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PeaceReeper
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#1
Hi there, I've been playing for about five and a half years, and I'm a pretty slow player (especially with licks that span several strings). The worst: I don't seem to have gained any speed in a couple of years! The reason I ask this now is that I've been trying to learn the solos to "Paradise City" and "Bark at the Moon", but no matter how much I practice, it seems that I can't gain any speed, and when I do play any lick at the highest speed that I can manage, my upper arm/shoulder gets sore. I've even tried this exercise, to no avail: How to Increase Speed

My question is probably one that gets asked on here a lot, but here it is: is this something I can power through, or is my fundamental technique completely wrong. I've noticed that people that play without anchoring to the bridge seem to have less trouble, so should I try to learn to play without an anchor? If, however, my technique is okay, how should I go about improving my playing using my current picking technique?

I guess what I'm asking is: is there a right way and a wrong way, or is it just a question of playing whichever way feels most natural?

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by PeaceReeper at Feb 19, 2013,
vIsIbleNoIsE
The Asian-Viking Paradox
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#2
there's no right or wrong way, but there are better and worse. the better ones are the ones that allow you to relax while playing. don't just do what feels natural, because that's probably what led you to how you're playing today. for example, natural is tensing up when you reach difficult parts, but that's obviously unhelpful. guitar playing isn't really a natural thing for our hands, anyway, or else we'd be born knowing how to move our hands like that.

and definitely try to play without anchoring heavily, it helps a ton if speed is what you're going for. less tension that way. bottom line is, you need to relax. just keep thinking that guitar playing is easy, and the tension will go away.
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Bad Kharmel
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#3
yeah, that article is wrong about increasing speed, speed is generated through technique, not gradually trying to speed up with a metronome (this works well for beginners but gets less effective the more you've played), in most post 80's rock music sped is generated through tremolo picking, sweep picking, economy picking, and tapping, look for exercises and lessons that work on these particular techniques and practice the hell out of them at multiple speeds (slow and fast), and your speed will increase
Anchoring is almost essential for shred guitar, all the best players do it, Shawn Lane, Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert, John Petrucci... etc.
the reason people talk so much about it is they don't understand it, in classical guitar (or fingerstyle) anchoring will cause tension that will slow your playing, but in rock or jazz, it will help to control your picking
now you may have other technical issues, watch good players see their technique and imitate it, if yours looks different then fix it
Roybordom
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#4
Quote by vIsIbleNoIsE
bottom line is, you need to relax. just keep thinking that guitar playing is easy, and the tension will go away.


True story. The coolest thing is when you simultaneously speed up a riff at the same time as relaxing the motions in your arms/wrists/hands
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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#5
Quote by Bad Kharmel
Anchoring is almost essential for shred guitar, all the best players do it, Shawn Lane, Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert, John Petrucci... etc.


Only one of those players actually anchors at all, do you have any idea what you're talking about?

TS: vIsIbleNoIsE is more on the money than either of the others who've posted so far; you need to practice for relaxation and economy of motion since that's where speed in playing comes from. It's not as easy as it sounds though, you need to practice at a speed where you can completely control what you do and be entirely aware of everything you're doing, which is much slower than most people think it is. Also it's not something you can just practice for a few days and *bam* it's part of your playing now. You have to practice for years so it filters in to your every day playing slowly.
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RndyW0
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#6
Just make sure that your hands are working at similar speeds when you are trying to play faster.

A great way to do it is to play Yngwie Malmsteen; that's how I learnt to play faster. Now, I'm not saying just dive right in to playing at crazy speeds but I learnt "Vengeance" to start with and this really helped with the riff as it is relatively fast when you haven't played at speed before.

I just gradually used this song to get to the correct speed and now I just straight up refuse to try and play things slower than their actual speed. I personally feel that learning things at the correct speed instantly instead of gradually speeding up now has definitely improved my writing and playing skills, due to me picking up different patterns and phrasing and being able to play them at pace.
RndyW0
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#7
Quote by Bad Kharmel

now you may have other technical issues, watch good players see their technique and imitate it, if yours looks different then fix it


This I personally disagree with. There are some times when you can actually benefit from this but the whole reason I play guitar is to have my own style and express my own ideas through music.

