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hesychasmsa
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:06 am
Posts: 19
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:20 pm 
 

Having recently gotten into more extreme metal I've been making a big effort to get my tremolo picking up to speed. I can play a song at full speed but I find I can't keep it up for much longer than that without taking a short break (even if the break is only a couple of minutes). I don't want to just get better at bad technique and end up with an injury or lifelong problems so I wanted to ask for some help before it becomes too ingrained.

I did the cover below a couple of days ago, which came out much better than I expected. I'd appreciate if some of you would take a look and tell if if you reckon:

1. My technique is bad/wrong and why that is; or
2. I've got it right but I just need to practice often to get the stamina up

Spoiler: show
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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:19 pm 
 

it looks proper to me. So I'm feeling it's more of #2. More and more practice.
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Apteronotus
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:07 am
Posts: 851
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:24 pm 
 

I agree with ShaolinLambKiller that the form looks proper. Also don't worry about needing more practice for stamina because you are just recently getting into more extreme metal.
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CloggedUrethra
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2002 4:30 am
Posts: 254
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:37 pm 
 

If you can play all the way through Reign in Blood without stopping, you're set.
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somefella
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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:57 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:52 pm 
 

That's a very correct technique actually. Use your wrist and relax your forearm (Y) Just keep up the practice dude. When the strain becomes painful, take a short break but don't stop practicing. Get back to it after a couple of minutes, that's how endurance builds.

And it's normal to feel tired/strained occasionally. You won't believe how tiring it is to play The Voyage(Vomitory), hehe.

EDIT: Oh as songs to build endurance to, try Propoganda(Sepultura), Ten Thousand Strong(Iced Earth), and then Postmortem(Slayer) in that order. Good songs to practice anyway.
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hesychasmsa
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:06 am
Posts: 19
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:31 am 
 

Thanks for the help guys. I knew that my forearm was a bit tense but it's been easier to relax it with more practice. I'll just have to make sure I spend a little time every day doing it with short breaks.

somefella: thank you for the recommendations I will check out those songs. I will consider The Voyage to be a long term goal!
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somefella
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:55 am 
 

No worries. I named those songs because they're got a lot of chugging/tremolo picking in them an ascending difficulty. Postmortem's got more downpicking in the first half, but that's good for wearing out your right hand so you can work on some endurance for the tremolo picked 2nd half.

Good luck! The Voyage is pretty much high speed trem picking for 85% of the song!
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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:52 pm 
 

somefella wrote:
That's a very correct technique actually. Use your wrist and relax your forearm (Y) Just keep up the practice dude.


+1,000

When I first got into playing black metal styles I found that I had the same problem. All you have to do is consciously relax your arm every once in a while. Some times there's parts of a song that are slightly easier that give you a good opportunity to relax your muscles, too.
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Porman
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2005 5:00 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:48 am 
 

Make sure you warm up before.
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DarkWolfXV
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:08 pm
Posts: 200
Location: Poland
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:58 pm 
 

Maybe its too difficult for you at the moment, but for me the best tremolo picking excercise was playing Slit Your Guts by Cryptopsy. If you can play it whole you are pretty much set with tremolo picking for almost anything you want to play, unless its going to be above 240 bpm speeds, then its a matter of practice getting your tremolo that fast. For breaking that (the ultrafastasfuck barrier later in your playing) I recommend Gravaged (A cyptopsy) by Cryptopsy. I think it was 260 bpm tremolo. For something even faster, MVP by Despised Icon is 280 bpm, and higher I dont know any other songs where the guitars play 16ths in along faster than 280 bpm drums.
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p4vl
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:39 am
Posts: 12
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:04 am 
 

Unless I'm wrong, tremolo means to alternate pick as fast as possible, with no regard for rhythm. Isn't it '16th', '16th note triplets' and '32nd' notes? Set the metronome at a medium pace and accurately play 4 notes per beat, or slower and try for 8 notes per beat (16th note triplets is 6 notes per beat).

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somefella
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:13 pm 
 

No regard for rhythm? What?
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Dubhar
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:58 pm
Posts: 59
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:35 pm 
 

If it's not your stamina, maybe your plectrum is getting blunt. I started using Dunlop jazz-tipped tortex picks this year, they're a bit sharper at the end, so there's a lot less resistance from the strings, which is a big help for faster stuff.

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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:38 pm 
 

somefella wrote:
No regard for rhythm? What?



Yea my thoughts on that.
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p4vl
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:39 am
Posts: 12
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:14 pm 
 

somefella wrote:
No regard for rhythm? What?


The definition of Tremolo Picking is picking as fast as physically possible (that's the definition I learned when I was a kid). Metal riffs with fast picking are usually 16th or 32nd notes, not tremolo.

Counting out the number of notes you pick per beat is important if you want to see any progress in terms of speed and accuracy.

Also, warm up.

