I'm switching from economy picking to alternate picking?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by regotheamigo, May 18, 2006.


  1. regotheamigo

    regotheamigo Member

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    Its a slow process, but it seems to me that It sounds better all around. Its just sooooooo damm awkward right now that its driving me nuts. Before when I would do alternate picking, when going from one string to the next I would either just do a downstroke if I was accending to the higher strings and do a upstoke to the next string if I was doing a decending lick. If that makes sense:p But it seems to me when I do it right, my playing is a lot smoother sounding and it doesn't have that choppy phrasing like Jimmy Page. I started doing this because I am taking lessons from a well known studio player, who also teaches at M.I, and was explaining to him that my right hand, especially my thumb gets real fatigued when picking, and he told me that what I am doing is actually harder and causes a lot of strain on your hand. He seems to be right, because the more I do strict alternatate picking the less my hand hurts. I am also experimenting with circle picking, and that makes a world of differance with playing fast clean passages. Now I know how Eric Johnson does it. Anyway don't mean to ramble on, but just curious if others out there have had to switch there technique around after years of playing another way. Its really like having to learn to walk again.
     
  2. Shredcow

    Shredcow Member

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    Me...

    Its TORTURE trying to move to strict alternate picking. The moment I try to speed up, it all goes to wack. Been an economy/legato picker all my life!
    But at the end of the day... I think Economy picking is better for me. I love the smoothness and the fact I can go absolutely crazy with mini sweeps everywhere ala Gambale.
     
  3. regotheamigo

    regotheamigo Member

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    Yeah I know what you mean as far as it being torture. I am not saying that I want to turn in to the Dream Theatre dude that is soooo strict with his alternate picking that it starts to sound boring. I really just want to apply it when picking ALL the notes at blazing speeds. If I am doing more of a legato thing I'll mix and match. Its funny that you say your economy picking is smooth sounding, because I always felt like it had a choppy sound to it when I did it, but then again I am not into the whole sweeping thing.
     
  4. Shredcow

    Shredcow Member

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    hmmm.... i thought alternate picking would have that choppy sound to it since its got a lot of note emphasis due to the way its done?

    Hahaha... i hear you on that boring Dream Theater dude. :) He's a great, technical player but man... its kind of tiring after a while.

    There's always Rusty Cooley for over the top alternate picking. Steve Morse with his alternate picked arpeggios.
     
  5. regotheamigo

    regotheamigo Member

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    I am more into the Eric Johnson type pentatonic picking. I want my playing to be fast, but not to the point were you just bore the crowd to death with 8 million notes of blurring crap LOL Steve Morse would probably be a great person to learn from though when it comes to really nailing down the alternate picking thing.
     
  6. e-z

    e-z Member

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    Hey rego,

    Who are you taking lessons from?

    ez
     
  7. rotren

    rotren Member

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    I find that for me it works best by mixing techniques. I use alternate picking, sweep picking, hybrid picking, chicken picking and legato-style hammer-on and pull-offs. I find it gives me more variety in sound.

    It's very impressive to hear Steve Morse, Pat Martino, etc, but I could never get that technique down, so instead, I mix a bit of everything!
     
  8. regotheamigo

    regotheamigo Member

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    His name is Jeff Kollman. He is the most versatile player I have ever seen. Just watching the dude at his house play threw a clean amp is inspiring to say the least. He can play jazz, country, rock, blues, and can shred like there is no tomorrow. All while making it VERY musical. Check his site out. Also he has 3 or 4 albums on Itunes if you want to download stuff.

    www.jeffkollman.com
     
  9. e-z

    e-z Member

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    Thanks rego.

    ez
     
  10. rgsss14

    rgsss14 Gold Supporting Member

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    Wow- I thought I was the only one with this problem - I was an economy picker for 20+ years and yeah, it's good for some things, but it really is not as clean and defined as true alternate picking. After 6 months of occasional pain, I think I'm getting there slowly. I actually much prefer it now. About 4 months into it I switched to the small V-pick and believe it or not, it has made a difference!

    EJ I think has a circular motion that he gets with bending the knuckle of his thumb, but I still think he purely alternately picks - true circular picking involves some economy strokes, I think.

    What worked? This is the painful part - I had to start off sloooooowww - at turtle speed.

    Any other thoughts or advice on this would be appreciated!:D
     
  11. Srini

    Srini Guest

    Are you guys referring to sweep picking as economy picking?

    Srini
     
  12. rgsss14

    rgsss14 Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes, if you count sweep picking on 2 strings as a true sweep... when I think of "sweep picking" I am thinking of three or more strings....

    I guess "economy picking" is sweep picking on 2 strings....
     
  13. Srini

    Srini Guest

    Well, in that case, why not extend your sweep picking to all 6 strings since you already have a feel for how it should be done?

    Srini
     
  14. rgsss14

    rgsss14 Gold Supporting Member

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    I have done that in a true "sweep" -

    But imagine a typical 3 note per string lick, ascending... with economy picking, it would be down-up-down-down (the mini-sweep) as opposed to the typical down-up-down-up (the last "up" requiring a string crossover, the most difficult thing for a tried and true economy picker to master..)
     
  15. DJLantz444

    DJLantz444 Senior Member

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    I just do whatever the line I'm playing calls for most easily.
     
  16. 900

    900 Member

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    Use everything - technique-wise. Some things can be played better using AP, for other things it's EP or partial sweeps. In the end, basically it's a mix of all those techniques together.
    :BEER
     
  17. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Yeah, where is it written you have to use one picking technique? The more, the merrier....
     
  18. Poppa Stoppa

    Poppa Stoppa Member

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    I think you are right. I've seen others make the same decision. Alternate picking sounds better because it's the internal metronome in your hand. With economy picking it's harder to make your lines groove with the beat. The longer I play, the more important I think the groove is. With alternate picking you can set up eighths, swung eighths, sixteenths, whatever, and adjust to on top of the beat, slightly ahead, slightly behind.
     
  19. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Guest

    What the hell is economy picking?

    I'm not understanding how a thumb gets fatigued holding a pick unless you are really strangling that thing.
     
  20. rgsss14

    rgsss14 Gold Supporting Member

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    I guess economy picking is "the next easiest place for the pick to go"

    For example, play a 3 note run on the 6th string down-up-down. Your pick is already in the downward motion when you hit the 5th string, so that three note pattern on the 5th would be down-up-down as well -
    so the 6 note lick is down-up-down-down-up-down.

    Those 2 downstrokes in a row, I guess, defines the "economy" part of the run. Again, one could work up to some speed using this technique, but it really doesn't sound as clean and "as in the groove" as true alternate picking.

    Did that sound right?
     

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