This level will cover a basic right hand exercise for developing alternate picking technique. This drill can be practiced on both acoustic and electric guitars.
Alternate picking simply means to alternate the pick using down and up strokes in succession (down, up, down, up, down, up, etc.). This technique is far more efficient than picking with only down or up strokes. Motion is wasted when picking in only one direction. By playing the string on the return stroke, you double your picking speed without the extra effort. Although it may seem difficult at first, once you get used to alternate picking you will become a much faster and efficient guitar player.
2 MINUTE ALTERNATE PICKING DRILL
This will be your first exercise using the metronome. The metronome is a great tool for developing and stabilizing technique. Read here to better understand the importance of using a metronome.
Set your metronome for 60 beats per minute and play using down and up strokes on string G for 2 minutes. Execute using minimal movement by keeping the pick as close to the string as possible.
If fatigue causes your technique to become unstable, slow the metronome down to a tempo that you can play comfortably. Increase the metronome speed by small increments as you get stronger. It may take a few hours or days, but eventually you will reach your goal tempo.
Stay on this level until you can comfortably practice the exercise at 60, 80, 100, and 120 bpm for two minutes.