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For the November 2012 edition of Guitar World magazine which features Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong on the front cover, I put together my back cover column "Last Licks" based around the Alternate Picking technique and in the style of some of the great hard-rock players of the 1980's including Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, Paul Gilbert, John Petrucci and Michael Romeo. This technique has played an important role in defining the sound of modern rock. In contrast to the legato based approaches, alternate picking gives a more aggressive and percussive attack and is useful for raising intensity during solos, as well as providing a default technique for the up-tempo riffs and rhythms of the modern rock style. Set your picking hand by resting on the edge of the palm, swinging the pick evenly over the string by rotating the wrist, the arm free of tension. Aim for the tip of the pick with a slight downwards angle, accenting each beat on the downstroke.
For the audio I used an Axe FX II set up with a Marshall Brit 800 Mod type sound (boost set off) with TS808 tubescreamer overdrive with the drive set to half and some medium room reverb (stereo delay from logic on mixdown) and pseudo double tracking (doubling the track and delaying one side/panned hard left and right), straight to an Apogee ensemble card into a Mac Pro running Logic. For Video, a Canon 60D and FCP X for editing. Guitar wise, i used my Ibanez J Custom JCRG-2 TB with EMG pick-ups. (see gear pagehttp://martingoulding.com/gear/). The supporting video goes into some detail breaking down the examples in a way that will be accessible for intermediate level players.
To hear this technique in context, check out some of the solos i've put together in the style of the greats.
Paul Gilbert Picking Lick by Martin Goulding
Yngwie Malmsteen Picking Lick by Martin Goulding
Vinnie Moore Picking Lick by Martin Goulding
Michael Romeo Style Picking Lick by Martin Goulding