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#1
Fair long post, shredders please help...

Edit: Alright I reckon my main problem has been solved, thanks se012101! I was playing today for about 2 hours using my elbow instead of my wrist to change strings and I'm already enjoying playing heaps more. There's still a couple things I want to fix but it's all pretty good now. Thanks also to Schpudd, Nietsche and Amer91 .
Also (I wrote it in some post somewhere...) I'm not really interested in playing pure
shred like Rusty Cooley or M.A.B style, but heavy metal solo's + that kinda thing. And when I was talking about tapping, I should have made it clearer I play some songs with 8 finger tapping (<-Psyopus) which is why I want to use more than just the middle finger.

Background: spent two years of 5 years of guitar doing nothing, playing nothing, failing creativeness despite trying to create riffs each day, taking no notice of my technique.

I've been trying to shred for over a year and half and honestly I've gotten barely anywhere. This is the third time I've had to slow down my metronome back to 80 or less (from only 140 -.-) to try and correct my technique, this is very frustrating and every second day now I pick up the guitar and after a few minutes, I think "f**k it" and go do something else. Playing just isn't fun.

I used to anchor my wrist, which means I couldnt move around the strings at all.
Here are my problems listed...

-Correct way to hold the pick? I don't have any other shredders I can compare this too, my pick is held between the index + thumb, the index makes a curl and the pick gets sandwiched in the crease. This makes it a bit difficult to slide the pick up my index for tapping, is there anything too wrong with this for picking too?

-How do you move your hand comfortably for six string runs? My hand always gets in an awkward position after 4 or so strings. I rest my upper forearm on the slant of the guitar but that doesn't give it enough rotation I need to move it but my arm sticks to the body.

-My picking is awful. I don't want to move the pick too far away from the string, not because it will touch the other string, but because my hand 'jumps' upwards and this isn't comfortable or efficient for speed... but when I try to make it move less it loses all strength. Help!

-How much of your hand is ok to rest on the strings? I know some shredders are completely free but this just doesn't work for me (aforementioned jumping) and when I get to the 6th string I can't trem pick like this (metal oriented). But when I rest it on the strings I get unwanted noise + it's hard to move around the top and bottom strings.

Heres my paradox: I used to try to learn songs, but my technique wasn't good enough, so I started playing guitar exercises, progressed nowhere despite having used a metronome and taking it very slowly, I get frustrated by this so I try to learn songs again, couldn't pick properly so I go back to excercises and the cycle continues............

If anyone can help me properly, oh man, I don't know... eternal gratitude? I'm so sick of going back to playing at 50 bpm, I'm getting nowhere.... ugh.
Last edited by psyo at Jun 28, 2009,
#2
Shred is boring to listen to and play. Learn chords instead.

EDIT: If you must learn to 'shred', just constantly practise what feels right to you, and you'll eventually get good at doing it, but without having to relearn pick technique/hand placement etc.
ultimate-guitar is for idiots.
Last edited by firetothemax at Jun 26, 2009,
#3
^ agreed.

learn chords and progressions, roll back on the gain and play blues.
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#4
i think for shredding you need to do alot of hammer ons and pull offs im dont really shred (im more into grunge) but i started hamer ons and pullofs and my speed increased a bit also learn to pick lightly and turn up the volume so your hand doesnt seem like it wants to keep going and also it will sound like your playing normal when your playing lighter.
also you make it sound like you hook your index finger when you hold the pick when your index finger and thumb should be like this.


T


the line going across being your thumb and the line going down being your index finger. that will make it easier to slide it in between the 3rd and 2nd joint on your index finger.
also i dont know what kind of picks you use but try using something like the jazz 3 from dunlop those are small but thick so the pick doesnt bend when your playing.

hope that helps.
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#5
If you don't find it fun, don't do it. Don't play guitar just because you want to be good at it, you have to love playing it.
#6
Yeah a lot of shred is boring and unoriginal, but shredding is a staple for metal. I play thrash/death, not trying to become a solo shredder here. So when you post don't play shred, I'm just going to give up listening to and aspiring towards metal.
#7
Quote by leephan
If you don't find it fun, don't do it. Don't play guitar just because you want to be good at it, you have to love playing it.

