Speed Buster. Part 1 - More Practice

author: UG Team date: 07/31/2003 category: guitar techniques
rating: 9.5 / votes: 144 
Speed is something which comes to a guitarist with constant practice! Determination and consistency are two things that will get you to your goal. Vinnie Moore in his instructional CD said, he had a daily 1 hour routine where all he did was just shred, and play chromatics, and also play patterns, at blazing speeds. One of his biggest secrets is no secret to a developing guitarist, you have to go up gradaually. No one can expect to get upto speeds reached by Michael Angelo at once. To someone eager to reach high speeds, the metronome should be your best friend. Now there are alternatives to the metronome, but this is the best way. As I have said before consistency and determination is what you need. You should try to create a practice schedule pf your own, let it be 30 mins, or an hour. Its very important. Now what do you do, in this 30-60 mins, this is supposed to be really boring. Repeat chromatics, play them in different patterns and so on. Here are some exercises that you can do in your routine. I found them very useful. You'll say the same thing after doing them. For those of you who dont know! A D refers to a downstroke and U to an upstroke! Exercise 1 This is for beginners. Dont avoid alternate picking, its a key weapon when it comes to playing fast. The exercise lets you get used to alternate picking.
D U D U 
|-0--0--0--0--1--1--1--1--2--2--2--2--3--3--3--3-|Repeat till 12 
|------------------------------------------------| 
|------------------------------------------------| 
|------------------------------------------------| 
|------------------------------------------------| 
|------------------------------------------------|
Its really helpful especially if you havent done alternate picking before. After that reverse the pattern, that is Up Down Up Down.
Exercise 2 
D U D U 
|------------------------------------------1-2-3-4--5-4-3-2---------------- 
|----------------------------------1-2-3-4------------------5-4-3-2-------- 
|--------------------------1-2-3-4----------------------------------5-4-3-2 
|------------------1-2-3-4-------------------------------------------------etc 
|----------1-2-3-4--------------------------------------------------------- 
|--1-2-3-4-----------------------------------------------------------------
This is the 4 note chromatic pattern. Its really boring, yet very useful. Play it till the 12th fret. To make this a bit more interesting you can use legato (Hammerons and Pull offs), and string skipping. When you use string skipping use your imagination, you can play the 4 note pattern in E String then skip to D, then A to G and so on.
Exercise 3 
D U D 
|-------------------------------1-2-3--4-3-2------------------------------- 
|-------------------------1-2-3--------------4-3-2-etc--------------------- 
|-------------------1-2-3-------------------------------------------------- 
|-------------1-2-3-------------------------------------------------------- 
|-------1-2-3-------------------------------------------------------------- 
|-1-2-3--------------------------------------------------------------------
Now this may seem simple enough. But trust me, its not. Its pretty deifficult to keep the D U D U pattern going. Thats the key to this exercise. Try to play D U D U, until you become absolutely 100% accurate. Use string skipping.
Exercise 4 
D U D U 
|-----------------------------------------1-3-2-4---------| 
|---------------------------------1-3-2-4---------2-4-3-5-| 
|-------------------------1-3-2-4-------------------------| 
|-----------------1-3-2-4---------------------------------| 
|---------1-3-2-4-----------------------------------------| 
|-1-3-2-4-------------------------------------------------| 

|-----------------------------------------| 
|-----------------------------------------| 
|-2-4-3-5---------------------------------| 
|---------2-4-3-5-------------------------| 
|-----------------2-4-3-5---------3-5-4-6-| 
|-------------------------2-4-3-5---------|
Now this is very very useful! Now instead of using playing 1324, you may also play 1423 or 1324 or anything. Use your imagination. Use string skipping.
Exercise 5 
D U D U 
|-1234----------------------------------------------6789--| 
|------2345------------------------------------6789-------| 
|-----------3456--------------------------6789------------| 
|----------------4567----------------6789-----------------| 
|---------------------5678------6789----------------------| 
|--------------------------6789---------------------------| 


|---------------------------------------------------4321--| 
|-8765-----------------------------------------4321-------| 
|------7654-------------------------------4321------------| 
|-----------6543---------------------4321-----------------| 
|----------------5432-----------4321----------------------| 
|---------------------4321-4321---------------------------| 

Exercise 6 and 7 
D D D D 
|-----------------------4-------------------------| 
|---------------4-----3---------5---------------6-| 
|-------4-----3-----2---------4---------5-----5---| 
|-----3-----2-----1---------3---------4-----4-----| 
|---2-----1---------------2---------3-----3-------| 
|-1-------------------------------2---------------| 
UUUU 
|-1-------------------------------2---------------| 
|---2-----1---------------2---------3-----3-------| 
|-----3-----2-----1---------3---------4-----4-----| 
|-------4-----3-----2---------4---------5-----5---| 
|---------------4-----3---------5---------------6-| 
|-----------------------4-------------------------|
These 2 exercises will later help you with sweep picking, treat them with respect, and you will be rewarded. Now before I finish I will provide one more exercise, in fact its a pattern. That is you can use it with scales and stuff. Its probably the most common off em all. And as you get faster you'll realise how often they are used by your favourite speed demons.
D U D U D U D U D U D U D U D U 

|---------------------------------|--------------------------------| 
|---------------------------------|--------------------------------| 
|---------------------------------|--------------------------------| 
|---------------------------------|---------5-------5-6----5-6-7---| 
|---------5-------5-6-----5-6-7---|-5-6-7-8---6-7-8----7-8-------8-| 
|-5-6-7-8---6-7-8-----7-8-------8-|--------------------------------| 

|---------------------------------|----------------------------------| 
|---------------------------------|---------5-------5-6-----5-6-7----| 
|---------5-------5-6-----5-6-7---|-5-6-7-8---6-7-8-----7-8-------8--| 
|-5-6-7-8---6-7-8-----7-8-------8-|----------------------------------| 
|---------------------------------|----------------------------------| 
|---------------------------------|----------------------------------|
Now this is really basic, spend some time with and try using it in your solos- very useful. You should play all the exercises above regularly even though its got the same effect as watching Oprah. But unlike Oprah this helps (no hard feelings n e 1, its just that the show is boring). Try to make them more interesting by using effects, using variations I. e strike each notes in a different way, vary your speed, use other legato and all. Now that ends part I, (I don't know whether there will be a Part 2). If you are a beginner, what I would suggest is play each exercise in such a way, that you can play em with your eyes closed. Then use the metronome, and gradually increase your speed that is from 110 to 120. Dont kill yourself by starting of with 150. Thats about it! Take care and remember that the metronome is your best friend. Note: In my 3 years of learning these are some exercises which have improves my playing a lot, I have studied articles, videos and lots of other stuff. If the article looks or is similar to any other in the internet, its accidental. There is no plagiarism involved. - Jeeshan Mirza (jeeshan2000@hotmail.com)
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