#1
When I first started playing guitar a year ago, I didn't have teacher. Six months later I got a teacher, and dropped lessons a few weeks later. My teacher explained that it would be easier to play guitar if I stroke down on a string instead of up.

So for instance, I'm just playing one string, and I pull the pick towards me, instead of down. I've now been playing guitar like that for almost two years.

I'm wondering, should I kick the habit? What advantages/disadvantages do I have now that I pick downwards?

Thanks, UG!
#2
Look to Alternate picking. . . Yes down is easier than up strumming, but when you go to learn sweeps it's easier to do descending so them up strumming is pretty helpful. . . actually it's inevitable. Alternate picking involves picking both down and up. . . so that you harness potential energy and make it kinetic while also maximizing the efficiency of your movements. I can't really tell you an advantage or disadvantage persay, but I felt this could be helpful.
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#3
Well strumming I definitely do both. Like for instance I'm learning a solo at the moment and individually notes I pluck upwards.

And yeah, for sweeps descending is a must, but I'm not really having a problem with that, it doesn't feel uncomfortable to descend downwards, just individual notes.

I'm asking because it will definitely be a tough habit to break.
#4
It's kind of akward, most people rely on mainly down strokes atleast when they're starting off. Alternate picking is usually the best way to go though, especially with soloing and fast playing, you need to alternate pick. But it's pretty much inevitable that someone leans towards one direction of picking.

If you think about it though, classical player play mostly with up strokes, but with their fingers of course. On single notes it doesn't really make much of a difference.

Doing arpeggios might be weird with all up strokes same with sweeps as he said, having all down strokes is a more flowing feel for them. And I'm sure covering some harder music may be awkward as well, you'll actually have to practice the picking patterns because most people write music starting on a down-stroke, and perhaps following that pattern with alternate picking, so I dnno.

When you strum chords do you do them with up strokes? Because if so that definitely will result in a different sound.
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#5
No not at all, I use both up and downstrokes with ease when playing chords.

I've covered some intermediate stuff, but nothing that makes me need to start picking alternately. Guessing by that Hellraiser of yours my bet is you could give me a good recommendation or two that isn't too difficult. I can't really explain how good I am, but I can complete some Parkway Drive, As Blood Runs Black, Elysia, Bullet for My Valentine songs and do an alright job. I've been playing for almost two years, if that helps.
#6
Although you might be able to do songs without alternate picking that doesn't mean you should. Your playings gonna be a lot smoother with alternate picking.

But some good songs to practice alternate picking on?

Iron maiden - Different worlds
Iron Maiden - Wasted years
Pantera - Cowboys from hell
Metallica - Attitude (practice muted down stroke power chords)
Sum 41 - Still waiting (Down up down triplets for the verse)
Lamb of God - Laid to rest
Velvet Revolver - Slither
Dick Dale - Miserlou


I could go on and on, but personally I'd just start doing scales runs with alternate picking.
Heres the exercise I used when I was first trying to improve my alternate picking. It's just the major chord followed by 2 octaves of the scaled ascending and descending then you move up 1 fret to the next key and do it again.

Example:
----------------------- E-Major ----------------------------------------
E|----0----------------------------------------------2-4-5----5-4-3-----------------------------------------------|
B|----0--------------------------------------2-4-5--------------------5-4-2------------------------------------1--|
G|----1-----------------------------1-2-4-------------------------------------4-2-1----------------------------2--|
D|----2---------------------1-2-4-----------------------------------------------------4-2-1--------------------3--|
A|----2-------------0-2-4---------------------------------------------------------------------4-2-0------------3--|
E|----0-----0-2-4-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4-2-0----1--|

so next key would be E# major starting 1st fret E string.. 1 3 5 1 3 5 2 3 5 2 3 5 3 5 6 3 5 6...
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Last edited by GNRrocka at Sep 8, 2008,
#7
You should learn alternate picking for fast parts, but for slower parts, you can keep on picking with up-strokes, Marty Friedman does
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#9
I just want to say that E# is usually not used, because E# and F are the same thing...just to clear any possible confusion :p
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#10
E#- Fx- Gx- A#- B#- Cx- Dx. . . . How in the would could that be easier than the key signature F. . . where you only have to insert one flat, on the B string. . . . seriously, pero. . . (I'm sure you can tell this is a very sarcastic statement. I had to.)
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