On the off day when for whatever reason I just happen to be able to play fast + cleanly I really enjoy it. It's the amount of time its taking to correct my technique so that I can play like that all the time that I dont enjoy.
#8
Hey dude,

I see you're into Psyopus so you're into the heavier, darker stuff and whilst I'm sure you appreciate people's comments who are into blues and whatnot you want to know how to do the insane solos you hear on melodic death/technical death albums. I'm a self taught guitarist, never had a lesson but I can shred to an extent. In my experience you don't need to be theoretically sound to shred how you're expecting - but of course it does help. Also I'm glad to see you're using a metronome.

First of all, holding the pick is a personal taste. I use jazz iii picks (after a recommendation from a friend) and they increased my playing tenfold. I hold it so there's about 5mm of the pick coming out between my finger and thumb. I am able to hold my middle finger out no problem whilst I'm holding this - and also it keeps my thumb close enough to the strings that I can pinch harmonic those squealies without any effort.

Move your hand comfortably? When you're sweeping it should be an arm movement. Your hand should always come back to the first position, I'm not sure what you mean by this? Try and take pictures or a webcam video if you can.

Resting hands on the strings? As long as it's not muting them and the note rings out that's fine, I tend to do that a lot.

Actually I'd rather not explain this over the forum it'd take much longer to make videos/take pictures. PM me and I'll give you my MSN.

Never roll back the gain. Chords are more boring than shredding. Never let anyone tell you metal isn't the way forward - no offence to the old school guitarists intended.
#9
What I meant by hand movement was maybe not just moving the hand, just in generally reaching all six strings on runs. PM you in a sec Schpudd.
#10
Probably the most direct way for you to correct your technique is to spend time with a good teacher who can analyze your technique and correct anything you are doing wrong.
#11
The first thing I'm going to say before I answer your post is it seems like your far too bothered by being unable to shred. Can you play any basic songs? or even easy bits of difficult songs? Learn easy parts of your favourite songs or easy sons will boost your confidence and give you a sense of acheivement because you have learned to play something. It will also help to make your more motivated in your practice.
Quote by psyo
Background: spent two years of 5 years of guitar doing nothing, playing nothing, failing creativeness despite trying to create riffs each day, taking no notice of my technique.
Trying to create riffs how? what kind of riffs? where you trying to make riffs harder than you could play? if so this may be part of your problem. You need to write to your own technical level. If you don't already learn some theory as well.

Quote by psyo
I've been trying to shred for over a year and half and honestly I've gotten barely anywhere. This is the third time I've had to slow down my metronome back to 80 or less (from only 140 -.-) to try and correct my technique, this is very frustrating and every second day now I pick up the guitar and after a few minutes, I think "f**k it" and go do something else. Playing just isn't fun.
Don't sweat it. 140 BPM is NOT slow. You need to relax. Bring the speed right back to 25 BPM and really work on accuracy. And as for having fun. When you get bored don't just walk away from your guitar. Find some easy songs that you can manage and play that. When your confidence is back up go back to the metronome.

Quote by psyo
I-Correct way to hold the pick? I don't have any other shredders I can compare this too, my pick is held between the index + thumb, the index makes a curl and the pick gets sandwiched in the crease. This makes it a bit difficult to slide the pick up my index for tapping, is there anything too wrong with this for picking too?
I would hope that's the correct way to pick. It sounds like a good description of the way I hold mine. BTW I tap with my middle or 'm' finger not my index finger.

I might try and answer the rest of the post later but basically your problem is your trying way too hard to play songs above your level. Find some simpler songs(ones that you like of course) and play those. Don't sweat if you're not the uber fastest player that ever lived. And don't be embarassed if you have to slow right down in order to correct your technique.

