#1
My friend and I want to start a band, and over the past couple of months I've been improving my alternate picking (I can play probably as fast 16th notes at a tempo of 150, not that great but its an improvement) and he keeps telling me that for rythm parts on a lot of the songs we play (mainly Metallica) I have to downpick. I can barely play Master of Puppets at a tempo of 80 with 16th notes downpicking. And even then it hurts.

Anyone have any good excercises or suggestions for improving my downpicking? My goal is to be able to downpick at a tempo of 120 with 16th notes.
"Music is my religion." - Jimi Hendrix

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#3
Quote by guitarist792
My goal is to be able to downpick at a tempo of 120 with 16th notes.

That sounds a bit advanced. I myself find that somewhat difficult.

Just continue practicing. Soon enough, your wrist will adapt and you will have no problems.
Sorcer - Symphonic Death Metal

Ibanez Iceman ICX220DX, Line 6 Spider III 150W, Roland E-09, Meinl Doumbek, Shure PG48, Rode NT1-A, Behringer Xenyx 502
#4
Theres a couple of videos of kirk alternating it, Its obviously meant to be downpicked but it doesnt have to be. Just dont get into a bad habit and start downpicking everything like I did.

Especially Laid To Rest, aha.

120BPM 16th notes is pretty much Master of Puppets speed so yeah you`l get there in 2-3 weeks Id guess.
On the subject of tallica and picking exercises, Disposable Heroes for triplets is a must imo.
Last edited by GenderConfusedJ at Mar 19, 2008,
#5
Quote by guitarist792
My friend and I want to start a band, and over the past couple of months I've been improving my alternate picking (I can play probably as fast 16th notes at a tempo of 150, not that great but its an improvement) and he keeps telling me that for rythm parts on a lot of the songs we play (mainly Metallica) I have to downpick. I can barely play Master of Puppets at a tempo of 80 with 16th notes downpicking. And even then it hurts.

Anyone have any good excercises or suggestions for improving my downpicking? My goal is to be able to downpick at a tempo of 120 with 16th notes.



Then your alternating would be up to 240... Thats a little unrealistic.
#6
Yeah, not only that, but I've never seen him play MoP really, he just says he downpicks it. So next time we jam I wanna see how he does.
"Music is my religion." - Jimi Hendrix

Guitars:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
ESP LTD Alexi-600
Ibanez RG3EXFM1

Other Gear:
Carvin V3 amp head
Marshall MG15DFX
Digitech RP250 pedal
#7
Downpicking 16ths at 120 is ridiculous. Like, almost unrealistically so.
Quote by dudetheman
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Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
#8
Quote by isaac_bandits
Then your alternating would be up to 240... Thats a little unrealistic.

Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
Downpicking 16ths at 120 is ridiculous. Like, almost unrealistically so.

Technically it is possible, just requiring lots of experience.
Sorcer - Symphonic Death Metal

Ibanez Iceman ICX220DX, Line 6 Spider III 150W, Roland E-09, Meinl Doumbek, Shure PG48, Rode NT1-A, Behringer Xenyx 502
#9
Quote by isaac_bandits
Then your alternating would be up to 240... Thats a little unrealistic.


probably for this guy right now, but not in the long run.

just start slow and work your way up and make sure to do it without tension, thats prolly the most important part. no tension
#10
Quote by guitarist792
My goal is to be able to downpick at a tempo of 120 with 16th notes.


Thats really fast, just so you know. Thats 8 beats per second. I can get up to 120, but I don't do it for that long. I usually downpick up to speeds of 115, and after that it's a pretty small difference between alt picking.

But the way I got better at it was simply practicing. Slowly at first, and gradually speed up.

Quote by isaac_bandits
Then your alternating would be up to 240... Thats a little unrealistic.


Not at all. I can easily and consistently alternate pick around and even slightly above 250. It just takes practice.
#11
Quote by Gordita Supreme
Thats really fast, just so you know. Thats 8 beats per second. I can get up to 120, but I don't do it for that long. I usually downpick up to speeds of 115, and after that it's a pretty small difference between alt picking.

But the way I got better at it was simply practicing. Slowly at first, and gradually speed up.


Not at all. I can easily and consistently alternate pick around and even slightly above 250. It just takes practice.