If people kept watching other people's techniques and imitating them we would all sound the same! Take some ideas from their techniques sure; don't dwell on being exactly like them though man.
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#8
Quote by RndyW0
This I personally disagree with. There are some times when you can actually benefit from this but the whole reason I play guitar is to have my own style and express my own ideas through music.

If people kept watching other people's techniques and imitating them we would all sound the same! Take some ideas from their techniques sure; don't dwell on being exactly like them though man.


You're mistaking the technique with the music. Technique is a means to the music, if the technique becomes the music then you're doing something wrong anyway.
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steven seagull
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#9
Quote by RndyW0


I just gradually used this song to get to the correct speed and now I just straight up refuse to try and play things slower than their actual speed. I personally feel that learning things at the correct speed instantly instead of gradually speeding up now has definitely improved my writing and playing skills, due to me picking up different patterns and phrasing and being able to play them at pace.

That's pretty terrible advice that goes against the accepted principles of practice not just for guitar, but for anything. "Refusing" to play things slower than their actual speed is both stupid and arrogant. All you're doing is hindering your progress for the sake of some misplaced principles...in essence you're saying " I'm too good to practice this way". I guarantee that all your guitar heros don't believe themselves to be to good to practice correctly, that's not only how they got so good in the first place it's also how they stay good.

Why do you think racing drivers walk the track before driving it? It's not for exercise i'll tell you that much.
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ZebraFetus
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#10
Speed? That's a product of sweet repetition. Practice for hours. Slow and steady. You'll know when you've got it.
RndyW0
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#12
Quote by steven seagull
That's pretty terrible advice that goes against the accepted principles of practice not just for guitar, but for anything. "Refusing" to play things slower than their actual speed is both stupid and arrogant. All you're doing is hindering your progress for the sake of some misplaced principles...in essence you're saying " I'm too good to practice this way". I guarantee that all your guitar heros don't believe themselves to be to good to practice correctly, that's not only how they got so good in the first place it's also how they stay good.

Why do you think racing drivers walk the track before driving it? It's not for exercise i'll tell you that much.


I understand your opinion but it seems I might have made myself sound a little more arrogant than anything else then.

What I am trying to say here is that I tend to learn stuff at the original pace even if it takes me ages to learn it so that I can nail it at the correct speed each time. It's more of a personal preference than anything else.

I do still play a lot of slow music and don't just play incredibly fast things; I was just merely stating that how I learnt to play fast was to play at that speed when I could get to it, slowly building up from Vengeance onwards.

I wholeheartedly agree that it is a good idea to keep working on it to get to that speed but the way that I was personally able to learn is what I explained; might not work for everyone but it did work for me.
RndyW0
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#13
Quote by steven seagull

Why do you think racing drivers walk the track before driving it? It's not for exercise i'll tell you that much.


For the record I do enjoy a good walk as well.
Anon17
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#14
Quote by RndyW0
What I am trying to say here is that I tend to learn stuff at the original pace even if it takes me ages to learn it so that I can nail it at the correct speed each time. It's more of a personal preference than anything else.


If you're literally only playing a piece at the original tempo to learn it, then you're going to reach a limit very quickly with what you can play.

Try to learn something like Scarified (for example) at the original speed only. No slowing down. You won't be able to learn it if you just play it at the original speed because you're never able to ingrain proper technique into your muscle memory at that speed.
Syndromed
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#15
- Wrist
- Economy of motions (right hand and left hand)
- Relaxation
- Slowly
- Practice
- Don't chase speed, think "music"

I learnt so much thanks to some very great players/teachers here, trust them, it's worth it and it works.
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Andy Pollow
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#16
Slayer riffs - nothin is as good for picking speed as speed/thrash/death metal rythym guitar. Your picking fast alot on the biggest strings and alot of power chords. I like to alternate pick power chords riffs alot too. Its like weight lifting for your picking hand.

And keeping the pick really close to the string. Dont move too much.

