#1
Hey folks,

So after a few years of playing around (1 1/4 year of playing seriously almost every day) not getting into anything technical i wasn't really too happy with my skills and thought i could learn something more challenging. Maybe i went a little to fast by choosing a song like Bloodmeat by Protest the Hero, since the hardest stuff I've been playing before was some Alice in Chains and Porcupine Tree or Tool ( yeah pretty easy stuff but I find a lot of modern metal and metallica-like stuff and such generic so I went straight into a band that i find musically attractive) Anyway, I've got myself the guitar pro tab and am using tuxguitar (the free version of the program) and have been learning the song for about 2 weeks now, making a good chunk of progress. I started to learn the riffs super slow ( some at about 25% of the original speed, increasing it slowly to 100%. I've got the intro riff down, okay it could be a little cleaner, but it sounds okay to me, still cleaning it up. I found the verse riff pretty easy to play too and I could play it the day i got the tab, also I honestly didn't find it to hard to get the first tapping section down, just something to get into your muscle memory, nothing that requires great technique, the second one however is more challenging for the left hand (yeah those /32th notes are a bitch), but i'm confident that it will work out eventually. I've even made some progress with the sweeps in the end (about 60% speed)

The problem is that little lead fill at 1:14, I've been trying to increase the speed for weeks now and i can't get past 70% ! it's so annoying and i'm starting to lose interest in learning it because it gets boring to play it 400 times in a row every day. I came to about that speed in 3 or 4days, but now i just can't get any faster. I always try to play it cleanly at a certain speed, when I think it's good enough i move on by 1%. I think i just have some major issues with alternate picking. my left hand is totally fine and i can just "tap" it with the left hand at full speed, but my right hand won't go along with it....) I also watched the guitar lesson on youtube where the lead guitarist mentions that he still finds this part hard to pick, and uses hammer-ons and pull-offs to manage it alongside alternate picking, however i can't figure out how that's working... other guys who covered it seem to just use alternate picking...

So if anyone has learned that song in the past maybe they could tell me how they managed to play that little fill? maybe someone had/has issues with it too, or my right hand is just not working properly? I guess I can't expect to learn such a song in a few weeks when all I learned before were intermediate songs, tops. But the the other parts of the song seem to be learnable at least. I know the sweeps and the alternate picking in the end are a hard part to play fast too, but i will face that later ( i've got a few months to learn it haha)

btw I'm using jazz III xl pics, since I find them the most accurate and comfortable to play with, i guess there is nothing wrong with using them since a lot of people recommended them for fast playing styles. I'm playing the guitar for 2-3 hours a day lately, most of the time studying this song. I've just never played anything close to this speed...

I appreciate any help you guys can give me
Last edited by eggvander at Jan 5, 2012,
#2
There is no magical technique to instantly help with stuff like this. Even after a year and a quater playing, it's not a song I would recommend learning, it's by no means impossible, but it's quite fiddly in places.

Don't rush yourself to play it up to speed, because you'll only teach yourself bad habits, and end up with very sloppy technique. It's the last thing you want to hear, I know, but you'll just need to keep practicing it slowly, building up your speed until you can do it.
I deeply regret the 6661 in my username. Siiiigh. Damn you, 14 year old me, you edgy little bastard.
Last edited by Carl6661 at Jan 5, 2012,
#3
ah remember learning this song , i know you've heard a hundred times before but just take it slow and gradually speed it up, it is quite a bit jump from what you were playing before, personally i use hammer ons for the 14-15 on the g and alternate pick the descending riff that leads into the tapping
#5
The trick is just to stick to it. If you practise the lead every day 400 times a day for a year, you'll get there, sure, but you'll start hating it. Just practise it about 5 times a day at any speed you can play it at, and have fun with it. Practise other stuff too, building speed on leadlicks can't be done by just practising it 400 times a day, your muscles and your brain need time to absorb all the information.
If you just practise it occasionally, in 2-3 months time you'll see you'll have it down.
Current gear:
Carvin CT6M
TC Electronics Dark Matter distortion
Harley Benton 2x12, with Celestion V30s
Laney Ironheart 60w tube amp
#6
Hey, thank you all for your quick help ! I didn't expect it to be that many answers in such short time, I guess I will take a little break from the song now, and start playing some easier stuff for a few days, then get back to it, I don't know about you, but taking those kinda breaks and let it all settle down a while usually helps me a lot. I guess i wanted to play something to big too fast haha. however i just wanted to prove to myself thati have the discipline to stick to a hard song for more than a few days. I will keep practising over the next month, slowly building it up, gotta have more patience :P

@ Carl : I've essentially playing much longer, but never consistently, however I get your point, it's too much of a jump from the stuff I used to play, I've focused a lot more on singing and playing at the same time before, so i thought i need to polish my lead-skills a bit. Maybe I will look into some of the easier Mastodon stuff in the near future, would you recommend that? I guess it's still a lot easier than PtH...

