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Nightwisher1990
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:26 pm
Posts: 478
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:42 pm 
 

This is probably something very basic to most of you, but I've been working on powerful down strokes with string switching at fast tempos like Master of Puppets main riff without being strained or anything, I've working a lot (more than 2 months on that riff only) still I can't achieve what I need.
I can play down strokes really fast without being strained If played on one string like master of puppets first verse as an example, but when it comes to main riff It gets really tiring and I strain after repeating that for 10 times.
I know the key for that is practicing with slow tempos but I've been doing this for some really good time. Now the question, does anyone have any good tips to achieve that other than starting from slow tempos, maybe hand posture, pick posture or anything that could help.
More to say, I've been playing for a year and a half .
Thanks

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ghostxyz3
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:08 pm
Posts: 13
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:40 pm 
 

I would still say your best bet would be to start slow and work up. Hand posture/how you pick is largely up to you to decide what's most comfortable, but I have my palm parallel to the guitar and close my fingers in and place the pick between my thumb and first finger, mostly using my wrist to pick but you can use your fingers as well. Also you're down picking everything? I would try alt picking it.

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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:07 pm 
 

You're getting strained and tired because you're tensing up your hand, wrist, and arm too much. Get a good grip (not too tight that your hand muscles hurt though) on the pick and just relax everything else. It's all about efficiency. Try practicing at a speed that's just outside of your "comfort zone" for as long as you can, while simultaneously forcing yourself to stop tensing up. After you can control that speed without tensing up, speed up the tempo!
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somefella
Veteran

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:57 pm
Posts: 2584
Location: Singapore
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:48 am 
 

Agreed with above. Relax everything except your wrist and you can go on forever. Also, try learning some other songs instead of just Master Of Puppets haha, just to get your right hand used to other riffing patterns. Pretty much any Kreator song will do, they're all a workout !

Also, it's good to train your downpicking, but don't do it at the expense of alternate picking. This was my mistake when I first started out. James Hetfield writes his songs around his strengths and weaknesses so as to best compensate for them, but you shouldn't restrict yourself as such. As solid of a player as Hetfield is, he's inferior to rhythm guitarists who can riff in both picking styles, like Jon Schaffer, Mille Petrozza or Dave Mustaine(all great examples to learn from when it comes to rhythm playing, especially Jon).
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Nightwisher1990
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:26 pm
Posts: 478
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:27 pm 
 

Thanks guys, yeah I have to admit that I am really focusing on powerful down strokes as my main riffing pattern. I practice tremolo picking a lot I find it really comfortable and relaxing it's just the down strokes with string switching that hurts.
On the other side, I use heavy strings 0.11 to 0.48 does that have anything to do with "blocking" the hand motion ? like it needs more power to pick those ?
Thanks again.

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ghostxyz3
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:08 pm
Posts: 13
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:23 pm 
 

When I do string skipping I often upstroke on the furthest string. It helps me move back up faster and it's more comfortable. 0.11-0.48 aren't heavy at all, but yeah thicker strings will require more force to pick.

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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 2123
Location: At the bottom of the lake
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:58 am 
 

The upstroke is a thing I learned from playing bass that I use to cut my picking pace in half. Ultimately, it doesn't matter how you play nearly as much as it does how it sounds, so unless the down stroke is central to your sound, try not to get caught in a bad habit.

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somefella
Veteran

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:57 pm
Posts: 2584
Location: Singapore
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:22 pm 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
The upstroke is a thing I learned from playing bass that I use to cut my picking pace in half. Ultimately, it doesn't matter how you play nearly as much as it does how it sounds, so unless the down stroke is central to your sound, try not to get caught in a bad habit.


Yep. Go ahead and work on it as long as it doesn't cripple your alternate picking(which it might if you sacrifice practicing that).
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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 2123
Location: At the bottom of the lake
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:43 pm 
 

And .. also .. tremolo picking with nothing but down strokes sounds totally impossible. Unless you're some insect creature.

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Sonofabitch Thirdgeneration
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:02 pm
Posts: 274
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:48 pm 
 

I'd say just keep on training the same way you do right now, down picking with string skipping does indeed take more energy than just down picking one string...I know because I have this one riff that I've come up with not too long ago, maybe like a month or two, anyway it's a kind of thrash riff that's pretty much based on string skipping and I down pick the whole thing and while I can totally do single string down picking at like 210-216 bpm, this riff gets quite difficult soon as I go above 200 so yeah it's really just an endurance issue and the only way to fix it is to just keep on training like a motherfucker. You say you've done this for 2 months now, I say do another 2 and then see how it works.

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soul_schizm
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:55 am
Posts: 647
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:01 pm 
 

Put some variety into your playing. I'm not sure how many different things you are trying right now, but don't focus too much on one thing. You may find that it is easier after you master something else that's challenging, then come back to it.

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Nightwisher1990
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:26 pm
Posts: 478
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:33 am 
 

Thanks guys, I've actually nailed it after focusing my mind on wrist and putting all power in it, then it became more comfortable to do, still not 100% relaxed maybe , but It's getting really better and I've broken the original tempo limit as well.

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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 2123
Location: At the bottom of the lake
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:07 pm 
 

somefella wrote:
Relax everything except your wrist and you can go on forever.

Dude. Until I read this, I didn't even know how bad the tension in my shoulder and elbow were (not TERRIBLE, but definitely inhibiting), and my precision was improved. Really useful advice. Thanks.

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