I’m not sure if Cynic/Paul Masvidal’s “double picking” technique has been discussed here, but it’s a technique I’ve been trying to get for many years with no success. Many of the guitar parts in newer Cynic songs are basically arpeggiated chords where each note of the arpeggio is picked twice. It’s a cool sound that I don’t see many prog or metal players using, and Paul mixes in chromatic passing notes to give a sorta fusion/prog sound to their tracks.
The track I’ve been trying to learn is “The Space for This”, which we can see Paul play effortlessly here, with tons of really great angles on his right hand:
The track is roughly 140 BPM. No matter how much grinding I do, I can’t get this thing past 115-120bpm. I’ve played for ~22 years. I’ve gone through most of the primer and assume it’s because I’m string hoping, but my eyes can’t quite spot the motion yet.
My current approach to trying to get this down is the thought that if I can downpick it at tempo, then I should be able to alternate pick it at tempo by treating the up pick as an afterthought. I can easily downpick the song in 8ths to tempo with no issue, but I just can’t seem to harness the motion that’s already being used to pull back my pick to get it ready for the next downpick.
Here’s a regular+slow motion video of me downpicking the riff in 8th notes roughly at tempo:
Here’s a regular+slow motion video of me struggling to alt pick it at around 110bpm or so:
I will note that my normal speed picking motion is elbow picking - I grew up with metal/death metal and always used my elbow for tremolo picking, but I’ve never had much luck controlling it to where it locks in with each note. When I’m not trem picking, I use the motions above but I obviously have a huge hole in my playing between controlled 8th notes and mindless speed picking. I’ve never been able to lock in controlled alt picking and have gotten around this limitation with sweeping, economy picking and legato.
I’ve been trying to use the wrist motions in the primer but am having issues translating the table tapping speed (which I have no issue with) into an actual motion on the guitar. The moment my hand gets into position on the guitar, it feels like my wrist loses the ability to use half of its potential motion.
Anywho, thanks for any help you can provide. If I can correct this issue and get to a point where I can play this song, it will be an extremely huge milestone for me.