EDIT: Don't learn anything you don't like. Don't listen to anyone who tells you you should learn the blues. Just learn simpler metal songs.
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Last edited by Nietsche at Jun 26, 2009,
#12
I will try to give you some pointers to solve your problems in shred:

1-There is no "correct" way to hold the pick because a lot of players hold it in different ways and achieve similar results. However the most common way to hold the pick is with the the index and thumb. And for alternate picking, it's best to bend your thumb slightly forward (although some players like Shawn Lane bend it backward) so that the pick is angled making alternate picking smoother and easier.

2-Pick mainly from the wrist. Most alternate pickers do that, although some pick from their arm but that will require a lot more time to reach high speeds, and it will hurt a lot. The only time you should move your arm, and only slightly, is when you're switching between strings that are far from each other. For example if you're playing a picking run over six strings, you'll have to move your arm a bit, otherwise it would feel awkward, but keep the picking from the wrist.

3-You're supposed to move the pick as little as possible. Don't hold the pick too tightly, just firmly enough so that it doesn't fall. And don't tense up your arm a lot. You're not

4-Your picking hand should rest lightly on the strings, otherwise you'd get too much string noise. In general when your picking the low strings it's best to palm-mute them. The higher the string, the less you have to mute it.

5-Keep working with the metronome, it's the best and most reliable way to progress. You won't get results instantly, it takes time, so the more you practice the faster you'll progress.

Good luck, shredding isn't easy, but it's worth the hard work you put into it.
#13
Learn fingerstyle guitar.
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#14
Quote by highwaysalmon
Learn fingerstyle guitar.
What if he doesn't want to play fingerstyle?
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#15
Nietsche, I'm glad you're trying to help (and your a fan of Friedrich Nietzsche?). Maybe were on a different page, though. I don't know, it just seems with seeking help on the internet I feel like I don't come across as if I know anything about playing. 140 bpm is a slow/mod tempo in comparison to 190+ bpm songs a lot of death metal is played at. Thats also the kind of style of shred I am aiming for, so finding simple solos is a bit difficult.

I can play riffs pretty easily and tremolo pick at 200 bpm comfortably. However, my tremolo technique is a lot different to when I actually need to pick notes that aren't repeated 4 times (ie soloing) and so it doesn't translate. I can't find a good/comfortable way of playing that. And for the tapping thing, I play a few songs with 8 finger tapping, but I can't switch from pick to freeing the four fingers with the way I hold the pick very easily.

And with the 'coming up with riffs' thing, I'm just saying I wasted 2 years (2 years!) of not writing anything down, playing very repititive tremolo riffs (ie 4 notes then go up a third or tritone or whatever) and heavy pm'd chords not very well, which is the reason probably my soloing technique is so bad. I've tried slowing down like you said to grave slow tempos to correct the technique, but it just becomes so agonizingly slow, would you recommend increasing the tempo by 5 or something once I have a good technique at that tempo? Thanks by the way.

edit: generally, my problem is picking - I only ever played riffs, wanted to solo, had to revise my technique and probably got more problems as I kept 'revising'. Shred is such a dirty word here isnt it
Last edited by psyo at Jun 26, 2009,
#16
Quote by Amer91

2-Pick mainly from the wrist. Most alternate pickers do that, although some pick from their arm but that will require a lot more time to reach high speeds, and it will hurt a lot. The only time you should move your arm, and only slightly, is when you're switching between strings that are far from each other. For example if you're playing a picking run over six strings, you'll have to move your arm a bit, otherwise it would feel awkward, but keep the picking from the wrist.

