Frank Gambale and the Metalocalypse


No particular questions I’d want to ask, but while I’ll be excited to see both of these, I always thought if Metalocalypse would have been a damned good metal band if they weren’t actually tongue in cheek, so I’ll be curious to see what Brandon has to say about the ‘bad’ and his playing!


That Swisgaar lesson was how I first learned to sweep.


I love it when Troy asks players to play certain “standard” licks that are often played with a different technique than the player being interviewed uses, and see how the player solves this.

This happened in the Carl Miner 2007 interview, where you could clearly see that Carl prefered some patterns and others were completely foreign to him, although he rearranged them on the spot to make the patterns playable for his own style.

For example, a descending scale in fours (16ths) is always interesting to see, how a player approaches this:

Starting on the high E, continuing at Hi B:




This pattern cannot be played with rigid dwps or sweep picking, so I’m always curious how players like Friedman or Gambale approach these licks.



I haven’t looked at the sweeping course videos in a while (and there’s a lot of them!) but I don’t recall Frank mentioning the two-way pickslanting at any point (I’m sure that he did not use CTC terminology at that stage, but I don’t think the concept itself was discussed under any name). I think in the context of sweeping the use of directional pickslanting (to facilitate flopping over strings) is a sort of unwritten law for many players - as you also mentioned in several CTC lessons.

However, I remember him mentioning edge picking at some point, either in the course or somewhere else. He indicated (using other words) that he aims for about 45 degrees of edge picking.


@AGTG Frank uses triangular picks like these (at least, he used to).


One other thing I remember him saying is something that was echoed on the forum, the videos even for different techniques: sweep/economy picking requires a reasonable amount of speed to work. Too slow and the movement isn’t realistic. Frank did say he would play more traditional/gimmicky guitar lines at lower speeds. He then demonstrated such lines like double-stops, chicken/hybrid picking, pentatonic lines, so on. I think a lot of people have noticed the difference in style when he plays slow vs. fast.


My favorite part was when he tries to muster some phony enthusiasm. :rofl:


So much yes.


So, so good! His picking is so relaxed. Looking forward to this one (well, both of the Frank ones actually!)


The Thunderhorse cometh! This was a super fun conversation.


I love that Thunderhorse riff, it’s majestic!

Do you know gauge of strings is Brendon using? They look pretty damn thick.


Damn. That’s just beautiful to watch. So smooooth.


Notice how in addition to the floor/ceiling angle change, he has the tip of the pick pointed more toward the neck when he ascends, and more towards the bridge when he descends (apparently regulated by the amount of thumb flex, which also increases on the lower strings to maintain edge-picking consistency).


I believe he said 13 to 56 - I forget but we do discuss this. The trick is he tunes to C so the strings are still pretty loose at that pitch.


Yep. Frank will tell you that what he does is super easy, and that ease is definitely part of his “sweep evangelist” worldview. But what he’s doing is anything but simple. There’s a lot of finger, grip, and anchoring interaction and of course the pickslanting aspect which facilitates the embedded alternate picking. I think that may have a lot to do with why relatively few players get the results he does.

Anyone who wants to experiment with Frank style sweeping, I would totally recommend trying to replicate his entire setup, right down the grip and pick choice. I don’t have any of his picks handy but I fully intend to tool around with this when we get down to editing his stuff.


damn those are thick! The tone from them must sound huge, especially with the low tuning.


It’s funny seeing him burn through the Vinnie Moore style descending 6’s. Probably the hardest thing I’ve worked on from CtC material, and I’m fairly convinced that my problem there is actually the left hand!


I’ve never figured out how people play tight rhythm on loose downtuned strings. 9s or 10s work for doom metal but for tight stuff I’ve never been comfortable with them.


Marshall Harrison was the first player who almost exclusively employs economy picking the show has presented if I am not mistaken. Since you recommend to replicate the type of setup Frank Gambale uses to people who want to experiment with his style of sweeping, would you say that there’s a significant difference between these two players in their approach of economy/sweep picking? I mean, aside from Marshall’s obvious use of hybrid picking.


I say this only as a matter of investigation. Meaning, we see Frank doing some very specific things, that we’ve already mentioned a little bit earlier in this thread, like the use of wrist movement and finger movement, and the obvious pickslanting and edge picking adjustments. And we know that Frank doesn’t perceive some of the difficulties that others do, like one direction being harder than another, or timing. So maybe there is something in the ingredients he is using. Maybe it’s nothing. Or maybe his setup is a particularly good mix of things. It’s worth exploring.

Marshall is great. He doen’t use the obvious pickslanting movements that Frank does, doesn’t appear to have the finger components that Frank does. His grip is different - it’s extended finger, not side. Pick choice is different. He is similar in his forearm position. And so on. I think you can probably already see all that. Does any of this matter? Don’t know. All I’m saying is, it’s worth looking at.