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Old 09-18-2012, 07:09 AM   #1
WholeLottaIzzy
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A Question For People Who Can Shred.

I understand playing fast is all about efficiency. I play classic rock mainly so there's quite a few fast solos I want to learn. However, I've always struggled to get past 120bpm.

I'm currently learning Good Times, Bad Times by Led Zeppelin. I've got the whole song down except for the solo. There's a fast pentatonic run in the middle of the solo. It's all sixteenth note triplets at 96bpm. I've currently got it at around 68 - 70bpm but am struggling to get it faster. It's all perfectly tight. I always play with a metronome so timing isn't an issue.

I need tips on how to get faster. I've found that keeping my fingers close to the fretboard helps a lot. I use alternate picking... Anything else?
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:34 AM   #2
astholkohtz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WholeLottaIzzy
I need tips on how to get faster. I've found that keeping my fingers close to the fretboard helps a lot. I use alternate picking... Anything else?


minimizing motion is always a good idea, you should try to be more efficient with your right hand too.
having said that, there's no special trick to speed up the metronome. it took me 1 year to get alternate picking triplets on major scales from 160 to 210 bpms.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:46 AM   #3
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Apart from economy of motion, make sure you're relaxed - You need to be relaxed to play efficiently, tension is your enemy.

If you feel tense (check your arms, shoulders, wrist, fingers etc...) slow down, figure out the cause, practice it painfully (metaphorically not literally) slowly and eliminate the problem. The most common areas for tension in your picking hand are holding the pick too tight (it should literally just be kind of "there" between your index finger and thumb, no pressure really is needed to hold it) and your arm/shoulder.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:51 AM   #4
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If you are sure that you are correctly relaxed, and that you are doing economical motions ... it's just a matter of practice.

It seems there is a wall at 120 bpm for a lot of people (me as well), try do slow down and to be sure and sure that you are relaxed (whole body) and that your motions are economical.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:15 AM   #5
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This is exactly what i did to become faster.

Practice whatever i was practicing relaxed, accurate and cleanly. Technique wise i worked on getting my left hand fingers just to hover precisely above the frets. (Getting the ring finger and pinky finger to stay close 100% of the time is hard, but working on it is great).

Also making sure that my right hand did not move that much. I pick from the wrist, and whenever i had hit a string i focused on getting my hand to freeze exactly after it went through the string, if that makes sense.

Like working on getting your picking hand to do such small motions that it almost seems like your resting your pick on the string after every stroke (obviously you are not resting on the string, but getting as close as possible to it without actually doing it is great).

Although i never really focused on speed per say, i just wanted good technique. Economy of motion together with the other stuff i've said is the key to play effortlessly.
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astholkohtz
minimizing motion is always a good idea, you should try to be more efficient with your right hand too.
having said that, there's no special trick to speed up the metronome. it took me 1 year to get alternate picking triplets on major scales from 160 to 210 bpms.


You can alternate pick 21 notes per second? Lol who are you? Rusty Cooley or Shawn Lane?
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tylerjenns
You can alternate pick 21 notes per second? Lol who are you? Rusty Cooley or Shawn Lane?

"Triplets" at a certain bpm isn't enough to deduct how fast he is playing. In this case I am guessing he's talking about 8th note triplets, where you assumed he was playing 16th note triplets.
For all we know though, he could be talking about quarter note triplets as well
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:56 AM   #8
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Ahh! True, true! Sorry for sounding like an ass! Youre right. But why wouldnt you just stay at 100bpm and do 16th note triplets? Instead of 200 bpm 8ths?
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:44 AM   #9
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Ahh! True, true! Sorry for sounding like an ass! Youre right. But why wouldnt you just stay at 100bpm and do 16th note triplets? Instead of 200 bpm 8ths?

