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Old 10-21-2012, 07:07 AM   #1
Templar0220
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Downpicking and early thrash

I know Metallica and a lot of thrash from that time played with a tremendous amount of downpicking. My question is what songs from Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, etc can I tell have exclusive downpicking? I dont want to learn a song and alternate pick a part and think im doing it right only to find out its supposed to be downpicked. How can I know what songs/parts of songs require exclusive downpicking so I dont get lost?
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:45 AM   #2
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As a general rule of thumb most 8th notes in songs by those bands are downpicked - Anything below 240bpm 8ths, but as far as I'm aware the vast majority of downpicking for those bands is below around 220bpm 8ths.

If you listen you can tell the difference due to the muting, however it can be very hard and I wouldn't bet on myself being able to do it despite learning a lot of songs by those bands when I started out. The rule of thumb above seems to work for thrash bands in general.

For Metallica at least, the fastest constant downpicking is 210bpm 8ths. I can't honestly remember if any of those bands go above 220bpm 8ths for downpicking in any of their songs though.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:07 AM   #3
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Master of Puppets is all downpicked. Good luck.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by StrykVladzimsky
Master of Puppets is all downpicked. Good luck.


Even the solo?!
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:43 AM   #5
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Even the solo?!


No cause Kirk plays it, almost everything that James plays, e.g. vast majority of the rhythm guitar and some of the slower more melodic solos, is entirely downpicked.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:56 AM   #6
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Master of Puppets (the whole album) is not all downpicked. Good luck trying to play "Disposable Heroes" and "Damage Inc." with nothing but downpicking....

Personally, I think the whole "all-downpicking" in thrash is kind of blown out of proportion. Slayer definitely uses more alternate picking than strict downpicking. And a lot of Metallica stuff from early on was alt picked. Don't get me wrong, you still need a solid foundation in downpicking to be able to play thrash and most other metal. But to get into faster, gallopy passages and rhythms you just can't do it with downpicking alone.

But to give TS some starting points: The songs "Master of Puppets" and "Creeping Death" are probably two of Metallicas most infamous all-downpicked songs. I struggle to think of any more that are strictly downpicked though, at least through the song's entirety.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:24 AM   #7
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I believe the intro to Hangar 18 was down-picked as well
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:26 AM   #8
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I still refuse to believe the triplets in the riff after the bridge in Master of Puppets is downpicked. The rest of the song definitely is.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SolidxSnake
I still refuse to believe the triplets in the riff after the bridge in Master of Puppets is downpicked. The rest of the song definitely is.


That's because they're not, this is the best rule I or anyone I've heard of can come up with:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon17
As a general rule of thumb most 8th notes in songs by those bands are downpicked - Anything below 240bpm 8ths, but as far as I'm aware the vast majority of downpicking for those bands is below around 220bpm 8ths.


Basically, in it's simplest form: if you can downpick a part... DO IT!

A good few other more recent bands have pushed past that by a substantial margin, I think the fastest anyone's been clocked downpicking in a song that anyone here knows of is around 270-280 in a couple of songs by The Berserker. I can think of a couple of bands who push in to the 230 range for protracted riffs but that's about it.

Also, side note: I'm not 100% on which bit you're talking about but I don't think they're triplets, there are almost no polyrhythms in MoP.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:37 PM   #10
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There was that guy with the not so nice PR manager who managed 300bpm downpicking 8ths I think, was posted somewhere here. The Berserker riffs are much, much harder to play though.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:18 PM   #11
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People bullshit too much about downpicking.
It depends on WHAT YOU LIKE, don't downpick just cause someone said you NEED to downpcik, bullshit!
You can actually make MASTER OF PUPPETs sound exactly as Metallica's recording, by alternate picking, if u are precise enough, and your up picks are as strong as down picks, WHICH is definitely doable. I like alternate more than downpicking, but it also depends on several factors.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:43 PM   #12
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Would someone be able to tell me for example a song like Hell Awaits, if in say the beginning if that is downpicking or tremolo?
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Templar0220
Would someone be able to tell me for example a song like Hell Awaits, if in say the beginning if that is downpicking or tremolo?


alternate, they are 16th.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Voodoosnake
alternate, they are 16th.


Thank you!
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voodoosnake
People bullshit too much about downpicking.
It depends on WHAT YOU LIKE, don't downpick just cause someone said you NEED to downpcik, bullshit!
You can actually make MASTER OF PUPPETs sound exactly as Metallica's recording, by alternate picking, if u are precise enough, and your up picks are as strong as down picks, WHICH is definitely doable. I like alternate more than downpicking, but it also depends on several factors.


I agree that you don't need to downpick but with muting alternate picking, no matter how good, has a different tone to down picking. That's not to say down picking is "better" than alternate picking, but it has its uses.

It's good to learn how to do both though for tonal options.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:42 PM   #16
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Why only focus on one side of picking???


That is like only working out your right arm when you go to the gym...

YOU HAVE ANOTHER ARM!
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