Let’s looks at an interesting viewer email I received about my Spider Exercise (see below for the video in question). The question is, ‘Should I start on an upstroke or a downstroke?‘
First of all I want to say thank you for all the great vids you upload on your blog.
In your warm up 1 (spider-)exercise, you mention doing alternate picking in the following order: down-up, down-up … find that hard, because I’m used to do it in reverse order (up-down…)
Of course, you could do it both ways, as you say in the vid.
But what I’m curious about is if you are using the down-up motion there for any special reason? Is there any advantage in terms of technique or movement economy for that in the long run? I’ll have no problem adjust, I’m just contemplating if I should since I’ve adopted it in my daily routine
Thanks, hope you have a nice day.
Regards from Sweden
It’s best to be able to start either way.
The reason starting with an upstroke feels easier is because it results in an ‘inside’ picking pattern (where the pick moves on the inside of the two strings). Starting with a downstroke results in an ‘outside’ picking pattern (where the pick travels around the outside of the strings).
Outside picking requires more distance travelled than inside picking.
Despite this, if you had to chose only one way, I’d recommend emphasising starting with a downstroke because that way your downstrokes will be on the beat – which is rhythmically stronger and will build a more useful technique in the long run.
Of course it’s best to practice so you can do both ways!
Hope this helps,