#1
Hi. I'm an accomplished guitarist but have never really learned to shred like the greats. What's the best way to learn? I don't know of anyone in my area that can give me lessons, plus, I'll be moving in a few months to head to college, so a private tutor doesn't seem reasonable.

It's not even that I necessarily want to learn how to shred, I just want to take my playing to the next level in some aspect. Any books, DVDs, or other material I should know about?
#2
First thing: ALWAYS PRACTICE WITH A METRONOME.

It makes a huge difference and allows you to play cleaner and more efficiently.
A good book is John Petrucci's Wild Stringdom, a collection of his columns in Guitar World.
#3
a book called speed mechanics for lead guitar by troy stetina helped me a lot. best of luck
#4
Yeah, definitely look into anything from John Petrucci, as he is one of the best. (If not the best)
#5
learn from dave mustaine...... ha jk but like the first guy to reply use a metronome, learn scales (pentatonic and diatonic), learn string skipping arpeggios and sweep arpeggios, learn music theory it all helps a lot.
PS: i like dave but i don't like his shredding.
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#6
I would take something written by a very technically skilled guitarist - Petrucci, Romeo, Gilbert, etc, and start learning it. If you don't feel you are quite ready for a whole song (this can be a mammoth undertaking), then take a few sections. Learn the material slow and really get it down. Then start gradually working them up in speed. If you are a mere mortal, some things will start falling apart before you reach song speed. Analyze and figure out the underlying weaknesses that are causing this. Work on these weakness, if necessary throwing in some support exercises to focus more specifically on the skills needed. Metronome all/most of the time. Never push the speed past what you can play without tensing up. And a lot of patience needed!

I'm not saying you just spend 6 months on a song that is too hard. It's more of an journey - working on the material, but also branching off and exploring areas of your playing and ideas as you go that working on the material teaches you more about.

The one thing to keep in mind about tackling extremely difficult material - your success is not necessarily defined by nailing the material at the end of the process. If you do, it is a great tangible reward. But even if you don't, your playing improves so much by going through the process.
#7
John Petrucci's Rock Discipline is quite good. The book and DVD cover identical material, but the DVD gives you the advantage of seeing JP play, though I don't think it is that important if you're familiar with basic techniques.

I don't know where you going to school, but you'll likely find a teacher or maybe even take lessons for some art credit (which you'll almost assuredly need). And don't worry...you'll have plenty of time to play your guitar. College life can get stressful, but get ready for having a ton of free time, usually considerably more than you did in high school.

Quote by se012101
I would take something written by a very technically skilled guitarist - Petrucci, Romeo, Gilbert, etc, and start learning it.
This can be a great way to improve technique, but the advantage exercises have over this is that you won't be happy until you can play the song up to tempo, while you'll be happy if you can hit a complex lick at 16th-notes at 170bpm.
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Feb 14, 2009,
#8
Quote by bangoodcharlote

This can be a great way to improve technique, but the advantage exercises have over this is that you won't be happy until you can play the song up to tempo, while you'll be happy if you can hit a complex lick at 16th-notes at 170bpm.


Yeah, I struggle with that too. But the cool thing about the approach I mentioned is that I think you learn a whole lot more about where your weaknesses are than just working on exercises - and you are learning to put the whole thing together.

And the whole not being satisifed til you have something up to tempo has it's advantages as well. Due to the difficulty of the material, you really have to search for what is you need to do to bring it up to speed. It's not a relatively minor adjustment, and then boom, you're playing 10 bpm faster. You totally have to analyze everything about your playing and find those flaws and work on them.
#10
Quote by The RyMan
Any books, DVDs, or other material I should know about?


It's in the MUSIC.

find a solo that you like, and thats challenging but realistic for your skill level.

Learn it
memorize it
perfect it
study it
play it
enjoy it

then get creative if you have it in you.
#11
I would suggest being sharp on scales, modes, triads, chords, and extensions. Also be sharp and precise with alternate picking, tapping, and possibly sweeping. Just play a backing track and go for the sound you want, basing off what you know on the techniques I mentioned. Theres no written method to learn it, but with enough practice, you develop your own style of shredding.
#13
Quote by blueriver
I just remembered, you can probably take private lessons in college.
Most places offer guitar lessons for credit, which sounds like a nice way to get some art credit towards graduation. Bleh...art credit...