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Alternate Picking

Let’s start with some alternate picking. This will develop good timing and good habits as well.  Alternate picking means that each pick stroke is consecutively: up / down / up / down etc. Start by tapping your foot four times and pick a down stroke at the same time as you tap the fifth time (and then keep on tapping). This is called a “count in”. It sets the timing for what you are about to play. The first note to start with should be a down stroke. Since we will be using eighth notes, our foot will go down at the same time as the down strokes and up with the up strokes. The best way to do this is with a metronome. Rest the heel of your hand on the bridge of the guitar (lightly if you have a tremolo system) so that part of your hand touches the strings in front of the saddle pieces. This will give you good positioning for your hand and also slightly mute the strings as well. I do not recommend planting your fingers of your right hand below the strings, take ‘em off and either let them hang down or make a fist with your right hand. Choose a nice slow tempo, about 100 bpm should do. Don’t touch the strings with your left hand, we’ll use ‘open strings’ to start with.

On each string change, you should be starting with a down stroke!

Always tap your foot and practice at a speed that you can play along with perfectly!

Play example repeatedly for about five minutes. You can double it to sixteen notes per string if you like.

*Note to ‘Lefty’s’ – Guitar Tab might look upside down to you, but it’s not. There are six lines representing strings but it’s not a picture of a guitar neck. Just read the numbers from left to right and find them on your guitar.