#1
I've been trying to learn how to tremolo pick recently. I know it's just fast alternate picking but how do you get the speed? I'm trying to play songs like Pull The Plug by Death, which is a hard and fast song for tremolo picking but I need to learn it.

I'm really slow at it right now. I know everyone says you have to start out slow. Any advice on how to build speed? How do you use a metronome for this type of exercise? Also, tips on how to use a metronome would be helpful.
Last edited by Kingdommetal at May 28, 2011,
#2
When I practice with a metronome I just start with a 60 BPM tempo and if I play the exercise correctly without any imperfection I increase the BPM by 10. The point of practicing with a metronome is to play in time, slowly building up your speed by increasing the tempo.
#3
Well, different learning techniques work for different people. What I did was start off slow, and, using a metronome, increase the speed of my picking by around 5 or 10 BPM every week. Also, I would advise against attempting to try tremolo picking for long stretches straight away. Start with short bursts of tremolo picking, and work up your endurance. Even if you start out doing just 3 second bursts, I found it was much more helpful than trying to go for 20 seconds straight away.
That was how I got my speed up, but there are probably millions of different ways to do it.
#4
Dude, this is what I do. Turn your metronome up to around 120 bpm, pick to the point where you can handle syncopating your rhythm with the metronome's, then gradually add in more and more notes, still keeping with the beat and before you know it, you'll have a hang of it, then just keep shooting the bpm's up!

If you still aren't sure whether you are doing it correctly, turn off the distortion until you can do it clean with no errors! using a clean tone will help you pinpoint where you are messing up.

style points: shred on the clean channel!
Quote by cm880999
Not fast enough.. try playing this song i wrote it's called trolls delight!

heres the progression

A F Bb Gm E C D A Bm C Bm A Bm Bb Bm Cm Cb C Cbm A

played at 883 bmp change the chord every click

its pretty easy though
#5
One important thing is to pay attention to the tension in your picking arm. The tension will keep you from increasing your tremolo picking speed. While you are practicing slow make sure the tension in your arm is minimal and keep paying attention to tension as you increase your speed.
#6
I know this is probably wrong, but I first learned to tremelo pick with a lot of tension in my arm. I could do it pretty damn fast too. But then I worked on slowly transitioning the technique to all-wrist. That saves my elbow, big time.

It's one of those techniques that you just have to put the hours in before your body will do it...
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#7
I still Tremelo pick from the elbow, just like the guy above me said.
Allot of my movement is from the elbow, I know its bad, but I'm trying to do allot of complicated rhythym work, one of those involves me strumming a powerchord 4 times, basically tremolo picking over 2 strings, with 4 strums adding up to 16th notes. (Which is pretty f**king fast!)
Its really tight lol.
You'll get the hang of it.
METAL!
#8
Wow, ;p. What song are you playing? Sounds hard. ;p Pull The Plug is really fast. I really do hope I get the hang of it.
As for using the metronome.... If I am going to have it in 4/4 and with 60 bpm, do I just pick on each beat or "click"?
#9
Quote by Kingdommetal
I've been trying to learn how to tremolo pick recently. I know it's just fast alternate picking but how do you get the speed? I'm trying to play songs like Pull The Plug by Death, which is a hard and fast song for tremolo picking but I need to learn it.

I'm really slow at it right now. I know everyone says you have to start out slow. Any advice on how to build speed? How do you use a metronome for this type of exercise? Also, tips on how to use a metronome would be helpful.


Trust me, it WILL come with time.
Tremolo picking can be in groups on 2's, such as 33-44-55, or 22-55, groups of 3 notes like 333-555-777 or 777-888-999-666, or groups of 4's like 5555-7777-8888-7777, etc.
Practice each of these patterns slowly at first, making sure to play all the notes well, evenly and consistently. Of course you should use alternate picking, and start with either a downstroke or an upstroke, as you find comfortable. Also try to play these pattern on different strings, since tremolo picking is often used on more than one string, consecutively.

Remember to play slow, at your maximum "threshold" level : the maximum speed at which you can play the pattern for a long time, play comfortably and play all the notes correctly.

Don't concentrate on building speed first. Later you will see if does come with time, and will come quicker if you practice slow and play perfect right from the start.

Also, suppose you will use a metronome, as I would suggest you do.
Set the metronome at a moderate tempo, such as 100 bpm, 4/4 time. It means 4 clicks FOR EVERY MEASURE/BAR. For EACH click/beat, play each section of the pattern. Like, if you are playing this lick on a single string only, 555-777-888-777, it will go like this (the beats are in brackets):
(1) 555, (2) 777, (3) 888, (4) 777

Another example, for a group of 4 pattern, such as 5555-7777-8888-9999, you will play:
(1) 5555, (2) 7777, (3) 8888, (4) 9999.

Hope that helps with the metronome question.
Good luck bro!
Last edited by zuhairreza at May 28, 2011,
#10
Wow, thanks zuhairreza. Really helpful answer. I think I got the hang of using the metronome for this now.
#11
What helped me most is the following: Straighten the fingers which aren't holding the pick. For me it was middle, ring and pinky. I just straighten them whenever I gotta play something with tremolo picking and what happens is that I concentrate on the stretch and I move more from my wrist. That way you get more speed. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/216/499354074_17a039a0c3.jpg something like this! Yeah I know Mick Thompson is gay bla bla but he really is a good guitarist! And he SURE CAN tremolo pick!
#12
Maximizing your economy of motion is the key. Make only the tip of the pick stick out so it doesn't catch, use very small strokes so the pick doesn't have any time going far above or below the strings, etc. It seems common sense, but it's not unusual to ignore little things like that, and they add up to make life much easier. As said before, pick from the wrist and almost 'vibrate' it. I wouldn't approach it exactly like alternative picking so much as it's own beast, either, because tremolo picking, with endurance, is actually much simpler in my eyes than most other picking styles because it's primarily based on finding a good routine and sticking with it consistently.
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