Agreed!
Subdivide and conquer! It'll give you a better sense of rhythm when you need to fit in more notes between the clicks and still keep the rhythm steady.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:51 AM   #10
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Exactly! The drummer is probably not going to be playing 16th notes when playing at 100. Probably quarter or eighth notes Depending on genre. Gotta be able to sub divide!
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:36 AM   #11
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lol that was fun to read.
200 bpm, three notes per beat of course, which makes it 10 notes per second. pretty average...
you guys really looooove to give advice don't you? 100 bpm or 200bpm is kinda the same, technique-wise. maybe it's a different feel, and i do both for elasticity's sake, but there's not much difference.
i wrote down the numbers because i wanted to get the idea of how slow the process can be...

Last edited by astholkohtz : 09-19-2012 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:51 AM   #12
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Oh yeah that lick in Good Times Bad Times... so tired of it.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:34 AM   #13
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To clear up, when triplets are said with no note value I think you can assume it's 8th triplets, as 8th triplets are three notes per beat (16th triplets are sextuplets so six notes per beat) so 8th triplets fit the "triplet" word better as a default than 16th triplets for me. The same way people say sextuplets and they mean by default 16th sextuplets, not 8th sextuplets etc...
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astholkohtz
lol that was fun to read.
200 bpm, three notes per beat of course, which makes it 10 notes per second. pretty average...
you guys really looooove to give advice don't you? 100 bpm or 200bpm is kinda the same, technique-wise. maybe it's a different feel, and i do both for elasticity's sake, but there's not much difference.
i wrote down the numbers because i wanted to get the idea of how slow the process can be...


Cool dude! Renember to sub divide its taken me nine months to be able to play some alternate picking licks Rusty Gave me pretty fast. I dont play with a metronome tho'. Here comes the flame war lol

Last edited by tylerjenns : 09-19-2012 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:17 PM   #15
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Its all in the pick my friend. The more you can minimize the distance your pick comes off the string the easier it will be. The best advice for developing speed is practice, practice, and more practice. It takes time to develop the chops to consistently shred like a madman
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jyrgen
Oh yeah that lick in Good Times Bad Times... so tired of it.

Yeah it's a bitch. But I've seen improvement today. Went straight in at 70bpm and it was pretty clean. Didn't warm up that well so it wasn't too clean to start with but hey, it's a freakin' Jimmy Page solo haha.But yeah, it's a pig to learn. But I'll get it.
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:37 PM   #17
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Shredding comes from just knowing it perfectly through lots of practice and refined technique. Just play the lick again and again and again with a metronome. It will take 21-30 days to get it set in your brain, some advanced techniques take even longer.

Also, play it even if you cant once in a while. You will sound like shit but somehow it helps in getting your brain to jump the gap between slow and fast (provided you have solid technique foundation).

The way I find I get better is to play it at just a fast enough speed so I make a mistake or two or three, then find out *why* the mistake is happening (is my pinky not hitting the note right? is my muting off? am I moving too fast w/ the pick...etc), then just fix that. Usually it's one small thing holding you back and after fixing it you jump like 20-30 bpm -- at least in my experience.
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:51 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by AtomicBirdy
The way I find I get better is to play it at just a fast enough speed so I make a mistake or two or three, then find out *why* the mistake is happening (is my pinky not hitting the note right? is my muting off? am I moving too fast w/ the pick...etc), then just fix that. Usually it's one small thing holding you back and after fixing it you jump like 20-30 bpm -- at least in my experience.


so much THIS!
all the people in this forum repeat relentlessly the "play slow" thing (which you did), that's mere basis. it is so obvious that im not even sure it can be considered advice. the part i quoted is a much more insightful piece of advice, in my opinion. auto criticism is crucial to improve, you can't exclusively play slow and hope sometime you'll get the metronome up.
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:57 PM   #19
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btw you should lower the action
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:34 PM   #20
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I've always thought trying to play it a little faster than you currently can would be good, but, when it comes to my playing, I'm a perfectionist. I want to be as good as I can possibly get so I've been trying to increase it by 1bpm then trying to play it cleanly. It's pushing it forward. Currently on 70bpm. So if I raise it 1bpm per day and get it perfect that day, next day add 1bpm, then I should be able to play it at full speed perfectly and easily within a month?
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