Sy_B
The Essence of Is
Join date: Mar 2008
1,081 IQ
#1
I thought I was doing ok at guitar for the years I've practiced and all, but today I found that I can't play something like say "Dammit" by Blink 182.

I can't believe it's so hard. The problem is during the verses, where it just goes power chord palm muting, my hand chokes up and slows down after one set of palm muting. I can't imagine doing that for the entire song.

I remember the same thing happened in Queensryche Spreading the Disease, but I think that was a bit easier because it was one string in one fret or something. Still made my hand real tired.

I'm trying to palm mute the whole power chord, (not just the root) and use only downstrokes, no alternate picking, that's the correct way to do it, right?

Anyone have any tips, maybe slower songs to practice that technique?
Last edited by Sy_B at Oct 8, 2013,
JenoUnion
Tab Contributor
Join date: Aug 2007
926 IQ
#2
Downstroking is a pretty common technique, namely in metal. Just practice it incessantly, either to a metronome or slow down songs and play along, gradually building the speed up until you can do it at full speed (Guitar Pro and the like help with stuff like this, but metronomes work the same). You can usually find riffs from bands like Metallica, All That Remains, Trivium, etc being downpicked that you can practice (Master of Puppets, No Remorse, For We Are Many, Six, and Ascendancy to name a few from those bands). It just takes a lot of practice, and don't get discouraged.
Reages
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2006
882 IQ
#3
Maybe you can't play it because it's not possible to downpick on that tempo on 2 and 3 strings. All the riffs in a post above are on 1 string only. Anyway i checked live videos and blink 182 play that song alternate picked not downstrokes, where did you get that it must be downpicked?
Last edited by Reages at Oct 8, 2013,
hardcore81
licensed douchebag
Join date: Jan 2010
1,750 IQ
#4
rock it joey ramone style. i find that downstroke palm muting chords is easier if you wear your guitar lower.

the way i got my downpicking speed up is to just sit and watch tv. sit down to watch a show and absentmindedly chug chords. then during the commercial breaks focus on what you're doing. start at a comfortable speed and slowly work your way up. i find this helps with all aspects of playing guitar, whether it be chugging, alternate picking, scales, tapping, what have you
fanapathy
B-Tuned
Join date: Jul 2010
1,985 IQ
#5
Just alt pick the palm mutes, the riff in that song is like

Q--E-E-E-E-E-E-Q--E-E-E-E-E-E

5----------------------------
3--3-3-3-3-3-3-5-------------
---------------3--3-3-3-3-3-3

d--d-u-d-u-d-u-d--d-u-d-u-d-u


And so on. That's how the guy plays it in the music video anyway and it's the easiest way IMO, but you can practice downpicking for better speed. However I don't think there's much of a point when there's no 16ths/faster notes, especially when even the band doesn't do it (people often argument to downpick Master of Puppets for that reason).
Edit: I originally put 2 string PMs according to OP but on first listen it sounds like standard single notes and really straightforward. PM powerchords is usually not used in "clean" parts like this as they give a bit more dirty/heavy sound
Last edited by fanapathy at Oct 8, 2013,
Sy_B
The Essence of Is
Join date: Mar 2008
1,081 IQ
#6
Hi, sorry for late response

I'll work on it slowly, and also Reages and Fanapathy, alternate picking PMs just doesn't sound the same to me. Could be I'm not applying enough pressure or need to work on my upstrokes or something though.

I'll post an example, first gotta make it.
Sy_B
The Essence of Is
Join date: Mar 2008
1,081 IQ
#7
Ok, here's an example of what I mean. I warmed up with the 2nd song (Spreading the Disease) because for some reason it's easier to downpick if it's just in one fret I guess, or there's more of a break inbetween, or maybe it's cause there's more room since it's the bottom one...

Anyway, the first take of Dammit is all downpicked, the 2nd take is alternate picked, and the 3rd is a shorter try, downpicked. Then STD begins. The first 2 lines of STD are downpicked, but switch to alternate picking after that...you'll hear it. The lower rhythm part after the opening lines is all downpicked.

No metronome, and I was improvising by ear so there's notation mistakes. This is just to show the tonal difference I'm having between downstrokes and alternate.

http://picosong.com/qwDz/
Reages
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2006
882 IQ
#8
Quote by Sy_B
Ok, here's an example of what I mean. I warmed up with the 2nd song (Spreading the Disease) because for some reason it's easier to downpick if it's just in one fret I guess, or there's more of a break inbetween, or maybe it's cause there's more room since it's the bottom one...

Anyway, the first take of Dammit is all downpicked, the 2nd take is alternate picked, and the 3rd is a shorter try, downpicked. Then STD begins. The first 2 lines of STD are downpicked, but switch to alternate picking after that...you'll hear it. The lower rhythm part after the opening lines is all downpicked.

No metronome, and I was improvising by ear so there's notation mistakes. This is just to show the tonal difference I'm having between downstrokes and alternate.

http://picosong.com/qwDz/


You definitely need to work on alternate palm muting, it should not sound like that. The only difference that whould be "visible" between alternating and downpicking is that in alternate mode every second palm mute will sound somewhat higher in tone or will have a different attack to it, because you start muting from the higher string.
Sy_B
The Essence of Is
Join date: Mar 2008
1,081 IQ
#9
Alright, makes sense thanks, how do I work on it? Do you think my hand position is wrong or something?
fanapathy
B-Tuned
Join date: Jul 2010
1,985 IQ
#10
Well it definitely sounds like you're exerting less pressure or use a different muting position when you're alt picking and I agree that it isn't sounding right. Try playing PMs with downstrokes and then switch to alternates without moving your right hand at all. Nevermind the left hand as it's irrelevant so just practice open string or one position until your (alternate) mutes are good and sound nearly identical to the downpicked ones.
Sy_B
The Essence of Is
Join date: Mar 2008
1,081 IQ
#11
Alright I'll give that some practice thanks.

Just yesterday though, I was in a guitar center, and tried the same thing on some different guitars, and it sounded pretty ok. Now I'm thinking the action and strings on my guitar are definitely a factor here.