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#1
Hi, I have a question regardings increasing speed. First can I say what i think shreds is? I would say it's like 16 notes at at least 150bpm for picking notes, economy or alternate. That's my goal.

I've recently become interested in shreds and I have made one jump in my picking with my wrist. I did a lot of double picking and got my top speed from below 120 to above 130 for 16 notes. But this is still slow. I can play much faster with my elbow but it isn't what I do for normal and I don't know if it's okay.

So I don't know, how many people shred with mostly elbow? Is it ok? Do people who use wrists still use a little wlbow? For people who can do shreds with wrist, what did your progress looks like? Was it gradual? I have never gradually gotten faster.


Alsp, any suggestions for songs? I like songs that are good with just one guitar. I've learned Eugene's Trick Bag and Turkish March, but I can only play them up to speed if I use my elbow.

Thanks!
#2
Generally, you're going to want most of your motion to come from the wrist. A small of elbow is necessary for changing strings, but it shouldn't be the source of your pick motion. And yes,, speed is very, very gradual.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.


Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
#3
I would direct you to the shred guide right above this thread, stickied at the top and the FAQs there as they cover pretty much exactly what you're looking for.

Also, yes you have gradually gotten faster. You say in your post you increased your top speed. I would imagine it didn't happen in one try, thus it is gradual.

Since the question is on shredding please go there. I'll be reporting this thread for a close. You're more likely to get answers in the other thread.

*reported*
#6
im pretty new to shredding myself, i started out with some simple pentatonic stuff and went on to yngwie pretty quick. I can say a couple things make most of your picking motion come from your wrist. Two to make your playing sound cleaner and a bit more accurate dont pick like your masturbating as fast as you can, pick a bit slower but keep your left hand at a fast pace and it should fit the amount of notes your playing actually is. If not you will be throwing off some pull offs and legatoish things during your playing. Also, practice your playing first in a clean, non-distortion setting with your amp, start off slow and get it good and smooth and then put distortion on, you will be satisfied.
#8
-Its not a race. Rushing is going to **** you up. Take your time and be patient and dont try to compare to others because everyone has different amounts of practice time and may take longer or shorter time to get to a certain point. Just worry about you.

-Relaxed wrist is key. Its ok to move your elbow a little but dont tense up. Your trying to aviod tension not keep your arm from moving. Stay loose and if you push to high speeds and start to tense up chances are your picking arm will start doing some of the work in a tense way. This is bad avoid this and stay loose. You have to be patient.

-A good song is ozzy -bark at the moon.

-Its shred not shreds
#9
no off life is brutal but ii think its near impossible to play that fast...
i can shred comfortable at 160bpm and maybe on some parts i can push to 170bpm.
my speed increased very gradually, i think the most important thing is accuracy and practice. if you practice something slowly with the correct technique and accurately you will eventually get the speed you desire.

what has helped me alot is various picking and fingering excersises. i think it is important you practice both picking and fingering, cause you need both to shred. i noticed that while i could tremello pick really fast i couldnt shred like that, because my fingers could not fret the notes accurately, sowatch out for that

practicing 4, 3,and 2 finger chromatic or scalar runs helped me and i still practice them. of course learning, and then practicing all sorts of scales helps, even if you probably are not going to use a specific scale, like i never use the major scale, its still good to learn and practice it, this helps you when you learn a solo or write a solo.

i think practicing any song that you are fond of is good (well any song with some sort of guitar melody not just power chords). learning or trying to learn songs with fast or advanced solos is also good practice obviously, or even composing your own sort of solo or song and playing that is good.

of course the general answer is just practice,but practicing the right stuff, the right way is key here.

as ppl have said dont use ur elbow so much, its more in your wrist and it should be relaxed not tense. hope this helped.
#10
Quote by Life Is Brutal
Only 150Bpm? Thats weak. Ive gotten up to 600.

Ugh...leave your ill informed comments in your small head. This is the kinda stuff that pisses me off. I assume you've just been going one note per beat? Congradulations, you've just reached the TS's goal....

