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Downpicking, sometimes referred to as down-stroke picking, is a technique used by musicians on plucked string instruments in which the player moves the plectrum, or pick in a downward motion, relative to the position of the instrument, against one or more of the strings to make them vibrate. If down-strokes are played without the addition of upstrokes (as in alternate picking), the tip of the pick never comes in contact with the strings as the hand moves back up to repeat the down-stroke.
Guitarists in hard rock genres will often use downpicking to create a "heavier" sound than what can be achieved with alternate picking, which generally produces more cleanly melded strumming sounds. Downpicking also effectively doubles the effort one would need to alternate pick at the same tempo, however this is hardly noticeable at medium to slow tempos. Downpicking can also be used in a technique called sweep picking, or 'raking'.
Extremely fast eighth-note downstroke picking was used in the mid 70's and beyond by famous punk guitarist Johnny Ramone, who used the technique to play full live shows at fast tempos (usually around 180 to 200 bpm). This required extreme levels of stamina, but produced a very high-energy, aggressive sound. This extremely demanding, then-uncommon and somewhat innovative style contributed to Johnny Ramone's reputation as a legendary guitar player, and it influenced many now-famous rock guitarists. Downstroke picking has become a common technique in metal and thrash rhythm playing, notably exemplified by James Hetfield of Metallica (who has been regarded as 'the King of Downpicking' [ citation needed ].), as well as Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein of The Misfits, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, Johnny Ramone of The Ramones, Kerry King of Slayer, Bobby Gustafson of Overkill, and Scott Ian of Anthrax among others. The guitar work of Metallica's "Master of Puppets" is almost entirely played using downstroked eighth-notes at a tempo of 212 BPM (about 4 downstrokes per second)
Up-tempo down-stroke picking requires a strong wrist to keep muscle movements as tension-free as possible. For long or extended passages, endurance becomes the focus, as fast down-picking can quickly cause a burn in the wrist, sometimes extending up into the arm and causing the muscles to seize up. If the guitarist has a difficult time keeping the strokes smooth, the quality of the music can suffer, often sounding sloppy or strained. While down-picking in general is sometimes considered a good beginner's technique for learning at slow tempos, it requires skill to perfect in faster applications.
In music performance and notation, legato indicates that musical notes are played or sung smoothly and connected. That is, the player makes a transition from note to note with no intervening silence. Legato technique is required for slurred performance, but unlike slurring, legato does not forbid rearticulation.
A blast beat is a drum beat that originated in hardcore punk and grindcore, and is often associated with certain styles of extreme metal, namely black metal and death metal, and occasionally in metalcore. In Adam MacGregor's definition, "the blast-beat generally comprises a repeated, sixteenth-note figure played at a very fast tempo, and divided uniformly among the bass drum, snare, and ride, crash, or hi-hat cymbal." Blast beats have been described by PopMatters contributor Whitney Strub as, "maniacal percussive explosions, less about rhythm per se than sheer sonic violence".
The 'original' or traditional blastbeat is a single-stroke roll played between your cymbal and snare, with your kick playing simultaneously with every cymbal hit.
Sweep picking is a guitar playing technique. When sweep picking, the guitarist plays single notes on consecutive strings with a 'sweeping' motion of the pick, while using the fretting hand to produce a specific series of notes that are fast and fluid in sound. Both hands essentially perform an integral motion in unison to achieve the desired effect.
The palm mute is a playing technique for guitar and bass guitar, executed by placing the side of the picking hand below the little finger across the strings to be plucked, very close to the bridge, and then plucking the strings while the damping is in effect. This produces a muted sound. The name is a slight misnomer, as the muting is performed by the side of the hand, not the palm.
Clawhammer, sometimes called frailing, is a distinctive banjo playing style and a common component of American old-time music.
A guitar pick is a plectrum used for guitars. Picks are generally made of one uniform material—such as some kind of plastic, rubber, felt, tortoiseshell, wood, metal, glass, tagua, or stone. They are often shaped in an acute isosceles triangle with the two equal corners rounded and the third corner less rounded. They are used to strum chords or to sound individual notes on a guitar.
