Meshuggah - Bleed pattern?

Yeah i know it’s a gallop, but…

I’m trying to learn that song and there are a few obstacles on the way:

  1. speed
  2. motion - the chugging pattern
  3. the riff pattern.

Let me explain.
Point 1 is quite self-explanatory. At the moment I could play the first few tabs of the song at 66% tempo which is frankly pathetic for me. But my ability to move the pick up and down isn’t the only speed cap here.
The other one is point 2 - the chugging pattern.
It is what it is - a form of gallop, that’s clear enough, it goes like this:

ooo-o-ooo-o-ooo-o- and so on. We all know that already.
But sometimes my hand doesn’t follow this pattern, sometimes I automatically play something like this:




now, that’s an inconvenience.

I noticed I make such an error mostly when I’m caught off-guard with B-string bend, which is point 3 - the riff pattern.
I can never predict when it’s time to bend the B just by listening/feeling the groove, I need to constantly look at the tab.
At the beginning we have 6 “blips” and then jump on the B-string:

but after that it is two times 5 blips and one time 4 blips, and then there is no B-bend at all, and then…
I was wondering if there is any logic behind it. It feels so random!

Let’s go back to point 2 for a moment.

So we have the gallop:


It’s natural for me to play it DUD-D-DUD-D and so on.
But here:

There is an argument that one should play DUD-U-DUD-U and so on.
The thing is it’s not as intuitive to me and limits the speed more.
As I have a long way to go speed-wise, should I make an effort to switch to this pattern, or is the first one still playable and completely fine?

In that thread I made the case for DUD D, and still do. As you pointed out, some people will find upstrokes on downbeats to be hard to feel, and since the player will already be using a good amount of concentration to count beats, I find it better to do something that might be more inefficient if it helps with consistency. I even did it a few times “the Popeye method”, but that’s definitely more of a practice regiment, not something I would likely try in a performance setting.

That being said, some people have tried to be more comfortable with up picking downstrokes. @guitarenthusiast here has been working on it, and I’m pretty sure he does the pattern DUD U style.


So I can’t think of the name of the guy - Troy interviewed him on some hyperspeed stuff and I believe he had a lesson on YT about Bleed and was doing DUD U. I thought it was John Taylor but can’t seem to find the video, so maybe it was someone else.

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This guy is the go-to guy on how to think about the patterns as far as remembering the groupings/understanding what’s going on:

These guys are the guys as far as the physical act of playing the riff:

edit: There used to be a much longer version of that video with more explaining but I can’t find it

I guess I’ll be browsing through Troy’s interviews then.

Another thing is I remember myself being able to do 200BPM downstroke 8th notes a long time ago. I was more into viking/power metal and so I was jamming along to some Ensiferum stuff, but that was eons ago and now I tend to tremolo pick everything in black metal-esque manner.
Also 200BPM 8th notes is much slower than 115BPM 16th notes, so there is that…

I’ve seen that already. Good stuff.

Yeah it’s something I’ve been working on for about a year now. My style is based off Paul Gilbert and Anton and that’s more or less what they do for a huge amount of phrases (upstroke on the downbeat). It works really well for some things, and others it makes my brain feel like it’s going to explode.

I’ve recently tried reversing everything for metal lines which I don’t think is feasible in many cases as we discussed the other week.

@Rot - Personally, I’d do it DUDU because the song goes on forever and your hand will likely explode with DUDD. I can downpick as fast as is literally humanly possible and I would never do it that way.

More ideas here:


Interesting - always loved this song - it’s great isn’t it! pure robot rhythm perfection.

I just started to learn it because of your post.

I’m finding similar things - easy to get the “sound” with DUD-D-DUD-D , because the accents and tone on single D’s are easier and much more consistent. But that speed it’s tricky - so easy to mess it up and I find my right hand will compensate sometimes by missing a gallop.

So DUD-D-DUD-D-DUD-D-DUD-D can become DUD-D-DUD-D-D-D-DUD. I think my right hand will just automatically skip a gallop if the timing goes awry - it’s freaky :slight_smile:

I had a quick bash at DUD-U-DUD-U-DUD-U-DUD-U-DUD-U - my right hand goes crazy and gets super confused - at messes it up everytime after about 2 secs at speed hahaha I think for me it would require days/weeks of DUD-U practise. DUD-D feels much much more natural and fun because of the single D accent control.

For point #3: Rather than counting 32-32-16-16 groups, you could think of the string changes as occurring within a certain window in the measure.

It switches to the 7th string just after (but not on) beat 1, wherever the 32nd notes fall that time.

The left and right guitars don’t switch back to the 6th string at the same time in measures 7 & 13 (as far as I can tell from the iso), so maybe they didn’t plan this too precisely. Still, either side on its own fits the idea of a three-16ths window. In the GW video Fred also moves to the 7th string earlier than on the album for the last bends in the verse.