3-You're supposed to move the pick as little as possible. Don't hold the pick too tightly, just firmly enough so that it doesn't fall. And don't tense up your arm a lot. You're not


The thing about this is that when I move the pick as little as possible it loses picking strength so it doesn't sound good or feel good But once I start strengthening the picking action to get a better and stronger tone, my hand moves to much. This is probably just something thats going to need dedication right?
#17
I didnt read through everyones post but the topic makers and idk, in my opinion, maybe its just not for you. Its a style, and while people cream over a shreading showoff, maybe its just not your style. Its not mine forsure. Lol sorry i cant play arpeggios at 220bpm, but am i the only one that thinks arpegiated scales sound like crap. (not saying all shreading is arpeggios,but alot of it is)
<3
#18
Quote by psyo
140 bpm is a slow/mod tempo in comparison to 190+ bpm songs a lot of death metal is played at. Thats also the kind of style of shred I am aiming for, so finding simple solos is a bit difficult.
Trust me. Don't beat yourself up about not being able to play that fast. Slow down to where your comfortable and work from there.
Quote by pyso
but it just becomes so agonizingly slow, would you recommend increasing the tempo by 5 or something once I have a good technique at that tempo? Thanks by the way.
That's usually the best idea. Get your metronome out. Set it quite slow(50bpm or lower). Focus on being relaxed and playing with good tone and technique. When you feel comfortable increase the tempo by about 5ish. Eventually you'll probably hit a wall where you can no longer play any faster without sacrificing good technique. Then you go back to your original slow tempo and work yourself back up. After a while you'll reach the tempo that was impossible to play at before and suddenly wonder why you couldn't play at that speed before. Remember to keep your picking relaxed all the way through BTW. When you start tensing up is usually when bad technique creeps in.

And have you thought abut expanding your musical tastes outside the realm of death metal. I don't mean start listening to blues artists and such. Just metal that isn't so technical. If you play easier metal songs you'll boost your confidence.
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Last edited by Nietsche at Jun 26, 2009,
#19
Quote by Robbie skater
I didnt read through everyones post but the topic makers and idk, in my opinion, maybe its just not for you. Its a style, and while people cream over a shreading showoff, maybe its just not your style. Its not mine forsure. Lol sorry i cant play arpeggios at 220bpm, but am i the only one that thinks arpegiated scales sound like crap. (not saying all shreading is arpeggios,but alot of it is)


I don't want to play neo classical shred. See bands like Slayer, Warbringer, Morbid Angel, Carcass - that kind of style. I had just put my guitar down and was kinda pissed off when I wrote that, lol ey. I'm off to sleep.
#20
Quote by Nietsche

And have you thought abut expanding your musical tastes outside the realm of death metal. I don't mean start listening to blues artists and such. Just metal that isn't so technical. If you play easier metal songs you'll boost your confidence.


I wasn't beating myself up about the tempo, but I've got a long way to go. I don't just listen to metal, but I think theres enough diversity in metal and I listen to it all. Don't think I only ever have played death metal, I play some other stuff + I'm ok with listening to heaps of styles of music (baroque, avant garde, house etc) just metals always been the best.

Do you rest your forearm on the guitar at all or is your arm free?
#21
Quote by pyso
Do you rest your forearm on the guitar at all or is your arm free?
I always rest my forearm on the guitar. I wouldn't worry about it really unless it starts to restrict your movement(which it shouldn't because your picking motion should be coming from the wrist).
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#22
Quote by Schpudd

Never roll back the gain. Chords are more boring than shredding. Never let anyone tell you metal isn't the way forward - no offence to the old school guitarists intended.

Chords are more boring in your opinion.

Quote by Robbie skater
Lol sorry i cant play arpeggios at 220bpm, but am i the only one that thinks arpegiated scales sound like crap. (not saying all shreading is arpeggios,but alot of it is)

All of what you hear (unless you listen to atonal or 100% chord music) are arpeggios. Chords are made up of relative scale notes, so the scale runs you hear are generally arpeggios and outline a chord.

TS, really only the upper part of your forearm near the elbow joint (about 1 or 2 inches) below so that it can still pivot to give you enough range to play across all six strings (eg strumming, sweeps, epic string skips).

