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Old 12-28-2012, 10:41 AM   #1
BluesWizard
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Building up speed

Hey guys,

I was wondering how I could build speed and precision in my first, middle, and third fingers (I don't use my pinky for lead work). I'm not looking to be the next Yngwie Malmsteen, I just want to be able to play better
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:18 AM   #2
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Check John Petrucci's Rock Discipline on youtube, the exercises will help A LOT.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:41 AM   #3
TheNameOfNoone
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IMO it helps to always practice on acoustic. Preferably with very hard strings.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesWizard
Hey guys,

I was wondering how I could build speed and precision in my first, middle, and third fingers (I don't use my pinky for lead work). I'm not looking to be the next Yngwie Malmsteen, I just want to be able to play better

what matters most is *how* you practice - practice things slowly and only speed up when you're playing something consistently and without mistakes.

Also start using your pinky, it'll never get any better otherwise!
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:54 AM   #5
KG6_Steven
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If you're not using your pinky for playing lead, you're only playing at 75% efficiency.

Think about it.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KG6_Steven
If you're not using your pinky for playing lead, you're only playing at 75% efficiency.

Think about it.



Came here to say this. And you're an idiot for thinking you're better off not using your pinky.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesWizard
Hey guys,

I was wondering how I could build speed and precision in my first, middle, and third fingers (I don't use my pinky for lead work). I'm not looking to be the next Yngwie Malmsteen, I just want to be able to play better

If you want to be able to play better, then start using your pinky.

As for speed, don't play anything faster than what feels comfortable, entirely natural, 100% relaxed, and in complete control. If you have that mindset, then speed will come by itself without you noticing, because you're not thinking about it. You're just playing.

It's also advisable to record yourself throughout the year. it can be quite motivating to hear yourself play something faster than what you were able to do six months ago.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:08 PM   #8
BluesWizard
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I do use my pinky for chording and running basic scales, but trying to get it do hammering and stuff is nearly impossible
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:13 PM   #9
vIsIbleNoIsE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesWizard
I do use my pinky for chording and running basic scales, but trying to get it do hammering and stuff is nearly impossible


so you've already realized it's not impossible. get on it.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:14 PM   #10
TheNameOfNoone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesWizard
I do use my pinky for chording and running basic scales, but trying to get it do hammering and stuff is nearly impossible


Try doing pinky exercises over the whole neck (using just pinky and one other finger of choice) preferably on acoustic.
Something like this:
|-5-3---3-------------------------------------------------------------
|------5---5-3-5-3---3----------------------------------------------
|---------------------5--5-3-5-3--3---------------------------------
|----------------------------------5--5-3-5-3---3-------------------
|------------------------------------------------5--5-3-5-3---3-----
|--------------------------------------------------------------5--5-3-

EDIT: More your finger hurts, faster the progress will be.
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Last edited by TheNameOfNoone : 12-28-2012 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesWizard
I do use my pinky for chording and running basic scales, but trying to get it do hammering and stuff is nearly impossible

http://foreverjoe.com/main.html

Fig 3B.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesWizard
I do use my pinky for chording and running basic scales, but trying to get it do hammering and stuff is nearly impossible

You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqgT...ayer_detailpage
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:59 PM   #13
Andy Pollow
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Quote:
Came here to say this. And you're an idiot for thinking you're better off not using your pinky.


NO - it isnt nice to call people an idiot and you can play alot really good without the pinky. But it dosent take as long as you might think to get the pinky in shape and you will play alot more with it. Finger speed is easy - just practise alot. Its the pick thats tricky to get REAL good at.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derek8520
Came here to say this. And you're an idiot for thinking you're better off not using your pinky.


+1. I don't see the reasoning behind not using it. You will be able to stretch to further frets, play more notes etc. You might as well train yourself equally on all 4 fingers. Malmsteen uses 4 fingers.

Inb4 Malmsteen sucks.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:04 PM   #15
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Sue's notorious finger exercise!!! Yay!

Code:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------4-3-2-1----------- ----------------------------------------------------4-3-2-1----------------------------- -------------------------------4-3-2-1----------------------1-2-3-4----------------- -----------4-3-2-1---------------------1-2-3-4----------------------------------- ---------------------1-2-3-4-------------------------------------------------------- -1-2-3-4---------------------------------------------------------------------


Then play it descending (ish).

Code:
-1-2-3-4------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------1-2-3-4----------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------4-3-2-1---------------------1-2-3-4--------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------4-3-2-1----------------------1-2-3-4------------------------------------ ----------------------------------------------------4-3-2-1---------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------4-3-2-1-------------------


When this gets easy (lolz), don't just restrict yourself to a four-fret span. Do variations of the following.

Code:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------5-4-2-1----------- ----------------------------------------------------5-4-2-1----------------------------- -------------------------------5-4-2-1----------------------1-2-4-5----------------- -----------5-4-2-1---------------------1-2-4-5----------------------------------- ---------------------1-2-4-5-------------------------------------------------------- -1-2-4-5---------------------------------------------------------------------


You get the idea -- make your hand hurt an awful lot.

BTW, Yngwie Malmsteen and those other "shredders" all suck.

Edit: I have a Matry Friedman video LINKED IN MY SIG. Might there be some sarcasm in the shredders comment?
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Last edited by bangoodcharlote : 12-28-2012 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:17 PM   #16
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TS, your pinkie is really important to playing quickly and cleanly. It'll open up more options for fingerings and positions, which in turn will make your playing more efficient. As for your picking, focus on making your strokes as small and relaxed as possible in practice. Efficiency and relaxation are the secrets to speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bangoodcharlote
BTW, Yngwie Malmsteen and those other "shredders" all suck.

Not really. I don't think their music is particularly interesting, but most of those guys have good technique. You have to, in order to play quickly and cleanly.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:52 PM   #17
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You have a pinky, so why not use it? It boggles the mind. Sure, the frets are smaller higher up on the neck and you have less room, but that doesn't mean that you omit your pinky. If you're going to omit a finger, the sensible thing to do would be to omit your index so you can drag it behind your other fingers and mute.

Getting back to the original question, don't chase speed. It's pointless. There's a big difference between playing fast and playing well. Once you can play well, playing fast will naturally follow.
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:50 PM   #18
Lutz Richter
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It depends on what you wanna do. Of course I use my pinky and generally I recommend that to others, because it gives you more possibilities.
But: If your goal is to become faster with the things you already do, I'd either recommend you to get your licks with the first 3 fingers fluent. Look at Michael Schenker for example: a lot of great pentatonic stuff without pinky.

...back to the original question: there are many ways to practice for speed. Most important is to have a defined goal about how fast you want to be. Then really concentrate and discover the things that are not perfect yet... eliminating all little flaws constantly will make you faster and faster
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