This is another really important point that really needs emphasis. Self-taught guitarists often fall into the trap where they only use down strokes with their pick for the first few years. This actually ends up making their lives more difficult as it increases the amount of movement you need of your picking hand.
You should therefore get used to using both up and down pick strokes right from the beginning, as it’s crucial if you want to play faster songs and minimise the change of straining your hand/arm.
For example, if we take a section from the tab we used in the how to read guitar tabs lesson:
The pick stroke pattern which shows the picking direction for each of the notes, is shown above the tab in this illustration. The key is shown to the right so you know what each arrow represents.
Just to clarify things, a down stroke is defined as plucking the string away from you (towards the bottom of the guitar) and an up stroke the exact opposite.
The picking pattern is often not shown in tabs so it is up to you to determine what it should be. The ideal pattern would be comfortable for you to do, while minimising the movement required.
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