5 Best Songs To Practice Downpicking

by Rodrigo Sanchez, Feb 15, 2021 . 4 min read

5 Best Songs To Practice Downpicking

These 5 best songs to practice downpicking will be quite beneficial for your playing. They basically guarantee you will improve as a player if you have a good practice routine.

Yes, they will help your downpicking and much more. You will improve your right hand/left-hand coordination, your sense of time and rhythm, feel, etc. After all, these things are all connected. And in case you are wondering, they will also develop more facilities for playing killer solos. These songs are fun to play and will benefit your playing greatly, especially when combined with some downpicking exercises. So tune-up and let’s dive in on the 5 best songs to practice downpicking. 

“Master of Puppets” – Metallica

This song is a classic by one of the greatest heavy bands ever. “Master of Puppets” will give you a run for your money from the get go. The guitar work of James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett is stellar, and “Master of Puppets” is further proof of that. This song also has that initial Metallica sound that was specially aggressive and with tons of downpicking throughout. When you practice this song, the goal should be to match the rhythm guitar part, all the way to the accents.

“Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” – Metallica

Another Metallica song? Well, yes! That’s how it is if you take the paradigm of downstrokes in metal to millions of fans worldwide for 40 years. Metallica is the blueprint for downstroke and is therefore the best place to start your downpicking journey. And in all fairness, you could just stay with Metallica for quite a bit, developing your downpicking chops and much more. “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” is a bit more musical and sophisticated than the previous song, but still with that early-Metallica rawness. 

“Dead Skin Mask” – Slayer

A great cut from the seminal Slayer album Season in the Abyss. “Dead Skin Mask” will help you work on your downpicking with a bit more variety in the rhythms. Once again, be careful with the accents and how guitar hero Kerry King places them. Try to play evenly and remember to start slow and gradually increase the speed until you can play along with the recording.  

“Symphony of Destruction” – Megadeth

This song is especially great to work on your time while downpicking. It features a lot of space thanks to the interplay between the main guitar riff and the drums. There is also muting involved to create staccato rhythms. “Symphony of Destruction” is also a great song to work on muting all strings that don’t need to be played, precisely because of its openness in the main riff.

“Duality” – Slipknot

“Duality” is a modern take on downpicking in Metal. This song will be a special challenge due to its fast downpicking riffs. A metronome will be quite useful while working on “Duality”. Figure out the riff first, then slow it down until you can comfortably play it. Once you find that tempo, slowly increases the speed until you match the recording. Don’t worry if it takes weeks. Time and consistent practice can overcome any playing obstacle.

The 5 best songs to practice downpicking are fun and challenging at the same time. Take them one at a time and be patient. Remember that consistency and focus are the most important factors when it comes to practicing music. The best course of action is to practice every day, even if it’s just 30 minutes. Make sure you are fully concentrated on the task, and not just jamming aimlessly. Deliberate and focused practice is harder than just playing, but it’s the strongest and surest way to becoming a better guitarist. Feel free to leave us a comment with other great songs for downpicking. 

Get our free Alternate Tunings Guide!

Check out some other similar articles

Take advantage of our biggest backer-exclusive discounts and get your hands on this next-generation automatic tuner. Back the Kickstarter campaign today and be the first to receive the Roadie 3.

The 6 famous songs that use dominant 7th chords have a special quality to them. A big chunk of that particular flavor is thanks to the use of dominant chords.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 26, 2021 . 7 min read

Today we’re going to talk about 5 ways musicians get inspired. The term inspiration refers to being mentally stimulated to do something, especially in the creative realm.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 2, 2021 . 4 min read

There’s a ton of stuff you need to learn if you’re a guitar beginner. You have to learn the riffs, chords, and different finger techniques before you even learn to play your first song.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 25, 2021 . 4 min read

We recently covered how different kinds of arthritis can affect your guitar playing. We also provided some tips on how to avoid it.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 21, 2021 . 3 min read

The 4 ways to develop relative pitch are quite easy to apply. Like most things music related, all it takes is practice and dedication.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jun 4, 2021 . 3 min read

Today we’re going to learn how to play Patience by Guns N’ Roses on guitar. This beautiful ballad is a popular choice for many acoustic guitar players around the world.

Rodrigo Sanchez
May 7, 2021 . 4 min read

Today we’re going to talk about 6 instruments that are easy to learn for guitar players. Most of these are stringed instruments that feature a string arrangement somewhat similar to a guitar.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Mar 5, 2021 . 4 min read

It is important to know how to resolve nut ping. This issue can create tuning problems as well as audible clings or pings when you bend a string.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Feb 19, 2021 . 4 min read

What is a Neapolitan Chord? A Neapolitan chord is a major chord built on the flat second of a major scale. That is the simplest way to define it, but let’s expand on it.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Feb 8, 2021 . 4 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!