do u alternate pick even when the rhythms dont require you too like they aren't fast. i'm sort of new to guitar and i use to alternate pick but i stopped and do sometimes but not like i'm thinking i should.
well depends on what your playing genre wise...like usually slow metal rythm like 80's **** is downpicked
I used to down-up pick everything no matter what. It's a very beginning approach to playing that I did for too long. At first I was just happy to be doing down-up picking at all. Generally now I use the questions:

Does it sound better/right if I stick to down picking?
Does it sound right or better if I use the same picking direction consecutively at any time, although not the whole time?
For repetitive faster licks: Does it prevent confusion to stick with alternate picking?
Last edited by Adrian Smith at Aug 28, 2008,
Although, it does sound better to down pick. Like in most Metallica, they down pick really fast. But like the others say, it's all up to you.
When playing several notes on the same string I tend to alternate pick them all the time. But when changing strings I always downpick on the first note of the new string
It really depends on the sound you wanna get. Usually when playing faster stuff, you're gonna alternate-pick. But if you playing slower rythmn, downpicking can sometimes be a better idea.

Downpicking also sounds a bit more brutal, depending on how you do it. So it depends what you are playing. You should be able to do both. Like previously mentionned, Metallica uses a lot of downpicking. The best example I can find is the chorus to Eye of the beholder. It's only powerchords. Try it downpicking, and then try it alternating. You'll notice downpicking sounds much closer to the real song then alternate.
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