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#1
How did Malmsteen and Becker develop such a clean and fast guitar technique at the age of 21 and 19? At that age they didn't cover fast songs, they had written their own!

How did they do it? I know they practiced a lot every day. But many guitarists play for hours too and not many of them can play a fast solo.

-: I'm not obsessed with fast solo, nor am I saying that slow solos are rubbish. We're talking about shredding here, no competition.
#2
They focused purely on superbly clean technique and becoming faster and faster. Essentially, that was their focus. I'm around that age and pushing into that sort of speed; it's not impossible. Plus, both had been playing for quite a while at that point.
#3
Playing is not synonymous with practising. They worked on their technique for hours a day. The key is consistent, correct practice.
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#5
When I'll be 21 I estimate to have very clean fast picking too. That will be in 3 years from now on, I already play for 2, and I play every day for several hours.

Sounds like a realistic plan for me, considering I advance very fast.
#7
Yngwie at least took up the instrument at about the age of 6 or 7 by all reports, by the time anyone had heard of him he'd been playing for ~12 years, it's not like these guys just exploded on to the scene 5 minutes after they began playing.

Practice and good technique, you'll get there when you're ready.
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#8
Quote by YYMMalmsteen


How did they do it? I know they practiced a lot every day. But many guitarists play for hours too and not many of them can play a fast solo.
.


That's because practice is a subjective term. Some people see practicing as just randomly playing things they already know. Others see practicing as a mix of both the familiar and challenging themselves with new techniques.

I have recently gone more towards the challenging side- picking songs that are much higher than my playing ability.
#9
Quote by Dio10101
Metronome. Clean Channel. Perfectionist Attitudes. This is how one becomes clean at shredding as far as I can see.

Clean channel especially. It helps you hear mistakes much better, although you do need to use distortion once in a while to perfect muting technique.
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#10
Quote by jkielq91
Becker started playing guitar very young, I'm pretty sure before the age of 10. Malmsteen may have done to, but I'm not sure.

Dont feel bad if you cant play that fast at that age. Playing fast doesn't make a guitar player great.



I'm not their age lol. I'm 16 and I can almost play Far Beyond the Sun (just need to clean it up). I also practice some of the Concerto Suite stuff and classical music. I learnt Far Beyond the Sun in about a month. I don't think I'm doing that bad

But I don't want to write that kind of music when I'm older, it becomes boring and repetitive. All I want is the muscle memory
#11
Quote by YYMMalmsteen
I can almost play Far Beyond the Sun (just need to clean it up).

I don't think that's the right way of thinking. You should first clean it up and then work it up to speed. You have to be very careful that your playing isn't sloppy or unclean.
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#12
Quote by YYMMalmsteen
I'm not their age lol. I'm 16 and I can almost play Far Beyond the Sun (just need to clean it up). I also practice some of the Concerto Suite stuff and classical music. I learnt Far Beyond the Sun in about a month. I don't think I'm doing that bad

But I don't want to write that kind of music when I'm older, it becomes boring and repetitive. All I want is the muscle memory


I find Yngwie boring any way.

But Beckers one of my biggest idols.
#13
You have to remember that a lot of the top guitarists had been playing for years and years before they got their break. You may be interested to know that Dave murray from iron maiden had been playing for 9 years before their debut album.

9 years is a LOT of practice especially since murray played 6 hours a day. Probably why ive never seen or heard him make a single mistake.

You will get there eventually.
#14
like others have said, it is much more than just practicing your instrument of choice, its practicing correctly. starting slow and finding were you are having issues and correcting the problem spots, then speeding it up a little. repeating that proses till its clean and fluid.

the worst thing that will hold you back is bad habits in technique. im suffering for it now with my picking and correcting it after 10 years of playing, its goin to take a while to correct it.
#15
There secret probably was that they knew HOW and WHAT to practice.

Practicing and playing are 2 different things, same as FLibo said.

They probably also understood the concept of memory muscle and applied it's principles.

Chapter 2 in my FREE Ebook covers the concept of memory muscle and i also give some exercises to develop blazing fast technique

In chapter 1 i am telling you about the mental preparation for becoming good at guitar playing.

For moderators: I hope that this is not considered spamming, as what i said is relevant to the current topic
#16
Quote by GuitarFreak1387
like others have said, it is much more than just practicing your instrument of choice, its practicing correctly. starting slow and finding were you are having issues and correcting the problem spots, then speeding it up a little. repeating that proses till its clean and fluid.

the worst thing that will hold you back is bad habits in technique. im suffering for it now with my picking and correcting it after 10 years of playing, its goin to take a while to correct it.


What bad habits do you have?
#17
Quote by Dio10101
Metronome. Clean Channel. Perfectionist Attitudes. This is how one becomes clean at shredding as far as I can see.


