> To (alternate) Pick, Or Not To (alternate) Pick, Is it really worth the effort!!!! (I already know the
post Feb 18 2009, 01:55 PM
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Learning Roadie

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Hi Marcus,
I have a question which may seem a bit daft - but I'll ask it anyway.
I've been playing the guitar for a number of years, (I daren't say how many!), and I did the old trick of getting stuck in a practicing rut, just messing about with the minor pentatonic in a couple of positions, and basically getting absolutely nowhere. I wasted a lot of time!!
Then I discovered GMC, and I've learned more in the past six months than I did in all those wasted years. (Isn't that Maiden!). I'm primarily 'into' rock and heavy metal, but also love the blues. Anyway, I decided to stop mucking about and concentrate on the blues stuff on GMC, as it seems a little easier to get to grips with than all the genres with their somewhat more complicated scales. It's coming on very well, and I'm concentrating on mixing the major and minor pentatonics at the moment, and also trying to 'slip in' bits of major and minor. (I'm getting to the point, honest...). As I said, I also love HM, and especially Neo-classical, i.e. Malmsteen, Symphony-X, Dream Theatre, etc, so I practice exercises based on this stuff when I fancy a break from the blues.
I've been practicing alternate picking, starting off very slowly and building up the speed, and, even though I say so myself, I can get up quite a good speed without making too many mistakes.
Ok, I'm finally there...I've noticed that in a lot of these exercises, which (obviously) consist of ascending or descending scale runs, I can play them just as well, if not better, just using hammer-ons and pull-offs. I've even asked people which version they prefer - the alternatively picked or the hammer-on/pull-off, and a lot say the hammer-on/pull-off.
Is it worth spending ages learning alternate speed picking when it sounds just as good with hammer-on/pull-off?(!)
Apart from personal preference, is there a good technical reason why we should choose to play a piece using one method over the other, apart from that the alternate picking method produces runs where each individual note is 'separate' from the rest, even if it's for a mere fraction of a second?
I suppose that if I want to save time, I'll stick to hammer-ons/pull-offs (legato?), but will I come unstuck in the future if I don't perfect alternate picking, considering the kind of stuff I want to play?
Sorry this a bit lengthy, but I have to know!!!!!!!

Thanks a lot,
Kevin. tongue.gif

This post has been edited by kevvyg: Feb 18 2009, 02:06 PM
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post Feb 18 2009, 02:03 PM
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when you practice you do it for yourself to get better.. Alternate picking is a very important thing to know, especially if your a metalhead.. Practice alternate picking and legato..
If you are going to play metal riffs, youll need alternate picking.

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