Exploring Palm Muting

The rhythm technique I am referring to in this entry is not used very frequently due to physical limitations. It is about palm muting and playing two strings of a power chord by using alternate picking, while playing 16th notes.

Exploring Palm Muting
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The rhythm technique I am referring to in this entry is not used very frequently due to physical limitations. It is about palm muting and playing two strings of a power chord by using alternate picking, while playing sixteenth notes. Although one is ill advised to use it all the time, it can definitely enreach your sound by giving it more... "steel";)

Before you jump into this, make sure that you can master rhythm in general.

The idea is that you put your one hand on the bridge, while making any power chord with your other hand on the two upper strings. I prefer the standard tuning, but it can also be applied to dropped tunings. Then you start to alternate pick: up, down, up, down etc. It requires a lot of strength and stamina from your picking hand and you definitely cannot use it at 180 bpm, especially if you make more than just one up-down move.

It can go like this:
   s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s
e|---------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------|
G|---------------------------------|
D|---------------------------------|
A|-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-|
E|-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-|
PM ...............................
d u d u d u d u d u d u d u d u
Start at 60 bpm and see how far you can go. Be sure that you pick the upper E string when making an up stroke.

Then you can experiment with note durations and the muting hand:
   s s s s e   s s s s e   s s e    s s s s e   s s s s e   s s e
e|--------------------------------|---------------------------------
B|--------------------------------|---------------------------------
G|--------------------------------|---------------------------------
D|--------------------------------|---------------------------------
A|-9-9-9-9-9---9-9-8-8-8---8-8-8--|-5-5-5-5-5---5-5-6-6-6---3-3-3---
E|-7-7-7-7-7---7-7-6-6-6---6-6-6--|-3-3-3-3-3---3-3-4-4-4---1-1-1---
PM ........| ........| ....| ........| ........| ....|
d u d u d d u d u d d u d d u d u d d u d u d d u d
In this case, I actually reduced alternate picking to galloping (d u d) on the fourth beat of a measure.

It helped me a lot, when I was struggling with Metallica's "Eye of the Beholder." You can also learn it buy playing "Sad but True" by Metallica and, of course, Rammstein's "Du Hast" and "Asche zu Asche."

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