Introduction to Alternate Picking – Lesson 39

About Introduction to Alternate Picking – Lesson 39

Level: Intermediate

Introduction to Alternate Picking – Lesson 39

In this lesson we discuss the basics of alternate picking.

Syn’s Tips

I know that this can be very difficult because sometimes you are leading with Upstrokes, and sometimes you are leading with Downstrokes. Just be confident that you will get it, it just takes time!

Maybe some of you can share some Alternate Picking Exercises in the "Lesson Comments" section below that might help everyone out.

Lesson Comments

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Ale Algara
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Ale Algara I have been playing with economy for almost 8 years. before this one friend told me that I needed to practice alternate, I did but I feel slower in everything. Alternate and economy because I get confused using them both at the same time. Any advice?
Dan Shipway
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Dan Shipway Any tips on getting hands in sync, I have grasped the basics but when I get faster it tends to get pretty sloppy (Some notes don't ring out properly). Any help would be appreciated.
Ale Algara
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Ale Algara In my case, I use metronome, as slow as I can get it right, then turn up the speed (sorry for bad english)
Kyle Lowden
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Kyle Lowden Love these lessons. They seem to be helping a lot with my playing. Thanks Syn and Papa G.
Michael Bauer
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Michael Bauer Honestly, when I first picked up guitar and started learning and practicing I was just trying to learn songs I knew. My picking hand just naturally economy picking. Once I discovered the difference between the 2 (economy and alternate) I could not play in alternate picking what so ever going back up the neck. I economy pick ascending a scale and I alternate pic defending a scale. It's just what my hand did! However economy picking allows for much much faster picking for there is less movement involved yngwie malmsteen has said multiple times he never learned how to pick either of the 2 he just simply played. Also Check out Rick graham on YouTube. His economy economy picking is more developed than a 1st world country. His economy picking
Michael Bauer
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Michael Bauer Sorry about the typos
Mike Lawrence
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Mike Lawrence I practice the pentatonic scale playing three notes and coming back one (always alternating the picking). You can hear this pattern on Jim Morrison's (The Doors) "stoned immaculate" 0:08 to 0:13 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHNa_f28Q-s
Jon Deaton
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Jon Deaton Never noticed that I actually lead with upstrokes a lot unconsciously, after breaking down alternate picking it became so much more easier.
Alexis Coquard
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Alexis Coquard Thank you so much I really needed those lessons. I've played guitar for years but just realised I've been intuitively using economy picking all this time. Feels nice to challenge my brain and break habits. Thanks papa gates !
Tommy Eldredge
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Tommy Eldredge I really need to practice my economy picking. I've been self taught for 5 years just never could afford lessons and so of course like most people who are self taught picked up bad playing habits but one of them I didn't realize until I was scrolling through YouTube one day was all this time I thought I'd been alternate picking but I just naturally went to economy picking so especially the up strokes has been a struggle but I think I'm somewhat getting it down. Need to practice more to a click though.
Edward Williams
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Edward Williams if you got trouble with this say "up down up down" out loud as you play along, it helps.
Jhilou Kiera Madayag
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Jhilou Kiera Madayag Hi y'all! I am 14 and when I was practicing Alternative picking I used the song Stay Together For The Kids by Blink 182, I used the intro in it and used the alternative picking. It is really a big help because I have mastered my Alternative picking quicker than I thought. I think this might help for those who are starting, so go and download the tabs and practice. -Jhi
Zé Marques
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Zé Marques This. I think the most motivating think when learning a new technique is to find a song that uses it in the most simplest way. It gives you an objective to work towards to.
Kae Ng
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Kae Ng I realised that when I'm alternate picking I lead with downstrokes everytime, even when playing the 3 note per string pattern. Is this a habit which really should be corrected to improve my playing or is it just down to 'preference'? On a side note, really appreciate these lessons!
Zé Marques
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Zé Marques I think its an habit you should correct. I had that same habit for a few years and back then I thought that I could never play leads from A7x. But when I started to change that habit, it becomes easier to alternate between strings (but as always, it is hard in the begging) and once you feel that is easier, a lot more songs and solos stop being huge monsters of difficulty and become somewhat attainable to play (Did I make sense? I hope so. If not, please tell me)
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