@ ross : so how long did it take you to nail it? haha what have you been playing before you dared to get to it? also how exactly do i have to understand the hammer ons? sorry I don't really know shit about theory, i am self tought and i always play what i feel is right, which is probably not always good, but whatever... do you mean i pick the string once on the 14th fret and then hammer on the 15th on the G and B string? and pick the 13th fret on the high E string again? same when descending that pattern? and yeah the end of the riff that leads into the tapping seems to be made for alternate picking, so that's cool, just the other part is a bit weird.

@ Zeletros : That's what I wanted to do ! It's just annoying that it went so well for the start and then you are stuck at one point and don't get further, Thanks for the advice.

@ Pino : I will try to take that advice as much as possible, I'm sure it will help. I will post an update in a few months, hopefully i will be better then.

btw, how's the harley benton vintage 2x12, I'm planning on getting one for my ht-5 or possible for a bigger amp in the future.
#7
Quote by eggvander
Hey, thank you all for your quick help ! I didn't expect it to be that many answers in such short time, I guess I will take a little break from the song now, and start playing some easier stuff for a few days, then get back to it, I don't know about you, but taking those kinda breaks and let it all settle down a while usually helps me a lot. I guess i wanted to play something to big too fast haha. however i just wanted to prove to myself thati have the discipline to stick to a hard song for more than a few days. I will keep practising over the next month, slowly building it up, gotta have more patience :P

@ Carl : I've essentially playing much longer, but never consistently, however I get your point, it's too much of a jump from the stuff I used to play, I've focused a lot more on singing and playing at the same time before, so i thought i need to polish my lead-skills a bit. Maybe I will look into some of the easier Mastodon stuff in the near future, would you recommend that? I guess it's still a lot easier than PtH...

@ ross : so how long did it take you to nail it? haha what have you been playing before you dared to get to it? also how exactly do i have to understand the hammer ons? sorry I don't really know shit about theory, i am self tought and i always play what i feel is right, which is probably not always good, but whatever... do you mean i pick the string once on the 14th fret and then hammer on the 15th on the G and B string? and pick the 13th fret on the high E string again? same when descending that pattern? and yeah the end of the riff that leads into the tapping seems to be made for alternate picking, so that's cool, just the other part is a bit weird.

@ Zeletros : That's what I wanted to do ! It's just annoying that it went so well for the start and then you are stuck at one point and don't get further, Thanks for the advice.

@ Pino : I will try to take that advice as much as possible, I'm sure it will help. I will post an update in a few months, hopefully i will be better then.

btw, how's the harley benton vintage 2x12, I'm planning on getting one for my ht-5 or possible for a bigger amp in the future.



Just keep it as your "Hard song to practice over a long period of time", but also get some easier songs on which you can achieve success over a shorter period of time(anywhere from a week to 6 months)
#8
That's a pretty nice cab, I have it myself.
Good luck and have fun!
Current gear:
Carvin CT6M
TC Electronics Dark Matter distortion
Harley Benton 2x12, with Celestion V30s
Laney Ironheart 60w tube amp
#9
Quote by eggvander
@ Carl : I've essentially playing much longer, but never consistently, however I get your point, it's too much of a jump from the stuff I used to play, I've focused a lot more on singing and playing at the same time before, so i thought i need to polish my lead-skills a bit. Maybe I will look into some of the easier Mastodon stuff in the near future, would you recommend that? I guess it's still a lot easier than PtH...

btw, how's the harley benton vintage 2x12, I'm planning on getting one for my ht-5 or possible for a bigger amp in the future.


I'm not overly familiar with Mastodon. I'd say give it a shot atleast! Keep practicing and you'll soon get some PtH stuff down. If I were to recommend anything to help, it'd just be excersizes for stuff like getting your fretting and picking hand working together tightly.

