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Picking question

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by MarshallNole, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. MarshallNole

    MarshallNole Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2013
    Is it the norm to do downstroke and then an upstroke when picking? Or do most people do downstrokes only unless required to play fast?
  2. electracoyote

    electracoyote Supporting Member

    I teach students to use alternate picking (down-up-down-up) when the eighth notes start. That's a VERY general rule designed for beginners. But consistency is important.

    There are exceptions where both the guitar and perhaps the bass will want all downstrokes, even on eighth notes.

    Flexibility is a good thing, and working alternate picking into your playing will let you do certain runs faster and cleaner.
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  4. fearceol

    fearceol Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2006
  5. Fender05


    Oct 20, 2008
    It depends. I play exclusively with a pick. I've found that downstrokes give me a heavier sound, more chunky. Alternate picking I use for fast stuff, for smooth stuff, and for intricate left-hand work (just feels better to me to alternate pick when my left hand gets going). Then, to really throw a wrench in this whole thing, we've got a couple riffs where I'll hit the DOWNbeat with an UPstroke. It leaves my pick in a better position to switch to different strings sometimes.

    Really, the best answer is do what feels rights. There's not really a wrong answer here...as long as your playing is smooth, consistent, and accurate, you're doing it right.
  6. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    Yeah, generally speaking , most players for most passages start with a down stroke, but it doesn't mean anything.

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