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I managed to push the tempo tiny bit further to 69% which is nice, using DUD-U motion.
Still feels awkward, but also much more relaxed than DUD-D and I think I might have a chance to actually reach the full tempo once it feels natural.
I also starded to feel when the bend is coming, at least on my tabs. Every tab I seen has different count of notes before the bend comes, so I am not convinced if the one I have is correct. I will have to export it to midi and compare with the song in DAW.

EDIT: 73% it is.
Like I said, I probably could go considerably faster as soon as the motion feels natural.

One more thing troubles me - 115BPM 32nd notes are equivalent to 230BPM 16th notes, is it correct?
If so then I’ll have to play faster than my currently fastest tremolo picking. Granted, it is just a blip, but stil.
Even now at the speed I can play the song I’m nearing my currently fastest tremolo (190ish 16th notes).
Yet it doesn’t feel that fast.


I’m learning it as DUD-U just out of curiosity.

I think it’s initially easier as DUD-D - because your pick hand is in constant motion for the string skip with the final D. Where as DUD-U requires a motion pause - which feels really awkward and messes up easily.

I think it’s going to take me a few weeks to get the DUD-U pause pattern burned in and overwrite the DUD-D my hand currently wants to play :slight_smile:

I post my findings when I feel it’s complete - or a complete write off :slight_smile:

“It Moves”
–Fredrik Thordendal

For me it’s particularly tricky because going DUD-U at higher tempos makes me do oooo-oooo-oooo as oposed to ooo-o-ooo-o-ooo-o- (if that makes any sense to you).

Also there is one more thing that makes me wan’t to quit trying to learn the song (apart from seemingly random bends and riff changes):

That litte scoundrel in red.
The previous one, coming in the middle of the bend, is actually easier for me to do.
That one is not tricky because string change comes on an upstroke, but because somehow I loose the groove and go just alternate picknig or simply freeze.
If I was a computer I would just crash with BSOD.
Oddly enough I was able to play it in the morning at around 40-45ish % of the original tempo, but when I bumped it a notch I just couldn’t process it anymore. Lowering the tempo did not help at all unless I got it really slow.
TBH looking at how much difficulty I have adjusting that early in the song I begin to seriously doubt my ability to play it.

You may not be able to play it now, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Especially if this is a weakness for you (DUD D or DUD U) and it feeds into long term goals.

How are you practicing this? Just going through a long segment of the riff at a lower tempo then speeding up when you feel comfortable?

Yeah it’s a alternate galloping beast! I’m sure you’ll be able to play it tho - for me it requires drastic controlled practice tho!

I initially got the same thing as you - trying to DUD-U - my hand went berserk and starting playing
everything but that pattern lol!

Currently I’m about 50% speed pure alternate - it’s all I’m playing everyday - about 1-2hrs spread thru out the day (working from home, so I can practice it whenever I get work bored).

I’m not worried about tho odd gaps here and there at the moment- I’ll tackle those once I have the main pattern and control in me pick hands “brain”.

Feels like it’s going to take a few weeks before I get it under control. With this kind of thing I find a few days pure practice - then a few days break - then practice e.t.c. really cements the learning process for my pick hand. Mind you when I switched to outside picking years ago it took a long long time :slight_smile:

Yeah, sort of like that.
I use GP tab.
I started with just the first riff (the one with the bend) at 25% just to get familiar with the groove. Then bumbed it to 50% and set it so that it gets 1-2% faster with each repetition. Guitar pro however has a tiny pause between the end of last repetition and start of the next one so it would sometimes throw me off, so I manuall raised it by a percent or two.
Once I could do the first riff at around 75% I tried the second riff, the one using low F string, and repeated the process - only this time I couldn’t go above 60% or so.

Same here - working from home and I’m usually done with planned tasks in an hour, excluding an hour to actually wake up and eat some breakfast. So basically I could fit in 5-6 hours of practice if I wanted to, excluding replying to emails and such.

Well, I guess it will be easier than forcing opposite pickslanting. I used to have the pick pointing towards the floor a few years back, switched it upside down and suddenly tremolo picking became much more controlled.

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I think this is a good way to learn the song, but not necessarily develop the technique at speed. Can you play the gallop (DUD) at speed (115) with one rep per click?

What do you mean exactly?

But all in all

Best I did was 80% and I quickly lost it.
Besides I can’t play it with just the click. I need GP tab playing in the background just so I know where am I in the song, also kickdrums are helpful with maintaing correct tempo and rythm.
Plain metronome is impossible for me because I can’t count that stuff yet.

That’s half of what I am doing here.
The technique itself isn’t all that difficult, even three days ago it felt weird to me, now it is getting ok.
Every once in a while I pause the backing track and focus on doing the gallop as fast as I can, then come back to playing along with tab.
And I do it in “two steps forward, one step back” kind of fashion. Starting at slow speed and 5% bumps each repetition, then when I reach my “limit” i take it back few percent and make jumps smaller. And so on.

The 32nd notes just before that are also low G.

I sent wrong screenshot, I meant this one:

Buuut, if 32nd notes before the marked red Gs are also G, then I suppose the tab I have is incorrect?

The last image you posted is correct; it goes to G on beat 1 there.