On subject, ts, don't rush it. That's one of the most important thing with speed. NEVER think about it. Edg has said that in the sticky. Also, there are very few people that will say that picking with your elbow is anywhere near efficient. It's a terrible way. It will definately promote tension, and tension leads to pain/injuries.
Last edited by The.new.guy at Dec 10, 2008,
#11
Yep...every significant speed increase I've had over the years has come when I haven't been specifically focused on speed.
If you are looking to push your speed, always look for the reasons for why you can't play at a certain goal tempo. Then try to solve those reasons. Just practice over and over at a reasonable tempo won't do it by itself, without identifying those technique flaws and working on correcting those.

So a good way to think about it is instead of saying "my goal is to play in 16th notes at 150 bpm", say "my goal is to improve technique X and technique Y, which by the way, will allow me to play in 16th notes at 150". Subtle shift in focus, but an important one.

Good luck!
#13
Quote by howfreeisthis
need slight forearm tension too, that will get you up to 250

play more rhythm, learn to the rats by trivium, that song is a bitch to play unless you have the correct right hand position which is float the wrist as much as possible

practice in front of a mirror your right hand should look similar to Hetfield, just youtube his videos

after your right hand, it is just a matter of muscle memory of the left hand and finger independence.

actually, i found this article to be rather interesting, i don't mean to go off topic but could someone explain more in detail what he is talking about?


http://www.koniaris.com/music/alternate/


If you rely on tension to get your speed, chances are, you're doing it wrong.
#16
Playing at that kind of speed will cause tension, but only the tension that comes from having to do a motion many times in a short space of time, however when you come in and say 'you need to have an amount of forearm tension' you leave it to interpretation that having tension isn't wrong, which is the opposite of what good technique strives for.
Originally posted by TapMaster
If you break a JEM you know your going to go to hell when you die

Only member of the 'This is too immature for me' club.
#17
Quote by Life Is Brutal
Only 150Bpm? Thats weak. Ive gotten up to 600.


so your like "Super Ultra Prestissimo"?

_____________________________________________________________________

eddievanzant are you starting off doing Sixteenths at 150bpm

or are you building to 150bpm


if your starting off at that speed i suggest you stop

your really going to burn out your ligaments and tendons if your really struggling


its not good to start warm up going that fast
lol your fingers need to be stretched beforplaying and should start off with something simple and as your fingers get lose then start trying the complex stuff
and practice UP to that speed dont jump to it

if your going to Run at 20mph are you just going to start at 20mhp?
your sooo going to lose control and pull something and then you can run for a while(InsideJoke lol)

the whole point is to a practicing with a metronome....Control


but hey yeah many many players say "what thats silly i'll just shred away"
for 3 years of Playing as afast as you can and picking wrongly(not slyle just not useing the right motion such as Tension in the forearm,tighting up your wrist,Tighting up your Thumb,holding the pick exactly the way Paul Glibert use to pick"

let me say something about that

ive seen really good players play flawlessly with that type of Picking Style the one Gilbert use to do be for he changed it

they were so good clean every thing was good just years of practicing just great

then after a while they notice that they can hardly even Tents up their forearm
and they had trouble making a fist

their thumbs would start to aching after a while

after years of playing like that they developed Carpal Tunnel
and pretty much lost most of their ability to tents up
they had trouble picking up things with their picking hand they couldn't even open a door with out struggling

just some advice about starting off fast and not doing proper warm ups and stretches

i was told about all this stuff from my Music Teacher
didn't really believe him but after seeing it happen to 4 good players

so really think about the way how you pick cause as you get older it will effect you and it will start to show over time


(btw they still play guitar their just really really really REALLY...good at legatos now)
#18
i bet you play oscillating between floating and anchoring? it's a joke, not a good one but it get the point across, floating is what i consider absolute.... Actually if you really must know, my picking motion relies much more heavily on translation.


did i say or imply the word "rely" anywhere in my post? i clearly said SLIGHT tension from the forearm, learn to read, please.............
Reliance isn't based on the amount of it you need, it's the fact that you need it, which you DID say.

maybe i should've said:

".....a certain amount of looseness but you have a certain amount of tension to actually pull the [ sick lick] off" --the great shred master Shawn Lane

(btw i'm guessing your forearm don't get sore when you are playing 250bpm? Mr. Relativity) Relatively NOT, i bet....No, quite frankly my forearm doesn't get sore. Try again.

and THANKS for taking ONLY what i said WRONG out of context..... (which i didn't really, you just need to learn how to read) You said need, I said rely. They're synonyms.

