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#1
Hi,

When I started playing guitar, a friend of mine taught me the alternate picking technique.
"ALWAYS use up-down-up-down!", he told me.

I did this for a very long time, very strictly.
But as I started to play faster, and started doing some sweeping and such, things changed.

I've gone from alternate picking to economy picking without even noticing.
I guess that's because it feels more natural to me.
So lately I've intentionally practiced economy picking.

Is this a good or a bad thing? Economy picking equals lesser movements... but are there any downsides to it?

Is this a step in the wrong or right direction?


D----------------6-7-9-7-6-----------------
A---------5-7-8------------8-7-5----------
E--5-7-8--------------------------8-7-5--
  
--D-U-D--D-U-D--D-U-D-U-D--U-D-U--U-D-U-

^ how I play

I'm sorry, I'm sure such a topic has been made before. I'm an attention*****, so I didn't care for the search function.
#2
I'm no expert by far but I think the easiest, most comfortable way to play something is the right way. That doesn't mean that one is better than the other.

If you have a 3-nps pattern like that, then hell yeah economy pick it. If you have some random ass crap goin on then you might want to alternate pick.
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#3
I think you play right picking pattern...Im self-taught though so I dont have to be right but honestly I thin I am...
#4
well theres no right or wrong way. Personally i do the alternate picking. Paul GIlbert states that you can control the dynamics of the picking better. WIth economy picking i think its possible to go faster than alternate picking. Its good to become experienced with both, but you will have to stick to one the majority of the time.
#5
Its a matter of personal preference. Neither is right or wrong. Personally, I'm a strict alt picker, but there are some badass players out there that use economy picking.
#6
Quote by Mazzaroth
Hi,

When I started playing guitar, a friend of mine taught me the alternate picking technique.
"ALWAYS use up-down-up-down!", he told me.



Your friend is simply wrong.

Alternate picking is one of many styles of picking. It is appropriate for many situations, but not all. I would highly recommend that you don't alternate pick EVERYTHING. Use the type of picking that is appropriate for the situation, based not only on efficiency, but more importantly on the way it sounds.

Economy picking is not in any way a bad habit. It's a particular technique. Nothing more, nothing less.
shred is gaudy music
#7
Quote by Mazzaroth

I've gone from alternate picking to economy picking without even noticing.


That's the only real problem -- being asleep at the wheel.

I'd argue alternate is more fundamental, but either is an effective technique. And
techniques are most effective in playing when you INTEND for them to be used. Not
when they just happen.
#8
Dont strictly use alt picking, for a starters.
If you play metal, if you can, youre gonna want to use down strums, its more agressive.
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#9
Quote by edg
That's the only real problem -- being asleep at the wheel.

I'd argue alternate is more fundamental, but either is an effective technique. And
techniques are most effective in playing when you INTEND for them to be used. Not
when they just happen.



Personally, when it comes to making music, I find myself focusing on the sound I want rather than the particular technique used to create it.

To do this you do have to spend time practicing the various techniques, that way when it comes time to play you can just focus on the " sonic" aspects, and let your hands do their job. so in that sense they do " just happen".

But in defense of your point, I don't think you could do that if you didn't spend some time focusing on technique before hand.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 26, 2008,
#10
Quote by pandasxsharpies
Dont strictly use alt picking, for a starters.
If you play metal, if you can, youre gonna want to use down strums, its more agressive.

But if you're going to economy pick, don't you need to alternate pick to get a feel for picking evenly, then economy pick to get across strings faster (supposedly)?

Down strums are more aggressive, but only when you pick with enough force. Like PG said, "Bigger movements make bigger sounds!"
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#11
^ not necessarily. I mean you're going to want to learn to alternate pick, but it's not necessarily required in order for you to utilize other picking styles.

what it comes down to is using the appropriate picking style for the sound you want. if you're playing a Metallica riff, there is a good chance that you want to do all down strokes and palm mute. alternate picking will give you a different sound that may not be appropriate for the particular riff.

Listening ( what it sounds like) is as important a factor in your choice for picking style, as any kind of efficiency considerations are. There is certainly no order that you absolutely have to learn them in.
shred is gaudy music
#12
Quote by GuitarMunky
Personally, when it comes to making music, I find myself focusing on the sound I want rather than the particular technique used to create it.


Well, personally I find that playing is an interaction of both the sound and technique and
at some level of playing the two cannot be separated. But, we've been over that before
so there's not real need to rehash that again.

My point here was that if there's no rudder on your boat, so to speak, you may get someplace, but not necessarily where you intend to go. You're giving up your destiny to "whatever just happens".

If you intentionally focus on your alternate picking and intentionally focus on your
economy picking, you'll likely have a wider range of ability when you want to say
something in playing. There's no reason to make this an either/or situation as it seems
people frequently do.
#13
Quote by edg
Well, personally I find that playing is an interaction of both the sound and technique and
at some level of playing the two cannot be separated. But, we've been over that before
so there's not real need to rehash that again.

My point here was that if there's no rudder on your boat, so to speak, you may get someplace, but not necessarily where you intend to go. You're giving up your destiny to "whatever just happens".