I agree that a teacher for a short period might benefit you.
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#23
im a self taught guitarist and i think most people are predetermined for how good they could ever be before they even start playing. if you pick up a guitar and improve fast youll probably be a good guitarist. if you pick it up and have to practice all day with marginal improvements your probably not a guitar player. but on an insperational note everytime i say i cant do something before i try i cant do it. i remember listening to children of bodom and saying im just not good enough to play that but when i stopped thinking and just played it, it was alot easier than i thought.
#24
As with anything lese in life....if you practice hard enough and want to be good, you will.
#25
Quote by blackibanezrg27
i think most people are predetermined for how good they could ever be before they even start playing

Guitarists are made not born
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#26
Quote by blackibanezrg27
i think most people are predetermined for how good they could ever be before they even start playing.



This statement is UTTER bull****. All it takes is correct practice, and LOTS of it.
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#27
Speed can come with practicing speed, true, but it will also come with practicing techniques and/or forms/scales.

Practicing just speed IMO, is a waste of time, because it will come with time anyways.


Quote by DarkRaven03
This statement is UTTER bull****. All it takes is correct practice, and LOTS of it.


Also, there is a limit to how good anyone can be.

You CAN reach your limit, but it will take a long, LONG time to do so, and if you do reach your limit, you will be good. Very good.
Soon, death metal's drums will be so fast only computers will be able to listen to it.

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Last edited by Ninjake at Jun 26, 2009,
#28
Quote by jsepguitar
Probably the most direct way for you to correct your technique is to spend time with a good teacher who can analyze your technique and correct anything you are doing wrong.


Its so hard to tell you whats wrong over the internet, I would like to be able to see you play so that I could help. Its suprising how much small things can help.

Do you have a picture/video of your playing? I'm sure if I saw you play I could tell you exactly what you're doing wrong.

All I can say from here is that your fretting hand should be with the palm parallel to the side of the neck, with your fingers parallel to the frets. Try to get one finger on each fret for four frets at a time (to get the position right). The muscles you need to develop are the ones between your fingers (which will widen with more use- so you might want to start by playing around the 8th fret and move down to the first).

Your pick should be held between your first finger and thumb, but not how you describe. Your first finger shouldnt be so bent and it should be more like holding a pencil. Yes, the picking motion comes from the wrist, but to move strings you can use your arm.

I hope this helps, there are some exercises on my website that might help if you want more, if thats not enough you can pm me.
#29
Quote by psyo
-How do you move your hand comfortably for six string runs? My hand always gets in an awkward position after 4 or so strings. I rest my upper forearm on the slant of the guitar but that doesn't give it enough rotation I need to move it but my arm sticks to the body.


Ah-ha! That is a big part of the problem right there. You need to use your wrist to make the picking motion on each string, but use your elbow to go from string to string. Imagine it like this. You are tremolo picking on one string. Imagine your hand and wrist as one unit. Now take it, don't change your wrist angle or anything, and just move the whole unit to another string by moving your elbow a bit.

This used to completely perplex me. I'd get to where I'd be picking on one string at a fairly snappy pace, maybe 16th's at 140 or 150, and my pick would just be moving a tiny amount, maybe 1-2 mm. Then I'd look at the gap between the strings, and it's a good 1/4 inch, and I'd say how the hell am I supposed to cover that 1/4 inch at the same speed that I'm making those little picking movements? Of course, as soon as you figure out the thing about using your elbow to the cover the larger space while the wrist continues the little movements uninterrupted it makes total sense. It's also why your tremolo picking isnt transferring to your multi string playing like you mentioned in one of your responses.

