#1
One thing I've just recently noticed is that I seem to do the opposite of most guitarists: I upstroke when I pick. I'm not exactly sure how I got into that habit, but when I play songs like Holy Diver (Dio) all I do is upstroke. Is that a bad thing to do when I play heavy metal? I can alternative pick on songs like Hit the Lights (Metallica) and Angel of Death (Slayer), but have trouble solidly playing palm muted downstrokes. If so, how do I go about changing that?
#3
A lot of people are gonna give you a lot of shit for stuff like that. Personally I feel if it's what feels comfortable keep doing it. When you feel that it hinders or prevents you from progressing as a player then change it. The old adage of if it ain't broke, don't fix it

As for the palm muting, palm muting is the MOST overlooked technique because it's so simple. Palm muting on time and finding the sweet spot is something you'll have to get used to.
Last edited by BoxCarRacer1 at Jan 17, 2012,
#4
Well if it works for you there's no need to change it. As far as the palm muting goes I agree with werewolf, just practice it slow and eventually you could get it. Palm muting is still possible with upstrokes but its just more difficult.
#5
*shrug* I'm also a player that formed the habit of leading with upstrokes. But we're not talking pure upstroke-only playing. There is of course nothing inherently "better" about leading with downstrokes. They have somewhat different tones, and some lines will be more conductive to one or the other, but that's about it.
#6
How do you do gallops? Do you lead those with upstrokes as well?

I would guess that your picking isn't consistently developed in any fashion yet, I personally would recommend you switch to the more normal downstrokes on the beat picking style. You need to even out your ability with both pickstrokes at some point anyway.

FWIW, Paul Gilbert used to use only upstrokes, look where he is now! (and notice what he changed )
#7
How do you do gallops? Do you lead those with upstrokes as well?


I know this was directed at the OP, but I'll answer as an upstroke dominant player. I don't really do much metal or power chord playing these days. But I'd just "gallop" with a pattern like Up-Up-Down (no less "objective" than Down-Down-Up).

Or if I really wanted to economize it, straight alternate picking, which would switch whether it's being lead by an upstroke or downstroke each gallop, at which point which one is done first is pretty arbitrary.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Jan 18, 2012,
#8
But I'd just "gallop" with a pattern like Up-Up-Down (no less "objective" than Down-Down-Up).


You're entirely correct - as long as you're consistent about it, then the leading pickstroke doesn't matter. What I suspect however, is that the threadstarter isn't actually consistent and if this is the case it'd be a big deal for playing metal.
#9
Quote by Freepower
You're entirely correct - as long as you're consistent about it, then the leading pickstroke doesn't matter. What I suspect however, is that the threadstarter isn't actually consistent and if this is the case it'd be a big deal for playing metal.


Makes sense. I mean, they did say "all I do is upstroke" for Holy Diver, and that involves gallops, so it invokes the image of someone trying to gallop just with upstrokes, which would be highly inefficient. I'm guessing that you doubt this is the case because of how bizarre it seems, hence they have to be mixing it up in some way, inconsistently. I'm having trouble imagining someone doing a gallop with strokes all in one direction.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Jan 18, 2012,
#11
O.k., thanks everybody!
And yea, to answer the question about Holy Diver, I just about only use upstrokes. For me, it depends how fast the gallop is. If it's like The Trooper, then I'm normally up-down-up.
#12
Quote by Barnett03
O.k., thanks everybody!
And yea, to answer the question about Holy Diver, I just about only use upstrokes. For me, it depends how fast the gallop is. If it's like The Trooper, then I'm normally up-down-up.


surely for the trooper you would need to do down, up, down, down up down, down up down etc as its like this


  9   9
777 777


otherwise you would need to upstroke the chord. At them tempo's i imagine it would be awkward
Last edited by mrbabo91 at Jan 19, 2012,
#13
Picking technique must support the music you are trying to play. Typically, the angle of the right hand will allow for a more prominent downstroke, plus you can use gravity and the weight of the hand.

Good technique is performing music with the least amount of physical effort.
#14
Quote by mrbabo91

otherwise you would need to upstroke the chord. At them tempo's i imagine it would be awkward


What I'm saying is that it's more awkward for me to downstroke chords. I know it's weird, and I have no idea how I've gotten into the habit, but it's just alot easier for me. What I'm wondering now though is if I change it, will it help my playing.
#15
Quote by Barnett03
What I'm saying is that it's more awkward for me to downstroke chords. I know it's weird, and I have no idea how I've gotten into the habit, but it's just alot easier for me. What I'm wondering now though is if I change it, will it help my playing.


Yes it will. If you upstroke a chord it will sound sgnificantly different to if you downpicked it. It's great that you have a welll developed upstroke, now all you need is to develop your downstroke and you should have a pretty solid alternate picking technique.

Downstrokes are better in my opinion as you can get a wider range of dynamics with them, such as pinch harmonics etc.

Paul gilbert spent like the first year or two of his playing, just using upstrokes. Look at him now. The best picker on the planet.