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Alternating your Picking Direction : Guitar

It is important to maintain your picking direction even when moving to an adjacent string.

Let's add the picking symbols to measure number 3 and look at a possible trouble spot.

On beat number 1, the note C first fret is played with a down stroke.

On beat number 2, the note C First Fret is played with an up stroke.

On beat number 3, the note D Third Fret is played with a down stroke.

And on beat number 4 the note E Open is played with an up stroke.

The possible trouble spot here is between beats 3 and 4.

If you find that you are playing the note D Third Fret on beat number 3 with a down stroke, then sweeping over to string number 1 and playing the note E open, also with a down stroke, then use practice utility 5 and isolate this difficult spot in the music.

When you play the note D third fret with a down stroke, let the motion of your wrist carry the pick past string number 1 without any contact.

Now the pick is positioned to make an up stroke on beat number 4, and you have maintained your alternate picking direction when you play E Open.

As you become more familiar with alternating your picking direction, you will learn how far to pivot your wrist so the pick is positioned for the alternate strike.

Use your practice utilities as you work on this expanded version of "Ode to joy"

Practice Utility 1. Say the name and address of each note out loud.

Practice Utility 2. For your first warm- up play, concentrate on your technique.

Practice Utility 3. Play and sing the pitch letter names.

Practice Utility 4. Play and sing the beat numbers.

Practice Utility 5. Isolate a difficult spot.

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