#1
Ok so I was reading some comments about a guitarist covering a metallica's song and they were commenting about him using alternate picking instead of down picking all the way. Does that really matter ? Shouldn't we focus on the tone instead of whether you are using the 'correct' way of picking ? If you can achieve a metallica tone using alternate picking, what is the big deal here ?
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Last edited by Stuck_nomore at Dec 15, 2015,
#2
Quote by Stuck_nomore
If you can achieve a metallica tone using alternate picking, what is the big deal here ?

if you could get the same sound with alternate picking, it wouldn't matter. but you cant, so it does.
#3
Quote by Stuck_nomore
Shouldn't we focus on the tone instead of whether you are using the 'correct' way of picking ?


down-picking is the correct way to achieve said tone
#4
Don't worry about it OP...purists insit on having to play everything to the note whilst also touting that you should have your own style. It's people whinging for the sake of it.
#5
It depends really. If you want to sound as close as possible to Metallica's, down pick the shit out of it.

If you want to be a bit different, and feel more comfortable doing it different, then alternate pick.
#6
There's two approaches here, really.

The first approach is the unimaginative one that says you must play it exactly the way the band played it using the exact same equipment and tone (or as close as possible). There are plenty of wankers who subscribe to that philosophy, and God help them. Kudos to anyone who can actually pull it off though.

The other approach follows this philosophy: What [insert band name here] has done is to create an amazing song. I want to learn it. But I want to create my interpretation of it. Which means I may play it differently and/or add an alternate flavor to the song. I may even choose to use the "wrong" tone for it. But it's art, and it's all about creativity, right?

What that approach means is that you are free to play it how you want to play it.

For what it's worth, not all Metallica riffs were downpicked. There are plenty that were alternate picked. To get the opening riff of Master of Puppets to sound exactly the way it does on the album though, you pretty much have to downpick it. There are parts of that song that I alternate pick. It still sounds good. I can play it with all downpicking -- but I'm lazy and it's much, much easier to alt. pick. At the end of the day, nobody really cares.
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#7
Quote by KailM

The other approach follows this philosophy: What [insert band name here] has done is to create an amazing song. I want to learn it. But I want to create my interpretation of it. Which means I may play it differently and/or add an alternate flavor to the song. I may even choose to use the "wrong" tone for it. But it's art, and it's all about creativity, right?


a fancy way of saying you can't play it correctly
#8
Why do people think it's a sort of elitist mentality to tell someone to down pick when playing trash metal.. There is such a distinct difference in sound from alternate picking and down picking. If you want to play thrash metal and not learn to down pick properly then you probably shouldn't be playing thrash metal. It's a cornerstone for that style of music. Just because it's more difficult it doesn't mean you should not do it.
All styles of metal in general use down picking. It's one of those techniques you just need to learn if you're in to metal. It would be almost as ridiculous as learning to play classical guitar and not learning to fingerpick.
#9
I think you could technically alternate pick it to get the tone you would just have to up pick very hard to the point where it might be easier just to down pick it all.
In terms of being creative, if you're going to play the song exactly how its recorded except you're going to alternate pick because it's easier I'd say you're really just taking the easy way out.
#10
Quote by stratdud39
I think you could technically alternate pick it to get the tone you would just have to up pick very hard to the point where it might be easier just to down pick it all.


It is theoretically possible, but I have never seen it done ever and I doubt anyone ever will see it done
#11
Quote by calebspratley
a fancy way of saying you can't play it correctly


Truthfully, it isn't is it haha we all start out wanting to mimic our heroes that's true. But as you progress as a guitarist you start realizing the importance of sounding like you. If you wanna be a really top youtube guitarist by all means make sure every note/tone is perfect but if you wanna do any better than that being creative.

Quote by vayne92
Why do people think it's a sort of elitist mentality to tell someone to down pick when playing trash metal.. There is such a distinct difference in sound from alternate picking and down picking. If you want to play thrash metal and not learn to down pick properly then you probably shouldn't be playing thrash metal. It's a cornerstone for that style of music. Just because it's more difficult it doesn't mean you should not do it.
All styles of metal in general use down picking. It's one of those techniques you just need to learn if you're in to metal. It would be almost as ridiculous as learning to play classical guitar and not learning to fingerpick.


Puppets? I wouldn't say the riff the OP is referring to is particularly thrashy? It is definitely a a popular technique for that slower metal riff but true thrash by those guys is riddled with alternate picking!! The faster the riffs get the more alternate picking they do. The 'Puppets' riff is right on the borderline. As people get better whilst learning the song down-picking it becomes possible then easier, but for a lot of beginners it's easier to alternate pick it to begin with. I played it alt-picked for a long while, but then I've no ambition to play pure down-pick.
#12
Quote by calebspratley
a fancy way of saying you can't play it correctly


No. You didn't understand my point. I should have added something about learning it correctly AT FIRST. But then apply your own flavor to it later. To simply mimic exactly what another artist has done is boring. I like to take certain old thrash songs and give them more of a 'death metal' or 'black metal' feel, for example. It's still the same song, it's just my version of it. The same thing is done all the time with classical music; in movies, TV, etc.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
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#13
Quote by KailM
I should have added something about learning it correctly AT FIRST. But then apply your own flavor to it later.