The one thing that held me back the most is I used to only palm mute the strings above the one Im playing like when you tap... But I dont think that works with fast picking. You should keep your palm on or off the strings - not moving on and off. Its too much multi tasking when your picking fast. You can do that with everything else I think.
RndyW0
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#17
Quote by Anon17
If you're literally only playing a piece at the original tempo to learn it, then you're going to reach a limit very quickly with what you can play.

Try to learn something like Scarified (for example) at the original speed only. No slowing down. You won't be able to learn it if you just play it at the original speed because you're never able to ingrain proper technique into your muscle memory at that speed.


I'm also not saying that I don't study guitar techniques as well. Learning a whole variety of techniques is completely essential to anyone's guitar playing and believe me I have spent a lot of time on learning them and I'm still nowhere near done.

I have also learnt Scarified before and can play it at the regular speed (another fun one to play with different techniques is Glasgow Kiss).

This isn't me gloating about my guitar abilities as I am more than certain there are a ton of guitarists better than me.

If you play the tracks in sections that will be a good way to learn though; I split it into a lot of tiny sections and master how to play that then move onto the next small section.
Last edited by RndyW0 at Feb 19, 2013,
SSMMUURRFF69
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#18
Noobtards. Why would you want to play fast anyways? Everyone knows the simple catchy melody makes the most money.
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#19
Quote by SSMMUURRFF69
Noobtards. Why would you want to play fast anyways? Everyone knows the simple catchy melody makes the most money.

True but like me who suffers from ADD cant right simple catchy slow poppy parts. And for most musicians here it aint about the money.
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Xter
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#20
Quote by Anon17
If you're literally only playing a piece at the original tempo to learn it, then you're going to reach a limit very quickly with what you can play.

Try to learn something like Scarified (for example) at the original speed only. No slowing down. You won't be able to learn it if you just play it at the original speed because you're never able to ingrain proper technique into your muscle memory at that speed
.


I strongly disagree. I can play that almost without slowing down, only the string skipping gets me because I never have done string skipping intensly.

It just depends on where you are and your ability on the instrument. I'm sure a lot of people here could learn things at full speed without practicing it or practicing it heavily. Just depends on your ability and comfortability. I'm sure a lot of us now could play "Smoke on the Water" without slowing down? Not a super example because a lot of us learned it as we were still in our first stages of guitars. But lets say you didn't play it for years and didn't hear it and assuming you still maintained your current guitar abilities, could you?

Another example is transcribbing. Ever see someone do it in real time on something quite insane without having to go back much? I have and I wish I had the ability of that person. But can I still transcribe other things in my ability in real time and without slowing it down? Sure can. But not what the other person could. Why? They have a lot more application process and more training in that area then I have applied to myself. In time I could do it if I kept up heavy ear training and daily challenges.

It's all about your ability and where you stand in that ability.
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vIsIbleNoIsE
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#21
Quote by Xter
I strongly disagree. I can play that almost without slowing down, only the string skipping gets me because I never have done string skipping intensly.

It just depends on where you are and your ability on the instrument. I'm sure a lot of people here could learn things at full speed without practicing it or practicing it heavily. Just depends on your ability and comfortability. I'm sure a lot of us now could play "Smoke on the Water" without slowing down? Not a super example because a lot of us learned it as we were still in our first stages of guitars. But lets say you didn't play it for years and didn't hear it and assuming you still maintained your current guitar abilities, could you?

Another example is transcribbing. Ever see someone do it in real time on something quite insane without having to go back much? I have and I wish I had the ability of that person. But can I still transcribe other things in my ability in real time and without slowing it down? Sure can. But not what the other person could. Why? They have a lot more application process and more training in that area then I have applied to myself. In time I could do it if I kept up heavy ear training and daily challenges.

