#1
First off let me say I've been playing guitar since September 2010, so that's about a year and a half. Lately I've just been feeling like I play really sloppy. My family says I'm good (but they're my family) and my sister showed this other guitarist a video of me soloing and he said I was good but I just don't believe it because I watched that video and I hated my playing, my tone (that cant be helped until I replace my pickups), and it looked and sounded sloppy. Not only did I sound sloppy in the video, I think I sound sloppy when playing in general. I suck, and I know it, and I don't understand why I'm hearing the opposite from others ( I apologize if I sound like a *insert negative adjective/word here*). So I wanted to ask this first in my series of questions in cleaning up my technique:

-How far should my fingers move from the fretboard when changing notes? For example: When I'm sequencing a scale how high should my fingers be when moving from note to note? (If anyone has a video example or any type of visual aid I'd love to see it )

-How much should I be moving my pick when playing? How small should the movements be? (This question also applies to my sequencing as well. I would also like to see an example of some sort for this if there is one )
Trust me, I'm a Jedi.

Quote by Minkaro
You must control your use of the force, young Trizek.
#2
You should move your fingers as little off the fretboard as you can.
Quote by JD Close
Piano dick had some good parts, but should have said "As the business man slowly gets boned", would have accented the whole dick feeling of the album
#3
My humble advice is this:

Concerning the movement of your fingers and pick, you want to move them as little as possible so there's no wasted motion. This looks different for everyone. For example, Michael Romeo barely looks like he's moving when he shreds, but Jeff Loomis's motions seem much larger and he stills shreds like a sonofabitch. The best indicator of whether or not you're doing it right is to listen to your playing. If it sounds sloppy, it is sloppy. You've already realized this, so all that's left for you is the practicing part.

The only way to improve the quality of your playing is to play as quickly as you can, as perfectly as you can. I know that's a "well no shit" statement, but what I mean is... well, say you're playing a song that's currently beyond your abilities. What you would then do is slow it down to where you can play the song perfectly (and I mean PERFECTLY, 100%, zero mistakes). Play the same song at this tempo many times and watch how you play. When you feel comfortable, speed up a little (anywhere from 5-10 bpm's, depending on how comfortable you are) and try to keep your movement the same. You'll know you're doing it right if it sounds clean. Lather, rinse and repeat until you're at the target tempo. This is not the only way to do it, but it's an efficient way and I think it's the way most guitarists go about cleaning up their technique (and you can do this with anything: licks, whole solo's, songs, riffs, etc.).

If you've only been playing a year and a half then you just need to give yourself more time. A year and a half is really not that long to be playing guitar. Our heroes spent countless hours over many years practicing and honing their skills. However, you have the right mindset of not being satisfied with where you are, and you're light years beyond most people because you know what's wrong and what you need to improve. Keep that mindset and you'll be a monster before you know it.

As far as any videos showing sequences, my advice is to look at the two guitarist's I mentioned above. However, the better thing to do is to watch as many guitarist's as you can. Not only will this expand your horizons (or remind you why you don't like that particular genre, as listening to jazz is wont to do for me), but you'll see just how many ways there are to play. Michael Angelo Batio, another shredder, has a weird way of picking where he seems to use his whole arm (check it out, it's very strange!).
Last edited by pailoong at Mar 6, 2012,
#4
Believe in yourself first of all.

I think the key thing to playing clean is muting unwanted string noise. On fast ascending runs use the top of your index finger to mute the string above the one you are playing.

I developed most (probably all) of my Technique in the first year and I think I got as fast as I'll ever be I just need to get cleaner.

To answer both you questions, as little as possible.
Last edited by MegadethFan18 at Mar 6, 2012,
#5
Honestly People are always their own worst critics. You just have to not be so hard on yourself.

If you feel like you are too sloppy while playing then don't practice sloppy, Perfect practice makes perfect. Its the whole "You get out of it what you put in" type deal.
#6
+1^. Furthermore, I want to clean my right hand technique so I can start learning Angel of Death.
#7
I've been playing for years, but I still think I'm terrible, which in a way is a good thing. If I though I was really good, I wouldn't really see any point to practice. I can still play most anything if I work at it, but I know there's always room for improvement.

Your fingers should come off the fretboard as little as possible. Watch this video for tips and a demonstration. While you're at it, watch all of Freepower's videos. They are immensely helpful.

Your pick movements should also be as small as possible. It allows for more control. You will have more precise movements and generally better picking accuracy.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#8
But do I just alt pick slowly and then speed up as the motion becomes comfortable?
#9
Quote by N1K156
But do I just alt pick slowly and then speed up as the motion becomes comfortable?


