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Fast Metal, Pick Technique and Action Q's

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by castlev, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. castlev


    Mar 28, 2010
    New Jersey
    Hey guys, I'm recording in a band that plays really fast riffy progressive metal. The only way I can keep up is if i slam the action down where I am lightly playing with a pick, can't use fingers its too low. My questions are about your preferences:

    Thin pick/heavy hand? Or thick pick, light hand?

    Flat neck/slightly raised action? Or bowed neck/super low action?

    In either situation, the lighter playing unfortunately makes the strings slapping the frets much more noticeable. Will this get washed out in mix, or squashed in the compression stage? Or do I really need to work on my technique? I record on my own all the time so I try VERY hard to mind my dynamics, but with such fast riffs, sometimes its hard.
  2. Edgar664


    Mar 12, 2009
    Thin pick AND light hand to get that David Ellefson attack. At least that works for me and of course it depends on your tone goals, a heavier pick will give you less attack (IMO) unless you play harder.

    About the neck, I think you should let your left hand decide, if you are playing "really fast riffy progressive metal" a higher action will make your left gets tired more.

    And yes, all that "scratchy noise" the pick can make will dissapear as soon as you add drums and guitars in the mix and more times than not that "noises" will help to get more of that pick attack.

    As an advice, add some overdrive, some may think it will add noise but it really helps!!!

    In my opinion of course!!!! lml
  3. nolezmaj


    Sep 22, 2011
    I play some medium-fast progressive rock songs with pick (as requested by producer), and prefer 1mm thick but elastic pick. I feel this elasticity gives me better control. I can use medium or heavy hand with palm muting and get the sound I am after.
    As for action, it depends where you play most if time. If you play close to nut, neck with bow could be for you. I preffer almost straight neck because I play enywhere from first to tenth fret.
    Some string clang will get lost in mix, but it depends on your strings. Nickelwounds are very forgiving compared to steelwounds.

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