Jimii00
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Join date: Oct 2012
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#1
I've been playing electric guitar for 2 years now and I just can't play faster licks in solos. I'm not trying to play some out of the world solo, for example I can play first solo of Estranged, but there is no way I could play the second one. Is this a thing that just comes with playing, or should I just work on my speed (if yes, how to do it?)?

How much time did you need to play faster licks or solos?
macashmack
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#2
Just slow down the solo to a comfortable speed and play it over and over and over again for a week and you'll be able to do it. That's seriously all there is too it. Slow it down, play it 100% accurately and relaxed, and BLAM you can do it much faster. Rinse and repeat till it's up to speed.
tael
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#3
Agree with above. I find that a comfortable speed is usually agonizingly slow, atleast for sweep picking and the like but it will help. I use a metronome because its harder (for me atleast) to keep time when playing extremely slow.
TheNameOfNoone
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Join date: Mar 2011
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#4
...or just torture the shit out of your fingers with technical exercises.
Try this pattern:
|--4-2---2---------------------------------------
|-------4---4-2-4-2---2-------------------------------------
|----------------------4---4-2-4-2---2-----------------------------------
|------------------------------------4----4-2-4-2---2-----------------------------
|----------------------------------------------------4---4-2-4-2---2----------------------
|-------------------------------------------------------------------4---4-2--------------------------
and then go backwards, over all frets you can play on, use different combinations of fingering, increase the distance between frets etc... Anything you can think of.
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turn_the_page93
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#6
Research Economy Picking.

Depending on how many notes per string your playing, you'd start with an upstroke or a downstroke.

ex: ^That tab up there. You would start with a down stroke on the high E, then pick the second note with an up stroke. Then down stroke the one note on B string, then up on E, then repeat for the rest of it.
Nameless742
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#7
Some solos will be out of your reach to play. The most you can do is keep practicing and playing in general and attempt these solos from time to time.
I recall trying to play Tornado of Souls and I could not do it. I was like HOW ?!?!?! IMPOSSIBLELELE!>!1!"£%$

Only recently I picked it up again and learned it instantly and properly. Note by note. Slowly repeating the licks over and over.
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Zaphod_Beeblebr
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#8
Quote by turn_the_page93
Research Economy Picking.


That won't help at all, TS just needs better and more focused practice. Macashmack is right but really the key is to practice to play well; practicing purely for speed is almost entirely unproductive.
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astholkohtz
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#9
Quote by Nameless742
Some solos will be out of your reach to play. The most you can do is keep practicing and playing in general and attempt these solos from time to time.
I recall trying to play Tornado of Souls and I could not do it. I was like HOW ?!?!?! IMPOSSIBLELELE!>!1!"£%$

Only recently I picked it up again and learned it instantly and properly. Note by note. Slowly repeating the licks over and over.


this. you need to do exercises. i don't believe in the "play it slowly" thing, it only works if the particular lick you are learning involves techniques you already know. say you want to learn some alternate picking lick from paul gilbert: you can play it slow for as long as you want to, but you're never gonna get it right if you cant alternate pick a major scale at decent speeds.
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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#10
Quote by astholkohtz
this. you need to do exercises. i don't believe in the "play it slowly" thing, it only works if the particular lick you are learning involves techniques you already know. say you want to learn some alternate picking lick from paul gilbert: you can play it slow for as long as you want to, but you're never gonna get it right if you cant alternate pick a major scale at decent speeds.


I'm not sure if you've noticed the contradiction inherent to this.

How come learning things slowly will work for learning to play a scale but it won't work for a lick? Also, if you can learn a technique from applying it to a scale, why can you not learn the same thing from a lick?

You're right that if you can't alternate pick then you're not going to be able to learn an alternate picking lick but there is absolutely no reason why learning alternate picking in the form of a lick won't work while learning it from a scale or exercise will.
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astholkohtz
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#11
well if your only goal is learning a song, well of course you can practise just the song.

if you are gonna act like a total retard playing over and over just the one song you know it's gonna take forever to learn, you might as well let it rest for a while and practise systematically all the techniques involved in the particular solo you want to be able to play eventually.

i know nobody wants to learn things the hard way, but that's what it takes to be a good guitar player, instead of being just a kid that posts covers on youtube.
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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#12
Quote by astholkohtz
well if your only goal is learning a song, well of course you can practise just the song.

if you are gonna act like a total retard playing over and over just the one song you know it's gonna take forever to learn, you might as well let it rest for a while and practise systematically all the techniques involved in the particular solo you want to be able to play eventually.

i know nobody wants to learn things the hard way, but that's what it takes to be a good guitar player, instead of being just a kid that posts covers on youtube.


You're acting like the systematic approach and learning through songs are somehow mutually exclusive and also that somehow learning songs prevents understanding...

There is nothing about learning licks and songs that stops you being systematic about it and learning things very deliberately with good technique and there is also nothing about learning through songs that means you won't understand what's going on.

