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Thread: alternate picking

  1. #1
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    alternate picking

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    hey

    it's been five years of itense learning and complex playing, but now i gotta go back to the bases i left after 2 months of playing, those stupid scales, to develop speed. (by saying stupid scales i mean i hate practicing them, but i understand and acclame theory)

    i think i have a problem with picking.

    what i do:
    d u d u d d u d d u d d u d u (down up...)
    ------------------------------2-3
    -------------------------3-5-----
    -------------------2-4-5---------
    -----------2-4-5-----------------
    -----2-3-5-----------------------
    -3-5-----------------------------

    am i wrong thinking i should do always d u d u d u d u ?????

    feels like i'm a beginner when playing this way, but if that's the way to go, i'll have to learn it the hard way!

    hoping for some quick reply

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    Hey wannabe,
    When alternate picking is executed correctly it should be picked as the name states "ALTERNATE PICKING". When scales are played using this method you keep the pattern of down, up, down, up etc going as you move onto each string. Also when a particular scale pattern calls for three notes or more on the same string you should still use down, up, down, up etc.

    This alternate picking may confuse at times because as you ascend and descend through the scales you will at times pick the first note on a string upwards and then the first note on the next string downwards.

    Once you have alternate picking under your belt you can play with more speed (if that is your thing) as it takes less effort and time to alternate pick than to pick a note downwards then lift the pick up ready for another down stroke.

    A nice slow approach making sure each note is picked and fretted cleanly is more beneficial than trying to pick fast and have notes not sounding clearly. Learning correctly the first time around will save you undoing bad habits formed by incorrect technique.

    Once the alternate picking technique is used and grasped it will become second nature in your playing and you will find it hard "NOT" to alternate pick correctly.


    Hope that helps!

    Kev.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorty
    Learning correctly the first time around will save you undoing bad habits formed by incorrect technique.

    i guess i'm f***ed since it's 5 years of not doing the right thing!

    but i realise how much trouble it is not to alternate between strings now

    thanks!

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    The technique you have adopted will not be too hard to discard if you practice the alternate picking correctly because the correct technique for alternate picking is easier than the wrong way. Just work on breaking that technique you have adopted of down, up, down, down and before you know it with practice as I stated before you will find it hard "NOT" to alternate pick.

    A nice smooth pivoting of the wrist on your picking hand will help in executing this style of picking.

    PRACTICE.... PRACTICE....PRACTICE....

    If you have the desire to pick with any speed (Which Im sure most of us guitarist do) this can only be achieved succesfully with alternate picking.

    Kev

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    Old habits are hard to break, especially the bad ones. When I first started playing I took a few lessons then moved on (mostly self taught) for years before taking any more lessons. A number of things were quickly brought to my attention that I was (and sometimes still do) doing wrong. I had to relearn several things and it took extra time, I had to unlearn my way of doing things in order to learn the correct way. Learning new techniques takes time and practice, don't give up. If I can learn a new or better way of doing things...anyone can. The key is patience and practice.
    The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know. [url]http://www.soundclick.com/sixfeetover[/url]

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    i,ve found a way not to do it the wrong way, i just exagerrate the wrist movement a lot, but no speed for me right now cuz it gets back to the old habbit

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    And always remember that there really is no right or wrong way, there are just more and less effective and efficient ways. Style often springs from "wrong" ways of playing. Stevie Ray Vaughn, for example, often played notes by hitting all six strings and damping the ones he didn't want to play. Leo Kotke has said in many interviews that he was too lazy to learn how to play "correctly", so he invented his own technique.

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    I find a kind of cool exercise is to purposely play your scales with different picking patterns. For instance pick dudu...(normal). Then try purposely starting on an up and alternate all fo the way through the scale. It will feel really wierd and your hand will want to correct itself, but practice the scales up and down the neck that way. Hell even try all downs, all ups (also really unnatural, but worth practicing), uudd, dduu, any combo you can think of. Of course, breaking the original bad habit should probably be the first priority. that will happen quicker than you think. within a few days, I bet, if you stick to the prax.

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    yeah it's getting better and better, but i still have to think of the first movement of every strings. I'll probably integrate it soon

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    Alternate picking obviously works easiest when you have the same amount of notes per string. But since that's not really feasable, it becomes quite difficult and requires much practice. Many players have never spent the time required to get it down correctly. It's worth it. Practice, practice, practice.



    Then learn sweep picking!

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