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Makin' it Slam

Being it that most of you spend about 90% of your time burning up the scales, maybe I should bring you all back to earth for alittle while here. If you play in a band, as I do,you know that 95% of your time is spend onrhythm. And with that, rhythm makes or breakssongs (the little things as always the mostimportant/the ones that come back to hurt you).So unless your name is fucking Dave Mustaineor Scott Ian, you*d better pay some attention.

Proper palm muting technique is essential. Aswell as annoying when executed improperly. Usethe heal of your hand directly over/slightlyin front of the bridge. WARNING, if you use aFloyd Rose DO NOT BE TOO HEAVY HANDED.I once saw a group, that YOU have heard of, thatdisrespected this rule. Every time they wouldbust into a another muting riff everythingwould go sharp and it was quite noticeable tome anyway.

The simple application of muting to a riff willmake it both tighter and heavier in one shotwhile adding a bass heavy tone to it. Also, itacts as a guard against unwanted strings ringingout. The following is a simple riff from mygroup, Fake Healer, a riff out of a tune called”Dead Man Waking”. When simplicity is nameof the game, it is important to get the little thingscorrect. Try this riff with all the mutes, andthen try it without and see which one is heavierand which one sloppier. (drop-D tuning)


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  PM-   PM   PM     AH

Once you have masterthe art of proper muting technique,you might want to build up your girly manright hand rhythm chops so you can make it throughall those 8 minute epics written about thelife and times of Pauly Shore that your group has.The most effective way of doing this is somethingI call the "5 minute drill". Find a settingon your metronome that you can down pick consistentlyand do so, to the metronome, for 5 minutes.Then repeat the process doing strictly up-strokes.

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Using strictly down-picks or up-picks Don’tbe afraid to move this around in any random order. Whatever works best for you as a player. This exercise will hopefully encourage you to down-pickyour rhythms more (making them sound heavier)and make you more proficient in other areas.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this/learned something itfrom it. And if you didn*t, well tough shit that*s yourloss. Better stop playing and get on with life. Orjoin a Punk band for that matter. I would like some feedbackconcerning this column seeing as this is my firstone and also for any information about my band, FakeHealer, please e-Mail me at LeadHealer@aol.com. Until next time, drink beer and lots of it.
Peter Ruesch

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