There's another aspect to this, and I'm sure this is a big part of why you are having trouble progressing. If you change strings by changing your wrist angle, you have to learn how to pick each string with a slightly different technique (ie at a different angle). That's a lot of different stuff to learn and put together. When you use your elbow to move from string to string, the relationship between your hand and the string you are picking is exactly the same regardless of which string you are picking. You can now use the same picking technique on every string. So that's only one technique to learn, instead of 6! Specifically, you've got to learn three things, then you are on your way to massively improved picking:

1) Learn how to pick well on any one string.
2) Learn how to use your elbow to move from string to string.
3) Learn to combine 1 and 2.

That's alternate picking in a nutshell. There are no more fundamental things to learn after that, just gradually increasing your skill and accuracy with which you do 1-3.

I hope this helps. I know that it helped me big time.
#30
look. If its not fun, make it fun. Instead of running exercises that you hate doing, why not pick a nice shred song, pick a bar or two, and work that up to speed?
#31
Quote by psyo
The thing about this is that when I move the pick as little as possible it loses picking strength so it doesn't sound good or feel good But once I start strengthening the picking action to get a better and stronger tone, my hand moves to much. This is probably just something thats going to need dedication right?


Right, it's going to need some dedication and practice. And like I said, you should learn to hold the pick lightly, yet firmly enough to make sure it doesn't fall out, and doesn't move between your fingers.
#32
Quote by Night_Lights
look. If its not fun, make it fun. Instead of running exercises that you hate doing, why not pick a nice shred song, pick a bar or two, and work that up to speed?


I dont hate doing excercises, they just arent getting me anywhere because my technique only lends itself to rif***e on the lower strings. I know Scarified and the solo on The Victorious Dead by the Absence, I can play them without stressing out at something like 100 for scarified (140) and 130 for the victorious dead (210) but thats the same tempo ive been playing them at for a while (I've had scarified for at least a year...) but even still I make enough picking mistakes its not fluent and in the end I play it so often without progressing it is an excercise...

If anybody can tell me how to put some pictures up if that'd help.
#33
Quote by Ninjake
Speed can come with practicing speed, true, but it will also come with practicing techniques and/or forms/scales.

Practicing just speed IMO, is a waste of time, because it will come with time anyways.


Also, there is a limit to how good anyone can be.

You CAN reach your limit, but it will take a long, LONG time to do so, and if you do reach your limit, you will be good. Very good.



Yes, there will eventually be a limit on how fast your body will physically let you play,but this is past 300 bpm at least (see: brain drill). I wasn't talking about just physical speed though. I don't believe there is a limit on how "good" of a guitar player you can be. There will ALWAYS be more you can learn, it's an ongoing process. No one has a day where they say "you know what, I know everything." People do plateau, both in terms of technical ability and musical creativity, but you've just got to push through and continue to have a desire to learn.

As for speed, I will agree and say that practicing speed to the exclusion of any kind of musicality is stupid. However, when it's used to enhance your music and create a different emotion, it is worth practicing. Yes, it's one of the more boring things to practice as you have to isolate tons of micro motions to get things working, but having technical mastery over the guitar is never a bad skill to have, as it enables you to play and create new things that might not have been otherwise possible.
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#34
From what you described, the way you're holding the pick is fine.

I'd recommend getting a teacher to correct your technique for a few lessons and then going and working on all those flaws they've spotted.

I do recommend getting a bit of classical training though, just so you're more well rounded as a musician and it will improve your ability to hear the small nuances in your player, it worked for me and it really allowed me to hear what I was doing with much more clarity.

Other than that, all I can really say it practice and don't give up, it does help to play new licks though or make your own exercises, etudes, studies etc for the technique you're working on.
#35
You might also wanna try relaxing your fretting hand a bit more. I use to apply to much pressure whenever I would fret a note and once I corrected that it made everything loads easier.
#37
XianXiuHong what do you mean classical training? I took music for my first three years at high school (quit last year) and played classical guitar (ie fingerstyle) for that time. I do have a teacher (everybody seems to assume I don't :S) but he doesnt think there is a problem, yet I've struggled for all this time with lead picking. THe one thing I don't really get from this thread so far is using your elbow (I know that sounds pretty stupid) but now I've had a chance to look at my playing again I use my wrist to move from string to string and very little arm movement.

