#1
i havent posted on here in a WHILE but ive been busy working on two projects and one of my songs is really giving me some problems. after the opening of the song i have i 20ish second guitar riff that serves as an awesome transition into the verse but it is extremely difficult for me to play. it involves really complex chords with WIDE finger stretch, fast changes with these chords, and weird alternate picking.

for one week i have practiced only this riff for a couple hours a day, i have improved slightly but seem to have hit a dead end. my strategy has been to practice standing, with all the lights off so i cant see (improving muscle memory), on clean so the distortion doesnt hide any mistakes.

is there any other techniques that you guys know of that can help me with stretch, chord changes, and alternate picking accuracy?
any help s greatly appreciated as i would love to be able to play this riff without any problems
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#2
This might sound counterintuitive, but practice it very slowly, focusing on accuracy and making as little pick movement as possible. Chasing the metronome with tricky riffs at high tempos often makes you play with a lot of tension, which will make it much more difficult to learn to play the riff properly. The key to playing tricking licks at quick speeds is accuracy. So, repeat the riff over and over at a slow speed, focusing on playing every note cleanly until your muscles get used to the movements. Then it'll be much easier to bring it up to full speed.
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#3
Sorry i can't offer much help but I can tell you this

That technique of practicing with the lights off is a good one.

Another thing that came to mind is something i heard Mark Tremonti mention once about himself. He said practice very slowly and articulate every note. Once you gain 100 % accuracy, the speed will come naturally.
Last edited by joey78 at Mar 21, 2012,
#4
When I'm trying to play something involving big chords I start out really slow and try to find a good way to hold the chord so my hand doesn't hurt or anything.
When I'm able to form the said chords in order with reasonable accuracy I try to actually play the song so I start getting into the groove.
After all of that I just play play play and suddenly it's real easy.
With stretching I'd recommend just warming up your hand and playing songs that make you stretch. I found Megadeth's Head Crusher to help me with that a lot.

Hope I helped. ^^
#5
the practicing slowly is one ill have to work on as i only do it when really frustrated and cant do it at normal speed anymore. i always end up speeding up guess i need to be more patient haha thanks

also thanks for the warm up tip as i usually just jump straight into it. what exactly would you recomend to warm up? would caterpillars be good for stretch?
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Fender Blues Jr. VIII

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Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute

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Last edited by voltafan485 at Mar 21, 2012,
#6
Practicing slowly is the only good suggestion. The only time you need to warm up is before a performance—doing it before practice is redundant, since practice warms you up anyway.
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#7
Quote by voltafan485
the practicing slowly is one ill have to work on as i only do it when really frustrated and cant do it at normal speed anymore. i always end up speeding up guess i need to be more patient haha thanks

also thanks for the warm up tip as i usually just jump straight into it. what exactly would you recomend to warm up? would caterpillars be good for stretch?

Unfortunately that's the only way to practive anything effectively.

The sooner you get yourself into the habit the quicker you'll progress.
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#8
I like what your doing so far (practice in the dark is awesome), but you should also try to practice with extreme amounts of gain, as well as practice on totally clean.

With tons of gain, you can hear any extra noise or ringing that would allow you to see mistakes in your muting.
#10
When changing chords the is typically at least one finger that moves very little or even doesnt move at all and can be used as a guideline for the other fingers which can be arranged around it. Also consider different fingering or voicing.
#11
Everyone has pretty much nailed the good ones. My best advice is to take a break for just a day. I've done this with tricky riffs before and come back playing like a boss. No clue why. Maybe it's all in my head.
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