Learn the Benefits of Alternate Picking for Guitar Playing Enhancement

Learn the Benefits of Alternate Picking for Guitar Playing Enhancement

Learn the benefits of alternate picking for guitar playing enhancement.  This is a form of picking each string up and down individually.  This builds speed and stamina.  As well as helps with rhythm guitar playing.

A technique that is designed to get your guitar solos sounding like a true professional. Learning scale patterns is not enough, you need to learn the concepts and principles that bring them to life.  One concept that will allow you to play with increased speed is alternate picking.

Down picking

When you first start out learning to play the guitar, no matter it’s rhythm or lead, you develop down picking.  Picking each note in a downward motion.

Down picking guitar

This is a great way to start, but it will only allow you to play so fast.  If playing slow is your thing, then you don’t need to worry about it.  But if you’d like to play faster, you will need to develop the skill of alternate picking.  Where you pick upward as well.

You also want to develop better picking hand strength and stamina.  Because like they always say, “it’s all in the wrist”  this is so true for this technique.  Here you will pick one note down, and the next one up.


Alternate picking

The only way to play certain musical passages of a great speed is through the technique of picking each string individually in alternate motion.  The first note is picked downward, and the next note is picked upward.  This is done on each string individually.

This is the only way, you can increase your speed and tempo.  When it comes to executing a hurried or sense of urgency, alternate picking is the way to go.

alternate picking

Developing this technique takes time and you must develop patience.  I recommend you start with the first string (smallest) somewhere around the 5th fret and go through each individual finger.  One right after another.

Index finger on the 5th fret, middle finger on the 6th fret, ring finger on the 7th fret, and pinky on the 8th fret.  This will allow you to exercise all four fingers and get used to them all being on the fretboard.


Watch the video lesson below

Minor pentatonic scale

The minor pentatonic scale is the most common guitar scale to use for playing guitar solos and if you haven’t already, I recommend you start with this scale.

It is known as a box pattern because of the way the notes line up on the fretboard.  This makes it very easy to learn, execute and remember.  This scale pattern is also a great way to work with your alternate picking.

A minor pentatonic scale

Study this scale pattern.  Visualize its shape.  It will serve you very well.  In fact, if you learn just this one scale and know exactly where to play it at the right time, you’ll be able to stay in key every time when doing a guitar solo.

If you practice your alternate picking with this scale, it will help you to increase the stamina in your hands as well as develop a better picking hand.  Many players when learning, overlook the picking hand,  But in reality, that is where most of the magic is happening.  So be aware of this.


Daily practice required

In order to get the most benefit of alternate picking to help enhance your guitar playing, daily practice is required.  I recommend that you work on it before you play chords or work on any strumming.

This will help you to become more disciplined.   with this type of picking, you will increase the quality of your guitar tone as well as the clarity of the notes.

And if you want to take this concept further, I recommend you get the guitar method book Lead Guitar Wizardry.


Lead Guitar Wizardry

Lead Guitar Wizardry

This guitar method book is an introductory course to playing guitar solos and becoming a lead guitar wizard.  The kind of guitar player that makes people go “wow, how’ do you do that?”  But in order to accomplish this reaction, you need to study and practice the concepts needed to do so.


Simple step-by-step

Lead Guitar wizardry is written in a simple step-by-step manner that takes you through exactly what you need to know to become a great lead guitar player.  With each lesson presented you will learn such things as:

What scales to start out with

How to read scale patterns

The importance of the 12 bar blues

Hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends, etc

Arpeggios and harmony notes

Chord progressions to solo over

Practice habits

ear training


And much, much more.  All this with absolutely no previous music knowledge needed.  Anyone can learn from this book and get going on playing guitar solos and become a lead guitar player.


Lesson conclusion

When it comes to learning to play the guitar, there are many different styles that you can play.  Blues, Country, Rock, Bluegrass, Classical, Pop, etc.  And what you want to do is learn the techniques that go with that style of music.

Each style has different techniques and concepts associated with it.  Alternate picking will do you justice in just about every style of guitar playing.  That is why I highly recommend you learn it.

Make sure to develop good solid practice habits and create a practice routine.  This will give you the quickest and most efficient development possible.


Follow a method

Find a method to follow when it comes to learning.  This will help answer questions that arise and teach you in the proper order.  I see it time and time again where self-taught students skip important steps and it becomes a problem later down the line.

If video is your thing, check out my Video Lesson Library on Youtube as I have many great videos on all things related to learning guitar.  No matter if it is rhythm playing, guitar solos, or music theory.  It is all there and free!

Private Instruction

In addition to that, I also offer private guitar lessons both off and online.  So if you feel that is something that might help you as well, reach out and let me know.

You can contact me through my website and follow me on Social Media for my latest lesson update.  With today’s technology, learning guitar has never been easier. So take advantage of it.

Best of luck with your studies and until the next lesson, take care.

Dwayne Jenkins

Dwayne Jenkins

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