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Thread: combining alternate picking with economy picking

  1. #1
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    combining alternate picking with economy picking

    i saw in John Petrucci's video that he used strict alternate picking. EricV also does strict alternate picking. Mike Campese also picks this way. they only stop doing alternate picking when sweeping is involved. wouldn't it be better to combine AP and EP?

    what if ur crossing a string. ur last stroke on the previous string was a downstroke and ur crossing to the high e from the b string for example. wouldn't it be easier to use a downstroke again? if ur last stroke was an up-stroke on the b string and u're crossing to high e u would of course do a down-stroke.

    this can even be applied to string-skipping. if ur last stroke on the low e was a downstroke and ur skipping to the d string wouldn't it be more effortless to do another downstroke? this would lessen the distance u're picking hand would have to travel and get rid of wasted motion right? of course, given the same skip if ur last stroke was an upstroke on the low e u'd pick with a downstroke on the d string.

    with these cases, i think u'd save a lot of effort when playing. what do u guys think?

  2. #2
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    wouldn't it be better to combine AP and EP?
    that is one of my technical goals ... seemless use of both when required.

    What i can do is of course a different story lol

    of course each person choses the approach he feels most comfortable with and the variety in approaches in the "big players" tells us there is no good and bad way ... but it tells us that anything works if put to good use
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

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    oh okay. thanks a bunch.

  4. #4
    Registered User ice 9's Avatar
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    i always use a mixture of alternate picking and economy, i didnt really need to practice this as it came natrually, it just seems like the most logical way to do it. I dont know if i should be working on strict alternate picking or sticking with what i do natrually. i would like to know if there are are any major advantages of strict alternate picking over a mixture of both

  5. #5
    Jazz Apprentice Factor's Avatar
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    What you are describing is infact called economy picking.

    If you think about it, it's impossible to economy pick on a single string. Repeated notes on a single string should always be alternate picked in my opinion. The differance bewteen strick alternate picking and economy picking is when changing strings.

  6. #6
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    Factor is absolutely correct. You are talking about economy picking.

    Both techniques are useful. I suggest learning both, but work on alternate first and add economy second. Timing issues can arise with economy picking so always practice with a metronome.

    People only care about how you sound, nobody really cares how you make the sounds. Use whatever tools are necessary (alternate, economy picking, hybrid, etc.)
    -Bizarro
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  7. #7
    I am not very nice DemonSorcerer's Avatar
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    Take a look at Gambale...he NEVER alternate picks strictly...he always uses economy picking for his scalar runs...he invented the whole economy/sweep picking technique...he even created a formula for it...If you want to check his theory, be sure to check his Monster licks video...he explains everything about it in that one...

    David

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    Quote Originally Posted by DemonSorcerer
    Take a look at Gambale...he NEVER alternate picks strictly...he always uses economy picking for his scalar runs...he invented the whole economy/sweep picking technique...he even created a formula for it...If you want to check his theory, be sure to check his Monster licks video...he explains everything about it in that one...

    David
    yeah, but demon, it seems to me from watching that video that the only purpose in that technique is to run up and down 3nps scale patterns and sweep arps. Which is really not what playing a meaningful solo is about.
    I used ep for years primarily, and it definitely held me back. In the last 6 months or so I have been a strict ap'er, and it has helped bunches.
    BAck to the debate, Troy stetina says to use both, but to "never" practice one lick in both styles at the same time...

  9. #9
    Weak Fingers MattW's Avatar
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    I dont think Frank Gambale actually invented it, I thought he just refined it (like EVH and tapping). I heard that Jimmy Page was an economy picker!

  10. #10
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Well, indeed, I use mainly strict AP, although I have dabbled with EP back when I was at the GIT.
    I have considered using it more, working on it in order to utilize it. It would take quite some time to get used to it now that I have been using AP for such a long time. Thatīs one thing that keeps me from getting into it too much.
    Also, while I tried it at the GIT, I found out two things I didnīt like too much:
    - It resulted in a smoother sound, at least for me, and that I wasnīt too fond of. When I use AP, I want that part I am playing with it to have the sound of alternate picking... I want it to sound more distinct, more like I am picking all the notes. Applying EP to some runs resulted in a sound that was more like legato. I want both techniques to sound different. Maybe once you really get good at EP, you can get a more agressive sound out of it while maitaining speed, but for me, it didnīt work that well. I donīt wanna discourage anyone who thought about using it though !
    - It made it harder for me to have all notes in my runs be in time. It was like I slipped ahead of the beat a tiny bit once I got to the consecutive downstrokes or upstrokes. I am pretty sure that that is just something you have to work on.

    Also, for some reason, I found myself adjusting whatever I wanted to play so it would work with EP. Meaning that if I wanted to hear a certain run, I would think "Well, I canīt play this with EP, cuz it has only 2 notes on that string"... so I added or deducted another note. I was compromising in order to use that technique, which I didnīt like too much.
    OF COURSE you can get great results using it, guys like Gambale and Kiko Loureiro being good examples. And it sure canīt hurt to be able to use both with ease, combine them and pick whateverīs better for whatever you wanna play.
    For me, I like to stick with strict AP, since it seems to be more reliable ( regarding number of notes per string etc ) etc.
    Just my opinion though. I encourage everyone to take a look at it and see what it can do for you !
    Eric

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    do u guys know anyone else hu used strict alternate picking? i also forgot to mention steve morse. i also read in a similar thread that paul gilbert used strict AP unless he sweeps.

  12. #12
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    Well, nobody really invented economy picking. That's sort of like saying somebody invented fingerpicking, or alternate picking. It doesn't really make sense. Most people discover it on their own.

    People pigeon-hole economy picking as a one-trick technique. That's a very narrow-minded view and it doesn't reflect reality.
    -Bizarro
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  13. #13
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    ...and I didnīt mean to say that either, Bizarro. There are good reasons to look into it. I guess I am just too lazy, and too used to strict AP to get into EP too much =)
    Eric

  14. #14
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    i have a simple question ... maybe almost stupid i.e. to what level can one AP or EP condition your musicality. Like Eric was discussing before.

    Unfortunately i don't have the musicianship to answer that question myself but my question is basically related to that.

    Anyone else feels that some particular technique "modifies" his musical lines? How do you go about it? And how do you recognise that?

    possibly a stupid question but i'm keen on hearing more opinions really and insights from experienced players. Maybe things you heard from others too...
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  15. #15
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    There's the issue of accenting.

    Although I'm inexperienced, I feel the differance between AP and EP very clearly. I can't quite explain it now without my guitar in hand, but I guess it is easier to apply accents at will with AP, wheras accents with EP tend to fall (this could proabably be fixed with a practice regimen) on notes when continuing the pickstroke in the same direction.

    Some feel that the EP can give a more jazzy hornlike accentuation (boDA daDE daDO DA!), while others like the AP.

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