If you are playing guitar for a certain time, surely you have tried to master alternate picking. This is a technique that a novice guitar player must learn in order to reach speed and the ability to play fast solos and melodic lines.
The theory behind alternate picking is very simple: when you play single note lines, you should always pick your notes with a down-stroke, then an upstroke, then a down-stroke, upstroke, down-stroke, and so forth, alternatively.
This kind of picking allows you to optimize the right-hand motion and reach speeds impossible to obtain with a one-way-only picking. If you never tried alternate picking, one simple exercise useful to get a feel is to play an open string with alternate motion: down, up, down, up, down, etcetera. Always remember to use a metronome when practicing this kind of exercises.
In this article we’re going to put our attention on a very specific issue that can emerge when applying alternate picking (if you need a complete introduction and basic exercises for alternate picking, please refer to the 22 2-String Alternate Speed Picking Exercises).
The main difficulty with alternate picking: Inside Picking.
Let’s take a look at the tabs below. Apparently they show the same exercise. But with an important difference: in the first exercise, the alternate picking starts with a down-stroke, while in the second with an upstroke.