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Alternate Picking with Upstrokes (Guitar Lesson)


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Brad Henecke

Alternate Picking with Upstrokes

Brad Henecke presents alternate picking exercises that start with an upstroke.

Taught by Brad Henecke in Speed and Technique seriesLength: 3:26Difficulty: 0.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (03:44) Alternate Picking Starting with an Upstroke Due to the anatomy and muscular structure of the hands, it is much more difficult to play upstrokes than downstrokes. The upstroke is a much less natural motion for the hands. Also, upstrokes are used less frequently in pieces, so they aren't practiced as often as upstrokes. These factors can lead to a weak upstroke. A weak upstroke is one that is not equal in tone or volume to downstrokes. Or, you may find that you are not able to play successive upstrokes as quickly as a sequence of all downstrokes. Most guitarists fail to develop a fast tremolo due to a significantly slower and less controlled upstroke. Regular practice of the exercises presented in this lesson will help eliminate some of these weaknesses.

When an alternate picking pattern begins with a upstroke, the upstroke occurs on all of the metrically strong beats in a measure. This will force you to play upstrokes that are equal to downstrokes in volume and tone. Also, it should be noted that certain string crossings may be easier to play if they are started with an upstroke as well. This relates to a technique known as economy picking. This topic will be discussed in detail in a later lesson in this series.

In this lesson, Brad demonstrates how you can play the same rhythmic/picking exercises presented in previous lessons starting with an upstroke. Make sure that you don't accidentally reverse the picking pattern halfway through the measure. This is a common mistake of most beginner students when practicing these exercises.

Half Note Exercise

Instructions


1. Always play these exercises with a metronome.
2. Play an upstroke on beat 1 and a down stroke on beat 3. Repeat this exercise for about half a minute.

Remaining Exercises

Repeat the same process with quarter notes, eighth notes, triplets, and sixteenth notes. For eighths remember to count "1+2+3+4+etc." For sixteenths, count "1 e + ah." Triplets are especially difficult because the pick direction alternates on each downbeat. Play the triplet exercise as slowly as possible to help your brain adjust to these confusing picking patterns. Also count "1 trip-let, 2 trip-let, etc." to help keep the rhythm consistent. For an extra challenge, try playing this exercise in groups of fives. Count "un-i-ver-si-ty" for each group of five.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


lmotulmotu replied on February 19th, 2013

It seems that each of 16th note segments in each of these demonstrations are actually 8th notes.

neef68neef68 replied on January 15th, 2010

Thanks for the lessons Brad.. I've been learning/playing for 9 months now and I've never known how to play sixteenths or triplets because, I never knew how to count them out. Thanks!

blackdouglasblackdouglas replied on November 26th, 2007

Enjoying the lesson. Little prob with the 'triplet' picking. Each note starts with alternating strokes, right? I mean 1 is up and then 2 starts with a down right? That's tough to take in...

Speed and Technique

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Technique is extremely important to playing in any style of music. Perfect technique combined with blazing speed can take your playing to a whole new level.



Lesson 1

Series Introduction

Brad introduces his Speed and Technique series.

Length: 1:15 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Picking and Timing

Brad Henecke covers proper picking technique and gives a basic lesson on notes/timing.

Length: 6:10 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Picking and Downstrokes

This lesson is all about the downstroke. Brad discusses technique and shows you how to pick in different rhythmic groupings.

Length: 5:20 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Upstrokes

Brad covers the proper way to perform an upstroke.

Length: 4:16 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Alternate Picking

Brad Henecke covers alternate picking and how it can speed up your guitar playing.

Length: 5:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Alternate Picking with Upstrokes

Brad Henecke presents alternate picking exercises that start with an upstroke.

Length: 3:26 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

Sweep Picking

Brad explains the basics of sweep picking in this fun speed building guitar lesson.

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Economy Picking

Brad explains the basics of a technique called economy picking.

Length: 5:33 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Series Review

Brad provides a brief review of this series. He gives information regarding why technique is so important.

Length: 2:00 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

String Skipping

Brad covers proper string skipping technique and gives you some exercises that will speed up your playing.

Length: 8:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

Hammer-on / Pull-off

This lesson is all about improving speed by applying hammer-ons and pull-offs. Learn some exercises that sound great and boost speed.

Length: 11:27 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Hammer-On Lick

Brad Henecke demonstrates a speed building lick that makes heavy use of hammer-ons.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only

About Brad Henecke View Full Biography Brad Henecke was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on May 5th of 1963. He has been a fan of music for as long as he & his family can remember. You could always find him running around the farm wailing on his cardboard guitar, pretending to be a member of the rock band KISS. Additional inspiration came during his first concert when he got the chance to see Boston & Sammy Hagar in the early 1970's.

This opened up a whole new world of rock and roll music for him; his parents noticed his growing interest in music and enrolled him into guitar lessons when he was 13.

From there he jumped into two years of lessons at a local music store in Cedar Rapids. After discovering Eddie Van Halen, Brad knew that the guitar would always be a part of his life. He took his love throughout the city as he played as a pit musician & jammed at parties for friends.

This made him thirsty for more. He enrolled classes at Kirkwood Community College & also took lessons from the one & only Craig-Erickson (www.craig-erickson.com).

His love for music landed him a gig opening for Molly Hatchet in Cedar Rapids with a band called "Slap & Tickle". He has also played in the Greeley Stampede show for quite a few years with "True North".

Brad is currently playing in Greeley, Colorado with a rock band titled "Ragged Doll". They play a wide variety of music with an emphasis on classic rock from the 60's to present, with Brad playing electric guitar in the five piece lineup.

He currently jams on his all-time favorite guitar: a Paul Reed Smith Custom 24. Beyond guitar, he plays also plays drums & bass guitar. He has also been known to thrash a banjo from time to time. He is still actively playing & passing his 31 years of playing experience on to others (you!).

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