Certain picking hand movements interfering on others

Hello, I have a strange issue. Whenever I get my alternate picking motions correct – the pick is gliding smoothly on the strings, no tension and other good stuff – I have this issue where whenever I go practice something different like strumming or sweep picking, when I go back to alternate picking it’s all wrong, like the picking motion is now sloppy, the pick gets caught and everything.

This is really frustrating as I feel that practicing one thing is making another thing worse. Is there any way to keep these different skills separate so that they don’t “leak” into the others?

Thanks in advance.

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I’ve got a question in response: when you practice strumming or sweeping, etc., do you do those for long stretches of time without any alternate picking? If so, it may be that you’ve got multiple mental “gears” you shift between for different types of playing. If that’s the case, then what you may want to try is not to keep those different skills separate, but to do them in combination with each other, to remove the mental sense of division between the different types of picking. You could practice this (for example) by playing one sweep riff, then one alternate picking riff, then several strummed chords. That way, instead of thinking of them as different skills, they’re all just “playing,” and the individual techniques should flow together better.


I see, I was indeed spending more than 30 minutes doing one exercise, then going to the next. I tried what you proposed and alternated between exercises, and that seems to have improved it! Thank you


Another thing I would look at closely would be pick grip. If I do funk strums, I change to a different pick grip. Maybe you do something similar and don’t change back when approaching AP again. So next time you shred to you liking inspect your pick grip and hand position very closely and make sure to replicate it every time you prepare for shredding.


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