To Pick or not to pick!

Posted by on Aug 20, 2013

Let’s assume that the answer is to pick…to pick every single note with either an up or down stroke. There are several solutions if every note must be picked (so excluding finger tapping, slurring with the left hand or hybrid technique with some combination of plectrum and fingers). They are:

* alternate picking
* economy picking
* sweep picking

ok, sweep and economy are pretty much the same thing: the idea being that you pick in the direction of travel. I must say that I truly support these approaches and can think of only two possible reservations about using it exclusively:

* swing eighths might sound better with a down pick on the first quaver and up on the second
* the overall sound: alternate picking has a certain sound which is not the same as economy. More like a machine gun type of sound; which you might prefer.

These consderations aside, I think economy and sweek are the best approaches and make complete sense from an efficiency point of view. It therefore follows that licks, scale and arpeggio patterns should be chosen on the basis on which best facillitates this approach.

Of course, I readily concede when picking on single string, always use alternate picking. It’s just the small problem of picking across strings that leads to its inefficiency.

Happy picking!!!