Minute Licks #8: Alternate Picking Triad Etude
I love sweep-picking for arpeggios, but for a tight, well-timed feel it's hard to ignore pure alternate picking, especially for smaller triads that incorporate some scale notes.
If you've ever listened to "Morning Star" by Vinnie Moore, you might recognise the idea behind this etude. I'm using diatonic triads from the key of A natural minor and A harmonic minor, but throwing in one extra diatonic 4th passing tone on the 7th note of each 8 note unit of the lick.
The pressure point is to make those string changes nice and clean, whether you pick from the wrist via a bounce type wrist flex and extend, from the forearm using rotational motion, or a blend somewhere in between as I often do. I often switch between half speed and full speed in practice to ensure my technique is clean and on time, as well as faster when I go back to full tempo. Remember that anytime you play something with alternate picking, every two note group becomes a motion of its own, so if you can play the first two notes faster than the 3rd and 4th, then you know there is a knot there that needs to be worked out before the whole thing will progress in tempo.
If you HAVE to throw in a sweep, you could try picking it D-U-D-D-D-U-D-U or D-U-U-D-D-U-D-U and they each also have their own flow.