A drum roll is a technique the percussionist employs to produce, on a percussion instrument, a sustained sound, "over the value of the written note."
John William Cummings, known professionally as Johnny Ramone, was an American guitarist and songwriter who was the guitarist for the punk rock band the Ramones. He was a founding member of the band, and—along with vocalist Joey Ramone—remained a constant member throughout his entire career.
Fingerstyle guitar is the technique of playing the guitar or bass guitar by plucking the strings directly with the fingertips, fingernails, or picks attached to fingers, as opposed to flatpicking. The term "fingerstyle" is something of a misnomer, since it is present in several different genres and styles of music—but mostly, because it involves a completely different technique, not just a "style" of playing, especially for the guitarist's picking/plucking hand. The term is often used synonymously with fingerpicking except in classical guitar circles, although fingerpicking can also refer to a specific tradition of folk, blues and country guitar playing in the US. The terms "fingerstyle" and "fingerpicking" also applied to similar string instruments such as the banjo.
In music, strumming is a way of playing a stringed instrument such as a guitar, ukulele, or mandolin. A strum or stroke is a sweeping action where a finger or plectrum brushes over several strings to generate sound. On most stringed instruments, strums are typically executed by a musician's designated strum hand, while the remaining hand often supports the strum hand by altering the tones and pitches of any given strum.
"Blitzkrieg Bop" is a song by the American punk rock band Ramones. It was released as the band's debut single in February 1976 in the United States. It appeared as the opening track on the band's debut album, Ramones, that was released April 23, 1976.
Alternate picking is a guitar playing technique that employs alternating downward and upward strokes in a continuous fashion. If the technique is performed at high speed on a single string or course voicing the same note, it may be referred to as "tremolo picking" or "double picking".
Shred guitar or shredding is a virtuoso lead guitar solo playing style for the guitar, based on various advanced and complex playing techniques, particularly rapid passages and advanced performance effects. Shred guitar includes "fast alternate picking, sweep-picked arpeggios, diminished and harmonic scales, finger-tapping and whammy-bar abuse", It is commonly used in heavy metal guitar playing, where it includes rapid tapping solos, fast scale and arpeggio runs and special effects such as whammy bar "dive bombs". Metal guitarists playing in a "shred" style use the electric guitar with a guitar amplifier and a range of electronic effects such as distortion, which create a more sustained guitar tone and facilitate guitar feedback effects.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to guitars:
Economy picking is a guitar picking technique designed to maximize picking efficiency by combining alternate picking and sweep picking; it may also incorporate the use of legato in the middle of alternate picking passages as way to achieve higher speed with less pick strokes. Specifically:
Playing the violin entails holding the instrument between the jaw and the collar bone. The strings are sounded either by drawing the bow across them (arco), or by plucking them (pizzicato). The left hand regulates the sounding length of the strings by stopping them against the fingerboard with the fingers, producing different pitches.
In classical guitar, the right hand is developed in such a way that it can sustain two, three, and four voice harmonies while also paying special attention to tone production. The index (i), middle (m), and ring (a) fingers are generally used to play the melody, while the thumb (p) accompanies in the bass register adding harmony, and produces a comparable texture and effect to that of the piano. The classical guitar is a solo polyphonic instrument, and it is difficult to master.
A flamenco guitar is a guitar similar to a classical guitar but with thinner tops and less internal bracing. It usually has nylon strings, like the classical guitar, but it generally possesses a livelier, more gritty sound compared to the classical guitar. It is used in toque, the guitar-playing part of the art of flamenco.
Guitar picking is a group of hand and finger techniques a guitarist uses to set guitar strings in motion to produce audible notes. These techniques involve plucking, strumming, brushing, etc. Picking can be done with:
Playing the cello is done while seated with the instrument supported on the floor. The fingertips of the left hand stop the strings on the fingerboard to determine the pitch of the fingered note. The right hand plucks or bows the strings to sound the notes.