PLEASE, for the love of god (good song) don't freak out when someone says anything about TENSION because you read the book by J. Andreas, (i never seen her playing anything fast with her right hand, so why should i trust her opinion on speed? if someone have a video of her playing really fast(186bpm at least) with her right hand, PLEASE, feel free to prove me wrong)Never read it, but why 186 BPM?

because what you just said it really made me look stupid and distracted the readers from reading the rest of my post


before you have a knee jerk reaction, would you please read what i've wrote?

i know you probably didn't because i had a question at the end of my post which was directed mostly directed towards you (who in my humble opinion really knows his ****, nice videos on youtube)As I have to leave, I don't have time to explain the article to you, but I'd be happy to when I get back.And yes, freepower know his stuff.
Besides that, what's with people getting so worked up about disagreements lately. People keep kind of turning into dicks for no reason in this forum and imo it needs to stop.
#19
So's yer face.....


Just have to deal with it, alot of people like to think they have the answer to a problem from their own experiences and they just can't accept when someone else has done thorough research and proven against doubt that they are wrong. Its basic human nature...
Originally posted by TapMaster
If you break a JEM you know your going to go to hell when you die

Only member of the 'This is too immature for me' club.
#20
Quote by eddievanzant
Hi, I have a question regardings increasing speed. First can I say what i think shreds is? I would say it's like 16 notes at at least 150bpm for picking notes, economy or alternate. That's my goal.


A book I have, "Shred Guitar", indicates "shred" begins around 16th notes 135 BPM.
I'd tend to agree with that more or less. That's quite good despite the BPM numbers
you see around here because the vital questions are doing WHAT exactly and HOW
WELL at X BPM? In general, the more impressive the numbers you see claimed here,
the less likely you'll actually hear an example of the claimed ability.

BPM has only a casual relationship to playing speed. Actually very little relationship
when improvising. It's mostly only a factor when learning to reproduce a song that's
played at X BPM.

Mostly, it's just an obsession with a number. Turn the metronome on and set it to
where you can comfortably practice feeling the beat and control what you're doing
to a nice, steady click that represents the musical pulse. It's more important to get
the feeling of pulse through your playing than constantly trying to beat your best
time.
#21
howfreeisthis your post was really helpful thanks! (not being sarcastic

Phrygian_12 Thank you too but I don't play tense at all even with my elbow. I can get tremolo up to like 200 before I start to tense my elbow muscles. I made a very short video of me playing. I know I kind of double pick a little bit, but that's because my hands aren't synchronized at 150 yet.

This is me playing alternate picking at 150. I'm relaxed and I don't even hold the pick tight. I skip strings with my wrist and go down up with my wlbow.

If you could watch it and reply I would very much appreciate thanks!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi4msXh2X18
#22
^ It would be easier to critique if you played it in time with the metronome.

you might want to slow down a bit. Find a speed you can handle.
shred is gaudy music
#23
Quote by eddievanzant
howfreeisthis your post was really helpful thanks! (not being sarcastic

Phrygian_12 Thank you too but I don't play tense at all even with my elbow. I can get tremolo up to like 200 before I start to tense my elbow muscles. I made a very short video of me playing. I know I kind of double pick a little bit, but that's because my hands aren't synchronized at 150 yet.

This is me playing alternate picking at 150. I'm relaxed and I don't even hold the pick tight. I skip strings with my wrist and go down up with my wlbow.

If you could watch it and reply I would very much appreciate thanks!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi4msXh2X18



i agree with GuitarMunky

but anyway your picking Economy in this video correct?

your arm and Elbow dont look bad it doesn't look like your putting any tension
so thats good as long as you said your not and your true to your word then thats fine.

your wrist looks like your tension up a bit it may just look that way be but it doesn't mean it isnt so my question is "are you tension up your wrist?"

your picking doesn't look bad at all as long as your not squeezing the life out of your pick
#24
Too me, it looks like you're putting too much effort into picking. This happens when you anchor and can happen if you didn't start slow enough.

I would still suggest changing your picking style.

Look at the video of your playing. Then, look at Paul Gilbert play. They look very different, to me, in the fact that I can almost see that you are using un-needed effort in your picking, and Paul's looks almost effortless.
#25
Quote by Life Is Brutal
Only 150Bpm? Thats weak. Ive gotten up to 600.