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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:00 pm 
 

You picked up the wrong definition.
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:19 am 
 

Picked up? Ahahahaha. SLK is challenging Napero for the title of Metal Archives Punmaster.
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ShaolinLambKiller
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:23 am 
 

hahahaha we both have horrible taste in humor, we only care about what makes us laugh.
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CF_Mono
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:21 pm
Posts: 1414
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:33 am 
 

"As fast as possible", sure, but while staying within the frame of the song (in time). I suppose there's kind of a feeling though, that once you get good enough at tremolo picking, you can flick a switch and just push yourself into overdrive mode and your hand will kind of lock itself into the appropriate speed (four notes per string, eight notes, six notes etc.) depending on the groove. Tremolo picking however, does not mean playing blistering fast notes in between other parts of the riff, without regard for how many times you've picked that note.
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Last edited by CF_Mono on Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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hesychasmsa
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:06 am
Posts: 19
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:24 am 
 

The definition of tremolo picking was not what I was questioning. It, of course, has to be in time and it doesn't even have to be as fast as possible. The ending of Amon Amarth's Gods of War Arise is an example of a slow tremolo-picked riff. It doesn't matter how fast you do it as long as the rhythm is constant. So whether you're doing 16ths, 32nds or any other fraction, as long as all the notes are the same length and you are picking alternately, then that is tremolo picking. It therefore must necessarily be in time with the song. You need the rhythm of the song in order to keep the fraction constant.

Anyway, I was asking specifically about technique (not definition) in order to increase stamina and speed and my question was answered. I've been making sure to practice a bit every day, working on my breathing to help with tension in my arm and I'm making good progress.
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DarkWolfXV
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:08 pm
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Location: Poland
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:02 am 
 

It is not as fast as possible. It is as fast as the tempo dictates. For example, 170 bpm. You either play 8ths, 16ths (Most used) or 32ths on tremolo (Well good luck on 32ths in that tempo:p) WITH regard for rhythm. If you have a DAW and a click track, then picking 16ths would mean that four notes have to fit every click, 8ths two notes, 32ths eight notes. You can record something the DI way in Reaper and zoom in on the DI track, and see if there are 4 notes between each click.
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somefella
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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:57 pm
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Location: Singapore
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:38 am 
 

DarkWolfXV wrote:
It is not as fast as possible. It is as fast as the tempo dictates. For example, 170 bpm. You either play 8ths, 16ths (Most used) or 32ths on tremolo (Well good luck on 32ths in that tempo:p) WITH regard for rhythm. If you have a DAW and a click track, then picking 16ths would mean that four notes have to fit every click, 8ths two notes, 32ths eight notes. You can record something the DI way in Reaper and zoom in on the DI track, and see if there are 4 notes between each click.


Well, this guy here explained it well enough. Where on earth exists a definition of "as fast as physically possible" ?!?!
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CF_Mono
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:21 pm
Posts: 1414
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:48 am 
 

I didn't explain it that well. I'd say more often than not though tremolo picking is supposed to be as fast as possible (that takes into account the rhythm of course, ex: 32nd notes.) Usually if it's slow I just consider it plain old alternate picking.
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somefella
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Location: Singapore
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:56 am 
 

I was referring more to the other guy's post anyway, with the words "with no regard to rhythm". Whether it's 32nds or 64s or 128s, it's ALWAYS with regard to rhythm as is everything else.
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p4vl
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:39 am
Posts: 12
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:38 am 
 

somefella wrote:
I was referring more to the other guy's post anyway, with the words "with no regard to rhythm". Whether it's 32nds or 64s or 128s, it's ALWAYS with regard to rhythm as is everything else.


After this post I'd like to be done with this stuff, as the op needs some real info.

Definition of tremolo picking from my copies of 'The Best of Cannibal Corpse' and 'Frank Zappa-Hot Rats' tab books:

"Tremolo Picking: The note is picked as rapidly and continuously as possible."

By 'Physically possible' I didn't mean picking in such a way that you risk tendonitis or hernia. Just that tremolo picking is meant to be somewhat chaotic, which is why you see it in solos and usually not in rhythms.

Dear OP: If you want some sound advice on your picking technique, post a video of you practicing or playing a song, if you have a camera. If not, you might have to take a few lessons to iron out any problems with your technique. That's definitely something I'm considering.

Cheers.

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somefella
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:39 pm 
 

If it's from those books, then they are wrong, plain and simple. Fast =/= without regard to rhythm.

The OP has posted a video, take a look at it. His technique is fine. Practice is where it's at. And with regards to timing, goes without saying.
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ShaolinLambKiller
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:11 pm 
 

p4vl I think it's you that def needs to iron out some techniques since you are off on your def of tremlo. Can't give sound advice, and didn't even notice the huge spoiler with a video of him playing a song using tremlo.
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hesychasmsa
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:06 am
Posts: 19
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:08 pm 
 

p4vl wrote:
After this post I'd like to be done with this stuff, as the op needs some real info.


You are wrong and I'm not taking your advice. I have been getting real info and help from the other who have contributed to this post and I considered my initial questions answered to my satisfaction before you stuck your misinformed oar in.

Let that be the end of it.
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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:43 pm 
 

If I could give a like to a post... it would be that one^^
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Blackl_Ice1996
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:01 am
Posts: 5
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:25 am 
 

Just keep practising at it man. Have a go at the song Transilvanian Hunger by Darkthrone. It goes for 6 minutes, and the whole thing is tremelo picked. As for technique, I found that you should find a technique tha you are comfortable with and doesnt strain you too much, and practice that

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suleiman
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:51 am
Posts: 446
Location: Pakistan
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:06 am 
 

p4vl wrote:
Just that tremolo picking is meant to be somewhat chaotic, which is why you see it in solos and usually not in rhythms.
Cheers.


Here's a shovel. Dig deeper.

Have you heard black metal and death metal ? At least 30 - 40 % of the rhythm work is tremolo-picked.

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