#1
Hey everyone,

I know left hand speed is built by accuracy and relaxation/economy of motion, but how do I improve my right hand speed? Whenever playing fast downpicking riffs (2 Minutes to Midnight, Master of Puppets, etc) I get tired if I try to keep up with the song. Do I just slow down to the point where I can play it correctly and keep doing that?

There's barely any accuracy involved in downpicking the same string for a prolonged period of time, so where's the catch? Endurance? Relaxation?
#2
It's the same stuff; relaxation and economy of motion. Spending time building endurance is also good but it's predicated on having at least decent technique to begin with.
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#4
No, you still have to practice for things like economy of motion and relaxation. Time alone doesn't make someone a good guitarist, you need to really work at the craft.
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#5
Well, I thought that was obivous. Not that I wouldnt practice/play and magically learn how to.
#6
remember that the only time you need to tense up your picking hand at all is the moment you give your pick the initial push through your wrist. between every picking motion, you're wasting energy if you maintain tension.
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#7
you can also consider not purely down picking those riffs, I know that that's how they played them, but nothing says you have to use the same technique, especially when its inefficient, personally for either of those, I would use economy picking purely out of habit and the speed wouldn't be an issue, just a suggestion
#8
Quote by Celestus
Well, I thought that was obivous. Not that I wouldnt practice/play and magically learn how to.


Sorry, I wasn't entirely clear, you can't just practice and expect these things to happen, you have to specifically practice for these things.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


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Legion.
#10
My advice is if you are struggling to maintain tempo picking (downpicking, alternate, or economy) is to forget about your fretting hand for a little bit every time you practice. Just play open strings using different picking patterns at a comfortable tempo. A good pattern is the one Metallica uses in Disposable Heroes, the one which is on an open E string. Feel free to use any pattern that you are facing difficulty with. Use a metronome and just repeatedly practice different patterns using whichever picking technique you are struggling with.
Make sure that you use the exact same technique that you would use when playing normally. If that technique is sloppy, this is the perfect time to correct it.
Vary your patterns you use. Alternate between different amounts of palm muting (from heavily muted to lightly muted to barely muted to completely open). Also, practice this on all 6 strings.

If you are finding that it is still uncomfortable, slow down and do this again.
This is a great exercise to do while watching TV or even talking on the phone, so you can do it while doing other things if you are busy.

Make it fun. A lot of songs are based around simple rhythms, so I encourage you to make the exercises sound as musical as possible.

Last of all, slowly, and I mean slowly don't rush this part, increase the tempo over practice sessions as you start to feel more comfortable. You will start to build stamina and endurance over time. Eventually you should be able to play fast rhythms and keep them in time over long periods of time without starting to feel that cramping feeling.


Oh, and I almost forgot, play relaxed. Don`t tense your hand when you get tired. That only makes it painful and your technique will die as you slowly torture your hand. Either loosen up, slow down, or rest your hand. If you are playing with others while this happens do the same thing.

Good luck and have fun playing!
#11
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Sorry, I wasn't entirely clear, you can't just practice and expect these things to happen, you have to specifically practice for these things.

Zaphod_Beeblebr is bang on the money here. What most people don't realise is your brain doesn't discern. Meaning that your brain doesn't know if what you are practicing is the correct way to do something, or not: your brain will simply learn what you repeat. If you practice with a fair bit of tension in your hands, picking too deeply and with a large pick movement this is exactly what your brain will learn. As Zaphod_Beeblebr said, you have to practice with minimal movement, minimal tension/effort and with the very tip of the pick (for speed) for these things to happen. It's long, hard work, but I'm sure you will nail it.

I really recommend using Stylus Picks to help train yourself to play with just the tip of the pick. Great product IMO.
Last edited by andrew_k at Feb 20, 2014,
#12
I was thinking about picking up some of those Stylus Picks, do you have problems playing chords with those..?
#13
You can't (or shouldn't) play chords with these as it wears the point off them in half the time. Single note passages only. I used these about, well, 15 years ago. They really made a huge difference to my alternate picking. They snag on the string if you pick too deeply, but glide effortlessly if you don't. Super clever design really!