Want to know a picking question I get asked a lot by students?
Which is better? Alternate picking or economy picking?
This is a fair question, but it requires a bit of an elaborate answer.
First of all, it all depends on what you mean by “better”.
By “better” do you mean “which is faster?”
If that’s the question then the REAL answer is neither – it’s practice.
If by “better” you mean “cleaner and more accurate?”
Then again the REAL answer is neither – it’s practice.
The fastest pickers in the world are made of alternate pickers and economy pickers.
At the end of the day – fast, fluent and clean playing comes more from quality practice and good technique than anything else.
That being said, economy picking and alternate picking both have their own unique advantages.
The approach you choose to master should be based more around these individual advantages and how well they suit your playing.
Let’s start with alternate picking.
Some people say they experience more control with alternate picking, they achieve even sounding notes easier and they play rhythmically easier.
Now let’s look at economy picking.
Some people say they can play faster using economy picking, they achieve a more fluent picking sound, they can incorporate sweep picking easier and their picking hand doesn’t have to work as hard.