Improving downpicking? Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by vejichan, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. vejichan

    vejichan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    72
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Location:
    New york
    Working on master of puppets and downpicking is hard...any tips on how I can get a good at downpicking like Ola England and James ?
     
  2. watson503

    watson503 Los Cochinos

    Messages:
    370
    Likes Received:
    41
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    It's just practice and time spent. One thing I used to do was to add three minutes of straight downpicking during each practice session and bumping the metronome up accordingly as improvements came. As far as Master of Puppets, you can practice by playing along to one of the guitar tracks or song videos on YT at regular speed to push yourself and then go at it again,but decrease the speed to 50% on said video - if that's too slow, there are also tracks slowed to 200, 190, 150 bpms, etc.
     
  3. vejichan

    vejichan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    72
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Location:
    New york
    Thanks, I think I'm doing it wrong....because my right hand is tired after 3 minutes of down picking
     
  4. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    368
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2015
    Location:
    Europe
    Well how much downpicking have you done before? And for some perspective, do you know how many shows Metallica have done playing Master of Puppets, Battery, Creeping Death, Blackened and all those songs?

    Like watson said, it's just about practise. The more time you put into it (and the more efficient your practise routine is) the better you will get.
     
  5. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Doc McStuffins Contributor

    Messages:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    642
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    DC/VA
    Hahaha saw thread and clicked on it to post that you should practice by playing some old school Metallica. Nevermind lol.

    Interestingly, there was a Paul Gilbert video somewhere about learning how to downpick and alt pick. He was self taught and originally didn't know that you could down pick, so all he did was up pick every note. So he had to learn how to down and alt pick later on and he passed on tips.
     
  6. vejichan

    vejichan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    72
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Location:
    New york
    Interesting. For the first year ofplaying guitar...I didn't know you could alt pick. So I downpicked every note. I was playing solos all downpicked...yeayngwiemalmsteen...and wondered how he picked so fast.
     
  7. Eptaceros

    Eptaceros Wayfarer

    Messages:
    965
    Likes Received:
    91
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    that sounds about right. I've been playing for 13 years and I still get tired from downpicking haha

    My band plays a tune at 215 bpm with a downpicked section at 8th notes...on chords that span 3 strings. That will never not be a workout.

    Downpicking = struggling 4ever

    Same here. I remember learning Cowboys From Hell and thinking how impossible it was. Until I realized that not everything needs to be downpicked
     
  8. metalheadblues

    metalheadblues SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Location:
    Shipongolia
    Maybe its a personal thing but that Meshuggah Bleed riff although simple is really challenging but it really builds picking strength , after mastering/playing that riff for a few minutes down picking and just general alternative picking and down strokes are no longer an issue. That riff is like deadlifts for picking
     
  9. j3ps3

    j3ps3 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    153
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    For me the hardest part with downstrokes is not the actual downstroke as much as the movement of the pick back to the starting point. That's the part where I lose time, I think, so I practice by playing upstrokes, but keeping the angle of the pick the same I would when playing downstrokes.
     
  10. Nomad

    Nomad SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Location:
    california
    :yesway: voted for best response in thread.
     
  11. Rizzo

    Rizzo SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    35
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Location:
    Italy
    Just play some thrash and slow it down until you can nail it, then bump it up gradually.
    It's all about stamina and muscle reflex really.
     

Share This Page