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"Raking" with a pick

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by CaptainTuna, Jul 17, 2012.


  1. CaptainTuna

    CaptainTuna

    May 13, 2011
    Hello!

    I've searched the forum for like 30 minutes just now but I didn't find any information about whether or not raking with a pick is "good" or "bad".

    By raking with a pick I mean not alternating upstrokes/downstrokes when moving to nearby strings. Example of "raking": upstroking on the A string and then upstroking the next note on the E string (instead of downstroking on the E).

    I'm just starting with a pick, I've been playing fingerstyle for quite some time and I always rake. But is it a good idea when using a pick? Is it all about personal preference or does strict alternation help with speed/precision/... ?
     
  2. Ajak

    Ajak

    Mar 31, 2012
    Bern, Switzerland
    I never learned fingerstyle, but learning and playing alternate picking made me play better because I "don't have to worry about my left hand anymore". Sounds weird, but I can just play and I have never problems with my left hand except my speed limits of course. It just gave me a lot of security.
    I can't really do alternate fingering consequently and when I play (or try to play) stuff with long series of 16ths with my fingers changing strings (for example Dream Theater), I struggle. I don't have that security with my left hand and I have to focus on both of my hands. That makes me play a lot worse than if I could just rely on my fingers.
    If one day I'm not lazy anymore I'll try to learn that right.

    Long story short: Learn it before it's too late! It didn't take me that long and it helped me a lot. And I can't think of any downside.
     
  3. FrednBass

    FrednBass

    Feb 24, 2012
    Why would that be bad?
     
  4. Edgar664

    Edgar664

    Mar 12, 2009
    Mexico
    I don't think it is a bad technique, I do the same. I've seen some guitar lessons where they do it as well and encourage to learn it for fast passages, sweeps, etc.
     
  5. Ajak

    Ajak

    Mar 31, 2012
    Bern, Switzerland
    I haven't thought of that. Of course for chord arpeggios I'd do the same as well. But still, IMO alternate picking helps you also to feel rhythms better automatically and to stress the right notes. That's my point of view. If anyone has a good reason not to learn the alternate picking technique I'd like to hear that! (not trying to be an a**hole, I really want to know!)
     
  6. CaptainTuna

    CaptainTuna

    May 13, 2011
    Not sure... I've talked to several local guitarists and they're all strict alternation guys, they say at high speeds or for more complex stuff always alternating gives you better control.

    But I've got no idea really why it could be bad, I'm just not sure whether to learn it one way or the other (unlearning everything and changing to a new technique once I've already learned another one is a bit painful for me, like when I had to move to floating thumb after an year of playing!)
     
  7. FrednBass

    FrednBass

    Feb 24, 2012
    Learn how to play both way. Ranking when you can and alternating when you need to.
     

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