You can learn just as well either way as long as you apply good practice and learn theory along side it, the real difference is that at the end of learning through other people's music you have something that you can play to other people.

Why would you learn something the hard way if you can do it just as well the easy way? And you really can learn the easy way.
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astholkohtz
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#13
i thought my message was super duper absolutely crystal clear, but still, you managed to completely misunderstand it
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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#14
Quote by astholkohtz
i thought my message was super duper absolutely crystal clear, but still, you managed to completely misunderstand it


Then elucidate, obviously I'm missing something that's painfully obvious to the genius that is you.

Unless the only thing you're trying to say is "practicing many things is good". In which case yes.
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astholkohtz
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#15
if the problem is you can't play a solo because it involves techniques you've never seen before, you better start with the basic exersises, because you wanna learn the technique, not the single lick. just learning one single song doesn't give you the whole spectrum of a technique (it might sometimes, but not all the time). this is, in my opinion, much more efficient in the long run. i never mentioned anything like "dont practise songs it's useless". well, it kinda is when you want to learn, say, hotel california, and you don't know hot to bend strings. that'd be just frustrating.
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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#16
Yes it would but there's no reason you can't make yourself aware of a technique and it's applications by learning it from a song, at the very least there's nothing that makes that better than learning something from an exercise.

Either way in order to be able to do anything you have to be aware of the basic mechanics of doing something and just running an exercise isn't going to teach you that any more than a song will.
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astholkohtz
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#17
you can play exercises throughout all the neck

you can extend exercises to tons of patterns (like the 3nps patterns), which are thing that are actually used in a shitload of solos

you can extend exercises to all the scales you want, so they help you learn scales, while doing something else

you can extend exercises to all the strings you want, which is very important because every string is quite different to the other ones

and still, they dont keep you from playing songs in the meanwhile.

those are the benefits of exercises i could think of in 3 seconds.

i really don't see what the hell you are bitching about. you probably just don't like to agree with people on forums.
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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#18
No, I dislike agreeing with people who either are wrong or miss the point.

With a little thought and application all of those things are also true of songs; the same kind of application of thought you need to make them true of exercises as well. Only when you're done you end up with a song to play.

I'm 'bitching' because just telling someone to run exercises doesn't actually help, at all. What TS needs to do is practice anything but better. With the right kind of practice you can play more or less anything and develop your technique but if you apply it to songs you end up with context for what you're doing and a piece of music to play when you're done. Don't get me wrong, I advise exercises sometimes but only for very specific things; exercises should be used to solve problems and until you start playing you don't know what's going to get in your way.
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astholkohtz
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#19
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr

With a little thought and application all of those things are also true of songs; the same kind of application of thought you need to make them true of exercises as well.


i highly doubt that.

i'll never tell you that your method is wrong, because i have never tried it. it is, however, very non-standard. in fact, it's much different from what instructors usually teach, so, if i were you, i'd be very careful to say what you did in this thread, especially if your main intention is giving good pieces of advice.
mdc
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#20
I dunno. I've come across some licks in songs that just aren't covered in exercises. Therefore the only way round it, is to make an exercise out of the lick itself.

Example, the lick starting at 2:34 is a repetition lick with a 6 against 4 rhythmic displacement. The exercise for that... IS the lick itself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9BOjSROk8I
Junior#1
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#21
Quote by astholkohtz
i highly doubt that.

i'll never tell you that your method is wrong, because i have never tried it. it is, however, very non-standard. in fact, it's much different from what instructors usually teach, so, if i were you, i'd be very careful to say what you did in this thread, especially if your main intention is giving good pieces of advice.

You clearly have no idea who you are talking to. Zaphod has proven himself to be not only a great guitarist, but also one of the foremost people to listen to in terms of technique and theory on this site.

With that said, exercises have their place when it comes to learning, as do songs. My approach to it is to use exercises to gain an understanding of how to use certain techniques, but use songs to practice the techniques. If you just practice an exercise over and over, you will get very good at using whatever technique(s) in that certain pattern. But if you then attempt to learn a song that uses the same technique but a different pattern, you will be no further ahead than you were before you started running through the exercise.
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astholkohtz
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#22
then your approach is not much different than mine. what's the big deal?
keep in mind that the stuff i say here is basically what i've been taught by 2 really awesome instructors (and musicians), that i personally know and look up to. i don't know zaphod.

i won't rephrase my suggestion again, but you guys are just quoting what i said, and taking it to the extreme of "not ever playing any song, it's useless, only do exercises because it's the only source of improvement"

the guy's question was very simple: how to get faster. i suggested not to make the mistake of picking up a song which involves techniques he doesn't know, in which case he should build up the basis with some exercises. that's exactly what you do.

i get the impression you're just irritated because you feel i disrespected zaphod (which i did not intend to do).

example: i decided i want to get as fast as possible on alternate picking, both because i want to play a couple of songs which require that, and because i want to write my own fast runs. i practise on all the seven 3nps boxes with the metronome. this has proven to be very useful both in playing other people's music, and my little licks.
W4RP1G
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#23
I'm a believer in learning new techniques outside of a song. I really don't see why that's a bad idea?

