Improving The Picking Technique

During your first few times playing the guitar, you will find yourself playing choppy music. That’s okay for beginners. But of course, you will need to work on the fluidity of your music. And this can be done by learning a picking technique called alternate picking. This technique calls for the use of the guitar pick in an alternating downward and upward motion. This helps in minimizing the wasted movement in turn, giving you faster and smoother playing.

A lot of people do not find it easy to learn alternate picking the first time. It really takes a lot of practice and getting used to before you can fully master the technique. There is a way for you to be able to improve your picking technique. But first, you have to realize the errors you are committing when it comes to the technique.

The first problem that you will definitely encounter when it comes to alternate picking is you will notice that you are picking a note that is in the opposite direction of the next string that you are going to play. For example, you are playing a down stroke on the G string. Your next stroke is an up stroke on the D string. Your pick has to run through a complicated path than if you pick the G on an upstroke and the D on a down stroke. So what can you do about this?

What people do not realize is they are preventing themselves from doing the more difficult move. What most people do is they hammer on to time the direction of their pick to a more comfortable and favorable one. Other people may just be using the pick to put the string in motion but would just be like to hammer on or pull off instead.

However, the important thing here is to be able to concentrate on what you need to do to be able to use a pretty versatile alternate picking method. Of course, you don’t want to limit the problem or the choice of notes that you can play. So the idea here is to concentrate on the solution to the problem.

The first thing you need to do is to practice going back and forth on two strings picking each in the opposite direction. For example, play a C on the 3rd string in the second position with a down stroke. Then play an E on the 4th string using an up stroke. Play these two repeatedly.

Then what you can do is to bring the C down a half step to make a B on the 3rd string. Play it with a down stroke. Follow it with an E on the 4th string with an upstroke. Play these two repeatedly.

You can play them in a more musical pattern by changing the B into an A. Make it a little bit symmetrical by changing the A back to a B to get a B, E, B, E pattern like the second one.

Of course, you can expect to take up less time in actually practicing than reading up on the technique. So try to absorb what you can now and go practice. Remember not to play too fast first. Again, the idea here is for you to get used to the technique first. Slowly increase your speed as you go by. There’s no need to rush. Perfect the technique first.

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