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Using Delay to Emulate Double Picking

Delay is not just a tool for creating space and atmosphere in music. It can also be used to create interesting rhythmic effects. In this video, we will be looking at some ideas that make use of a short delay time and low regeneration rate to emulate double picking.

Getting the Sound

To get the specific sound I’m using in the performance examples ,you’ll to need to set the effects to the following.


The settings we are concerned with are: the time, regen rate and level. Time is the tempo of the delay, or the speed of the repeat. The regen rate controls how often the delay will repeat. We want a short regen rate to prevent the sound from becoming messy. Finally, the level can be set to 70%, or even higher if you would like. This controls the volume of the repeat, so we want it at the higher end in order to be comparable in volume to the original articulation.

Time: 100ms

Regen: 10%

Level: 70%


Reverb and other effects are optional, but I’ve chosen to use some on the video. We don’t want the reverb to be too prominent; just enough to sweeten the sound. I’m using TH2’s Room Reverb with the following settings. Note that some of these settings may or may not be available in your VST or pedal’s options, so just concentrate on the main ones, which are:-

Time: 600ms

Decay: 40%

Wet (Level): 20%

Other Effects

I’m also using some Chorus and Phase. The diagram below details the settings that are familiar to those of you that own and use pedals. Compression was used in the original preset that edited to create this sound, but it’s turned off here.

Overloud TH2 FX Settings

Overloud TH2 Chorus & Phaser Settings For Glass Candy Preset

Performance Notes

All examples use down-picking and palm-muting throughout. For the slow examples, you will need to adjust the Delay time and regen rate to 200ms and 5%.

Example A

This example draws from the A Minor Pentatonic Scale. The first couple of bars are simple enough, repeating a phrase consisting of an A note at the seventh fret on the fourth string played on the first beat, which is repeated on the second half of beat two.

From here, we move on to some more sophisticated syncopated phrasing. Bars 5-7 use an identical rhythmic pattern. Look out for the hammer-ons from the fifth to seventh fret at the end of bar 8.

Example B

Bar chords are the order of the day in this example. We start out with an Fma7 voicing in the eighth position, followed by Cma7 in the third position. This progresses to an Emi7 voicing in the seventh position followed by a similar voicing to the Fma7 chord, but with an open first and second string. Make sure to practice using alternate picking as well.

Example C

Now we make our way up to the high end of the fretboard. Between the delay and palm muting, this idea gives off a tasty Dark Pop vibe. Like the first example, this idea is derived from the A Minor Pentatonic Scale. The last bar also contains a B note, at the 19th fret on string one, which is found in the A Natural minor, or Aeolian scale.