Electric Crown solo alternate picking

Hello forum,

I’m trying to learn the solo from Electric Crown by Testament. Alex Skolnick has a pretty good YT video on it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzAFu104a5o. There’s a part where he does pure alternate picking in a 3 note per string run up and down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzAFu104a5o&t=40s. I’m having trouble doing like he does, as I tend to always do economy picking when changing string on 3 note per string patterns, doing two consecutive downstrokes. The problem is that then, there’s a time when I’m stuck with a downstroke and having to do a upstroke on a upper string. I tried to tab it to maybe explain it better:

The upstrokes marked in red are slowing me down, as I have to change the pickslanting from USX to DSX.

Is there a better to do this? Like I said, Alex does it with pure alternate picking and he does it flawlessly, however, I’m having trouble with that, and using economy picking there’s always one stroke that doesn’t fit. I tried starting with downstroke and upstroke, but there’s always one stroke that gets stuck.

So he is USX? The red circles might be swiped?

Although his arm and wrist tend to be more pronated, suggesting a DSX form, I think his real motion is very neutral. It’s hard from the video to see if he swipes the upstroke.

It looks like he is trapped after a downstroke and free after an upstroke? The reason I say this is the down down looks like sweeping, etc. USX?

The tab above is the way I was trying to do, in a USX way. Alex Skolnick does pure alternate picking on this part.

Yngwie’s approach would be to pick 17 pull off 16 on the G string which gives you an upstroke for the lone 14 on the B and then you’re good, feels a little weird to start with but at speed if your pull offs are good it will sound seamless :grin:


Oh sorry I misunderstood, most DSX players would probably do something like this, there is still an outside string change but it’s probably the easiest way to do it without alternate picking the whole thing:

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if i counted this out right you should be able to use DSX alternate picking then swipe on the outside stringchange upstroke back to the lower string. Your first finger would mute the swipe as well so you really wouldn’t hear it if done this way.


Hi, I just came up with a couple of options. The first switches to upward sweeping (DSX) in the last couple of beats to avoid awkward changes.

The second is pure economy picking with no pull offs but I rearranged some of the notes to make it similar to the Yngwie descending 4’s pattern where you do a position shift on beat 3 and beat 4. Hope they can be useful.

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I’d hazard a guess Alex is swiping it (still sounds awesome). You could USX the whole thing by adding one pull-off.


Thank you all for the suggestions!

I think this one is what I feel more comfortable with. I believe Jacklr suggested that extra pull off too. There’s still an outside picking between the 17 on the G and the 14 on the B, which breaks the usual down rest stroke of the USX form, but I think it’s bearable.

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At that point you could either hop (it’s not too terrible since it’d be relatively slow) or use what Troy calls displacement - during that pull-off on the G string, pick straight through the muted B with a downstroke.