How could you possibly know that? The only metronomes Ive ever seen go up to 252 bpm
#26
Quote by The.new.guy
Too me, it looks like you're putting too much effort into picking. This happens when you anchor and can happen if you didn't start slow enough.

I would still suggest changing your picking style.

Look at the video of your playing. Then, look at Paul Gilbert play. They look very different, to me, in the fact that I can almost see that you are using un-needed effort in your picking, and Paul's looks almost effortless.



buddy your comparing him to a guy whos had more then 20 years of experience

the way Gilbert Picks might not work for every one

every body is diffrent

what may be conformable for some one may be Unconformable for others
#27
Quote by yingyangthang
How could you possibly know that? The only metronomes Ive ever seen go up to 252 bpm


yes they start at Largo and go up to Prestissimo

some drummers actually go pass Prestissimo to like 260 or 300 even

theres really no point for a Stringed instrument to go that fast....unless you want to mimic a tape player in fast ward or something

there is a guy who achieved about 320bpm on guitar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNNW_n632tI

thats insane but i dont see a point in having to get up to that speed
i guess he did it just to prove some one can with Practice
you can do any thing you want just have to set your mind to it and do the proper things to archive it

crying,making up excuses and always asking questions you already know wont get you any where
#28
Quote by GuitarMunky
^ It would be easier to critique if you played it in time with the metronome.

you might want to slow down a bit. Find a speed you can handle.

Yeah idk that was at 150 and I went just a little slower

Quote by Phrygian_12
i agree with GuitarMunky

but anyway your picking Economy in this video correct?

your arm and Elbow dont look bad it doesn't look like your putting any tension
so thats good as long as you said your not and your true to your word then thats fine.

your wrist looks like your tension up a bit it may just look that way be but it doesn't mean it isnt so my question is "are you tension up your wrist?"

your picking doesn't look bad at all as long as your not squeezing the life out of your pick


I'm picking alternate strictly down up like even moving to the other side of the other string to always go down up. I don't tense up my elbow because at 150 (or a little slower haha) my elbow is really comfortable. The pick is like a loose tooth. I do keep my wrist still but I'm not like tensing it up really bad.

To me it's like really easy because I'm just making steady down motions with my elbow and playing twice the notes. I can do the same thing with my thumb, but I can't do it at all with my wrist. I go down up but I use translation and my wrist just won't go faster than 130.
#29
Quote by eddievanzant
howfreeisthis your post was really helpful thanks! (not being sarcastic

Phrygian_12 Thank you too but I don't play tense at all even with my elbow. I can get tremolo up to like 200 before I start to tense my elbow muscles. I made a very short video of me playing. I know I kind of double pick a little bit, but that's because my hands aren't synchronized at 150 yet.

This is me playing alternate picking at 150. I'm relaxed and I don't even hold the pick tight. I skip strings with my wrist and go down up with my wlbow.

If you could watch it and reply I would very much appreciate thanks!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi4msXh2X18


Hey Man,
I checked out your vid. First off, your playing doesn't sound bad at all. With that said, here's some honest advice - obviously all meant in a nice way. First of all, you are playing with tension. Watch what your picking hand fingers are doing - particularly your pinky and ring fingers, and to a lesser amount your middle. They are trying to draw themselves into a claw, something that ONLY happens when there's some tension.
Second, I understand what you are saying about the elbow picking being easier than wrist at this point. But this technique is only going to get you a little further than your current speed before you become very tense. Basically, the faster you want to pick, the smaller you've got to make your movements. But to make the elbow make small movements with a good level control, you've got to tense it. And the smaller you want to make the movements, the more you've got to tense it in order to keep the control. Basically it's a big hinge and it wants to make big movements by nature. Personally, I would seriously consider working on getting the majority of the picking motion coming from your wrist (which is very good at small controlled movements, unlike the elbow), while using the elbow a little for moving from string to string. And for strumming of course.
Years ago I was stuck at playing 16ths around 140 for quite a while, and it was a switch to wrist motion that got me through the plateau.
Anyway, thats my 0.02. And again, all of this is meant in the best possible way.
#30
Quote by eddievanzant
Yeah idk that was at 150 and I went just a little slower


I'm picking alternate strictly down up like even moving to the other side of the other string to always go down up. I don't tense up my elbow because at 150 (or a little slower haha) my elbow is really comfortable. The pick is like a loose tooth. I do keep my wrist still but I'm not like tensing it up really bad.

