All Downstrokes

Hey all,

I have serious issue playing all downstrokes for metal rhythm. I’ve been training it as a sort of circular motion using the wrist, or a windmill type motion but I’m unsure if this is correct or if I’ll be able to gain any speed doing this.
The only other way I see to do it is a sort of arm rotation motion, which feels like a lot more effort. Does anyone have any insight as to how to do all downstrokes? At the moment I’m painfully slow at it, 16th notes at 70 bpm :confused:

I’m not a downstroke master but I guess you should try to play different fast stuff. For me melodic dethmetal worked fine )
And your picking hand (wrist) must be relaxed. I’m not even talking about injuries - it’s just impossible to play fast with tensed wrist. But you may tense your biceps a bit if you need.
Do bursts instead of continious playing.

Damn. I tried to shoot a video with my phone but my hand all blurry at 110 bpm )

Just doing this with upstrokes!!

What speed are you getting? - should be half your top alternate picking speed.

Yes - that circular motion can be wrist deviation and wrist flexion. It’s all about keeping the pick vertically perpendicular to the strings for the chug!

Same here ) Sometimes it’s easier for me to do upstrokes only

Well… not really. Alternate picking is about going through the string up and down, while with downstrokes only you have to move your pick around the string. Basically it’s a continous sequence of stringhoppings. May be that’s why I can do fast downstrokes (because I suck at USX/DSX :grinning:)

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Interesting - my thrash speed is roughly half my fastest alternate pick speed - but I get what you mean! I can go faster but only for short spurts - and then my arm feels like its burning and wants to fall off :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, this stuff with different techniques speed always makes me wonder ‘what the hell??’
I mean, my 2nps USX alternate picking is up to 190 bpm sometimes but USX tremolo is hardly beyond 120 bpm. Come on, picking on one string should be easier than on two!!

btw when you do downstrokes do you have that feeling that you like throwing your hand on the string? Or it’s just me?

Me personally been playing downstroke thrash for eons (about 34 years) - I can’t describe it really - it’s like the safest most controlled thing ever. I feel like Big Jim Martin from faith no more - if in doubt chug!! :slight_smile:

Thanks for the replies guys.

I’m a little unsure what you mean about the vertical pick angle?
I may try up load a video later and if you guys could check it out I’d be very grateful.
Another issue I tend to have with all downstrokes is the pick point will quickly start pointing towards the bridge which I usually have to stop and fix. I’m unsure how to solve that problem either… :confused:

I just keep the pick at the exact same angle when it hits the string - it gives a consistent chug click and note decay. For me it’s vertically perpendicular to the string - but as long as its the exact same angle - its fine!

My pick tends to rotate in opposite direction, but only when playing alternating. With all downstroke approach I don’t have that issue.

Sure, go on.
I would try to record a video myself using my old webcam, though I have some strange problems with my notebook (it speed up the video gradually during the recording)

If @shabtronic could record a video too it would be awesome. I feel that we use different approaches and it would be interesting to analyze them. Though I guess his way is more correct since I’m a kinda newbie in chugging )

I will try!! I just made a DIY magnet - it’s a terrible shabby affair - but I’ll give it a go when the daylight is good again (tomorrow). I’ve looked at my Chugging - both upstroke and downstroke - and it’s mostly deviation+flexion, maybe a tiny hint of rotation - hard to tell till I’ve looked at a vid of it. My webcam only does 60fps - but chugging is slow - so it should be fine!

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@shabtronic @ASTN

Thanks for your responses guys.
I’ve made a video, it’s not the best quality but hopefully gives an idea as to what I’m trying to do and shows any errors I may be making. If you guys wanted to upload vids that would be very much appreciated! But I don’t expect that, making vids can be a pain in the ass! My webcam often just refuses to cooperate lol

You tell me! ))
Leaving aside strange syncronisation issues (my videos sometimes speed up close to the end), I have to record audio separately in different program (since I’m using virtual effects) and then put all that stuff together.

Ok, here’s the video. My webcam cable is short so the angle may be far from perfect… Anyway. I start with 8th on 100bpm then play 16th as a part of routine. I guess @shabtronic downstrokes would be more aggresive, since my downstroke version is a result of my blues habits, so it’s a scratchy but not as chuggy.

Hi Guys

I didn’t manage a vid on the weekend - but I have some free time tomorrow - so I’ll do one then (I had 3 job interviews yesterday and today :open_mouth: )

I notice when I’m “chuggin”! I have much much more Extension/Flexion movement compared to both those vids. Having that big bouncy movement helps with switching from muting to unmuted chord stabs (my pick can jump up about 1-1.5" above the strings in the extremely wild moments :slight_smile: ). And I can use much more aggressive diggin in downstrokes - that comes from using crap low gain amps in 80’s. It takes a while to get to that kind of power control - but once you have it’s - its there for good.

Thanks @ASTN for going to the effort of making a video! Very much appreciated.
You seem far more relaxed and faster than I can get anyway! I have a feeling I’ve been training the motions incorrectly, well, not incorrectly, but perhaps not in the best way as I can’t get strong articulation when doing a circular motion with the wrist. Annoyingly, my upstrokes are way faster, more relaxed and more aggressive sounding and I’ve not been training all upstrokes :joy:

@shabtronic Thanks for that! I’m very interested to see how you do your downstrokes as a thrash veteran for many years!

Yeah I didn’t manage a video today lol - sorry My freetime got chewed up again. I will attempt one again tomorrow.

I’m super interested in this also, because my picking is much more vertical movement - and I think that’s to pull the deep wrist deviation chug away from hitting the next strings. It seems totally normal to me - but now I realize how bonkers it is :slight_smile: - watching myself chuggin it looks like all vertical movement - it’s bizarre!

I guess that’s what gives you nice attack on a string. I tried to do it more ‘in deck’ but I couldn’t get fast with that kind of motion. Though, to be fair, I didn’t practice much )
I’ve seen guys on youtube doing it in more vertical manner and that sounded heavy \m/.
So, from now on I’ll call my downstrokes ‘lazy chugging’ )

Yep, that’s the key. Once again it’s not about injuries prevention, it’s just I can’t play fast when my wrist becomes tensed. The feeling is like I’m throwing my hand on a string. It may be that I even use string reaction to help me go ‘up’ after stroke… I don’t know.
What I know for sure is that there is rotational movement involved.

Historicaly my downstrokes evolved in that way: My first guitar was acoustic. I played it with my fingers, and when I tried to imitate metal riffs I used my index finger nail. It didn’t feel good and didn’t sound good with pure ‘through the string’ motion, so I ended up with that shaky motion.

The same stuff here. Well, it was until I ‘practiced’ downstrokes a bit. Of course, by practicing I mean playing heavy stuff I like instead of doing exercises as I should )

Have you watched Brandon Small interview?

He has a kind of motion which is close to mine though a bit more jumpy and agressive. He’s talking about ‘turning the key’ motion.