#1
In my practice routine i have many drills that i go through. Each one is between 2-5 minutes long. I practice at the set tempo and every few weeks i increase it slightly. Now the problem is the strain. The guitar lessons fail to state if you should practice for 3min non stop at 140bpm 16ths or if you should play the riff about 3 times at that speed take a break for about 2 measures then go again until the time is up. One of my exercises is to play all the modes i.e ionian ascending and descending then shift to dorian phrygian etc. For 4 minutes at 140bpm 16ths without stopping. I can do it faster but not for 4 minutes straight and i cant play for that amount of time without tension building. When i see the pros shred they rarely play at super speeds for more than a few seconds. so my question is should i play fast for long non stop or play in bursts. I think paul gilbert suggested to play like your jogging then sprinting or in other words set the metro to play at your top speed at 16ths. Then play one measure at 8ths and the next at 16ths and keep going like that. Is this the way to go? How do you guys build your speed?.
#2
Quote by hwknight
In my practice routine i have many drills that i go through. Each one is between 2-5 minutes long. I practice at the set tempo and every few weeks i increase it slightly. Now the problem is the strain. The guitar lessons fail to state if you should practice for 3min non stop at 140bpm 16ths or if you should play the riff about 3 times at that speed take a break for about 2 measures then go again until the time is up. One of my exercises is to play all the modes i.e ionian ascending and descending then shift to dorian phrygian etc. For 4 minutes at 140bpm 16ths without stopping. I can do it faster but not for 4 minutes straight and i cant play for that amount of time without tension building. When i see the pros shred they rarely play at super speeds for more than a few seconds. so my question is should i play fast for long non stop or play in bursts. I think paul gilbert suggested to play like your jogging then sprinting or in other words set the metro to play at your top speed at 16ths. Then play one measure at 8ths and the next at 16ths and keep going like that. Is this the way to go? How do you guys build your speed?.


I usually keep a metronome plugged into my amp, and start at whatever pace a feel comfortable with playing 8ths. Then, when im totally sure ive played an exercise as smoothly as possible at least 5 times in a row, i move the bpm up by 4 (no more, maybe less). If i get to 200 bpm with 8ths, i go to 102 bpm with 16ths, then 104 with 16ths, and so on. Basically, dont increase the bpm until youre sure youre playing it perfectly, and even then, increase it very slowly.
#3
I dont do so complex things to do, the way i develop my speed is to learn fast Malmsteen stuff
George Bernard Shaw


Hell is full of musical amateurs.
#4
its like working out, you can't workout your abs for like..an hour straight. what makes you think your fingers can do 4 min 16ths straight? you need to give time to rest for whatever you're working out.
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#5
You're comparing yourself to people who've probably been playing 10 hours a day for the last 10+ years. Plus, it would be pretty rare for them to shred at full speed for 4 minutes straight. Give yourself a break.
#6
If you're going to be playing 16ths for 4 minutes, why not learn an etude instead of just going up and down scales? A lot more useful and fun in every way...

Secondly, you have to practice for long periods of time and then with some bursts and such as well. A thing I've heard from lots of really good musicians is to play it with swing, and then anti-swung.
#7
Quote by nivlarama
its like working out, you can't workout your abs for like..an hour straight. what makes you think your fingers can do 4 min 16ths straight? you need to give time to rest for whatever you're working out.


Yes, but if you are relaxed you are not really working out.

I play patterns and scales for minutes straight all the time. If you can't play for 4 min straight at a certain tempo @ 16th notes then slow your tempo down some. Eventually you will be able to play very fast for long periods of time.....but don't practice something like this unless you feel it is worth your time.

It's better to be able to play fast for long periods of time than it is to only be able to pull off a quick 10 sec speed lick. IMO anyways.
#8
Quote by hwknight
When i see the pros shred they rarely play at super speeds for more than a few seconds.


Because generally it's really boring to listen to and not all that fun to play as it's (mostly) anything but expressive.

Most of them can and in an alternate picking lesson I've heard Guthrie Govan say that if you can't pick at your top speed for a good length of time it's probably bad technique.

Besides, in my opinion it's always better to eb able to do something and not use it rather than not learn something and then find down the line that you need it as it would sound really good in X position in Y song.
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#9
Do you want to be able to shred All the way through a song, or do you want it to have some Dynamics and tempo Changes? Sure you can have a 4 Minute Shred Fest, but When its at a Decent Tempo, then Really gets going, it brings the song in.
#10
Examples of the greats shredding for more than a couple seconds:
Rusty Cooley doing an exercise:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3Eo1bXom2I
Rusty Cooley again, not as constant but some long phrases---and holy **** at 1:31
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNvp1PY5hRw
Paul Gilbert:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCsLV5jdWzI
Steve Vai--30 seconds of shredding at 4:48:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CfEaSmdtGU
Shawn Lane
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXADYMCreLg
Andy James:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDKbEDTdbZI
Marshall Harrison:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JslLRgpNhhc
Francesco Fareri:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z0vt-D7ncs
Francesco Fareri
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPCFNB79wo0&feature=related


Sure, many have short pauses, and aren't 4 minutes straight of shredding, but the point is that they can all go for more than a few seconds, and could continue for much longer than you would want to listen to.
#11
my practise routine for alternate picking is this:

Eminor in 3 positions up and down the fretboard, 6nps with septuplets at ?BPM for 5minutes. then pause for a minute and play chromatic excersises, 4nps with 16th notes and the same BPM for however long it takes to go through those.
then increase the bpm1.

because if you can't shred nonstop (within reason) then you obviously have a tiny amount of tension that needs sorting. and its REALLY helped my playing!

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
Last edited by metallicafan616 at Jul 22, 2009,
#12
Those Rusty Cooley videos are the EXACT reason guitar players don't shred for long periods of time.
It just gets annoying after a certain point.
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#14
I know they're exercises, but I think it's still a valid point.
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#15
Thanks guys, from what I've read I think there are two approaches. Play fast for long, to increase stamina for stuff like metal rhythm, that usually uses tremolo picking. Or play even faster with bursts of speed for solo's. I know the boredom factor sucks but if your serious you do what you have to do.

I think I'll practice the second method, as I only use shredding for solo's and not for the entire song. And if this method gets the thumbs up from Paul Gilbert how bad can it be.