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Learn Alternate Picking and flawlessly execute fast picking licks

Short Description: You need to pick with alternate down stroke and up stroke if you want to pick real fast. Learn the technique of alternate picking in this article. Alternate picking is a method where you strictly pick in a downward and an upward motion alternately in a continuous run.

When alternate picking is done very fast on a single note it is sometimes called tremolo picking. Alternate picking reduces wrist movement a great deal while you play notes so it becomes that much easier to play the guitar. In fact, if you master this art of picking you can execute a fast picking lick flawlessly even on a bad hair day. But before you get into the act of alternate picking get yourself a brand new pick - one which is neither too flimsy nor too thick and hold it between your thumb and forefinger with the pointed edge protruding outside in such a way that a third of it is visible.

This is the most "common" way of holding the pick. Legends, however, have their own unique ways of holding it. So, you're free to hold it in any way you want.

If you feel comfortable and can easily execute the notes, hold the pick in any way you want - it's not an issue. The whole purpose of alternate picking is to be able to do a fast run. It thus becomes extremely important to choose which part of the string you'd pick. If picking is done right on the bridge you'll get an additional treble. But you'll be able to extract a mellower tone if you go nearer the neck. Choose the position which suits the composition you're playing.

The other important aspect is clarity of tone. A pick held parallel to the strings will give you a crystal clear tone but if it is held at an angle with the strings while striking them, the tones won't be so crystal clear. There are obviously two basic movements in alternate picking - the upstroke and the downstroke. Some players keep their wrists stiff and do all movements from their elbow while others go for circular picking using their thumb and index fingers. But most of the players prefer moving their wrists for alternate picking.

Here again there is no "best" approach. Whatever you feel comfortable with is best for you. Start practicing with short repetitive patterns at a moderate tempo of 80 - 100 beats per minute. You may use a metronome to maintain the beats. Slowly but steadily increase the tempo to 160 beats per minute. When you can play flawlessly at this speed you may rightly congratulate yourself that you've become a true pro!.

Before you go spending a ton on 1-on-1 guitar lessons, make sure you check out Crazy Dave's review of the absolute best instructional video guitar lessons on the net - learn and master guitar. Dave's site provides over 35 free guitar licks!

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