#1
So I'm currently learnng the rhythm parts to every Megadeth song in alphabetical order to become a better riff player. Right now I'm on their cover of Anarchy in the UK. It's a pretty simple and straightforward song. My only issue is right hand's lack of endurance for downpicking. It's at a decently fast tempo (1/4th note = 160), and the rhythm is almost completely straight 1/8th notes, all of which are down picked. I'm able to do it without problem until about the halfway point of the song, when my wrist starts to get tired. So I'm wondering how I should practice downpicking endurance. I'm not sure whether I should work on a slow speed and gradually build up, or keep pushing my wrist.

Normally there wouldn't be any confusion in my mind, but since this is about endurance more than muscle memory, i'm not exactly sure what I should do.
#2
Make sure you warm up and stretch your forearm muscles first, but yeah, I think it would just be a matter of starting slowly and working your way up. You'd want to have as little tension in your picking hand and arm as possible, and pick from the wrist instead of the elbow.

Don't overdo it, or you might get RSI.
#6
Quote by blue_strat
Make sure you warm up and stretch your forearm muscles first, but yeah, I think it would just be a matter of starting slowly and working your way up. You'd want to have as little tension in your picking hand and arm as possible, and pick from the wrist instead of the elbow.

Don't overdo it, or you might get RSI.


Unfortunately in this case the whole "go slow, speed up slowly" doesn't fit and this is just about the only time that a different answer is needed.

The only way to get your stamina up to the level you need is to go as fast as you can for as long as you can, rest up, shake it out and then do it again. Rinse and repeat until you can go for a long time then speed up again. Rinse and repeat until x = desired tempo. A metronome would help you keep time but it's not "needed" in the same way as muscle memory exercises.
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#7
Quote by MikeD91
play WHIPLASH and MASTER from METALLICA

What the hell? Did you even read my post?

Thanks bluestrat. Any other thoughts?


edit: To zaphod: That's the thought I had..But I wasn't sure. THanks for your help
#8
Quote by Spamwise
edit: To zaphod: That's the thought I had..But I wasn't sure. THanks for your help


I know it the way it works from personal experience; it took me a good few months to get up to about 182bpm to play Rose of Sharyn by Killswitch Engage, I'm stuck at about 195 bpm right now but now I know how to get through the barrier
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#9
Just play the main riff from Master of Puppets over and over and over without stopping. I've had the same problem and that really does wonders.
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#10
Hum personnaly I'd probably just alternate pick, but judging by the fact you want to work on your down picking... I'd say slow it down and gradually increase speed.

Metallica also has a lot of downpicking so you might wanna check up on them.
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#11
Quote by Spike6sic6
Hum personnaly I'd probably just alternate pick, but judging by the fact you want to work on your down picking... I'd say slow it down and gradually increase speed.

Metallica also has a lot of downpicking so you might wanna check up on them.

Alternate picking power chords gives a weird sound.

They do, but I think Megadeth has more
#12
Quote by Spamwise
Alternate picking power chords gives a weird sound.

They do, but I think Megadeth has more


I actually doubt that. Megadeth has always tended to be faster than Metallica, which would complicate downpicking.
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#13
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
I actually doubt that. Megadeth has always tended to be faster than Metallica, which would complicate downpicking.

yeah i really had no idea. I couldn't care less though to be honest.
#14
Quote by Spamwise
What the hell? Did you even read my post?

Thanks bluestrat. Any other thoughts?


edit: To zaphod: That's the thought I had..But I wasn't sure. THanks for your help


the songs are all downstrokes
#15
Well since you're speaking endurance, you just gotta practice and eventually it will come more easily.
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#16
Every day, set a timer for a minute and just play all downstrokes as fast as you can. It doesn't matter what notes it is, but it's important that you play them like you would a song, cause otherwise your technique will be gross. Also, make sure you use more wrist, rather than forearm. Your arm will hurt like a mofo towards the end of the minute, but do this everyday and it will help. I just started doing this 4 days ago or so and it has worked insanely well for me.
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#17
Quote by Stingmaskii
Every day, set a timer for a minute and just play all downstrokes as fast as you can. It doesn't matter what notes it is, but it's important that you play them like you would a song, cause otherwise your technique will be gross. Also, make sure you use more wrist, rather than forearm. Your arm will hurt like a mofo towards the end of the minute, but do this everyday and it will help. I just started doing this 4 days ago or so and it has worked insanely well for me.


I would add one thing. Do this with a metronome so you know how fast you are going and to make sure you play notes evenly.

You want to go until you feel a burning sensation (lactic acid buildup in the muscles). Take a break when this happens ( a couple minutes), and then start again.
#18
I have a bunch of picking excercises I can tell you about. You need to basically know your 5 pentatonic scales (I cba tabbing them out).
There are 3 excercises for the pents:
3 note grouping - Play the first 3 notes, move back one note, play the next 3, repeat, etc.
3 string grouping - Play all the notes on the first 3 strings, move back one string, play all the notes on the next 3 strings, repeat, etc.
String skipping - Hit all the notes on one string, skip one and play the notes on that string, move down one string and play all the notes there, skip a string and play the notes on that string, repeat, etc.
Now, you play the excercises on each pentatonic scale, all down strokes, ascending and descending. Do this as many times as you want to get comfortable with it. Then, play the excercises on one scale, as soon as you finish that scale move up to the next one without skipping a note, and move up to the next one after that, etc, until you're an octave up, then descend doing all the scales again.
This will really help with picking dexterity and endurance for your down strokes. You can also apply it to up strokes, down up strokes and up down strokes. It may seem a tad unrelated to be practicing scale excercises, but it works wonders in all aspects of your playing.
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#19
u could try to play sum iron maiden
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#20
Quote by MikeD91
the songs are all downstrokes

yeah, but i wasn't asking for songs. I posted this to ask how to practice it, and now I know.
#21
OK just have to comment lol.. the posters first post was pretty funny.

(nothing bad meant)
#22
Quote by Spamwise
yeah, but i wasn't asking for songs. I posted this to ask how to practice it, and now I know.

But he said those because they're physically demanding. If you could play those up to speed downpicking then you'd probably get more stamina by the end of it....
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#23
What I found to help is to remind myself to relax. I would start at a comfortable pace and build up sometimes with a metronome sometimes without. When you get tired it's because you're body wants to quit so say relax and play through it and you'll find your body will accept what your doing and you will soon achieve you goals. Good Luck