Metal Techniques – Downpicking With Accents

Downpicking is not one of my strengths as a guitarist, but it is something I strive to improve. This is a very cool idea I’ve been using lately to sharpen my chops and uses the E Phrygian as well as the flattened fifth interval.

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Practice Tips

  • Accents are notes or chords that stand out among other notes in a composition. This is achieved by hitting the notes a little harder than the rest, thereby making them louder. The idea we explore in this lesson is conducive to accenting because the low E string is being palm-muted whilst the fretted notes are not. 
  • As trite as it sounds, the key to good down picking technique is to relax and build up speed steadily so your stamina increases over time. I tend to find my muscles becoming tired after some solid practice; this is a cue to stop and come back later. Don’t overdo your practice sessions, it’s not productive and can result in injury.
  • Make sure to practice down picking using real music. My choices are All That Remains and Metallica; two bands I admire a lot and who give me great riffs to practice with.