I'm going to have to disagree with that one. After hearing that the best way to get good at shredding was to practice on clean, I learned to sweep pick several arpeggios and practiced alt picking runs for months with a metronome on a clean channel. I had them faster and cleaner than I ever thought.

Then I turned on the distortion a lil bit, added my tone, and it sounded like shit...

I found out that I had to relearn how to sweep pick, since on clean I only needed my right hand to mute, but with distortion you clearly need both hands muting.

I had to relearn how to hold my pick when doing alt pick runs, especially ones that cross several strings as they would vibrate when I left them with distortion on.

So, IMO it is way better to learn everything with distortion cranked to learn proper muting, if you think you can hide mistakes behind it, your only hurting yourself.
#18
Quote by hansome21
I'm going to have to disagree with that one. After hearing that the best way to get good at shredding was to practice on clean, I learned to sweep pick several arpeggios and practiced alt picking runs for months with a metronome on a clean channel. I had them faster and cleaner than I ever thought.

Then I turned on the distortion a lil bit, added my tone, and it sounded like shit...

I found out that I had to relearn how to sweep pick, since on clean I only needed my right hand to mute, but with distortion you clearly need both hands muting.

I had to relearn how to hold my pick when doing alt pick runs, especially ones that cross several strings as they would vibrate when I left them with distortion on.

So, IMO it is way better to learn everything with distortion cranked to learn proper muting, if you think you can hide mistakes behind it, your only hurting yourself.


u should have been able to hear the notes you weren't muting on clean anyway. its still good to practice on it
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#19
There is a lot of extra noise that just rings out of your guitar when you switch from a small practice amp to something like a dual rec half stack. Trust me, there is a lot of noises that come out of your guitar that clean channel cannot pick up, and most of them are other strings vibrating from you picking adjacent strings. It just happens. It is only fixable with proper muting and most people don't practice that until they have to play louder than a drummer.

Distortion can help you hear this and clean it up, or you can wait till you plug into a 1500 dollar amp like me and feel stupid, your choice.
#20
Quote by hansome21
I'm going to have to disagree with that one. After hearing that the best way to get good at shredding was to practice on clean, I learned to sweep pick several arpeggios and practiced alt picking runs for months with a metronome on a clean channel. I had them faster and cleaner than I ever thought.

Then I turned on the distortion a lil bit, added my tone, and it sounded like shit...

I found out that I had to relearn how to sweep pick, since on clean I only needed my right hand to mute, but with distortion you clearly need both hands muting.

I had to relearn how to hold my pick when doing alt pick runs, especially ones that cross several strings as they would vibrate when I left them with distortion on.

So, IMO it is way better to learn everything with distortion cranked to learn proper muting, if you think you can hide mistakes behind it, your only hurting yourself.


I have to agree with you.

I've always said "Practice something as you intend to play it". So if you intend to do something with distortion, practice it with distortion. If clean, practice clean.
#22
Quote by Freepower
You should practice clean and with distortion - it demands slightly different technique each way. Muting is more important when distorted, dynamics more important clean.


I like that, best explanation so far
#23
lest meet half way and say u should practice with a light gain/acdc amount of gain. that way you hear the mistakes and they sound ugly, but still very dynamic
Quote by kangaxxter
The only real answer to the SG vs Les Paul debate is to get a Flying V and laugh at all the suckers who don't have one.


Quote by Blompcube

if you embrace inaccurate intonation it can be quite arousing.


I <3 TWEED
#25
idk man but yngwie's tone, i would say is more on the clean side rather then distortion. i think he only uses dist for sustain. if you have ever played his sig, his pickups are the biggest trip. they feel super low gain but has sustain for days and sound amazingly clean
Quote by kangaxxter
The only real answer to the SG vs Les Paul debate is to get a Flying V and laugh at all the suckers who don't have one.


Quote by Blompcube

if you embrace inaccurate intonation it can be quite arousing.


I <3 TWEED
#26
Yngwie's tone is definitely more distorted than clean. It's really clear and crisp, especially now that he can afford good production standards, but it's definitely distorted and compressed. His technique is really clean and his tone isn't particularly grainy sounding.
#27
I noticed that in the past 6 months or so I started taking guitar seriously (like 4+ hours a day) as a hobby, and even at 4 hours a day I can notice ridiculous improvements when I focus on technique and vibrato. I can understand how someone like Loomis who played ~10 hours a day for 2 years straight at first is as good as he is. Then he took an extra 7 before nevermore. If I went back in time to when I was, say 10 years old... but the time I'd be 19 I'd honestly be the next coming super-star.

