Here is the PDF for the Metal Alternate Picking (click and download) exercise for you to download and reference. Commit the exercise to memory and you will progress much faster than when you have to keep taking your eyes away from the guitar to look.
I don’t expect you to have it memorized right away, but I do want you to commit yourself to memorizing this exercise.
In the video you will notice a few things about my picking hand technique.
1) My arm is not anchored to the guitar at all. There are some points where my arm is resting on the guitar but my arm is not stationed there and immovable. I want you to be aware of this so your arm does not become fatigued faster than normal when playing for an extended period of time. Do not take what I have said and have your arm way out off of the guitar either. This exercise exists to show you just how relaxed you can be when playing.
2) I am using some of my fingers to mute the next few strings up so they don’t ring out when I am playing. While I do this in many other types of picking scenarios, there is no other technique that requires this kind of string muting and attention than alternate picking does This is critical when playing with distortion! Simply be aware of where your fingers are when playing so that you maintain a nice, clean sound.
This may feel awkward at first, but with practice will soon start to feel more natural to you and the result is a tighter, cleaner, more metal sound!
Metal Alternate Picking Lightning Round
Below is an audio file of the exercise that plays through a couple times, each time getting progressively faster. I want you to physically write down which ones you can play, and the ones you have trouble getting all the way through. THIS IS CRITICAL to the results that you will get from this exercise so don’t skip this important step.