Down picking and muting
All 10 examples and the jam track will really test your down stroke picking and palm muting technique. Down picking can add uniformity to the attack and improve the timing, especially when using quavers (eighth notes). There is a cut-off, tempo wise, when down picking is no longer feasible, but with some practice it is possible to reach pretty fast tempos. Practice down picking a quaver rhythm with a metronome at a slow tempo first, and only when you can execute the part accurately should you raise the BPM. Remember speed is a bi-product of accuracy and you should strive to execute all the parts correctly at a slow tempo first. With this solid foundation established it is easier to bring things up to speed. The palm mute helps to thicken the sound, and also adds a percussive attack to the notes. Adding a palm mute does however change the position of the picking hand slightly, so it is good to practise alternating between palm mute and no palm mute. If you have a floating vibrato bridge extra care will need to taken, so as not to push the strings out of tune when you apply the palm mute.