Alternate Picking

Alternate picking is when you pick the strings using a down and up stoke of the plectrum. This is the most common picking method and is generally used for fast tempo music.

This is a lot quicker than just down stoke picking; however it can be hard to master as the up strokes don’t come as naturally as the down strokes.

If you continuously use alternate picking on one string at a fast rate than this picking method is called tremolo picking. I will cover tremolo picking in more detail on a future blog.

When playing in 4/4 you would count 1, 2, 3, 4. If you were playing a note on every beat of the bar then you would only us downward picking. If you were playing on the beat and off beat then you would pick the note using alternate picking. First you would change the way you count to, 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +. The down strokes would still be on the 1,2,3,4 and the up strokes would be on the +.

As I mention earlier the up stokes can be difficult to master so I recommend listening and learning a Reggae song. Reggae music is more than often played on the off beats (or the +) so for most parts of the songs the guitarist is picking the strings upwards rather than the more common down picking.

As you have probably noticed the way you pick the strings can have a massive effect on your sound and feel of the notes that you are playing. Make sure that you really master the up strokes so that you can get them sounding as natural as possible.

Hope this has helped you and hopefully now you will be able to use this method within your playing.

TG Guitar Lessons

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