|Pick Technique, Part 3: Alternating Picking
Pick Technique, Part 3: Alternating Picking
Alternating picking, also called alternate picking or down-up picking, is the basis of good flatpicking technique. The basic idea is that you consistently alternate pick strokes based on where you are in the measure. Downstrokes are played on the 1, 2, 3, and 4 beats of a measure of 4/4 (or 1, 2, and 3 beats of a measure of 3/4), and upstrokes are played in between those beats—on the ands of the beats. You can model this by simply tapping your foot 1, 2, 3, 4. Play downstrokes when your foot goes down and upstrokes when your foot goes up. That’s fairly straightforward and creates a nice consistent rhythm that’s essential in acoustic music. But it can get a little tricky when you start playing melodies that move from string to string. In this lesson you’ll learn strict alternating picking and look at some ways to deal with string crossings.
Alternating Picking Exercises (Available to subscribers)