If you're new to alternate picking and have been searching online, you probably realize there is a heck of a
lot of information out there (both free and paid). And that's a good thing to some extent. You'll always be
able to find things related to alternate picking technique to practice and learn.
But this vast amount of information presents a few problems such as…
- How do you tell good advice from bad advice?
- How do know if the information is relevant to your own specific goals?
- How do you know if you're ready for a specific exercise, or whether it is too advanced for your current
- How do you formulate an effective practice plan based on the information you have collected in your
You get the idea. Perhaps the biggest challenge of learning alternate picking online is to filter the
information effectively. And that can be a challenge, especially if you are new to alternate picking!
With that said, here are a few tips that will help you in your quest to learn alternate picking online…
#1: Set some goals
This one is pretty obvious. Make sure that you have some specific goals that you would like to work
towards…and make sure that you write them down. For Example: If you are brand new to alternate picking then a
good goal might be to learn how to use a metronome effectively. So rather than just doing random searches in
Google, you will be able to search for keywords related to using a metronome.
Tip #2: Create an information evaluation
Whether you are looking for free or paid information, I feel that this step is critical. It involves writing
down a checklist to help you evaluate the information. It also helps you to evaluate the author of that
information. The checklist might include things such as…
- How long has the author played guitar for?
- How long has the author taught guitar for?
- Do I feel that the information is relevant to my goals?
You get the idea. Having a quick checklist of questions to ask yourself will help you quickly decide whether
the information is valuable or not. It can also stop you from following the advice of people who aren't
qualified to give it!
Tip #3: Factor In Your Time
I must admit that my preference is to buy online courses rather than search for free information. Why?
Because it takes far less of my time. I can do a quick search and check out all the available courses on a
subject, and buy the ones that I think will help me the most at that point in time.
The other thing that I also like about paid information, is it is often organized in a structured way. And
this saves me from having to formulate my own lesson plan. And this also saves me a lot a time.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that the paid information route is the best way for everyone. If you have
a limited budget or a huge abundance of free time, then searching for free information may be a great approach
for you. Just be aware that every hour you spend searching online is an hour that might have been better
invested in actually practicing alternate picking.
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