My playing has plenty of weaknesses lol, but one area where I've always struggled is with gallops, or at least I think that's what they're called.

An example would be "Bark at the Moon" at the 31 second mark.


another would be "Orion" at the 1:42 mark.


It's really frustrating when you can play the other parts of the song just fine, and then have to go at half speed when you get to these parts. I can alternate pick on a single string ok, like I can play the main riff to Disposable Heroes just fine. Alternate picking while going from string to string is a challenge, up picking is where I really struggle.

Anyway, I was hoping that someone would have more advice than just practice and play it slow. I am doing that, and I'm improving some I guess. Particular patterns can really throw me off over others as well.

P.S. I took lessons for a few years when I first learned to play. My teacher was an amazing player and knew a lot about music, but I don't ever remember him telling me to be relaxed at all times while playing. I didn't pick that up until recently when I started hanging out here, and it has definitely helped. I don't know why it never occurred to me before, I just thought you had to strain to play those really hard songs.
Last edited by ninjamunky85 at Feb 27, 2014,
My ultimate practice on this kind of alternate picking across 2 strings is:
Try to do the "0120130140130122" riff of Master of Puppets with alternate picking.
Do you feel like I do!?
Playing slow and building up speed over time is the tried and true method. I sometimes play with a drum machine to prevent boredom. Just something simple to practice your techniques over.
Read my post. Not this.
Play slowly, focus on accurately playing the notes with small movements while remaining relaxed.

This is a very hard thing to do. You will probably have to slow down to something a LOT slower than you would expect (I can play Orion at full speed with no problems, but if I was learning some of the riffs from new now I'd still slow down to 1/4 speed at the absolute fastest, if not even slower).

You play slowly so your brain can learn how to play with more efficient and relaxed technique. The point is not to ramp up the speed, but to learn how to play better. Once you get this into your brain, you can start speeding up and the brain will start using your improved technique. If you speed up too fast, the brain simply goes back to your old technique because it has had more experience playing fast with that technique as opposed to the new one you're learning.