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Old 01-27-2013, 09:20 PM   #1
zuhairreza
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Used to upstrokes on certain licks, and a rhythm guitar riff question!

Hi, I am self taught and I've been playing since 2009. I am into hard rock and heavy metal.

Anyway, I think that since I've been playing and practicing (only) certain guitar licks with an upstroke since I began, I find doing an upstroke way more comfortable compared to a downstroke with those specific licks.

For instance, take the open 0000s on the low E string. If I played 0000 on the low E, and then any power chord on the A and D strings (like in thrash metal usually), I find it extremely easy to start those 0000s with an upstroke and then, leading with a downstroke, play the power chord on the A string. However, I see that most major and intermediate, etc guitar players would usually begin those 0000s on the low E with a downstroke, and then, finishing the 0000 with an upstroke, play the power chord on the A with a downstrum. This is what I find VERY TOUGH to do. Usually I find instead of the 0000, I will accidentally do a 00 or a 000, beside other playing problems sometimes. I know what the best thing to do is: take any guitar lick of that kind and slow it down to a point where I can play it perfectly and comfortably, and keep practicing that, only increasing the metronome speed in small increments. Well, that's how I practice with all my guitar exercises and licks, and I see a considerable amount of improvement after some time of practicing those riffs slowly. However, with these kinds of rhythm licks I am rarely seeing any improvements at all. Any other suggestions would be welcome, and needless to say, I will continue practicing these licks slowly so I get used to the starting downstroke motion...

Here's another example" I am practicing Bark at the Moon by Ozzy Osbourne lately, and this is the intro riff as most of you know:

s P.M-----| P.M-----| P.M----| P.M-----| PM-----------| P.M------|
e-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B--8/10---------10---------10--------------------8------------------------------
G--7/9----------9----------9----------9----------9--------------7----------7----
D--5/7----------7----------7----------7----------7--------------5----------5----
A-------0-0-0-0----0-0-0-0----0-0-0-0----0-0-0-0----0-0-3-0-0------0-0-0-0------
E-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When I was still in the "early stages" of basic technique practice and learning, I remember I used to play this lick quite a lot. I would play the 5-7-8 chord with a downstrum, the 7-9-10 chord with a downstrum too, and then would begin those 0000s between the chords with an UPSTROKE. I am thinking this practice in this lick, and other similar playing style in other songs (Metallica songs), has led me to grow very comfortable with the upstroke in these licks.

The problem? I want to be equally adept at both downstrokes and upstrokes, and in fact, I would say I want to be more comfortable with starting those 0000s with a downstroke and then playing the chord on the higher strings perfectly, not LESS comfortable with starting with a downstroke.

Is taking these licks and practicing them VERY SLOWLY my ONLY option? If I somehow managed to NOT make this whole thing confusing as hell and if you guys understood what I am trying to say, then please leave some other suggestions if you can as to how I can get myself used to downstrokes in the LEAST amount of time needed. As I said, now on certain licks I am more used to upstrokes than downstrokes and this is driving me crazy.

Also, not being able to play these licks perfectly using downstrokes at a moderate speed is taking away my motivation level (which is stupid I guess ). Lately when I sit down and think of this whole upstroke/downstroke business, I just feel "I can't play" and this takes away all... energy and drive..

Not all major guitar players can do every technique or skill, can they?

Thank you. Time for tea.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:40 PM   #2
Junior#1
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You're already doing exactly what you need to do: Practice with a metronome is key. But something that helped me get used to starting with an upstroke (downstrokes came naturally to me) was this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VApk-vvhp8&t=16m53s
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Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:30 AM   #3
My Last Words
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Just another quick tip, whenever you copy+paste tabs on UG, place CODE tags around it (The # symbol in the reply editor).

Like this;
Code:
s P.M-----| P.M-----| P.M----| P.M-----| PM-----------| P.M------| e------------------------------------------------------------------------------- B--8/10---------10---------10--------------------8------------------------------ G--7/9----------9----------9----------9----------9--------------7----------7---- D--5/7----------7----------7----------7----------7--------------5----------5---- A-------0-0-0-0----0-0-0-0----0-0-0-0----0-0-0-0----0-0-3-0-0------0-0-0-0------ E-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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