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> Alternate Picking Necessary For Me?
steve25
post Jun 4 2007, 12:53 PM
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Hi. I've heard that alternate picking can help people with speed but honestly i'm not interested in ever being a shred guitar player. sure i want to be quick enough but i honestly don't think that i'll ever want to shred. I'd like to be fast of course but not that fast i think it's overrated personally. Sometimes perhaps in soloing i'll play kind of fast for a few seconds and that's it so i was wondering is it really necessary for me to do alternate picking? I've been fine up until now not doing constant alternate picking why would i need to change?
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MickeM
post Jun 4 2007, 01:13 PM
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QUOTE (steve25 @ Jun 4 2007, 01:53 PM) *
Hi. I've heard that alternate picking can help people with speed but honestly i'm not interested in ever being a shred guitar player. sure i want to be quick enough but i honestly don't think that i'll ever want to shred. I'd like to be fast of course but not that fast i think it's overrated personally. Sometimes perhaps in soloing i'll play kind of fast for a few seconds and that's it so i was wondering is it really necessary for me to do alternate picking? I've been fine up until now not doing constant alternate picking why would i need to change?

Even if it's not for speed it adds a smooth kind of flow to the picking. I remember myelf learning it was difficult but if I hadn't I can see now, looking back, I wouldn't have developed as a player even close to where I am today.
It's like jumping on one leg for the rest of your life... why do that when (if) you have two legs? It's not effective at all.

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JOhn
post Jun 4 2007, 01:28 PM
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To answer your question no it isn't necessary is you want to play very slow. But try playing the intro to the stairway to heaven solo its impossible so get right without the down up picking you just cant get the song right and up to speed. So yes it is necessary for you even if i did say it wasn't.

And remember im not a pro, i just think i am one so don't take my word for everything.


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fkalich
post Jun 4 2007, 01:55 PM
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my view, yes, without that skill you will be seriously limited. however i am in the "don't need to do it all the time" crowd. i don't get analytical about it, really don't pay attention most of the time. i find myself doing it when it is appropriate. i learned to alternate pick here 3 months ago. it came natural to me quickly, second nature. i think you may find it the same way, one of those things that seems like it is going to be a real pain, but it is not so bad once you get used to it. sort of like losing your hair.
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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 4 2007, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE (fkalich @ Jun 4 2007, 08:55 AM) *
my view, yes, without that skill you will be seriously limited. however i am in the "don't need to do it all the time" crowd. i don't get analytical about it, really don't pay attention most of the time. i find myself doing it when it is appropriate. i learned to alternate pick here 3 months ago. it came natural to me quickly, second nature. i think you may find it the same way, one of those things that seems like it is going to be a real pain, but it is not so bad once you get used to it. sort of like losing your hair.


I'm about the same (including the part about the hair smile.gif) - I don't use it all the time, but adding speed picking runs into your soloing for a change can be extremely effective - and what is a few months in a lifetime of playing?

You can get by without a lot of things, but why limit yourself? Focus is good, picking a style and really practicing it is great, but not at the expense of everything else. In guitar playing, everything is connected, and I found that working on speedpicking improved my control in other areas as well.


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The Uncreator
post Jun 4 2007, 02:31 PM
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"Its better to be able to do it and not need it, than unable to do it and need it"

--Michael Angelo Batio
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JVM
post Jun 4 2007, 04:56 PM
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QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Jun 4 2007, 07:31 AM) *
"Its better to be able to do it and not need it, than unable to do it and need it"

--Michael Angelo Batio


He also said that since he's a lefty (like myself! woot) his right hand, and specifically his picking, was his weak spot. He noticed and I agree with him that improving on your weak spots will improve your playing overall, very dramatically. I've only been alternate picking practicing about a week or so but it's already given me new tools and even helped my left hand a bit. I don't have intentions of shredding 24/7, but I do want to be able to have the skill so that I can do anything I want. And improving your playing, even if you never take it to that level, can never hurt.

So I'd say, give it a shot because it will help your playing overall even if you don't want to shred.


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steve25
post Jun 4 2007, 05:41 PM
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Ok thanks it's all very well that it will improve playing but how? Honestly i don't see how alternate picking will make you a better player if you can so far pick fast enough. I don't usually do things for the hell of it because i'm told to unless i know why especially in guitar playing so sorry if i seem fussy
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JVM
post Jun 4 2007, 06:04 PM
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Well for example, you can get kind of a cool effect that isn't really shredding, but is something you can't do with just downward picking, you just cant pick fast enough. I don't know what kind of music you listen to, but try Bruce Springsteen's "Cover Me", the solo in that, "Reena" by Sonic Youth, or "Knights of Cydonia" by Muse. Even if you aren't looking for alt-picking examples that aren't shred runs, they're all awesome songs to listen to anyway laugh.gif

So by saying that alternate picking isn't necessary, think about legato. Necessary? No. Will it make you faster? Yes, but it also has a very distinctive effect besides just making you faster, that you cannot achieve otherwise, which is probably the main reason we use legato (well, for us that aren't exclusive shredders). It's the same with alt picking. It will make you faster, but it also just as importantly has a very sweet effect that you can't get otherwise. So why limit yourself?

This post has been edited by JVM: Jun 4 2007, 06:05 PM


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mattacuk
post Jun 4 2007, 08:38 PM
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Personally, I think yes its nessacary to always alternate pick! as mentioned above, you will limit your progress in the long run. If you dont alternate pick, you ruin the flow of the peice your playing!!

I started from scratch alternate picking, as Kris advised - and i can tell you what, its the BEST advice i could have received. Everyday my playing is excelling! Shred or no shred, try playing something advanced without correct technique and it just wont be as it should be.

Take Gabi's awsome lessons for example, there not all "shred" style songs, but they still use alternate picking!
Wether im Shredding, improviseing, playing a mellow solo, i alternate pick. Infact, i dont know how to do anything else now!

My advice to you, learn to alternate pick always and you will be on your way to pro playing! smile.gif

Oh and just a quick note!; I notice you associate alternate picking with speed/shred! alternate picking can be used as slow of fast as you like. Its about flow, accuracy and CONTROL!

This post has been edited by mattacuk: Jun 4 2007, 08:41 PM


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 4 2007, 09:29 PM
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QUOTE (mattacuk @ Jun 4 2007, 03:38 PM) *
Oh and just a quick note!; I notice you associate alternate picking with speed/shred! alternate picking can be used as slow of fast as you like. Its about flow, accuracy and CONTROL!


Yes, I think you nailed the essential point there Matt smile.gif


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mattacuk
post Jun 4 2007, 09:44 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Jun 4 2007, 09:29 PM) *
Yes, I think you nailed the essential point there Matt smile.gif


See, i really do listen to GMC instructors! After all, if they rock so can we! biggrin.gif


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MickeM
post Jun 4 2007, 09:51 PM
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Yes, very good point mattacuk!

And spinning off on that - Being able to pick very fast and, to borrow mattacuk's words, in CONTROL. That will make it a lot easier to perform "fast enough" which was the primary goal for steve25


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