If you intentionally focus on your alternate picking and intentionally focus on your
economy picking, you'll likely have a wider range of ability when you want to say
something in playing. There's no reason to make this an either/or situation as it seems
people frequently do.


I don't think that we really disagree all that much, if at all. My point was just that if you focused on the techniques during "practice time", then when it comes time to play you can focus more on the music and let the technique happen. That doesn't mean that "whatever happens just happens", it's a matter of focusing on the sonic ( which you are controlling), and letting your self do whatever techniques are necessary to create that sonic outcome.
shred is gaudy music
#14
I can't see the point of economy picking, then again, I'm in the Al Di Meola and Steve Morse school of thought :P
#15
^ The point is, it gives you a particular sound that alternate picking doesn't. If you're not interested in getting that sound, you won't really need to economy pick. It's just another technique. Nothing more, nothing less.
shred is gaudy music
#17
Quote by GuitarMunky
^ The point is, it gives you a particular sound that alternate picking doesn't. If you're not interested in getting that sound, you won't really need to economy pick. It's just another technique. Nothing more, nothing less.

Tell that to Shawn Lane's alternate picking
#18
Quote by Orbit91
Tell that to Shawn Lane's alternate picking


What do you mean? this has nothing to do with Shawn Lanes alternate picking.

Alternate picking is a particular technique that sounds a particular way, so is economy picking, so is tapping, so is finger picking.............. they are all techniques.

Use the ones that are appropriate for the sound you are trying to get.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 26, 2008,
#19
Quote by SilverDark
But if you're going to economy pick, don't you need to alternate pick to get a feel for picking evenly, then economy pick to get across strings faster (supposedly)?

Down strums are more aggressive, but only when you pick with enough force. Like PG said, "Bigger movements make bigger sounds!"

Or like Mr. Vai said
"More is Better"

EDIT: Also, im an economy picker.
Although i use legato a lot... when im not using legato i use economy picking.
#20
Quote by GuitarMunky
What do you mean? this has nothing to do with Shawn Lanes alternate picking.

Alternate picking is a particular technique that sounds a particular way, so is economy picking, so is tapping, so is finger picking.............. they are all techniques.

Used the ones that are appropriate for the sound you are trying to get.

He's got a very Legato/Smooth sound going on for his picking, I suggest you analyze it
#22
Quote by branny1982
^the point is that he may well have a unique sound using certain techniques, but different sounds will be attained using different techniques.

*Puts on Doctors scrubs* I concur.

You dont see many Blues players using sweep picking and 8 finger tapping do you?
And i dont think any Shred Guitarists could take a name like slow hands as a compliment.

Different styles require different techniques.
#24
Quote by Orbit91
He's got a very Legato/Smooth sound going on for his picking, I suggest you analyze it


Yeah, but is it easier to create that sound with eco? Hell yes.

Btw, Shawn's a very sneaky eco picker, and has extremely scary economy picking chops. Plus, he nearly never alternate picks an entire run - at least, not the smooth sounding ones.

Economy picking is a different way of approaching a particular type of string crossing - nothing more, nothing less. There's not a world of difference and a bit of both makes life a lot easier.

Be careful to be consistent in what you practice at various tempos, however, as many people practice with one picking style at one tempo and another at another - which just confuses your muscle memory! Be deliberate in your practice.
#25
Quote by Freepower
Yeah, but is it easier to create that sound with eco? Hell yes.

Btw, Shawn's a very sneaky eco picker, and has extremely scary economy picking chops. Plus, he nearly never alternate picks an entire run - at least, not the smooth sounding ones.

Economy picking is a different way of approaching a particular type of string crossing - nothing more, nothing less. There's not a world of difference and a bit of both makes life a lot easier.

It's certainly not a bad habit unless you're using it randomly and are unable to choose when and how to use it.

Of course I know he's a great economy picker
I used to economy pick like crazy, I was very fast, but I could barely accent or use dynamics in my picking, it almost made me give up Guitar, because of my lack of control, I still stuff the setbacks of it too
#26
Quote by Orbit91
You're preaching to the choir

Sorry about that, just agreeing with someone that had the same opinion.
Im not smacking a nun with a bible here. :P
#27
Quote by Orbit91
He's got a very Legato/Smooth sound going on for his picking, I suggest you analyze it


Im familiar with his sound. My point still stands. Each technique gives a different sound. Alternate picking doesn't sound like eco picking regardless of who plays it.

Quote by Freepower


It's certainly not a bad habit unless you're using it randomly and are unable to choose when and how to use it.



it's not a bad habit period. Its a technique.... nothing more nothing less.

Quote by Orbit91
but I could barely accent or use dynamics in my picking, it almost made me give up Guitar, because of my lack of control, I still stuff the setbacks of it too


Those issues are on you..... not the technique.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 26, 2008,
#28
Quote by GuitarMunky

Im familiar with his sound. My point still stands. Each technique gives a different sound. Alternate picking doesn't sound like eco picking regardless of who plays it.


it's not a bad habit period. Its a technique.... nothing more nothing less.


Those issues are on you..... not the technique.

