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How much time should I spend on economy vs alternate picking?

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The question isn't about "how much time" to spend, it's really about "can you DO it" or not.

Can you play a scale pattern with alternate picking? How well? If you can do alternate picking, then you can move on to start practicing economy picking... but don't leave alternate behind.

From there, same question. Can you play a scale pattern with economy picking? How well?

All in all, you should practice both, until you're comfortable with both. It really is that simple.

You're not going to "mess something up" if you practice one before the other. It's just generally easier to start with Economy.

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