing" thing going on there. Jazz sax players tend to tongue mostly on the upbeat, but they also just mix it up sometimes to get a good hard swinging feel- it's a bit like the way funk rhythm guitarists hit some set of 16th notes, but it is usually in 8ths in this case. It's a lot easier to get that kind of feel with alternate picking, though some legato passages are better swept... for instance Charlie Parker often plays fast legato 5 against 4 phrases as a lead in to his 8th note passages, and sweeping comes a lot closer to that sound than alternate picking does. I'm not all that good a guitarist, but I rock at switching from swept chordal stuff to chromatic lines, mostly from studying Parker.

So that's why I say it depends on the style you're playing. If you are playing metal, and all you want to play is metal, it doesn't make much difference. But if you are playing with a clean tone and you want a lot of control over your time and accents then you have to think about the differences between sweeping, economy picking, and alternate picking. The differences are subtle, but they are all-important if you want to really groove.
#17
Upstrokes and downstrokes, from the experiences of many performers in the past, usually sound different. There is a reason guitarists have performed passages in all upstrokes, because of the tone they have. Now I can't say that this isn't due to technique or something, and it may be possible to get "identical" tones with both up and downstrokes, but from what I've seen, for whatever reason, they sound different.

From my experience, alternative picking (even when "skipping" over a string) is useful because of the wrist motion - you pick downwards, letting your wrist rotate with gravity, and then return it to its original position. 2 notes, "zero" effort. Very little effort, at least. One thing I've never understood with economy picking is that if you are picking D-U-D-U-D-U and then have 2 downstrokes in a row (picking D, the next in the series, on the same string, then picking the string below it), do you actually have to slow your wrist in order to keep in time? That, to me, creates a stress that you don't need - you can continue the downward motion, and then return the wrist, while picking that note.
#18
Economy per Wikipedia,

"Economy picking is a guitar-playing technique, for a guitarist who uses a pick. A hybrid of sweep picking and alternate picking, economy picking involves using alternate picking except when changing strings. In this case the guitarist changes to sweep picking, picking in the direction of travel: an upstroke if changing to a lower (pitch) string, a downstroke if changing to a higher (pitch) string. The aim is to minimize movement in the right hand, and avoid the motion of "jumping" over a string prior to picking it, as often occurs in alternate-picking. Thus the picking pattern of an ascending three-note-per-string scale would be: D-U-D-D-U-D-D-U-D, and the descending pattern would start just like alternate picking (up stroke first): U-D-U-U-D-U-U-D-U-U."

An example of a lick that would be best played with stricked alt picking is below. You start off with a downstroke and the last note you hit on each string is an upstroke, which sets up for the string change with a new downstroke. Economy picking won't really work in a sequence like this because if you start with an upstroke on the low E string, you will be able to make the sweep to the A string but after that you are forced to alt pick the rest of the way up the neck so you might as well start with alt picking on this run.

e----------------------------------------------------------------------------10-12-13-10----
B--------------------------------------------------------9-10-12-9---------------------------
G-----------------------------------------7-9-10-7--------------------------------------------
D----------------------------6-7-9-6-----------------------------------------------------------
A---------------5-7-8-5------------------------------------------------------------------------
E--5-7-8-5-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Last edited by shredder.cheese at Jul 11, 2008,