Seems like people are bickering over nothing.
kaes
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#24
Agreed with junior, as someone who has just started trying to improve his fast playing, choosing a few typical 3nps exercises and a song to apply them to has helped me. I'd also take a look at legato licks, combining the two can be very effective.
B&J
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Join date: May 2010
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#25
Everyone can play fast... If you can play slow, you can play fast. Its a matter of practice and muscle memory. this thread reminds me of myself saying i cant play barre chords........
lamb of dog
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#26
Quote by Wild_One
if you can't walk, then it's impossible to run...

means that if you can't play any fast lick slowly, then its impossible to play it fast


I've seen many guitarist who can run but can't really walk!!!
Welcome! Now do yourself a favor and run away. Run as far away from gear forums as is humaly possible! If you follow this advice, you'll be able to tell your grandchildren about the guy who saved you from yourself.


deltadaz
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#27
Quote by W4RP1G
I'm a believer in learning new techniques outside of a song. I really don't see why that's a bad idea?

Seems like people are bickering over nothing.


I think the general idea Is

Do you play a song to learn a technique
or learn a technique to play a song

I think you have to find what works for you.
personally i would move away from the song to learn the technique first
as have got to frustrated and going down the song route.
But this goes up to 11
macashmack
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#28
Every lick that you would learn in a song is fundamentally the same as any exercise you would do though...
Anon17
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#29
Quote by astholkohtz

the guy's question was very simple: how to get faster. i suggested not to make the mistake of picking up a song which involves techniques he doesn't know, in which case he should build up the basis with some exercises. that's exactly what you do.


How is it any different learning a technique from an arbitrary exercise than a section from a song?

Both are passages of notes. Whether you use one in a song or not is irrelevant.

If I use an exercise in a song, is it suddenly unsuitable to be practiced by someone because it is a passage in a song and not an exercise any more? ...


example: i decided i want to get as fast as possible on alternate picking, both because i want to play a couple of songs which require that, and because i want to write my own fast runs. i practise on all the seven 3nps boxes with the metronome. this has proven to be very useful both in playing other people's music, and my little licks.


Unless the songs have licks which use the seven 3nps boxes in the exact way you practice them, you'll be able to make quicker progress by practicing the licks in the song instead of the 3nps boxes.

You have provided no good reasons why someone should practice exercises instead of practicing a section of a song as an exercise. Both will improve your technique since both are passages of notes, but only one gives you musical context. Guess which one it is.

For the record, I went about the "practice exercises all the time" approach for about a year. I made much more progress as a musician AND in my guitar technique by practicing passages from songs as exercises instead. It also gave me the bonuses of learning songs and learning a musical phrase in the correct context, as opposed to learning exercises which I could never use in the vast majority of musical situations.
MegadethFan18
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#30
Quote by W4RP1G
I'm a believer in learning new techniques outside of a song. I really don't see why that's a bad idea?

Seems like people are bickering over nothing.


That's what I was thinking.

Jimii00 was asking how to play fast and from a purely technical point it shouldn't make a difference if you learn through songs or running exercises.

As for playing fast as macashmack said play slow then speed it up, if you don't push yourself you will just stay but pushing yourself to much may lead to sloppy technique.

As for how long it takes, I can only speak for myself. It took me maybe a year, the earliest video I have of me shredding I'd been playing 1.5 years.
crazytjeuh
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#31
Playing fast is being mentally prepared to move your fingers very fast and especially ACCURATE.
It costed me some time and frustration as well, but in the end it's all muscle memory that you gain by playing things over and over and CORRECT. It's like you learned to ride a bike, a car, preparing an egg, getting through school and all of that.
gui8tar
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#32
Practice scales using a metronome. Turn up the beat 8 counts every time you get comfortable with the speed until you get to 200 every day. If you cant get to 200 then 160 is get spot. I used to spend at least 1hr on just this every day.

You can use virtual guitar tabs. Go to songster.com

You can slow down the tempo of a song so you can slowly increase the tempo until you can play it. Their are programs that use the same set up as songster one of those programs is called guitar pro its a grate tool.
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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#33
Quote by gui8tar
Practice scales using a metronome. Turn up the beat 8 counts every time you get comfortable with the speed until you get to 200 every day. If you cant get to 200 then 160 is get spot. I used to spend at least 1hr on just this every day.

You can use virtual guitar tabs. Go to songster.com

You can slow down the tempo of a song so you can slowly increase the tempo until you can play it. Their are programs that use the same set up as songster one of those programs is called guitar pro its a grate tool.


Just practicing by brute force isn't enough, you need to make sure you're playing everything with good technique as well to get to those kinds of speeds.

Also there are several long posts on this forum about why practicing specifically for speed is a bad idea, I suggest you read the stickied threads since I know one of them is in there somewhere.
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