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Be Quick Or Be Dead

Hartwig Stein (114) · [archive]
Style: Metal · Level: Beginner · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Practice Riff

Ok, you made it to here, so let's start the fun part! You should be comfortable with working the lower 3 strings now playing those riffs. That means, that you are able to pick the correct strings with your right hand and be at the correct frets with your left hand at exactly that moment, while staying at these frets as long as possible to make those notes ring and the transition break as short as possible.

You should't have a problem to do the exact same thing with only a single string, right? WRONG! The following two riffs will make your fingers fly and you will hear yourself muttering using the foulest language!

But please don't give up! It will probably take you weeks of practice to get the following 2 riffs right at their high speed (if not, you cheated and you are not a beginner :-)). I can't play them at their original speed yet and I have practiced them for a while, trust me!

Remember: It is vitally important, that you start out at a very slow speed and only increase your speed once you can play the riffs 3x in a row without any mistakes!

Only this way you can make sure to not learn mistakes but the right thing!

So far for the disclaimer :-)! Before we get to those 2 riffs we need to practice one more thing. This little riff is not part of the song but it is good for practicing alternate picking and building speed.

Let's start with the left hand. Put your index finger onto the 6th string, 12th fret. It will stay there the whole time. Now put your middle finger onto the 15th fret on the same string. Now move your middle finger onto the 15th fret on the 5th string while not releasing the index finger and back again. Do this a couple of times. While you do this, listen to your body. Is your left arm relaxed or tensed up? Are you pressing on those strings like a mad(wo)man? Remember: tension is NOT good at all! Loosen up! Allways listen to what your body tells you. If you are sweating and and you have pain in your muscles after an hour of pratice, you are too tense!

Now take your pick into your right hand and let it rest against the 6th string. Look at it! It's flat side should not be parralel with the string but a little slanted (30 to 40 degrees). Also, if you would draw a middle line through it, this line should be perpendicular to the string.

It's time to start picking now. Do you have your index finger on the 12th fret and the middle finger on the 15th fret of the 6th string again? OK. Do an upstroke now and then a downstroke while concentrating and looking at your right hand. Do not move your left hand fingers yet.

The upstroke should be familiar to you now. The downstroke might be new, however. Important thing to watch on it: do not stroke the 5th string, only the 6th! Do this a couple of times, slowly at first, then getting faster. Watch out that the notes come at a constant sequence.

Done? Ok. Look at your right hand again. Where did it rest? Did you have your palm an or near the bidge or maybe you used your pinky as a little suspension? Don't do that! While it might be no problem at slow speeds, it will be once you get faster. Rest your lower arm on the guitar body. Most Guitars have a slanted area to do exactly that! Also, your palm should never be on or near the bridge, exept you want to palm mute!

Once you are comfortable with your right hand and you can alternate pick a little bit, you might want to look at the riff below. It is allways upstroke - downstroke! This means that you upstroke the 5th string and then downstroke the 6th string at the end of the half measure. It is obvious, that the pick has to travel further on that part than on the rest of the riff. That means, that it has to travel faster! I suggest you use the metronome function to practice this riff.

It is not important that you can play this riff at 210 bpm perfectly for now. I only wanted to show you a good way to practice alternate picking. Once you are comfortable with your alternate picking, it's time to go back to Be Quick or be Dead and look at the last two riffs!
Be Quick Or Be Dead - Page 5
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