How to Boost Alternate Picking Speed and Accuracy

Players will always encounter difficulty when branching out to multi-string alternate picking. String crossing certainly throws a spanner in the works - here I present to you a simple way to prevail!

Ultimate Guitar
Because of the strict "up & down" nature of alternate picking, players will encounter difficulty when attempting multi-string playing because the picking always remains the same regardless of what passage/lick is being played. Sometimes the picking direction for a string cross can seem downright illogical! Especially if you come from an economy picking background.

A player must master all of the ways in which a string can be crossed in order to become proficient at alternate picking.

Classic Muted Exercise

If the above example is started with a downstroke then "outside picking" is encountered. The pick will be striking on the "outside" of the string pair.

If however you start with an upstroke then "inside picking" will be encountered. This time the pick feels "trapped" as it strikes the inside of the string pair.

I decided to combine these both into one exercise for you. No matter what pick stroke you start with, you will encounter "inside picking" and "outside picking":

Check out the video lesson for this exercise here!

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About the Author:
By Alfred Potter

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Cool exercise. For an extra challenge you can play it on the 1st 3rd and 5th strings instead of the 1st 2nd and 3rd--and practice alternate picking and string-skipping at the same time.
    I train this based on music Fade To Black, from Metallica. Now I can play that part of that solo (that before I couldn't). But this exercise seems more efficient to learn this. Thanks!