Al­ter­nate pick­ing

Guitar Techniques - - PLAY -

John Petrucci is one of the world’s best al­ter­nate pick­ers and this is the rea­son that there is so much clar­ity in his play­ing. Prac­tis­ing to­wards a clean, con­trolled and con­sis­tent al­ter­nate pick­ing tech­nique will make much of this song much eas­ier to play. The con­cept is sim­ply that you should al­ways fol­low a down­stroke with an upstroke and vice versa, re­gard­less of whether you are play­ing suc­ces­sive notes on the same string, or chang­ing from string to string. The re­sult is rhyth­mi­cally con­sis­tent phras­ing and an even tone that is per­fect for metal riff­ing and quick scale runs. It is a good idea to prac­tise short mu­si­cal phrases over and over again in or­der to build up mus­cle mem­ory, so as you play through the song take note of the sec­tions you find most dif­fi­cult and re­peat them over and over again. Try start­ing your cho­sen phrase first with a down­stroke, then with an upstroke un­til both meth­ods feel equally com­fort­able. For the bulk of this track you will need a heavy dis­torted tone that can pro­vide both chunky palm-mutes and also def­i­ni­tion when play­ing chords. You’ll get a suit­able tone with a bridge hum­bucker and dis­torted amp. Be care­ful not to

use too much gain but boost the mids to cut through the mix. For the solo use a de­lay pedal

set to a medium speed to add sus­tain.

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