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> How To Improve Down Picking ?
Pourliver
post Jul 26 2012, 06:47 AM
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Hi everyone ! smile.gif

So, today I was playing Waking the Demon, by Bullet For My Valentine, and I've saw that my down picking was a bit too slow for the song.I tried many time to improve it, but look like I can't get any faster.

How did you guys break your downpicking speed limit ? It would be awesome to shred at 240 BPM with downpicking only !:lol:
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Nihilist1
post Jul 26 2012, 06:53 AM
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QUOTE (Pourliver @ Jul 26 2012, 05:47 AM) *
Hi everyone ! smile.gif

So, today I was playing Waking the Demon, by Bullet For My Valentine, and I've saw that my down picking was a bit too slow for the song.I tried many time to improve it, but look like I can't get any faster.

How did you guys break your downpicking speed limit ? It would be awesome to shred at 240 BPM with downpicking only !:lol:


It helped me to increase my overall alternate picking ability. You have to make the same motion either way so, it should work!


--------------------
All the elders have fallen down...

Heal her now...

All the elders have fallen down...

Heal her now...

Grandfather elk
Turned to me
And spoke:

Light the fire deep inside.
Light the fires!

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Azzaboi
post Jul 26 2012, 07:59 AM
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Down picking is the same technique as alternate picking, just skipping the upstrokes.

You should focus on:

1) Reducing resistance (less resistances means less effort on your part, way more stamina and speed then comes naturally)
- use a thicker pointed pick
- just graze the tip of the pick against the string, rather than digging into it (min surface area sticking out)
- never angle/tilt the pick upwards or downward, this would make it easier one way but much harder the other direction
- you can however rotate the pick forward so your thumb is almost pointing downwards and your using the edge of the pick rather than just flat for a sharper, more agressive attack (plus less surface area contact means less resistance)
- straighten and lock the picking hand thumb (hugely improves speed and control) rather than flexing it (gives more emotion and feeling at slower speeds)

2) Reducing distance (less movement means less effort, more control, and way more speed doing less work)
- keep only a few millimeters of pick sticking out
- pick from the wrist, using a very slight motion, hardly any distance is required
- never move away from the string or into it, just graze along their surfaces
- make sure your hands aren't jump away from your guitar or making large movements
- fretboard fingers should hover over their positions at all times, not flicking away (finger training is required to unglue them from each other and make them all independent)
- for down picking only, it would be a very small circular motion as you avoid striking up.

3) Sync hands (focus on correcting one, then the other, then merge the techniques together in time with each other)
- focus on one hand, then ignore it and let natural feeling/control kick in
- never play tensed, stop and shake it out, only play relaxed (tensing slows you down majorly)
- find and work on your weakest techniques
- use a metronome, start off slowly and build speed gradually (important!)

I always found this video very helpful as well:


If your a sucker for torture - Todd's Video Chat can be helpful, however just start off at your own pace or even ask to slow down.

This post has been edited by Azzaboi: Jul 26 2012, 08:07 AM
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Ben Higgins
post Jul 26 2012, 05:43 PM
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I always found that it was a bit easier to down pick if I relaxed my wrist joint so that it was facing outwards a bit.. kind of like what it looks like when you do some really relaxed strumming.


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Nihilist1
post Jul 26 2012, 11:34 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jul 26 2012, 04:43 PM) *
I always found that it was a bit easier to down pick if I relaxed my wrist joint so that it was facing outwards a bit.. kind of like what it looks like when you do some really relaxed strumming.


This helps tremolo picking as well.


--------------------
All the elders have fallen down...

Heal her now...

All the elders have fallen down...

Heal her now...

Grandfather elk
Turned to me
And spoke:

Light the fire deep inside.
Light the fires!

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Marcus Siepen
post Jul 31 2012, 05:06 PM
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The most important thing (in my opinion) has been mentioned already: practice with a metronome, start slow and only speed up in small steps. If you try to get faster too quickly you will only start to play sloppy and get used to this. Make sure you are really comfortable with a certain speed before you speed up.


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Guitars: various Gibson Les Pauls / Gibson J 45
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Effects: Rocktron Intellifex / Rocktron Xpression
Homepage: www.marcussiepen.com www.blind-guardian.com
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Todd Simpson
post Aug 2 2012, 03:26 AM
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Practice? smile.gif Seriously though, it comes with time. Try to bump the metronome but small amounts. One or 2 BPM then just keep going.

Todd

QUOTE (Pourliver @ Jul 26 2012, 01:47 AM) *
Hi everyone ! smile.gif

So, today I was playing Waking the Demon, by Bullet For My Valentine, and I've saw that my down picking was a bit too slow for the song.I tried many time to improve it, but look like I can't get any faster.

How did you guys break your downpicking speed limit ? It would be awesome to shred at 240 BPM with downpicking only !:lol:



--------------------
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Pourliver
post Aug 2 2012, 04:44 AM
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Thanks for all the tips ! smile.gif I gained a bit of speed by practicing this week, I'm getting closer biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by Pourliver: Aug 2 2012, 04:54 AM
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Marcus Siepen
post Aug 9 2012, 04:16 PM
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Good smile.gif Just be patient, some things just need time, you won't get ultra fast over night.


--------------------
Guitars: various Gibson Les Pauls / Gibson J 45
Amps: Mesa Boogie Tripple Rectifier / Triaxis / 2:90 Poweramp / Rectocabs
Effects: Rocktron Intellifex / Rocktron Xpression
Homepage: www.marcussiepen.com www.blind-guardian.com
Check out my video lessons!
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TRA
post Dec 4 2016, 05:58 PM
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Hello! 5 and 1/2 years later...a lot of music has been played in these 5 or so years...

I am just now realizing what you did at that time, and not many people are talking about how rhythm playing
has become just as complex and difficult as lead playing...

Did you end up playing the tunes as quickly as you would like?

I can reach 190 bpm down-picking... but with nothing fancy added...I have a long road ahead mellow.gif

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