So I'm learning The Philosopher by Death, and I'm having a bit of trouble with the semi-quaver triplets in the first riff after the first verse thingy. Go get the GP tab and you'll see what I mean, it's the riff that starts at bar 25. Now, I've been trying to play those triplets and having a bit of trouble, so I thought I'd take it really slowly and do them. But now that I'm playing them slowly, I'm wondering what the best picking pattern would be, and I figured I'd ask you guys.

So, you've got this riff:

``````D|---------------------|
A|---------------------|
F|---------------------|
C|2---------------8911-|
G|2-------7------------|
D|0---000-----000------|
3       3``````

So each hyphen is a semi-quaver, and those little 3's indicate triplets.

Now, I was thinking with the first triplet, go down-up-down and then down on the D on the G string, so a bit of economy picking there. Then with the second triplet, down-up-down, but then I was thinking because of the string skip would it be better to pick the G# on C as an upstroke rather than a downstroke? A downstroke is better for economy, but it adds the risk of hitting the G on the way down, so I was wondering would it be easier to do that as an upstroke, then do that line on the C as an up-down-up?

Then, next riff:

``````D|-----------------|
A|-----------------|
F|-----------------|
C|-----------------|
G|6------7---666-66|
D|4---447----444-44|
3``````

This one I'm wondering about the fingering. The way I've been fingering it so far is with my index on the F# on D, and then using my little finger for the A on D and then trying to quickly move it to fret the D on G, but that's not very easy I'm finding, so I was wondering if anyone had any better fingerings for that.
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1st = do it the way you said
2nd = do it the way you said
``````D|---------------------|
A|---------------------|
F|---------------------|
C|2---------------8911-|
G|2-------7------------|
D|0---000-----000------|
3       3``````

I'd say go straight alternate picking, beginning on a downstroke. Upward string skips tend to go better with an upstroke (less chance of hitting the skipped string on the way up)

``````D|-----------------|
A|-----------------|
F|-----------------|
C|-----------------|
G|6------7---666-66|
D|4---447----444-44|
3``````

Finger the 4th fret with your index finger, the 7th with your pinky, and roll your pinky to fret the G string note (don't lift it, just roll).

That's my opinion, but it depends on how the song is played. Go with the song, first and foremost.

Alright, so for the second riff, do a finger roll with my pinky eh? I'll do that then, but how do I get good vibrato when I've just done a roll. Cause on the second time doing that you do a pinch harmonic on the D on the G string, and as you guys know pinch harmonics require rather aggressive vibrato when they're used in a metal context.

First riff, Athetosis, are you saying that because I'm string skipping downwards I should pick the G# on C as a downstroke?
sig goes here
Quote by Skater901
Alright, so for the second riff, do a finger roll with my pinky eh? I'll do that then, but how do I get good vibrato when I've just done a roll. Cause on the second time doing that you do a pinch harmonic on the D on the G string, and as you guys know pinch harmonics require rather aggressive vibrato when they're used in a metal context.

You can't really get good vibrato off of a roll, so I guess you should fret the G string note the hard way.

Quote by Skater901

First riff, Athetosis, are you saying that because I'm string skipping downwards I should pick the G# on C as a downstroke?

Just the opposite. I'm saying that since you're moving up a string, you should use an upstroke. It may seem like a longer motion, but it's a negligible distance. Using an upstroke creates a higher arc over the skipped string, so there's less chance of hitting it (plus, you're approaching the higher string from the opposite side that the skipped string lies on).

In actuality, you want to be able to do string skips with both down- and upstrokes, but going the higher/longer distance helps until you can do both.

Using an upstroke creates a higher arc over the skipped string, so there's less chance of hitting it

with more practicing economy picking too.
Quote by Athetosis
Just the opposite. I'm saying that since you're moving up a string, you should use an upstroke. It may seem like a longer motion, but it's a negligible distance. Using an upstroke creates a higher arc over the skipped string, so there's less chance of hitting it (plus, you're approaching the higher string from the opposite side that the skipped string lies on).

In actuality, you want to be able to do string skips with both down- and upstrokes, but going the higher/longer distance helps until you can do both.

Wait, what? When I go from the low D to the C string in D-standard tuning I count that as a downwards string skip. Do you call that an upwards string skip?
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hm.. I've always played that first riff like this:
``````
d------------------------------------
a---------------------------------
f------------------------------
c-2------------------------------
g-2---------7----------6h7h9----
d-0--0-0-0-------0-0-0-------
``````

But I dunno, I havent played Death in a while because tuning down is a hassle with floyd rose :P

anyway you have the right idea for most of the picking, whatever's comfortable for you is usually the best way to go. Unless it's forcing you to create tension of course but I'm sure you got that under control.
But for the second bit, if it's played like that, you'd probably do the same thing as the first one. I personally don't eco pick stuff like that, even though I do eco pick naturally sometimes, but I find it's harder to get control of your tempo when doing different groupings like this. I find alt picking is easier to keep everything together.

I hate rolling for that second riff, though, like you said you can't get a good vibrato with a roll. I use index on 4th fret, second finger on 7th fret D string and third finger on 7th fret G string. I think that's how Chuck played it anyways. Funny thing is for that like I eco pick to the last note, downstroke. Just for some reason it feels more natural in some licks, but I think it's because of the pinch harmonic.
hm.. I've always played that first riff like this:
``d------------------------------------a---------------------------------f------------------------------c-2------------------------------g-2---------7----------6h7h9----d-0--0-0-0-------0-0-0-------``

But I dunno, I havent played Death in a while because tuning down is a hassle with floyd rose :P

Haha don't worry man, your memory serves you well. That is indeed how the main riff goes, or at least one part. That last bit with the run on the G string is harmonised by fifths, and I'm playing the fifth harmony, that's why I play that line on the C string. So we're both right.

anyway you have the right idea for most of the picking, whatever's comfortable for you is usually the best way to go. Unless it's forcing you to create tension of course but I'm sure you got that under control.
But for the second bit, if it's played like that, you'd probably do the same thing as the first one. I personally don't eco pick stuff like that, even though I do eco pick naturally sometimes, but I find it's harder to get control of your tempo when doing different groupings like this. I find alt picking is easier to keep everything together.

I hate rolling for that second riff, though, like you said you can't get a good vibrato with a roll. I use index on 4th fret, second finger on 7th fret D string and third finger on 7th fret G string. I think that's how Chuck played it anyways. Funny thing is for that like I eco pick to the last note, downstroke. Just for some reason it feels more natural in some licks, but I think it's because of the pinch harmonic.

Well it's pretty much impossible to do a pinch harmonic with an upstroke as far as I'm aware so that's probably why. But wouldn't it be easier to use your third finger for the 7th fret on D and then your fourth finger for the 7th on G?

Oh and thanks for all the help here guys, I appreciate it.
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Of course, I forgot about harmony :P touché

For me, it's easier to do second finger D string, third G string. When you have to dig in and get aggressive with a pinch harmonic/anything I'm not that comfortable using my pinky. And the way you have to stretch to get the second finger two frets away kind of tilts your hand, so it's easier to land the third finger right below it. Try stretch your second finger out a bit and you might see what I'm talking about.. with the third finger on the D string, it naturally has that stretch so you have to kind of twist and pull your pinky back to get it on the fret below. Makes it more awkward for me.. for Chuck I think it's just because he was one of those mainly three finger guys