Former Megadeth guitarist Mary Friedman recently shared his thoughts on the matter of crucial guitar feats, placing fast playing among the "utterly unimportant" ones.
Along with a guitar lesson featured in his latest Guitar World entry, Marty shared an interesting introduction, saying:
"When it comes to evaluating a musician, individuality is the characteristic that I hold in highest regard. We all have our heroes and favorite players from whom we've learned a great deal through trying to emulate their playing styles.
"In rock, for example, most players list Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page as major influences, and in metal it's not uncommon to hear the names Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Zakk Wylde or Dimebag Darrell mentioned as primary influences.
"In that sense, many of us have learned from the same sources," the guitarist further pointed out. "The trick is to take those influences and push yourself in your own unique and distinct direction. Though it may be easier to learn other people's solos - which is fine if that's the goal you're pursuing - I believe it's much more rewarding to go out on a limb and take some musical chances, just to see what new and different sounds you can discover in the pursuit of forming a style that you can eventually call your own."
Focusing on fast playing, Friedman noted, "For example, playing fast is not the be-all and end-all of anything. In fact, it's utterly unimportant. But if you are like most guitar players, you'll want to be able to play fast, because everyone wants to play fast. So to my mind, you might as well try to do it in a way that's cool and different from everyone else.
"The first step to playing fast in a unique way is to find things that are easy for you to play. For this, I suggest using patterns rather than things that you hear on recordings or have found in a book or magazine," the guitarist concluded before shifting to specific exercise figures. Along with the previously featured video, you can check them out below.