The Harley-Bentons are meant to be great for the money, so I hear.
I deeply regret the 6661 in my username. Siiiigh. Damn you, 14 year old me, you edgy little bastard.
#10
I know you've probably heard this a million times, but slow it down. Don't even think about speeding up at this point. If you constantly play it at the fastest speed you can play it, you won't get any more accurate, and as we've all heard 10000000067 times, accuracy=speed.

Try doing the 21 day challenge with it. (you can find it in the stickeys) Really adhere to the guidelines of playing it perfectly, not just to the point where you can hit all the notes, but to the point where the note quality and accentuation is perfectly in your control. After 21 days, start speeding it up and I'd be willing to bet you'd be able to play it 100% after that.
I hate my sig
#11
hey QuantumMechanix ( nice nickname btw) i haven't been around so sorry for my late reply. Thanks for the input, i will definitely try that ! I am just not sure what exactly that point is where everything still sounds good, I always kept the speed so i felt comfortable with it ( not making any unwanted noise, hitting the wrong strings, fingers not perfectly on frets etc.) I guess i will slow it down another notch and look what that does. Is it also the same with sweeps? i tried to engage them super slowly, because it's my first time i ever tried like a week ago, or is there another way to get it done cleanly? I just move my right hand in a constant motion and try to synchronize it with my left, having the pic slightly angled to make it easier to cross strings) sorry i'm really a noob to all this, never been into technical playing before. btw i think my problems are really 95% of the time caused by my right hand,for example i basically need to look at it to work properly when crossing strings in arpeggios and such if you know what i mean, whereas i have everything under control when i pick them with my fingers, i don't know why but i am just not really comfortable with finding the string positions i guess, although that got better already with some practise.

so how much time would you recommend on practising like one specific lick a day? i sometimes played just one lick for 20-30 minutes, then moving to the next, having spend at least 2 hours on this song here, i guess that's a little overkill and won't really do much compared to shorter training times... and should i really go super super slow? i mean i could probably play some parts at 3/4 of the speed without making any mistakes, but should i go 1/2 of the speed maybe? stupid questions ! whatever i will post an update if i have some kinda breakthrough or whatever.
#12
BTW, you can find a video on youtube of the guys actually showing how to play this very song.

That is how I've concluded that the tabs I had for this song was wrong. This very part (1:14) was way hard to play but when I got the right way and the right tabs, it was fairly easy (ok, i've gain some experience on the road also... but still)
#13
Quote by eggvander
hey QuantumMechanix ( nice nickname btw) i haven't been around so sorry for my late reply. Thanks for the input, i will definitely try that ! I am just not sure what exactly that point is where everything still sounds good, I always kept the speed so i felt comfortable with it ( not making any unwanted noise, hitting the wrong strings, fingers not perfectly on frets etc.) I guess i will slow it down another notch and look what that does. Is it also the same with sweeps? i tried to engage them super slowly, because it's my first time i ever tried like a week ago, or is there another way to get it done cleanly? I just move my right hand in a constant motion and try to synchronize it with my left, having the pic slightly angled to make it easier to cross strings) sorry i'm really a noob to all this, never been into technical playing before. btw i think my problems are really 95% of the time caused by my right hand,for example i basically need to look at it to work properly when crossing strings in arpeggios and such if you know what i mean, whereas i have everything under control when i pick them with my fingers, i don't know why but i am just not really comfortable with finding the string positions i guess, although that got better already with some practise.

so how much time would you recommend on practising like one specific lick a day? i sometimes played just one lick for 20-30 minutes, then moving to the next, having spend at least 2 hours on this song here, i guess that's a little overkill and won't really do much compared to shorter training times... and should i really go super super slow? i mean i could probably play some parts at 3/4 of the speed without making any mistakes, but should i go 1/2 of the speed maybe? stupid questions ! whatever i will post an update if i have some kinda breakthrough or whatever.

Well, here are the things you should make sure of:

1. Does it sound good?
2. Does it feel good?

As long as you say yes to the above two questions you really can't go wrong. Improvement really come from sticking with it day after day. Rather than focus on how much/what exactly you practice each day, just focus on practicing each day. Play what you want to hear and you'll be fine.

Oh and one more thing that I made the mistake of doing: instead of spending all your time studying how you should be practicing, just practice. You can't be doing it that wrong if it sounds and feels good
I hate my sig