#1
Hi guys,

So I'm not really in the loop on most of the internet guitar-related stuff, I just play guitar on my own time mostly, so sorry if this seems like stone-age talk.

I was watching a couple videos on youtube yesterday, and I saw that some of the descriptions said things like "all down-picked " and there were like, comments that went "nice, all down-picked too, you're a god".

See I'm really confused because I've been striving to alternate-pick all my riffs/solos thinking it would allow me to play faster. Am I stupid?
#2
It depends on the song. Some metal songs (Master of Puppets is the big one) are entirely downpicked. The sound you get by constantly downpicking is much sharper and clearer, and more typically metal sounding. But its also much, much more tiring and difficult than alternate picking.
#3
If they were really fast metal riffs it gives a different (some say tighter) sound. Metallica riffing was famous for being mostly down-picked. It requires a lot of speed and stamina in the right hand to down-pick everything. Don't stop practicing alternate though haha!
#4
No, you're not stupid, the people that harp on about down picking are those that have weak alternate picking. Many people think that down picking sounds more aggressive but if you develop your alternate picking, this isn't the case.
Alternate picking is faster and more efficient.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#5
With very high output pickups, it becomes harder to hear this, but down picking and "up" picking sound different from each other. You're definitely on the right track to strive for alternate picking, the only reason I could think of for using all down strokes would be to achieve a sound difference. That, or the song is all power chords and doesn't require any actual technique.
#6
Downpicking comes in handy later on, for example in riffs that have triplets within steady 8th notes (chug-chug-triplet-chug etc.) It helps here because the triplet can be twitched out after consistant downpicking.

It's kind of a hard thing to explain, the straightforward advantages are having a consistant sound and the mentioned triplets-made-easy thing but yeah, I wouldn't be phased on practicing it unless you want to play in a punk band.
*shrugs* I don't know...
#7
learning to downpick fast can also help your alternate picking
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#8
When i was learning to control my economy of motion for fast alternate picking I also became very fast with regular downpicking. So i think it works both ways.

The trick is, is to keep everything super relaxed so you will never get tired (Im f*cking skinny).

the thing i like about downpicking is how tight it sounds when combining it with palm mute riffing and when you combine it with alternate picking you get some awesome evil rhythms aswell.

It really isn't that hard, just control yourself for minimum movement and start very very slow (20Bpm). This will take a small year or so before you reach speeds high enough to tremolo pick but you will have total control and will sound super tight. after a month you will allready notice an improvement when your just jamming or f*cking around.
#9
Alternate picking does help playing faster , but if you can play something at same BPM with only downpicking , than i think it is God like ,
#10
Quote by hames jetfield
learning to downpick fast can also help your alternate picking

But do you know what helps your alternate picking even more than that? Practising alternate picking

Quote by kian89
Alternate picking does help playing faster , but if you can play something at same BPM with only downpicking , than i think it is God like

It's harder to do but I don't think it praiseworthy to avoid doing things the easy way, in favour of the hard way.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#11
the worst mistake you can make is to downpick everything. I spent the first 6 months just downpicking, got pretty damn good at it but couldn't alternate pick ANYHTING. Just remember that if you dont use it you lose it. Practice both when its appropriate
#12
Quote by mrbabo91
the worst mistake you can make is to downpick everything. I spent the first 6 months just downpicking, got pretty damn good at it but couldn't alternate pick ANYHTING. Just remember that if you dont use it you lose it. Practice both when its appropriate

I did also, but in the end after learning to tremolo pick I had both skills nailed down.
#13
A way I use it is as a timekeeping thing so my hand doesn't have to speed up or slow down constantly. For 8th notes I'll use downpicking and then when it switches to triplets or 16th notes I'll start alternate picking. Obviously this depends on the the song and if I'm switching from string to string. If I'm doing that I tend to alternate pick or ocasionally use economic picking (not often since I find alternate picking more comfortable)
#14
Quote by mrbabo91
the worst mistake you can make is to downpick everything. I spent the first 6 months just downpicking, got pretty damn good at it but couldn't alternate pick ANYHTING. Just remember that if you dont use it you lose it. Practice both when its appropriate


Same here, then once you discover the efficiency of alternate there is no stopping you. Still, need to practice down and up picking separately, I left them behind for years then found my down pick was bizarrely much less than half as fast as the alternate.
Last edited by chord-me-like at Jul 19, 2011,