Downpicking: Improve your Guitar technique with Kiko

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Right now, we’re going to talk about downpicking, how to master it and what are some great downpicking exercises. Remember: every Thursday I’m here at the same time. I’ll either show you something new, give a lesson, or offer my point of view and discuss some of the main topics in guitar playing. A lot…


I enjoy catching the live sessions and referring to the text blog style later. I started playng guitar only knowing downpicking and at one point I was very quick at it. Playing early Metallica riffs was how I gained the endurance. Anymore I can do it but not for an entire song without messing up. Other picking methods are now more comfortable. I try to rotate between picking methods as I play riffs to move fluid into one than the other and it is a great way to add some dynamics to the riffs for fun. It absolutely takes training your arm to avoid lockup from being to tight. Don’t cut corners while learning or you will end up being sore.


Hi all,

Once again this format as complement of the video is a great idea.

About downpicking, I think everything is endurance and how long you can play relax… once the muscle tension arrives your speed and precision collapse (at least for me).
I’m challenging myself with master of puppets… the challenge is to play it entirely, normal speed and… smiling :sweat_smile:



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Downpicking has been something I obsessed about early on as I thought it was the only way to really “sound” metal. The guitar magazines I was reading at the time really emphasized this technique as the secret behind Metallica’s tone etc… Now it seems like I was playing Megadeth’s Tornado of Soul wrong by trying to do it all with downstrokes only…

There’s more alternate picking in metal than what my young self thought :slight_smile:

Anyway, I am still going to work on improving my down picking to add dynamics and variations in my riffs. The way Kiko explained will really help me avoid tension and build that stamina!

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Kiko explained really well the difference between the machine gun (down) and groove (alternate).
In tornado, for me, the tricky part is to switch between the 2 technics and keep the rythm in the same riff.

Have a nice christmas !!

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