#1
Hi guys!

First off, I've searched the forum about this topic, but couldn't find any satisfying answers.

I am playing guitar since 6 years now, and started off with a arguably bad teacher, it just wasn't fun.
I got lucky however and found a better one, who actually gave me the fun of playing back, since 2 years I "learn" on my own.
However the first teacher pretty much wanted me to play ALTERNATE PICKING.
Since I've always played that way I got quite good at it, but the majority of songs I want to play are actually
Medal or Rock, and therefor downstroke is more suited and just sounds metter when muted (I know all a matter of technique )

I am a lefty but play "regular" righthanded Guitars, this has lead to a big discrepancy in playing.
The speed of my left hand is far behond the right one, and this is really annoying when playing downstroke.

I've focused on training downstroke over the past 7 months (pretty much daily), by picking a "moderate fast" speed and playing really trying to
increase slowly over time. However I am stuck at 160-165bpm, it just wont go up.
Getting any higher will result in locking up my hand, and not being able to hold it for any longer than a few seconds.

That's too slow even for Master of Puppets.

Going any faster leads to sloppy and bad sounding notes.
I just don't know how i should go on

Looking forward to hearing your opinion,
Best Regards
IJOJOI
#2
I think 160-170bpm range was tough for me too. What I did was I set my timer to 4 min and I set my tempo to 150bpm. I did this over and over as much as I could until I could play every note without fail. Then once I got that handled I went to 160bpm, then 170bpm and so on. Rinse and repeat. I still have issues 190+ but I'm much better. It just takes time.

Also, i hope you don't give up on alternate picking. I tend to mix up my exercises. Down strokes for one, then alternate for the next.
Gibson LP Standard T - Epiphone LP Standard (BCS wiring+pots, 57/57+ Gibson) - Fender FSR MIM Telecaster
Blackstar Series one 45 (v30's) - Jetcity JCA50h + 212cab (Eminence) - Orange Crush 35RT
#3
I guess I am just a bit frustrated by the slow process, yet I'll just keep it going
#4
For me my speed and endurance really didn't change until I added 30-45 min of practicing finger exercises 5+ times a week. Boring ass exercises with a tempo, increasing tempos as I got better. It was very hard to keep motivated doing boring stuff but once things started to feel smooth it inspired me to do them even more. It's like a religion to me now, I always try to get 30 min a day in of boring finger exercises everyday. I miss some days but I make it happen as often as possible.
Gibson LP Standard T - Epiphone LP Standard (BCS wiring+pots, 57/57+ Gibson) - Fender FSR MIM Telecaster
Blackstar Series one 45 (v30's) - Jetcity JCA50h + 212cab (Eminence) - Orange Crush 35RT
#5
IJOJOI

1) being right or left handed makes zero difference. Don't focus on excuses. There are tons of amazing players who play the same way you do.
2) My guess is you don't practice enough - practice 2 hours per day, or more, for a while, and that should get you past your trouble spot. Don't focus too much on metronome playing, play with albums primarily- find songs that are attainable and play those along with the recorded versions - also, try playing along with those songs that are just slightly too fast, like Master of Puppets, after you've been playing for about an hour or so. You'll gain much more playing along with songs than boring yourself to death downpicking to a metronome. Metronome's have their place, but if you aren't primarily practicing with the recorded songs then you are doing it wrong. You can also use software to slow down the songs - I would encourage you to do that as well.
Last edited by reverb66 at Nov 11, 2016,
#6
IJOJOI
You've been working with your instrument long enough that you may know the best answer to your question, even if you don't know that you know it. There are a lot of different views on how to increase speed the 'best'. But it seems to me like most people focus on what they were doing when they broke through and were able to consistently play what they wanted to do at speed--there may be many ways to increase speed productively and all are individualized. Time in practice certainly has something to do with it. Focus on what you are doing is critical--I've worked hours just putting time in that wasn't as productive as minutes that were focused. That's something that has been true for me--I read it in Bruce Lee's "Expressing the Human Body" and it has held true. Consider peripheral exercises that may not seem related. For example, you are working extensively with downstrokes. Try something else, maybe some lead playing, string skipping, something moving the muscles differently. Many of my breakthroughs have come when I wasn't looking. For me, when frustration hits a high point, I know a breakthrough is right around the corner.

Good luck!

JM