#1
I always make my threads waaaay too long cause I talk to much, so this is going to be as straight to the point as possible.

My question is, what is the first step I should take to learn to shred.
When I say "shred" I mean alternate picking at high speeds, and sweep picking.
( not trying to be a douche but I personally feel I'm quick enough in most other areas besides alt picking and sweeping.)

I understand using a metronome and slowly building up my speed, but should I learn songs with alternate picking? Or just try to squeeze it into my improv?


Thanks my fellow UGers

Edit: just tested myself to try to let you guys know how fast I am right now, I had the metronome at 120 BPM and I could do clean 16th notes up a 3-notes-per-string-scale. Tremolo picking I could go much faster, but that's just sitting on one note, not going up and down a scale.
my 6 best friends:
Ibanez Artcore AF75
Schecter C-1 Hellraiser
LTD H-207 7 string
Ibanez Acoustic
Last edited by musicTHEORYnerd at Aug 28, 2011,
#2
It sounds obvious, but just practise playing fast, but organise your practising. Work on sweeping one day, alt picking the next. Do that for ages.
#3
Quote by musicTHEORYnerd
I understand using a metronome and slowly building up my speed, but should I learn songs with alternate picking? Or just try to squeeze it into my improv?


Yes. Just yes. Do all of those things. As long as you make sure your technique is good you'll get there soon enough.
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Quote by Master Foo
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#4
ok so if i make sure my technique is good and i practice the shit out i should be good?

and also, are there any "typical" songs to learn the techniques from?
like certain songs that are good for learning those techniques?

last question: are there any other techniques i should focus on besides legato, alt picking, and sweeping that will really improve my shredding?
my 6 best friends:
Ibanez Artcore AF75
Schecter C-1 Hellraiser
LTD H-207 7 string
Ibanez Acoustic
#5
Quote by musicTHEORYnerd
ok so if i make sure my technique is good and i practice the shit out i should be good?

and also, are there any "typical" songs to learn the techniques from?
like certain songs that are good for learning those techniques?

last question: are there any other techniques i should focus on besides legato, alt picking, and sweeping that will really improve my shredding?


Really it depends on your style, I use a lot of hybrid picking and tapping as well and not so much sweeping and I like to use wide fret hand stretches. I would advise learning as much about everything as you can since anything you learn makes you a better player overall anyway.

There are certain songs that people recommend for certain techniques and you'll find them all in the thread stickied at the top of the forum They're organised by technique and there's a lot for each thing so you should be able to find something you would like to learn for any given technique.

And yes, if your technique is good and you put in the hours you'll improve, that's pretty much how it works
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#6
Whatever style you want to play, play that. You will egt better faster doing a song you like over a song someone tells you to do.

A lot of times I like a solo for only one lick so I will only learn that lick, pick and choose what you like and learn it, that's the basic idea.
#8
Read my lesson and focus on it hard. It'll get you started. Sweeping will be come easier with these lessons too.

Definitely learn to be able to economy pick licks that ascend, unless you play a lick that plays more than 3 notes per string. In this case, economy pick to go to the next string and then alternate pick on that string until you need to go to the next one, then economy pick. For descending always alternate pick. You could economy pick while descending, but if there are more than three notes per string your picking motion will get very confusing. You might be able to pull it off, but the note you slide to will become lost amongst the notes at high speeds and will throw your rhythm off big time.

Try these licks for some practice:

e--15-14-12-11-----------------------------------------------------------------
B-------------------13-12-10----------------------------------------------------
G--------------------------------12-11-9-8--------------------------------------
D----------------------------------------------10-9-7----------------------------
A-------------------------------------------------------10-9-7-6-----------------
E--------------------------------------------------------------------8-7-5-3-2-0-

When you're on the low E string and you're on the 5th fret use your index finger for the last two notes, then the open E string.


e---------------------------------------------------------------------------------13-15-17-15-17-19
B-----------------------------------------------------------12-13-15-13-15-17---------------------
G-------------------------------------9-10-12-10-12-14--------------------------------------------
D-------------------7-9-10-9-10-12----------------------------------------------------------------
A------5-7-8-7-8-10-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E--5-7-8-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I had to put some of the numbers over the others, so this lick looks a little messed up, but it's a great lick for improving your picking. There's a trick to it. Never slide during this lick. Always move your hand to the next economical position. And your picking should be economy on the low E string to get to the A string, and then from there it's all alternate picking. If you don't economy pick to get to the A string your picking will be backwards. You'll be going to the next string on an unstroke. With strict alternate picking this may seem to be natural, but it's a whole lot easier to pick the way I said. It will feel a little bit awkward at first, but after a few days you'll see how easy and natural picking can feel.


The first lick is a classic harmonic minor "Yngwie" lick in the key of E minor. The second is an ascending A natural minor lick.

If you play a descending lick that uses only three notes per string, THEN you can economy pick (and you should). This will make your playing very clean if you choose to pick most of your notes.


I didn't learn much from the 4 or 5 lessons I had in the past. What I think you should do is learn the pentatonic scale if you don't know it already and then play them each note in order. Don't worry about speed. Once you have them down start making lines out of it. Make a group of triplets out of it or listen to some blues, but don't copy their blues licks. Just hear it and then try to play it. If it's not exact, that's alright. Then learn this shape and do the same thing.

e------------------------------------------7-8-10----
B---------------------------------7-8-10-------------
G----------------------------7-9---------------------
D-------------------7-9-10---------------------------
A----------7-9-10------------------------------------
E-7-8-10---------------------------------------------

This can be played over both E minor and G major. The 7 on the A string is the lowest root note in the shape for E minor. The 10 on the A string is the lowest root note in the key of G major. Pentatonic and this scale shape will improve your improv a lot. Then you'll eventually see the patterns within the shape, such as the sweep pattern in it on the bottom strings (highest sounding ones).

The 7 on the low E string, the 9 on the A string, and the 9 on the D string will get you some nice exotic sounding tension tones. These notes make up a B power chord. So landing on those notes will make the line you're playing sound sort of Spanish. Like the A minor chord to E major chord sort of sound.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads