#1
Hey all. I'm new to the forums, so i'll throw out some background info so you all can better help me out. If you want to get to the meat of the question, read the last two paragraphs.

First and foremost, I have a deep love for music. I began playing piano and taking classical lessons when I was roughly 8 years old, but stopped taking lessons when I was 14. I wanted to play by ear, get better at sight reading on my own, and just overall enjoy the instrument with the knowledge I had attained. Roughly 6 months after I stopped taking lessons for the piano, I drove to a Guitar Center and picked up an Ibanez for $200. From there, I began taking guitar lessons, got a few more guitars and other gear. I stopped taking lessons after a couple of years, when I was 16 years old, and now I am 17. I have been playing nearly everyday ever since I bought my first guitar, and i've succesfully applied my musical knowledge to the fretboard. I stopped taking guitar lessons because I was getting to be at the same level as my teacher music-wise. Mechanically, he had more country / blues in him, but I was outrocking him by just a bit. Improv was the main thing I wanted to learn, and he still had me on that, but I felt that I was on the verge of wasting $40 a week just to jam out.

About that time I quit lessons, I took up a liking for Classic Rock. My first real solo I learned was the solo to "Hotel California." From learning that, i've loved improv in that kind of genre, no more of the twangy and bluesy type stuff. This liking for Classic Rock has evolved into a love for all kinds of rock. Specifically, I thouroughly enjoy listening to Satriani, a little bit of Malmsteen, and Gustavo Guerra on youtube.

This is the direction that i've been headed for the past year now. I want to be able to play like Gustavo Guerra. I want to be able to maneuver my way around the entire neck, plucking out triplets 180bpm. Overall, I just want to shred. I love the feeling of standing in front of a crowd and letting a pinch harmonic win their applause, it's a rush. As a side note, i've played at my school's talent show for the past two years. I've played Hotel California, Boston's Peace of Mind and More Than A Feeling and Rock and Roll Band, You Shook Me All Night Long, Wanted Dead or Alive, and a homemade composition.

I am in a rut and I don't know how to get out. I feel like I can improve on the guitar, but my hands don't want to allow it. My left hand is faster than my right (as in most cases), but I can't seem to get either any faster. I've run scales forever, I practice tremolo picking, I run a "spider" type chromatic scale quite often, and I improvise to my loop station like nuts. I feel like I haven't advanced over the past 6-7 months, however, and it's definitely aggravating. I feel like my problem is my picking hand; I use my fingers to pick more than anything, where as i've heard the best way is to use your wrist. Any thoughts on this?

How would you guys recommend I get better at playing the guitar? How can I begin to pick faster? How can I learn to sweep better? How can I improve the speed of both my right and left hand? Thanks ahead of time for the insight and the help, hopefully I can begin moving forward again.
#3
I forgot to mention my setup:

Main Guitar - Ibanez JEM (Steve Vai)
Amp - Fender Twin; tube
Pedals - Boss Metal Core, Boss Digital Delay, Boss Super Shifter, Boss Loop Station (RC-20XL), and MXR phase 90.

I generally play with my Metal Core petal on (I love the pinch harmonics with it), a tad of delay depending on what i'm doing, and perhaps the phaser in and out of the song.

I've got 8's on my guitar and the action is pretty darn low. Just want to throw out the possibility that it's my equipment because i've tried my hardest to eliminate that problem.
#5
learn something too hard for you, pick a song to work on for a while and you will significantly improve
Quote by Tatersalad1080
do what jimbleton said


^ i did something good!!

Quote by tjhome28
This.


^ to something i said!

☭UG Socialist Party ☭
#6
Quote by ethan_hanus
holy **** wall of words. you could try tapping and that kind of stuff, but you can only move your hands so fast.


Eh, I tap a bunch. Eruption sounds like God until you learn how to do it.
I've done a bunch of tapping, so that's down pat. What i've been trying to work on (key word trying) is sweeping, for the most part. Running scales and getting faster? I'm always working on that.
#7
It will come with time, trust me.

I've spent long periods of time practicing (Just improv, covers and scales) and did not SEE any improvement, but one day I picked up the guitar and noticed I could do everything a lot more precisely and a lot faster.

It just takes time and practice.
#8
Quote by Jimbleton
learn something too hard for you, pick a song to work on for a while and you will significantly improve


See, I thought this would be a great idea. You're absolutely right because when I was involved with piano, I would only improve when I learned and mastered something that was out of reach in the beginning. However, it doesn't feel like that on guitar. I can learn something slow for sure, but as soon as I try speeding it up, it sounds like trash. I can keep working on it, but it really doesn't feel like i'm playing the song faster or whatnot.
#9
Quote by Scopic
It will come with time, trust me.

I've spent long periods of time practicing (Just improv, covers and scales) and did not SEE any improvement, but one day I picked up the guitar and noticed I could do everything a lot more precisely and a lot faster.

It just takes time and practice.


I like this, it's true. I remember the morning I woke up, grabbed my guitar, and played the intro to Through the Fire and Flames. Tremolo picking just happened while I was sleeping I guess.

Unfortunately, that is the only time that's happened to me. It does come with time and practice, but it's just discouraging at times.
#10
don't forget to practise your scales every day.

i found doing chromatics is a good way of building up a bit of speed, try this:

12345678

from the low E to the high e. and accurately. thats good practice.
so basically 1234 using those 4 fingers, then moving your hand and use the 4 fingers again.

but do remember tat speed isn't everything. you might think now the the faster you play the beter you are, but never assume this. When i was your age i used to think exxactly the same.
reading that story reminded me of myself cos i was a pianist since 6, and passed grade 8 very early in my life and was musically gifteed. When i picked up the gutar i could just play, also due to the fact that i had a strong desire to learn.

anyway, its good that you want to build up speed, but it isn't everything.... (also i get a bit bored sometimes just shredding...)

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