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Experienced Metal players please chime in... Gallop question.

thornie

Silver Supporting Member
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3,443
So lately I decided to pick apart and learn all of Lamb of God's Ashes of the Wake record in order to build up stamina and get my right hand picking as tight as possible. Working with the metronome to build up speed has forced me to really pay attention to what I'm actually doing in terms of how the rhythms are picked, and now I'm kind of stuck.

Ok let's get the easy stuff out of the way... When I was a kid I learned Battery by Metallica and Run to the Hills by Maiden, and in doing so, the basic gallop. It's seems like the consensus is that these rhythm figures should be picked like so...


Ok moving on... How on earth do you pick this in a triplet feel?



This is how I'm picking it now, and it just feels wrong from an economy of motion perspective. In fact, every way I pick it feels awkward. How would you pick this?
 

buddastrat

Member
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14,689
Usually downstroke it on the eight note triplets and alternate on the sixteenths. Same approach as the first ex.
 
Last edited:

Mayo5

Silver Supporting Member
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3,407
Not the most helpful or practical advice but I do something similar to the video below:


Otherwise, it's what buddastrat said.
 
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1,454
Downstroke is the "1" of the beat. Your first illustration starts on "3". That's your problem. IOW, it's D U D, D U D, D U D, etc., not D D U, D D U, D D U.
 

Sheherezadeh

Member
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1,049
A lot of metal rhythm playing isn't about "economy of motion." When possible, downpicking is preferable because it gives a more aggressive, chunkier sound than employing upstrokes. It requires more stamina, but that is usually the preferred sound, more or less starting from Hetfield on. Obviously at high tempos, smaller note subdivisions, and for most gallops it really isn't possible to downpick them, and that is when alternate picking is involved.
 

ClassicLP

Senior Member
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1,199
Regarding those triplets... Those kind of rhythms are popular amongst English, Scottish and Irish folk music. Learning some of those melodies will help you build those rhythms.
 

Sheherezadeh

Member
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1,049
Regarding those triplets... Those kind of rhythms are popular amongst English, Scottish and Irish folk music. Learning some of those melodies will help you build those rhythms.
Another quibble - not all groupings of three notes of the same duration are "triplets," which would imply three equal notes in a particular timeframe rather than two. Much of the time they're just three 16th notes and a 16th note rest.
 

thornie

Silver Supporting Member
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3,443
Josh from Sylosis lesson
That was really good. Those damn downpickers. Hot damn.

IMO downpicking sounds for lack of a better word "dated". Most guys can't downpick at that speed anymore, so the more modern progressive metal players mostly alternate pick those rhythms. Yes, downpicking like that sounds gnarly and super aggressive, but it also IMO loses the flowing feel of the rhythm/riff. I guess it comes down to what kind of sound you're going for. I used to downpick everything, but I found it made learning more complex rhythmic stuff very difficult. Meshuggah's "Bleed" is a perfect example.
 

DNW

Member
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466
When possible, downpicking is preferable because it gives a more aggressive, chunkier sound than employing upstrokes.
On singe note parts, it really doesn't. If playing single notes, your downpicking sounds different to alternate picking, it's really just that your alternate picking isn't consistent enough. :dunno

If we're talking about playing powerchords or something, then yeah it'll make a difference.
 
M

Member 995

On singe note parts, it really doesn't. If playing single notes, your downpicking sounds different to alternate picking, it's really just that your alternate picking isn't consistent enough. :dunno
The old Metallica stuff definitely sounds more aggressive with just downstrokes ...
 

DNW

Member
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466
The old Metallica stuff definitely sounds more aggressive with just downstrokes ...
Like I said, if it's a powerchord part, or something else with more than one string going at once, then yeah it will. If it's just single note lines, any difference in sound is just down to inconsistent alternate picking technique.
 






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