Probably, I don't use alternate picking. Usually you slow it down until you can play it good, then get it up to speed.
#10
Quote by N1K156
But do I just alt pick slowly and then speed up as the motion becomes comfortable?

Yep that's basically all there is to it. Just make sure it's clean and accurate before moving on and going faster.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#11
Do you remember what day in september 2010 you start?

It's not anything important, but maybe we started on the same day.
PRS SE Custom 24 w/ Seymour Duncan JB and Jazz Pickups
Squire Classic Vibe Stratocaster

Digitech Bad Monkey

Pignose 7100 Legendary Amplifyer
#12
Quote by pailoong
My humble advice is this:

Concerning the movement of your fingers and pick, you want to move them as little as possible so there's no wasted motion. This looks different for everyone. For example, Michael Romeo barely looks like he's moving when he shreds, but Jeff Loomis's motions seem much larger and he stills shreds like a sonofabitch. The best indicator of whether or not you're doing it right is to listen to your playing. If it sounds sloppy, it is sloppy. You've already realized this, so all that's left for you is the practicing part.

The only way to improve the quality of your playing is to play as quickly as you can, as perfectly as you can. I know that's a "well no shit" statement, but what I mean is... well, say you're playing a song that's currently beyond your abilities. What you would then do is slow it down to where you can play the song perfectly (and I mean PERFECTLY, 100%, zero mistakes). Play the same song at this tempo many times and watch how you play. When you feel comfortable, speed up a little (anywhere from 5-10 bpm's, depending on how comfortable you are) and try to keep your movement the same. You'll know you're doing it right if it sounds clean. Lather, rinse and repeat until you're at the target tempo. This is not the only way to do it, but it's an efficient way and I think it's the way most guitarists go about cleaning up their technique (and you can do this with anything: licks, whole solo's, songs, riffs, etc.).

If you've only been playing a year and a half then you just need to give yourself more time. A year and a half is really not that long to be playing guitar. Our heroes spent countless hours over many years practicing and honing their skills. However, you have the right mindset of not being satisfied with where you are, and you're light years beyond most people because you know what's wrong and what you need to improve. Keep that mindset and you'll be a monster before you know it.

As far as any videos showing sequences, my advice is to look at the two guitarist's I mentioned above. However, the better thing to do is to watch as many guitarist's as you can. Not only will this expand your horizons (or remind you why you don't like that particular genre, as listening to jazz is wont to do for me), but you'll see just how many ways there are to play. Michael Angelo Batio, another shredder, has a weird way of picking where he seems to use his whole arm (check it out, it's very strange!).


Thanks a bunch for your advice, I'll be sure to take a look at the guitarists you mentioned.

EDIT: Micheal Angelo Batio does has a very strange way of playing. I watched his No Boundaries Speed Kills video and he was going crazy with his left arm.

Quote by Junior#1
I've been playing for years, but I still think I'm terrible, which in a way is a good thing. If I though I was really good, I wouldn't really see any point to practice. I can still play most anything if I work at it, but I know there's always room for improvement.

Your fingers should come off the fretboard as little as possible. Watch this video for tips and a demonstration. While you're at it, watch all of Freepower's videos. They are immensely helpful.

Your pick movements should also be as small as possible. It allows for more control. You will have more precise movements and generally better picking accuracy.


Very useful indeed. Much appreciation, sir.

Quote by Dr Sixstring
Do you remember what day in september 2010 you start?

It's not anything important, but maybe we started on the same day.


No sorry I can't remember.


Thanks for all the responses everyone.
Trust me, I'm a Jedi.

Quote by Minkaro
You must control your use of the force, young Trizek.
Last edited by Trizek at Mar 7, 2012,
#13
Quote by Junior#1
Yep that's basically all there is to it. Just make sure it's clean and accurate before moving on and going faster.

I notice that anything around 92bpm the fingers I hold the pick with start to tense up. What am I doing wrong or should I just start slower?
#14
Quote by N1K156
I notice that anything around 92bpm the fingers I hold the pick with start to tense up. What am I doing wrong or should I just start slower?

Try it at a speed that you don't tense up and see if anything changes in how you play or how you hold the pick. How you play something slow is exactly how you should play it fast. You also may have increased the bpm by too much. Try it a bit slow than 92 but a bit faster than the last speed you achieved. So if you just bumped it up from say 80 to 92, try it at like 85 or so and see how that feels.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#15
Okay... I may be just holding the pick tighter...another thing is that I feel more resistance up-picking.

EDIT: Getting Rock Discipline this weekend! Hope it helps!
Last edited by N1K156 at Mar 10, 2012,