Downpicking technique (Doxa by Monuments)

goldenaxe

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Hey, I've been learning doxa by monuments for quite a while now and have just got it up to full speed but I'm worried my downpicking technique isn't quite right. I've been using my wrist but in really fast sections I still feel lots of tension across my entire right arm and I can feel myself using more of my forearm on the really fast sections.

I've noticed John Browne appears to rest his pinky under the highest string whilst down picking (watch his EMGTV video of doxa on youtube), can anyone explain this to me as I've never seen it done before so don't know whether it would help.

So should I continue practicing as I am until I feel comfortable enough to loosen off, or have I simply been using the wrong technique all this time? Also, what's up with John's pinky? Thanks a lot
 

redstone

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Forget the pinkie. Browne doesn't downpick with the wrist, he uses the forearm pronation, with a slight extension of the wrist to skip the upstroke. Pronated downpicking is virtually untiring as it almost doesn't move any weight.
 

redstone

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When using the wrist, or the forearm flexion/extension, all the moving mass is gathered at one side of the axis. When using the forearm pronosupination, the mass is spread around the axis. It's like moving a pendulum vs a wheel. That's a very simplified analysis, some wrist techniques are less tiring than others, depends on the combination of motions and positions (vs gravity), but in absolute terms, pronation is the best way to get a percussive fast attack when downpicking because the only mass to move is that of the string.
 

goldenaxe

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When using the wrist, or the forearm flexion/extension, all the moving mass is gathered at one side of the axis. When using the forearm pronosupination, the mass is spread around the axis. It's like moving a pendulum vs a wheel. That's a very simplified analysis, some wrist techniques are less tiring than others, depends on the combination of motions and positions (vs gravity), but in absolute terms, pronation is the best way to get a percussive fast attack when downpicking because the only mass to move is that of the string.

So he rotates his whole forearm to push the pick through the string then uses his wrist to lift the pick back up again? This is what I've gathered from searching pronation and watching the video more closely. I've tried doing this but it still requires more strength then I currently have, however hopefully it'll help in the long run if I start practicing now so thanks for the suggestion!
 

redstone

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He uses the rotation to lift the pick back. It's a cyclic motion, for each pronation there is a supination, for each extension there's a flexion :

Pronation *hit the string* -- slight extension -- supination *avoid the string* (slight flexion)

Don't mind the wrist motion, just try to get the pronation right, you'll find intuitively the way to skip or not the upstroke. The pick must strike from above, don't try to get a parallel displacement.
 

goldenaxe

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He uses the rotation to lift the pick back. It's a cyclic motion, for each pronation there is a supination, for each extension there's a flexion :

Pronation *hit the string* -- slight extension -- supination *avoid the string* (slight flexion)

Don't mind the wrist motion, just try to get the pronation right, you'll find intuitively the way to skip or not the upstroke. The pick must strike from above, don't try to get a parallel displacement.

Thanks a ton, this has helped me alot. Now I understand how JB is so fast but seems so delicate and unaggressive, cos he's using so little energy. I've started doing some forearm strength excercises too and I think it's genuinely helping, so there's my contribution for anyone wanting to get their downpicking speed up.
 

redstone

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You're welcome, accentuate only your downstrokes for minimal muscle exhaustion.
 

Dcm81

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I've started doing some forearm strength excercises too and I think it's genuinely helping, so there's my contribution for anyone wanting to get their downpicking speed up.

I've started doing some forearm strength excercises too and I think it's genuinely helping, so there's my contribution for anyone wanting to get their downpicking speed up.
y6pjIq

W in TF is going on here??? :scratch:
 

KristapsCoCoo

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I've got that kind of downpicking technique down pretty natural a while ago.
I guess I'm using string like some kind of trampoline(if that makes sense) so it feels like I don't put much strenght in downward and any stenght at all in upward motion. Altough this probably works only on lower strings.
Not shure if I'm doing the circular motion though. Feels more like just kepping angle of wrist pretty straight against strings all the time.
So for me the trick in this is to know where to stop puting strenght in any motion you do and just let the inertia do the work.
 

goldenaxe

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W in TF is going on here??? :scratch:

lol maybe they tried to quote and it broke :scratch:

I've got that kind of downpicking technique down pretty natural a while ago.
I guess I'm using string like some kind of trampoline(if that makes sense) so it feels like I don't put much strenght in downward and any stenght at all in upward motion. Altough this probably works only on lower strings.
Not shure if I'm doing the circular motion though. Feels more like just kepping angle of wrist pretty straight against strings all the time.
So for me the trick in this is to know where to stop puting strenght in any motion you do and just let the inertia do the work.

Maybe you already had that strength built up from something else though (James Hetfield says cooking helps :metal:) or downpicking is half your alt pick so maybe you could already alt pick well? I see what you mean about the trampoline though, also keeping my arm as still as possible helps, to get it into the optimal position and keeping it there. I think this helps with the inertia too, I'm trying to keep a regular motion.
 

redstone

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I like the trampoline metaphor, however keep in mind that's just a sensation ; the upward motion is always active, nobody is able to bounce off the strings.
 

takotakumi

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I tried learning this technique, and still cant pick at that speed....
however, I learned to incorporate that pinky technique into my playing
and noticed it helps me a lot :) It serves like a kind of leverage mechanism
to kind of always be anchored and not let your hand move and all around the bridge
or strings when fast down picking parts. It definitively helps me get back up faster as I
require less energy and force to do so. I could say I failed but still got out
winning something hehe
 

redstone

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Ok I'll make a vid. My english accent sucks but I guess it won't be a major issue.

Sorry, I never speak english so I'm a bit limited.

 

octatoan

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Ok I'll make a vid. My english accent sucks but I guess it won't be a major issue.

Sorry, I never speak english so I'm a bit limited.



You once said that the third strategy in this video (http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XyabWMlGrzk) was the most promising. Can you do a short video about it? If nothing, just do it a bit slowly, please.

Also, where can I learn what the words 'flexion', 'extension', 'pronation' and 'supination' mean?
 

j3ps3

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I used to rehearse downstrokes by doing only upstrokes. It helps 'cause normally the thing that slows you down is the motion your hand makes when coming back to the starting position. So by increasing the speed of my upstroke I'm actually increasing also the speed of my downstroke.

Also, this was a great song to get my downstrokes going:

 

redstone

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You once said that the third strategy in this video was the most promising. Can you do a short video about it? If nothing, just do it a bit slowly, please.

Also, where can I learn what the words 'flexion', 'extension', 'pronation' and 'supination' mean?

wristandhandterm.jpeg


Such a video wouldn't help, it's the hardest one to explain and I didn't experience it enough. Most of my pronosupination picking is a few hours old and a transposition of abilities learned from other strategies. I have yet to find the way to teach it without transpositions.
 

octatoan

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Are there any players I can watch who use it?
On a side note, what does Tosin do? I'm just curious, not going to do something like "he does it so I must do it too" or anything.

And I meant that you could just do it a bit slowly, no explanations needed.
 


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