#1
Hi!

This question is aimed at black/death metal guitarists.

I have trouble with riffs that have interchanging normal and tremolo picking. The problem occurs when I switch back from tremolo to normal picking... it's always a hit-and-miss affair with 50% chance of not failing to picking the first normal note after ending the tremolo part.

When tremolo picking I just pick as fast as possible, so when I stop it, my last stroke is basically random, it's either an upstroke or a downstroke. I was thinking that if I picked regular 16ths or 32ths instead, then it would guarantee that my picking hand will be ready for a downstroke when I stop the tremolo...

How do you guys do it? Should I switch to 32ths or just keep practicing and eventually it will sort itself out?

Thanks,
j


Example:

E|-1---1-1-1-1-4433-|
   D   D U D U trem


(The F notes are picked with normal alternate picking, while the G and G# notes are tremolo picked.)
#2
It seems you have speed but don't have control. It's a common issue that's easily remedied. Slow the riff down, practice it with a metronome and increase the speed gradually. You'll have it down quite quickly. I's start with 16th notes for the tremolo part in the beginning and maybe switch to 32nds when reaching speed in which following individual beats becomes difficult (maybe around 160bpm mark). I'm assuming the notes before are supposed to be eighths so an exercise that goes 4/4 would be, for example, like this (assuming the notes in your example are the ones you want to use): 1. 11 2. 11 3. 4433 4. 4433. So two notes for the first two beats and four notes for the latter two. Rinse and repeat.
#3
You really shouldn't be tremolo picking "as fast as possible", you should be tremolo picking at a set speed - 16ths, 32nds etc. And don't forget, regular picking really is just tremolo picking but slower.

The age old advice is true - practice it slowly then build up speed.
I find tremolo picking, especially over different strings, easier if I start on an upstroke, however my friend (who is much better at it than me) finds that supremely weird.
#4
Thank you for your replies. Actually it seems that I have a looong way to go, as I can barely manage rhythmically correct continuous 16ths at 100bpm. Clearly, I have to develop control, as I can tremolo at a much higher speed, but only in an "as fast as possible" style

Back to practing...
#5
Use a metronome and play with an accent. For 16th notes, you'd play an accented note on each click followed by 3 more notes for a total of 4 notes per click. Accenting the first note in each "note group" is essential for getting timing down. It's much easier than you might think too.

DOWN up down up DOWN up down up DOWN up down up DOWN up down up

or

TIkatikaTIkatikaTIkatikaTIkatikaTIkatikaTIkatika

Don't try to count the notes in between the accents. That's not reasonable at higher speeds. You just gotta feel it with your natural sense of rhythm. If you hit your accented notes on the beat correctly, the other notes will simply fall into place.
Last edited by Sample246 at Jun 6, 2016,