Speed Up Your Soloing. Vol 2: Part II - Economy Picking

While the previous lesson was about a fretting hand technique (Legato with open strings), this lesson here is about a picking hand technique - Economy Picking.

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Welcome to the second lesson of "Speed Up Your Soloing. Vol II". Today I'm going to show you a picking technique called Economy Picking. 1. What is Economy Picking? Basically, Economy Picking is just a combination of Alternate and Sweep Picking. But saying "just a combination of Alternate and Sweep Picking" is not a very good description of it, because the techniques are used in a special system: If you stay on one string, you just do Alternate Picking, but when you go to another string, you use Sweep Picking. These techniques combined this way are called "Economy Picking" because you're being economical with your picking hand movement. So this technique is a very good shred picking technique. 2. Getting into Economy Picking Now I'm going to show you how the technique really works. Here's a very basic excercise twice, the first one is played with Alternate Picking and the second one with Economy Picking. n = downstroke v = upstroke
E-------------------------------1-2-3-I 
B-------------------------1-2-3-------I
G-------------------1-2-3-------------I
D-------------1-2-3-------------------I
A-------1-2-3-------------------------I
E-1-2-3-------------------------------I
  n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v n v
 
E-------------------------------1-2-3-I
B-------------------------1-2-3-------I
G-------------------1-2-3-------------I
D-------------1-2-3-------------------I
A-------1-2-3-------------------------I
E-1-2-3-------------------------------I
  n v n n v n n v n n v n n v n n v n
Important: Don't try to play it too fast!! Start out slowly!! Maybe the run with Economy Picking will feel a little weird at first. Economy Picking is a technique you have to get used to, but when you get it down, it allows you to play extremely fast. 3. Economy Picking Licks and Runs The easiest way to use the Economy Picking is on a 3-note-per-string run. A good example is the A minor scale, ascending and descending:
ascending:
E--------------------------------7-8-10-I
B-------------------------6-8-10--------I
G-------------------5-7-9---------------I
D-------------5-7-9---------------------I
A-------5-7-8---------------------------I
E-5-7-8---------------------------------I
  n v n n v n n v n n v n n v n  n v n
 
descending:
E-8-7--------------------------------I
B-----10-8-6-------------------------I
G------------9-7-5-------------------I
D------------------9-7-5-------------I
A------------------------8-7-5-------I
E------------------------------8-7-5-I
  n v  v n v v n v v n v v n v v n v
Of course you can also use it on other scales and on more complex runs. One on my favourites is from the Yngwie Malmsteen song "Overture 1622" It's a very long one, and it uses the B harmonic minor scale. But some string changes here are also done with alternate picking, and at the end there's also some legato. n = downstroke v = upstroke h = hammer on p = pull off
E------------------------------------------------------------I
B------------------------------------------------------------I
G---------------------------------------9-11-12----9-11-12---I
D-------------------------------9-11-12---------12---------9-I
A-----------------7-9----7-9-10------------------------------I
E-6-7-9-10-7-9-10-----10-------------------------------------I
  n v n v  n v n  n v v  n v n  n v  n  n v  n  v  n v  n  v 
 
E------------------------------15-14-12----------15p14p12h14h15-14h15p14-I
B---------------11-12-14-12-11----------15-14-12-------------------------I
G-------9-11-12----------------------------------------------------------I
D-11-12------------------------------------------------------------------I
A------------------------------------------------------------------------I
E------------------------------------------------------------------------I
  n  v  n v  n  n  v  n  v  n  n  v  n  v  n  v  n              v
As you see, there is no strict economy picking here, but if it's possible, it's used. And runs like this can really help to build up speed. OK, that's it. I hope this lesson was helpful. If you have any questions, just send me a message. The next lesson will be about other really interesting ways to combine Alternate and Sweep Picking. See you then. Bye.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    DeadxEndxEmpty
    I don't know why so many players think economy picking is hard. It's actually the easiest technique if you just keep you pick hand relaxed.
    Cropire
    lol i used economy picking as my first soloing technique it is still one of my most used and favored shredding solo techniques
    sacamano79
    I started with economy, but now I do alternate picking exclusively. It seems to be what most of the pros do.
    turn_the_page93
    nice lesson man. funny story, ive been doin this for a long time, and anytime i heard the word economy picking, id just cringe thinkin it was hard lol
    beatrocker
    deafening wrote: i think i've been missing a technique! thanks man!
    No problem dude :
    Ravnica01
    i think alternate picking is alot harder and in my eyes alternate picking is useless as i have to keep thinking what im doing then