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Hyperspeed downpicking?!

Alec Lewis

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    So i'm learning the intro riff to Another Heart by Tremonti and it has some insanely fast downpicking, like near master of puppets level for sure, and also a weird beat that makes it considerably harder. I managed to get the beat down and I can play the riff comfortably at about 80 BPM, the song is originally played at 97 BPM. He is essentially playing 16th notes at 97 BPM all downpicked. I was wondering if anyone has some tips for how I can build up to that speed as I practice, I just started practicing it this way, as before I wasn't really using a metronome but now I feel like im dedicated to getting to that speed now that I have started with the metronome. the rest of the song is actually somewhat easier for me (I havent started tackling the solo yet) it is just this riff that is holding me back. Tremonti actually does a full lesson for this song on Youtube as well and that's what i've been following, for anyone wanting to help out.
     

    Radu-Cristian Perde

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    Nov 11, 2019
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    Ok so the best advice as a guy who uses master of puppets as a warm up (at 90% its speed but as I said, warm up) is that you just have to build your speed. There is no secret technique or way to do it faster than just really tacking the time with the song to make the riff second nature to you.

    Basically what I mean is that you have to stop thinking about it when you play fast downstrokes. You have to know that riff perfectly and be able to play without having to think where your fingers go. If you are already at a place where your fingers already know where to put themselves, then you have to build up speed. And thats grinding and slowly pushing it without forcing it.

    And you mentionned that you just started to practice with a metronome and that is actually the only way to do it. Because fast downstroke is a very tight technique and is really hard if you have no sense of timing . You have no choice but to practice with either a backing track or a metronome and build up your speed. All the Metallica songs I went through to build up that technique, I had to slow them down by a lot and really build them up.

    So in conclusion, you just a notion of timing and slowly raise the BPM when you feel comfortable to do so :)

    Hope that helps!
     

    Ids Schiere

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    Nov 11, 2019
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    Well, to go at hyperspeed you first need a hyperdrive 🤪

    All jokes aside, to go fast you need to go slow and it seems your already doing that. One little trick that usually works for me is put the metronome faster than your target speed and then go back to the target speed. It's called overpractice and it works because after playing it at say 110 BPM 97 BPM will feel slow in comparison and therefore easier.
     

    Firsty Lasty

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    Nov 11, 2019
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    Imo practicing with a focus on relaxed bursts of speed, not wearing yourself out by treating it as an endurance exercise, is the right way. Although it's fast it's not too continuous.

    I've said this before several times, and I'll keep preaching it as long as I'm here- as far as guitar is concerned strength is largely a matter of your muscles being trained to "Go!" or relax at the right time. Fire quickly, relax quickly, recover quickly. If you're too tense with this riff that'll make it 10x harder.

    That being said, the real shortcut is be young and lift weights. What happens when you make yourself stronger is you are stronger. What happens when you make things easier for yourself is things become easier.
     

    Dominik Gräber

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    I usually don't warm Up but for downpicking you HAVE TO warm Up. I know when I wanted my hands prepared for master of puppets I would Jam Riffs from creeping death, moth Into Flame and blackened (to stay in that Metallica lane). Rest, repeat. If your Hand Starts burning give it a couple of Minutes.

    However, you don't only build your Speed for today but also for Long Term down Picking. You will get Up to Speed s Bit faster every day.
     
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