Technique question - super fast palm muting bursts

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by neuk01642, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. neuk01642

    neuk01642 SS.org Regular

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    So hey all.
    I'm trying to pick up my palm muting pace and I can't seem to get the hand of those little bursts of super fast palm muted picking that intersperse a lot of modern metal.

    You get that 'chugchugchugbrrrrrchugchugbrrrrrrr' sound going on.
    How are people achieving that?

    I try to keep the control and the speed goes and I get loads of tension in my wrist and arm and shoulder and fingers holding the pick. If I go for speed it's sloppy as hell and very rare that I manage to maintain consistent steady rhythm even for short burst.

    Driving me effing nuts!

    Quite happy to concede it's just practice but practice what and how!, and also that my old 44 year old joints and muscles just ain't going to comply but I'd like to at least give it a shot.

    Sorry if this seems a ridiculous question there is a degree to which I should have learned this years ago before I ever got near extended range guitars... but I didn't and now I'm absolutely completely in love with my 8 strings (I now have two agile Sceptres and I can't put them down).

    Any and all advice greatly appreciated and willingly received.
     
  2. CerealKiller

    CerealKiller SS.org Regular

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    Practice it as slow as you need to, to have control but no tension. Keep your wrist loose, and don't grip too tightly on the pick. Look into picking at an angle, if you're not already doing it. Gradually build up speed - this step can take weeks, months, years - depending on how much time you are willing to put into it, how fast you want to go, etc. :)
     
  3. neuk01642

    neuk01642 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the response man. That's what I figured. Would you set up a click say starting at 60bpm and then work 32nd notes and then get gradually faster or do you do something crazy?

    I'm already slanting my pick, occasionally to much. The tension is the killer and I guess I'm just trying to go to fast to soon.

    Practice it is.
     
  4. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Doc McStuffins Contributor

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    Also, timing between your left hand muting vs right hand picking and palm muting/placement all matter. In case it's not obvious, you would fret a note or chord while playing, but during the palm muting sections you would alternate to a left hand mute (fret without pressure). I've watched people try to play fast palm mutes using only right hand technique and it usually sounds terrible. e.g. Linkin Park's guitarist was known for having sloppy muting technique.
     
  5. Rizzo

    Rizzo SS.org Regular

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    Quoting the above. In a nutshell, keep super relaxed and practice bursts at a comfortable time with a click. Once the mechanic "speed shift" is ingrained, you'll find the bursts easier and easier. It's also a good exercise for rhythmical tightness in itself.
     
  6. neuk01642

    neuk01642 SS.org Regular

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    Nice one, thanks for the advice. Fair point on the use of the fretting hand to tighten up those mutes, hadn't really considered that.
     
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  7. neuk01642

    neuk01642 SS.org Regular

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    That sounds like a plan. Thanks man.
     
  8. CerealKiller

    CerealKiller SS.org Regular

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    Sure, there are loads of exercises you can do. You could also alternate every beat between, say, 16th notes and 32nd notes, or 16th notes and 16th note triplets, etc. All sorts of rhythmic permutations you can come up with. When you feel comfortable at 60bpm, raise it by 10bpm.
    If (when) you get sick of the metronome, what I usually do, is practice to a song. I use the Transcribe! software to slow down the song until I can play along comfortably.
     
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  9. neuk01642

    neuk01642 SS.org Regular

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    Nice one. Guess what I'm going to be doing tonight.
    I'll check out transcribe as well.
    Thanks
     
  10. takotakumi

    takotakumi SS.org Regular

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    Dunno if it was discussed here, but the angle of the pick+the way you hold the pick impacts this as well.

    I personally have shifted lately to the more traditional way of holding a pick (thumb+index) and I find this way
    much easier than the way I was picking before (holding it with thumb+index+middle, like Ola Englund and John Browne).
    It's just much easier and less fatiguing for me. I believe I started playing like this since this is how I tend to do parts that
    require downpicking, and thus carried on.
     
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  11. neuk01642

    neuk01642 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks man. I'm definitely a thumb and index player. I have massive hands so any other way just ends up with fingers all over the strings and getting in the way. I also feel like I have more control that way.
     
  12. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I know everyone is already writing this but I will just repeat what they said: it has a lot to do with relaxing your picking hand, even though it seems counter-intuitive to relax when you want to go extra fast. But that's the secret.
     
  13. Lemonbaby

    Lemonbaby SS.org Regular

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    I didn't even know that three-finger method existed. Just took a pick in my hand - no clue how that should work at all. And my fingers hurt...
     
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  14. neuk01642

    neuk01642 SS.org Regular

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    Vick that's what I was feeling (that and I need to work on timing), but overtime I tried to increase pace my arm/wrist/fingers just tightened up and there is no way to get those super fast staccato bursts.
     
  15. takotakumi

    takotakumi SS.org Regular

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    I'm weird. For the longest this felt easier to hold than the traditional way.
    It changes the sound too, so there's some stuff I prefer playing this way over the other way. More attack.
     
  16. Dineley

    Dineley SS.org Regular

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    What are some examples of something that has this palm muting burst you are after, just curious.
     
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  17. takotakumi

    takotakumi SS.org Regular

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    Could be wrong, but I believe he refers to the bursts like the one in Raining Blood-Slayer
    000 000 000....
     
  18. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Nah not that, that's a gallop.

    I think he's more after the sort of thing in the intro and then even more so in the verse of Meshuggah's "Clockworks"

    Anyway, OP, I'm sure you can do a fast little burst of 2 notes. Do a few of those, and then make the odd one a fast little burst of 4 notes.

    And so on and so on.

    Speaking purely for myself, beyond about 180bpm 16ths I've got a fair bit of arm involvement rather than it being just a wrist thing, for anything longer than about 3 notes. Don't strive for ZERO tension, but avoid unnecessary tension (like, clenching your jaw, grinding one foot into the floor, squeezing the neck too tight, jamming the guitar into your torso with your right arm, etc), and avoid excessive tension (like, does it feel like your shoulder is going to pop out? that's probably bad. Are muscles tensing in your upper arm? Maybe don't worry as long as you're consciously using them and can turn it on and off at will).
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
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  19. neuk01642

    neuk01642 SS.org Regular

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    A lot of contemporary, progressive metal use it. Lots of tight aryhtmical palm muting with furious bursts of pace.
    Been listening to a lot of After the Burial lately and they use it as do people like Meshugga, Conquering Dystopia. If I can dig out a perfect example I'll post a link.
     
  20. neuk01642

    neuk01642 SS.org Regular

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    Yeah
    that's more what I mean!!!
     

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