Wishful Shredder I'll take a look at those videos but my internet is capped
Thanks again everybody.
Last edited by psyo at Jun 27, 2009,
#38
if your into the shredding music but cant shred, i would start looking at other musics that "suits" your playing although you could have been playing the same music for 5 years. i played stuff like metallica and slipknot, i couldnt play there music well but then i started looking around for more music, jimi hendrix, clapton, etc, all the legends caught my eye and i could play there stuff and i was really enjoying what i was playing even though some of there stuff is really easy. by that point i really couldnt care how "good" i was at guitar, i just loved playing the stuff that i can play and enjoy.
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#39
have lessons for a couple of months, ask him/her to clean up your technique/etc. this will benefit you quite abit.

then once you've cleaned your playing up, start learning things at a slow pace, gradualy getting faster and faster.

i was in the same situation as you (self taught, wanted to be able to do shred like jason becker/etc), and this has benefited me so much its unbelievable. but you bare in mind, that you will not become a shred god over night, it takes months of dedication and patience to get to the level where your happy
#40
Lots of good advice in this thread so far.

Heres my paradox: I used to try to learn songs, but my technique wasn't good enough, so I started playing guitar exercises, progressed nowhere despite having used a metronome and taking it very slowly, I get frustrated by this so I try to learn songs again, couldn't pick properly so I go back to excercises and the cycle continues............


Learn easier songs or learn the hard songs really slowly - you don't have to play exercises if they bore you - they're just notes. Like music. I like exercises because they help me focus on very specific problems, but if you aren't having fun or seeing progress that makes you want to continue using exercises, don't.


-Correct way to hold the pick? I don't have any other shredders I can compare this too, my pick is held between the index + thumb, the index makes a curl and the pick gets sandwiched in the crease. This makes it a bit difficult to slide the pick up my index for tapping, is there anything too wrong with this for picking too?


Nothing wrong with this for picking, but ffs use your middle to tap. Why move the pick if you don't have to?

-How do you move your hand comfortably for six string runs? My hand always gets in an awkward position after 4 or so strings. I rest my upper forearm on the slant of the guitar but that doesn't give it enough rotation I need to move it but my arm sticks to the body.


This is another form of anchoring. Your arm, and not just your wrist, need to be free to move. Watch my picking mechanics video and you can see exactly how I move my hand for six string runs. (in my youtube, link in my sig)

-My picking is awful. I don't want to move the pick too far away from the string, not because it will touch the other string, but because my hand 'jumps' upwards and this isn't comfortable or efficient for speed... but when I try to make it move less it loses all strength. Help!


For the time being, focus on clarity and accents rather than "speed". You'll find you sound better and thus actually enjoy picking things "slowly" - and 140 isn't slow by any means.

You sound to me like you're not pushing straight through the string but trying to "pluck" it upwards. Practice going straight through the string and staying as relaxed as possible.

-How much of your hand is ok to rest on the strings? I know some shredders are completely free but this just doesn't work for me (aforementioned jumping) and when I get to the 6th string I can't trem pick like this (metal oriented). But when I rest it on the strings I get unwanted noise + it's hard to move around the top and bottom strings.


You can't trem pick like that because your tremolo picking is just muscle vibration, it's not actually picking. It gets the same effect through lots of gain but it's wimpy sounding without it and to be honest, damages your technique in the long run and has a very high rate of causing injury. (I used to pick like this myself).

As for how much of the hand is okay to rest on the strings, the main issues are noise and freedom of movement. The best thing to do is to touch all the strings you want to mute but use only the amount of pressure needed to mute them - don't press in. (I used to do this too)

Does that help any? Obviously I recommend reading through the sticky and watching my YT stuff for more general pointers.
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