You seem to be reading the wrong thing, I've never claimed any of these imaginary points you're trying to argue with.
#29
Although it's completely on preference, I'd suggest you get proficient at both. Being as you were a strict alt. picker before, all you have to do is to concentrate enough when playing to get back into that groove.
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#30
Quote by Orbit91
You seem to be reading the wrong thing, I've never claimed any of these imaginary points you're trying to argue with.


okay then, what is your point?
shred is gaudy music
#31
Quote by GuitarMunky
okay then, what is your point?

My point is, take your attitude and **** off with it.
#32
^ wise up.

Quote by GuitarMunky
it's not a bad habit period. Its a technique.... nothing more nothing less.


Excuse me, I meant people who would do stuff like practice a run differently depending on tempo - ie, eco pick it at high speeds but practice it slow, or people who accidently throw in an eco sweep and then end up messing up the rest of a run because all the "accents" are on the "wrong" pickstroke. That kind of thing. I'ma correct that original post.
#33
Quote by Orbit91
My point is, take your attitude and **** off with it.


I made valid points, it seems to me that you're the one with the attitude. If you have a point to make about economy picking go-ahead, otherwise there really isn't anything else to say.

Quote by Freepower
Excuse me, I meant people who would do stuff like practice a run differently depending on tempo - ie, eco pick it at high speeds but practice it slow, or people who accidently throw in an eco sweep and then end up messing up the rest of a run because all the "accents" are on the "wrong" pickstroke. That kind of thing. I'ma correct that original post.


That I can agree with.
shred is gaudy music
#34
Quote by GuitarMunky
I made valid points, it seems to me that you're the one with the attitude. If you have a point to make about economy picking go-ahead, otherwise there really isn't anything else to say.


That I can agree with.

The point is Economy Picking didn't work for ME, I'm not saying it won't work for others.
Like you said, it's a technique and nothing else, but it's different strokes for different folks.
#35
You've learned picking the proper way. I always tell people to learn alternate picking and master it before they transition to economy picking. Both techniques are valid ways to play, but you should and have learned alternate picking first, which is great.
#36
Quote by Orbit91
The point is Economy Picking didn't work for ME, I'm not saying it won't work for others.
Like you said, it's a technique and nothing else, but it's different strokes for different folks.


Well, I would say that it's not a matter of a particular technique working for you, but rather a matter of you becoming proficient at, and being able to utilize that particular technique.

Anyway, you originally said that you don't see a reason for economy picking. I gave a simple reason: it offers a particular sound that can be gotten any other way. This is true for alternate picking, or any particular technique or style of picking.


Quote by Orbit91
it's different strokes for different folks.


that's true, literally.

Quote by bangoodcharlote
You've learned picking the proper way. I always tell people to learn alternate picking and master it before they transition to economy picking. Both techniques are valid ways to play, but you should and have learned alternate picking first, which is great.


oh boy, let's not get into this " proper" crap again. no offense, I'm all for learning alternate picking, but as far as it being " proper" to "master" 1st..... I'm sorry I just don't subscribe to that. It's not a bad way to go, but it's not the only way to go either.

In my opinion, you work on the technique that gives you the sound that you're looking for, or that is necessary to play a particular piece of music. there are all sorts of ways to articulate notes on a guitar. Alternate picking is one of them, but is by no means a prerequisite for mastering all of the other techniques.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 26, 2008,
#37
Quote by GuitarMunky
oh boy, let's not get into this " proper" crap again. no offense, I'm all for learning alternate picking, but as far as it being " proper" to " master" first..... I'm sorry I just don't subscribe to that. It's not a bad way to go, but it's not the only way to go either.
We'll avoid argument, but it should be noted (again) that I'm all for learning to economy pick.
#38
Quote by bangoodcharlote
You've learned picking the proper way. I always tell people to learn alternate picking and master it before they transition to economy picking. Both techniques are valid ways to play, but you should and have learned alternate picking first, which is great.

Heh, I guess I'm doing something right on Guitar for once.
#39
Quote by bangoodcharlote
We'll avoid argument, but it should be noted (again) that I'm all for learning to economy pick.


Well, I don't argue either I'll just say that...........
I'm for learning any techniques that you want, in whatever order makes sense according to your musical goals.
shred is gaudy music
#40
Quote by Mazzaroth
Hi, Is this a good or a bad thing? Economy picking equals lesser movements... but are there any downsides to it?

It's a good thing, and no, there aren't any downsides.

Practicing both techniques will give you the versatility you need to overcome certain licks that you may come across, certain licks that will be ambiguous to both picking styles.

Btw, the following quote is the most important in this whole thread....and that's not just cuz it came from this guy.

Quote by Freepower
Be careful to be consistent in what you practice at various tempos, however, as many people practice with one picking style at one tempo and another at another - which just confuses your muscle memory! Be deliberate in your practice.

I have to admit, I'm very much an alt picker, but there are some licks like a certain pentatonic lick in Sweet Child O Mine that requires eco picking, Monkey Boy will know what I'm on about since he did a video lecture on that solo.

So I just sat down, and worked at it, now it's there.
Last edited by mdc at Oct 27, 2008,
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