... but sadly that time has passed.
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#28
Quote by AtomicBirdy
I noticed that in the past 6 months or so I started taking guitar seriously (like 4+ hours a day) as a hobby, and even at 4 hours a day I can notice ridiculous improvements when I focus on technique and vibrato. I can understand how someone like Loomis who played ~10 hours a day for 2 years straight at first is as good as he is. Then he took an extra 7 before nevermore. If I went back in time to when I was, say 10 years old... but the time I'd be 19 I'd honestly be the next coming super-star.

... but sadly that time has passed.


very true. i had been playing for a year and a half 6+ hours a day (for the most part more then six) and people wouldn't believe me. they thought i had been at least playing for like 5 years, and i showed up a couple guitarists well past my age of expertise (though i can never be too sure about how they practiced)

but sadly i got a job and i suck bllz now
Quote by kangaxxter
The only real answer to the SG vs Les Paul debate is to get a Flying V and laugh at all the suckers who don't have one.


Quote by Blompcube

if you embrace inaccurate intonation it can be quite arousing.


I <3 TWEED
#29
i know alot of people flame on this but they were obviously quite talented,that combined with playing guitar 15 to 20 hours a day will also help,tommy emmanual,satriani,vai and all the top players played the hell outta there guitar.
#30
Quote by austhrax
i know alot of people flame on this but they were obviously quite talented,that combined with playing guitar 15 to 20 hours a day will also help,tommy emmanual,satriani,vai and all the top players played the hell outta there guitar.


I'm not going to flame you, just point out that no one gets to be good because of talent, it is all in the practice, studies have confirmed this on several occasions.
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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.”


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#32
Rob Fripp from King Crimson says he was tone deaf and had no sense of rhythm when he started. Now look at his music.

Talent is nice at first, but it doesn't make you a better player in the long run. Practice and discipline do.
#33
WHen they say they played like 16 hours a day or whatever # it is. They spent those hours doing technique drills and practicing specific things. Not just wanking away inside their comfort zone.
#34
Quote by BlackVoid
WHen they say they played like 16 hours a day or whatever # it is. They spent those hours doing technique drills and practicing specific things. Not just wanking away inside their comfort zone.



dude, no one mentioned that masturbating while playing guitar was the answer to shredding!!
#35
Quote by Captshiznit
What bad habits do you have?


well for the longest time when i wanted to play "fast" i just used legato to play runs only picking once per sting. i never really spent time focusing on my picking. i used the "ill just pick when needed" idea for lead at least. still it made my riff playing lack cleaness and being precise. my accuracy is really hit and miss to be honest. its clean kinda but not were i want it to be at.
#36
Quote by GuitarFreak1387
well for the longest time when i wanted to play "fast" i just used legato to play runs only picking once per sting. i never really spent time focusing on my picking. i used the "ill just pick when needed" idea for lead at least. still it made my riff playing lack cleaness and being precise. my accuracy is really hit and miss to be honest. its clean kinda but not were i want it to be at.


so, in the end, Legato isn't good enough to play fast,

Alternate picking is the ultimate answer?
Can't you play clean using legato?
#37
im not saying that at all. what im saying is that I'M personally using legato as a crutch. i was too lazy to properly learn alternate picking. now im suffering cus of it.

and yes, my legato is clean. after 10 years it better be lol.
#38
Quote by GuitarFreak1387
im not saying that at all. what im saying is that I'M personally using legato as a crutch. i was too lazy to properly learn alternate picking. now im suffering cus of it.

and yes, my legato is clean. after 10 years it better be lol.



i'm sure that alt picking is the best thing. but i also believe that a mixture between legato and alt. picking can give you a nice sound too (i don't see why it wouldn't) although you would probably need to develop a very strict legato (not a cheating one to impress)
#39
exactly, thats why im trying to get my alt picking into shape. i never spent time on it before and now its getting to be quite the task to get it right.
#40
Quote by YYMMalmsteen
so, in the end, Legato isn't good enough to play fast,

Alternate picking is the ultimate answer?
Can't you play clean using legato?

Legato is certainly good enough to play fast, complicated passages. Malmsteen and Becker both make extensive use of legato techniques in addition to alternate picking and sweeping.

Alternate picking is a very important technique, but it is hardly the end-all of techniques, especially if you want to achieve a variety of sounds and textures when playing.

When people say they use legato as a crutch, they're saying that they didn't devote time to learning to synchronize their fretting and picking hands, so they used legato techniques to get around that and keep pick strokes at a minimum to mask their lack of synchronization. Ideally, you should be able to alternate pick a passage as rapidly as you can play it using legato. That isn't always possible, especially once you get into more advanced applications of tapping and sweeping, but that is a good standard to shoot for with more linear or scalar lines.
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