I have heard before that in order to play fast (not legato), you just tremolo pick. Is this true? This sounds like total BS to me.
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It's total bs.

To play fast you pick fast - that means picking accurately, controlled and synchronised. It's no different to playing slowly, you just need to be really good at it.

You do not spaz your picking hand at the string and pray your left hand can keep up.
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if you trem pick it will "sound" fast, especially if your string skipping and hammer on and pulloffs as you trem. But trem picking doesnt make you "play" fast.
I suppose in a way it's true. Tremolo picking is performed in exactly the same way alternate picking is (with regard to motion), the only difference is that when you're tremolo picking you'll be picking notes multiple times at speed.
However, in neither tremolo picking nor "regular" alternate picking, should you be simply picking the strings as fast as you can with no regard for rhythm; both require you to have consistent, controlled picking.

Edit: Also, +1 to steven seagull's post (all bar the very first line).
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
Last edited by Aleksi at Jun 30, 2010,