Alternate picking

Alternate picking

Alternate picking is a guitar playing technique, used only by pick users, that employs strictly alternating downward and upward picking strokes in a continuous run, and is the most common method of plectrum playing. If this technique is performed on a single note at a high speed, then it may also be referred to as tremolo picking.

'Good' alternate picking involves a continuous down-up or up-down motion of the picking hand, even when not picking a note (except when the gap lasts longer than one full up-down motion). In this manner, an up-beat (such as an even-numbered eighth note or, at faster tempos, sixteenth note) will always be played with an upward picking stroke, while the down-beats are always played with downward picking strokes. This allows for fluid incorporation of legato-based notes such as hammer-ons and/or pull-offs in the middle of picked phrases.

The technique has many advantages and some disadvantages, largely depending on the licks the guitarist is attempting to play. For example, during fast passages, alternate picking is necessary in keeping the picking arm from tiring out. At very high tempos, alternate picking is virtually required, since techniques like downpicking are made highly infeasible.

Most scalar runs are most easily played using alternate picking. Similarly, the complex, syncopated rhythm guitar patterns found in death metal require a good alternate picking technique to play fast and accurately.

On the other hand, large arpeggios (especially those spanning more than one octave) are very difficult to play using pure alternate picking and almost impossible to play at great speeds, which is why many guitarists choose to employ sweep picking to play these arpeggios (eg. K.K. Downing, Frank Gambale & Mario Parga). Similarly, some kinds of licks are easier when played using such specialised techniques as legato, economy picking (a hybrid of alternate and sweep picking) or tapping.

Despite some of the well-known disadvantages of the technique, some guitarists (especially Al Di Meola and Steve Morse) emphasize the near-exclusive use of alternate picking, even in situations where another technique would be easier, claiming that pure alternate picking leads to a more consistent sound and allows for greater control of tone.

Alternate picking can be heard in almost all styles of picked guitar music, from jazz, bluegrass, to heavy metal. It is also very often used in a subgenre of heavy metal, thrash metal.

Victor Wooten uses his thumb for alternate picking, as displayed on his DVD "Super Bass Solo Technique".

Dick Dale is famous for his fast alternate picking technique.

External links

* [http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/guitar_techniques/alternate_picking_technique.html Alternate picking guitar lesson]

* [http://www.fretjam.com/alternate-picking.html Alternate Picking for Beginners]
* Video lessons:
** [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8phlDqunYo Alternate Pickings Pentatonic Shapes. From the popular free video series "Techniques With Todd"]
** [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9INVuVEMMCQ Alternate Picking on an Acoustic Guitar]
** [http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Alternate+Picking&search=Search More lessons]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alternate Picking — (engl. „alternate“ abwechselnd , und „picking“ Zupfen , mit den Fingern oder Plektrum anschlagen ) ist eine Form des Anschlags beim Gitarrespielen. Das „Picking“ (Zupfen) wird hierbei meist mit einem Plektrum durchgeführt. Das Alternate Picking… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alternate Picking —   [englisch/amerikanisch, ɔːl tɛːnət pɪkȖ], Plektrum …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Picking — can mean: * Various styles of guitar playing: **Fingerpicking **Flatpicking **Hybrid picking **Pattern picking **Alternate picking **Sweep picking **Tremolo picking * Continental knitting, a style of knitting also known as picking * Lock Picking …   Wikipedia

  • Alternate versions of Lex Luthor — As a fictional character, Lex Luthor has appeared in a number of media, from comic books to films and television series always an enemy of Superman. Each version of the work typically establishes its own continuity, and sometimes introduces… …   Wikipedia

  • Alternate versions of Green Goblin — As a fictional character, the Green Goblin has appeared in a number of media, from comic books to films and television series. Each version of the work typically establishes its own continuity, and sometimes introduces parallel universes, to the… …   Wikipedia

  • Economy picking — is a guitar playing technique, for a guitarist who uses a pick. A hybrid of sweep picking and alternate picking, economy picking involves using alternate picking except when changing strings. In this case the guitarist changes to sweep picking,… …   Wikipedia

  • Sweep-picking — is a technique used on the guitar in which a sweeping motion of the pick is combined with a matching fret hand technique in order to produce a specific series of notes which are fast and fluid in sound. Despite being commonly known as sweep… …   Wikipedia

  • Sweep Picking — (auch Sweeping oder manchmal auch Economy Picking genannt) ist eine Spieltechnik für die E Gitarre. Beim Sweep picking fegt der Spieler das Plektrum mit der Anschlaghand in eine Richtung über mindestens 2 Saiten. Sie wurde entwickelt, um… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tremolo picking — Tremolo picking, also known as alternate picking or double picking, describes the musical technique of picking on a guitar or other string instrument in which a single note is played repeatedly in quick succession. It can be achieved either with… …   Wikipedia

  • Lost, Picking Flowers in the Woods — Infobox Album | Name = Lost, Picking Flowers in the Woods Type = EP Artist = Black Moth Super Rainbow Released = September 6, 2005 (12 vinyl) April 11, 2006 (CD) Recorded = 2004 2005 Genre = Experimental Indie rock Synthpop Length = 20:38 Label …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”