You certainly should have added that. Beginners need to focus on the fundamentals first because they have yet to find their "own flavour". A beginner can't add much to a song because they still haven't developed themselves as an individual and also lack the skills to apply their own elements (if they really had any) to a song.
#14
Quote by vayne92
You certainly should have added that. Beginners need to focus on the fundamentals first because they have yet to find their "own flavour". A beginner can't add much to a song because they still haven't developed themselves as an individual and also lack the skills to apply their own elements (if they really had any) to a song.

agreed
#15
I feel like not using alternate picking while playing metal is not because you prefer the sound but you can't alternate pick good enough. If you enjoy the song you should not settle for a sub par way of playing it. Yes you can get it to sound good playing down strokes but if you spend 2 hours learning each way you will find alternate picking sounds much better. Also it is always good to learn as many guitar techniques if you are going to use them or not.
#16
Quote by tommylaws16
I feel like not using alternate picking while playing metal is not because you prefer the sound but you can't alternate pick good enough. If you enjoy the song you should not settle for a sub par way of playing it. Yes you can get it to sound good playing down strokes but if you spend 2 hours learning each way you will find alternate picking sounds much better. Also it is always good to learn as many guitar techniques if you are going to use them or not.


This is the most contradictory thing you could say ever. Not settling for a "sub-par" way of playing it, yet recommending to alternate pick a riff that is down-picked in the recording. alternate picking therefore is the sub-par way of playing it..
#17
Usually in Thrash most of the rhythm stuff up to 8th notes are downpicked. I mean the riffs that is meant to have a pummeling kind of sound (see Master Of Puppets main spider riff). You can alternate it but it tends to sound softer, which kinda hurts the feeling of the song that tries to sound like heavy beating. But there are a lot of riffs that do not need that downpicking sound so feel free to alternate for those. For example in Jump In The Fire the beginning riff I alternate pick but the riff after that I downpick. Since they are two different kinds of riffs I use two different kinds of picking for them even though they are just as fast (or in case of this song, slow. ).

And everything above 8th notes are obviously alternate picked. The fast sawing parts like Fight Fire With Fire, the short triplet bursts among the 8th notes, shredding solos and so on. No human can downpick that fast anyway and they are so fast that the pummeling sound of heavy downpicking is lost anyway.

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#18
It sounds exactly the same.  Thrash is so high gain anyway you can't tell the difference--and if you were playing with a full band, you definitely couldn't tell the difference.  I was curious about this question once so I recorded myself playing the first few bars of Master down-picking and then did the same alternate picking, then tried to have my guitar buddy guess which was which--and he got it wrong haha.  I'll tell you this, when it comes to certain technical things on guitar if you don't use it you lose it, and fast down-picking is the mother of them.  So unless you plan to keep up with yourself and play metal every other day from here on out, you're wasting your time to get good at it.  Plus it'll screw up your wrist.
#19
Quote by mdc724
It sounds exactly the same.  Thrash is so high gain anyway you can't tell the difference.

So unless you plan to keep up with yourself and play metal every other day from here on out, you're wasting your time to get good at it.  

Plus it'll screw up your wrist.


Wrong.

Wrong.

Also wrong.

This thread is 2 years old, please don't revive old threads.
#20
vayne92 Yeah, because the down-picking vs. alternate picking debate is so 2 years ago.  The topic of this thread is no longer relevant.  

If you don't want to revive old threads then don't contribute to timeless topics.  

Also, you're wrong.  It's a placebo effect that you think thrash metal sounds more aggressive  when you down-pick.  It may make you feel all warm and fuzzy to play it like Hetfield and Hammet did, but the truth is you've just mastered a minimally useful technique.  So if you have to learn the song to learn the song, then forget the stupid technique.
#21
mdc724

1. TS has not been active for 4 months and he surely isn't still monitoring this thread. You're just beating a dead horse at this point.

2. I'm not the one who revived it am I? If you're so passionate about said timeless topic then you should be enlightening the world on Youtube, not a technique sub-forum designed to cater to an individuals specific needs at a specific time.

3. Do tell Ola Englund he's wrong:

Last edited by vayne92 at Jul 22, 2017,
#22
vayne92 ... And yet you keep taking the bait and responding, keeping the thread revival alive and well.  I'm not the one who cares about that.

You may see a forum as an opportunity to spread your wisdom to the guy who asked the question.  But the reason a forum is still accessible from the World Wide Web is so that other people can benefit from questions previously asked and answered.

Ola Englund blows and so does all of Death Metal.  If I was going to tell him anything, I'd tell him that.
#23
vayne92, step down; you reported the thread so leave it at that.  You know this.

mdc724 quite aside from the tone thing (which is entirely debatable, not only as to whether downpicking affects tone but as to whether that actually matters), downpicking is a pretty key element of being able to get fast gallop rhythms up to speed, unless you want to use pure alternate picking for the whole of a song like Battery.

Either way, you're both acting like children, so Daddy needs to step in.

Closed.
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