Does alternate picking require double-escape motions?

My question: “Does alternate picking require alternating up/down pick movements and therefore some double-escaped motions?

The problem with a lot of terms that were around pre-CtC is that they don’t really make sense. For example, I’ve confused myself about what “alternate picking” really means. :rofl:

Does “alternate picking” mean:

  • no wasted strokes (e.g., no stokes without hitting a string)
  • no sweeping, hence
  • double-escaped motions for 1NPS ascent/descent

Does “efficiency picking” mean:

  • no wasted strokes (e.g., no stokes without hitting a string)

Given that I love rest strokes combined with sweeping, and try to avoid double-escape whenever possible (as it seems “unforgiving” [error-prone] to me, given my limited skills), does this mean that I am trying to avoid alternate picking?! :thinking:

My understanding of alternate picking is that the pick strokes just have to alternate. Meaning, if you just played an upstroke, your next stroke needs to be a downstroke. If you just played a downstroke, your next stroke needs to be an upstroke. So that would imply no sweeping. BUT it would only require DBX for 1 NPS. So, someone could alternate pick without ever playing 1 NPS, but if they wanted to not sweep and do 1 NPS they’d have to use DBX.

Not necessarily. If you play passages that are strictly alternating D U D (etc.) or U D U (etc) and these passages never sweep BUT they change strings when it makes sense in the context of USX or DSX (whichever you’re using) I wouldn’t say you’re avoiding alternate picking. If whenever you changes strings, you are always just pushing through the one you just played, to me, you’re an economy picker. I don’t think CtC terminology has anything to do with any of this. That’s just me though :slight_smile:

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Perfect, this is what I thought. I view it as impossible (at least for me) to avoid 1nps. I guess that I can go on record now: “Alternate picking is a bad idea.” :rofl:

Yeah, go with what feels comfortable, provided it doesn’t break the ‘rules’ we’ve learned around here. I love CtC for helping us understand all the options we have and why things feel difficult/easy. That could very well mean that alternate picking, for you, isn’t a good idea lol! I’ve heard plenty of people who get to good levels of alternate picking that claim pushing through the string (economy) feels weird for them.

Sorry, what do you mean by “pushing through the string?” My definition of “efficiency” might be wrong, all I said was “no wasted strokes,” and that might not be correct.

“Pushing through the string” === “Sweep”
If you play an A minor scale and start with a downstroke but economy pick it like this:

  D U D D U D D D

All the string changes happen by doing 2 strokes in a row. Except, no one who plays stuff like this “fast” actually does 2 separate downstrokes in a row. It’s a sweep. Pushing through string, doing one “long” pick stroke facilitates this.

I guess I’ve never heard of the term “Efficiency Picking”. I’ve heard of “Economy Picking”.

This is mine too.

With a TON of caveats, maybe. For example, for a player with a double-escaped mechanic, even with the constraint of needing to do fast one note per string runs, alternate picking is a just fine idea. It sounds like for you it may not be a great idea, and if I’ve learned anything at CtC it’s bind allegiance to any approach is a bad idea, but, well, never say never.

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Regarding your example, above, I might play it one of four ways, (1) USX with HO, (2) USX with sweep [more than one stroke in the same direction], (3) DSX with HO, or (4) switching between USX and DSX (whatever the term is for that these days) with no HO. I don’t think that I can play it any faster with one than the other, but that said, I’m not really fast.

Do you think that (2) is slower than the alternatives, particularly if one stops with a rest-stroke each time? I have convinced myself that there is no real difference, but that might be wrong. :rofl:

Exactly! But I don’t have a good double-escaped mechanic (I flip between DSX and USX), hence alternate picking is BAD! :grinning: (But you are right, “bad for me.”)

That was just an example to explain what I meant by “pushing through the string”. Any of your choices for playing it are fine. I’d imagine playing it faster with one approach vs another varies from player to player based on what they’re comfortable with.

I don’t think a rest stroke would have anything to do with the speed. I’ve seen tons of clips of Troy tearing it up with what seems to be constant rest strokes. Plus, with the sweeping isn’t it technically impossible to sweep without at least 1 rest stroke? lol! I may be overthinking it.

I think some people want to avoid rest strokes and stop in-between the strings, but this seems to be very difficult and a bad idea, “trying to stop on a dime.” Personally, I always have a rest stroke at slow and medium speeds, and I am sure that sometimes when I go faster the pick might not necessarily reach the rest, but I don’t really know because I don’t have a Magnet yet. But the reason I mentioned rest strokes is to suggest that they’re perfectly setting one up to sweep to the next string, hence one likely will not really gain from the “continuous sweep” that some practitioners do (where they treat it as a slow chord, I suppose).

And the best thing is that I used to pooh-pooh the rest stroke until I noticed Troy always doing it, and then I thought, “hey, wait a minute…” That’s the fun of CtC, I never know what will change next.

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