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> Down Picking !
Ben Higgins
post Jun 17 2011, 10:07 AM
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Hey guys, I've recently been practicing Master Of Puppets by Metallica because my band will be playing part of it during our upcoming gigs. This meant I really had to work on my downstroke stamina to get it sounding anywhere near as good as Hetfield ! tongue.gif

How many of us really pay attention to using fast downstrokes to play riffs ? For those of you that are good at it, what helped you get that way, which band's music ? cool.gif


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Qenzoz
post Jun 17 2011, 10:19 AM
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I have to say that my down stroking is pretty good compared to anything else I do, since when I started out I went to immediatly to play hard rock/metal-ish stuff, and I only used downstrokes tongue.gif, since I didn't have a teacher tongue.gif, but that also meant that my alternate picking/upstroke was extremely bad.

But I would just say to improve your downstrokes, upstrokes, etc. There is one good exercise to do that, and that would be just play every song you're trying to learn with downstrokes, upstrokes or so smile.gif


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dark dude
post Jun 17 2011, 11:51 AM
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Been practicing this recently, still am, and I started with this (https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/rhythm-gu...trokes-allowed/) lesson, which eased me into it. Now working on downpicking and gallop exercises, and learning this:

I'd like to do Creeping Death next:

Perhaps MoP after? It's pretty much 'the downpicking song'.


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zen
post Jun 17 2011, 01:12 PM
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I used to be a fast down picker but I've changed that now. It was probably my technique that was flawed coz after doing it for a while, my arm really started hurting and cramping a lot. And yea, master of puppets and creeping death are the songs I used to play.

I don't do strict down picking anymore, even though that's essential in those types of riffs/ songs but i can live with not doing it.
Some lamb of god stuff also involves pretty fast downpicking.


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Azzaboi
post Jun 17 2011, 07:29 PM
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Even if you had no other guitar skills - the one thing you much have to play great Metallica music is right-hand velocity!
Remember that Hatfield uses downstrokes whenever possible to create a heaver feeling. Master this and you can handle almost any Metallica riff that comes your way.

Unless your a jogger who can suddenly run a marathon - this will take time to bring up to speed and become almost a daily exercise. Start at slow speed with a metronome to keep timing and work your way up slowly till just pass breaking when it's starting to get sloppy and then slowly bring it back down, repeat this cycle. If your stuck for a while at a certain speed, check both hands and find out why and what to do to improve!

Ensure the picking hand's thumb is straight, work on different picking angles, etc. Any tension will slow you down, so check to ensure your relaxed at all times, or simply stop and shake it out of your hands before continuing. Also don't work on the same exercises for ages - mix it up and take breaks - 15 minute periods is a lot better than 3 hours straight! Give time for your brain and to rest the hands. Note some rest away from the guitar is good and even does help you improve as your brain is still processing over it, working it out, but too much time away has the reverse effect, don't give up and let it go to waste or over-burn yourself!

It doesn't happen overnight but one day it just clicks, your hand adjusts and you improve jumping up to the next certain speed block. Repeat it all over again to break though!


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SirJamsalot
post Jun 17 2011, 07:37 PM
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Ramones!


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thefireball
post Jun 17 2011, 07:40 PM
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I would say that down picking came natural for me. I started out doing that and only that for a while. Riffing is my strong point.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 18 2011, 07:17 AM
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I sometimes use it as well since some of the riffs I have to play are down picked as well in some amount smile.gif I never thought about this technique as of something I learned from a specific song - it just came with time and playing various riffs.


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 18 2011, 08:45 AM
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Great answers, guys.. I think it's a very interesting part of guitar playing.. and it's not an easy technique to build up to speed either without asking yourself 'Am I doing it right or wrong ? Am I using too much force ?' etc etc...

Yes, those 2 Metallica tracks are notorious for being 'the' songs for down picking, but I can add another to that list... Megadeth's Tornado Of Souls.. the verses ! cool.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 19 2011, 01:37 PM
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Not any band in particular helped me with that, I just practiced downstrokes slowly against the click, and in time it got faster. Didn't practice them that much tho, so it would take some time to master it at faster tempo, but it's all about slowing down significantly as always, and trying to play it as efficiently and relaxed as possible. This doesn't mean that I always did that, and in those times, I regret it every time after a hard song on a gig comes even harder. Who will save my hands!? smile.gif


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