To me it's like really easy because I'm just making steady down motions with my elbow and playing twice the notes. I can do the same thing with my thumb, but I can't do it at all with my wrist. I go down up but I use translation and my wrist just won't go faster than 130.



wait so when you go to a higher string you down pick?
#31
Quote by Phrygian_12
buddy your comparing him to a guy whos had more then 20 years of experience

the way Gilbert Picks might not work for every one

every body is diffrent

what may be conformable for some one may be Unconformable for others

He still has the ability to be as effortless as Paul, even with less than 10 years. Everyone can pick with little effort like Paul or anyone else with 10+ years. I can do it, and I only have 5 years. (No, I can't play as fast as this guy can, but my point is, I can play with very little effort and I don't have 20+ years of experience)
#32
Quote by The.new.guy
He still has the ability to be as effortless as Paul, even with less than 10 years. Everyone can pick with little effort like Paul or anyone else with 10+ years. I can do it, and I only have 5 years. (No, I can't play as fast as this guy can, but my point is, I can play with very little effort and I don't have 20+ years of experience)



yes but some people can have 14 years of playing guitar and hardly have any Experiences or at lest not the type you would Gain with a teacher or going out playing shows or straight up practicing 24/7

just as you said
Quote by The.new.guy
Everyone can pick with little effort


yeah not every one practices and is dedicated

also guitar playing doesn't come easy for every one or any other instrument for that matter

so you can have some one who's been playing for 12 years but sound like they only started a year ago(no offense to those who are like that im not bashing anyone)
ive had students like this they sound like they've been playing for 2 years and then i find out they've been playing for like 8 years

also the complete opposite
theres some people who sound like they've had 8 years of playing yet its only their 3rd year of playing
#34
semibreves = whole note. Also, check the "alt picking speed" thread. I responded to you about tempo related stuff.

edit: fixed stupid mistake
Last edited by se012101 at Dec 14, 2008,
#35
Quote by se012101
semibreves = 16th notes. Also, check the "alt picking speed" thread. I responded to you about tempo related stuff.

Uhh, no, Semibreves are notes that last for 4 beats.
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#36
Quote by Life Is Brutal
Don't Know what SemiBreves are, lol, But I can Get up to 600 with scales. Economy Picked, Triplets.
And sorry, I dont think I mean Beats per minute, I meant Notes Per Minute.


Which is the same as what TS was going for (16th notes at 150 BPM). Point, you weren't paying any attention and made yourself seem like a bit of a dick because of it. And for the record, 600 NPM really isn't that fast.
#37
Quote by Alter-Bridge
Uhh, no, Semibreves are notes that last for 4 beats.


My bad, I fixed it. I was reading semibreve and thinking semiquaver.
#38
Hm...
I've been trying to play without anchoring at all, like not even resting my palm on the lower strings. It's a new feeling, but I'm back down to under 120. I can't even use my elbow to pick fast if I don't rest my palm on the lower strings, however I can still tremolo with my thumb joint but not as good. For anyone who can pick at like 180 or higher, was there a time when you could only pick at 120? I've never cared about speed before, but my speed has probably increased less than two beats per year. I want to pick a technique and stick with it, but if it isn't fast to begin with, how do I know if it will ever get fast?
#39
if your practicing the phrasing very slow for hours, then you will develop a good right-hand technique without even thinking about it. i tend to mainly just use the wrist, but my fingers that are holding the pick will do minor adjustments for string skipping and sweeping etc. the elbow movement is also needed to change strings..

my advice is to focus more on the notes coming out how you want them, then you will be able to progress in speed without worrying about the mechanics of your arm.. as to your mention of elbow use, i doubt that your phrases are sounding very clean with such a large pivot/torque angle, but i may be wrong. if all else fails do what you feel most comfortable with and you might be the next malmsteen
#40
i'm slow

BPM=110 16th notes

I never really cared for much faster than 150 maybe up higher if you make it sound good

my teacher gets to 200 with practice

I really see no use to that.
Although you do get brownie points.

I use a major scale and go up from 6th (low e string) to 1st and back down the strings

Just practice a lot.
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