16ths at 250 is 16.67nps... That is very fast.

I still think it is not greatly important to play all downstrokes... tonally the difference is so minimal.
#12
With practice you can get your speed up. We're playing Master of Puppets, and I'm attempting to play it down-picked. How I do it is slowly building up speed until you can't take it anymore, and then lower it back down and going back up again.

Set up a metronome or drum machine for 80 bpm, and play the song's intro riff, that's what will really get your down-picking going - it's eighth notes, not sixteenth notes! - so play that. If I recall the tempo is 220... so that's your goal. 80bpm will be so easy you'll get bored. Play the whole riff at 80bpm, then go to 90, then to 100, 110, 120, etc. Depending on how much you've been doing it, you should be able to get up to at least 150bpm down-picking.

Keep pushing yourself, and when you feel yourself struggling, knock it back down to an easy but fast number, and start upping the tempo one number at time (121..122..123). And just keep doing this. I myself played the song down-picked, eighth notes, at 210bpm a couple days ago. Hard to do but, you can work your way there, definitely.

Remember, start slow and accurate, then push yourself to your limit, then back down, and crawl your way up to your limit again until you've set a NEW limit. Constantly push your limit speed up and eventually your hand will be flying.
#13
Quote by isaac_bandits
16ths at 250 is 16.67nps... That is very fast.
It is very fast, but to just tremolo pick a single note at that speed is very doable. Hard, but certainly within the relm of possibility.

In all honestly, downpicking 16th at 120 is unnecessary. Anything like that should be played with alternate picking; downstrokes sound unnatural.
#14
Quote by bangoodcharlote
It is very fast, but to just tremolo pick a single note at that speed is very doable. Hard, but certainly within the relm of possibility.

In all honestly, downpicking 16th at 120 is unnecessary. Anything like that should be played with alternate picking; downstrokes sound unnatural.


And it just takes so much time to practice up to that speed... Unless they really enjoy just tremolo-ing one note to a metronome for hours.
#15
Quote by bangoodcharlote
It is very fast, but to just tremolo pick a single note at that speed is very doable. Hard, but certainly within the relm of possibility.

In all honestly, downpicking 16th at 120 is unnecessary. Anything like that should be played with alternate picking; downstrokes sound unnatural.


Agreed. If you can alternate pick something, why down-pick it? I'll admit, I can't play Master of Puppets without down-picking. It sounds and feels wrong doing it any other way. But worst comes to worst I can and will do it alternate picked.

It's important to keep in mind that there is no such thing as "shortcutting" or "cheating" on the guitar, don't care what anyone says... If playing a certain way is easy for you and it sounds good, then nothing else matters. Hehe, Metallica pun ...yeah.
#16
Quote by Mud Martian
Agreed. If you can alternate pick something, why down-pick it?
Some things should be downpicked. You wouldn't do palm-muted chugging with alternate picking; it would just sound weird!


When I say chugging, I mean 8th notes between 150 and 200 bpm, not 16th notes at that speed!
#17
Quote by GenderConfusedJ
Theres a couple of videos of kirk alternating it, Its obviously meant to be downpicked but it doesnt have to be. Just dont get into a bad habit and start downpicking everything like I did.

Especially Laid To Rest, aha.

120BPM 16th notes is pretty much Master of Puppets speed so yeah you`l get there in 2-3 weeks Id guess.
On the subject of tallica and picking exercises, Disposable Heroes for triplets is a must imo.


Lol, I downpicked laid to rest aswell. Although..it's not that hard to down pick it, or maybe I'm just fast? =S
#18
Quote by isaac_bandits
16ths at 250 is 16.67nps... That is very fast.

I still think it is not greatly important to play all downstrokes... tonally the difference is so minimal.


I know 16ths at 250 is really fast, but anyone can get there with practice.

Then again, I don't ever use it. Maybe for galloping occasionally, but yah.. it's somewhat useless.

And as far as downpicking, I still get tired sometimes doing MOP. James Hetfields forearms are probably stronger than my legs. But like a lot of people said, downpicking at or above 120 starts to get pointless. I think a lot of Trivium songs have downpicking around that. The breakdown in Pull Harder is downpicked 8ths at 240... which is putrid. A lot of their songs are like that.
Last edited by Gordita Supreme at Mar 20, 2008,