It's all about your ability and where you stand in that ability.


well, yea... this whole discussion makes the assumption that you're playing something you're unable to play because you lack the technique. yngwie malmsteen doesn't need to slow down because he's already practiced most of the things you would ask him to do, in enough different situations.
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PeaceReeper
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#22
I know that speed is gained through economy of motions, and is mainly in the wrist. The problem is that although I think that I'm playing with the wrist, my upper arm still gets sore, which indicates that I'm not merely playing from the wrist. So if doing an exercise like the one I linked to above isn't going to help me gain speed, what is? Doing the same exercise with an entire song, as RndyW0 suggested doing with Yngwie's "Vengeance"?

A couple replied saying that I should simply gain speed through repetition with a metronome. The problem is that this approach is what's not working for me in the first place.

I'm beginning to think Zaphod and visibleNoisE are right - I have to change my entire technique (un-anchor). Trouble is, once I take my hand off the bridge, I can't even hit the right strings; I'm trash. What is an actionable, step-by-step plan that I can put in action to increase my speed?
vIsIbleNoIsE
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#23
Quote by PeaceReeper
Trouble is, once I take my hand off the bridge, I can't even hit the right strings; I'm trash. What is an actionable, step-by-step plan that I can put in action to increase my speed?


for me, it was learning black metal. a lot of the tremolo-picked lines and chords would be nearly impossible to play if you anchored the picking hand at all.

here's a first step though, you can use it as sort of a warmup as you're transitioning: start by just completely focusing on the picking hand. un-anchor it, then start on the 6th string. play a downstroke on the open note with a tiny, relaxed, but controlled flick of the wrist. then do the upstroke the same way. again and again until you can do it without anchoring, but still feel like you have a stable fulcrum point at your wrist. do it on the other strings as well because they feel different.

or, just try playing some Emperor and you will figure something out eventually =P

*note that it's okay to touch your palm to the strings you're not playing, to sense whether your hand is floating out of place.
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PeaceReeper
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#24
Oh, I was expected to relearn everything I already knew by playing it with a floating hand Which Emperor songs should I start with?
RyanStorm13
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#25
In my limited experience, proper methods and techniques increase speed tremendously.

For example, has anyone even asked how he plucks the guitar? What if he is just down stroking? Up Down Up is about 3-4 times faster than all down strokes. You might be playing a song that you finger-style with, which would account for how slow you play it. Like trying to play Stairway to Heaven with a pick.


I mean that is something very basic, but speed can be effected by lots of little things. Personally, a nicer guitar can make a big difference, with great intonation, strings an low action. If your working with a cheap stock guitar non-setup guitar, you might want something intermediate or professional and professionally setup if you can't do it. Even a nicely setup Squier should be just fine. Getting a guitar like a Tele or Les Paul, in my experience most comforable guitars, I would also look into the neck size, a thin taper might help you, historically it has been considered easier to play.

Make sure you got a comfortable guitar, strings, strap and picks. The more comfortable you are, the easier it is to play, so experiment, check out some Randy Rhoads videos, that helped me. Part of the not being tense is by stretching and working out the muscles in your hands, wrists and forearms, so that when you play they don't get tired so quick. Some of the best players have very strong hands, wrists and forearms. Its cause you just don't grab a guitar and go 110% full speed. You play for a couple minutes and build it up, which is how you get loose.


Also, warming up everyday, and working out your fingers and stretching them is a super plus. I bought the Planet Waves Finger Worker Outer, and allows me to work out individual fingers and not just my overall grip or combined finger power. I seriously use it while I drive and pretend to play a certain song with it, even moving my hand up and down like going up and down strings, cause part of speed is understanding the material that your playing to a 'T'(I am talking knowing every note in your head, so as you read the music and play it, you are steps ahead, if your not reading music as you play it, this might also give a boost, cause you can visually see it before it happens, which is pretty much what you do in your head).
Last edited by RyanStorm13 at Feb 19, 2013,
RyanStorm13
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#26
The Planet Waves also allows you to hold your index down and press down with your pinky and ring finger, which is a great workout/warm up. Pinky strength is crucial for speed, cause if your not using the correct fingering on the frets you need to do way more hand movement which super slows you down.

I use to put my pinky down on my right hand while I strum as a brace, but if I am not palm muting, I try to tuck my pinky in! Even if you don't tuck it don't make it your brace, use your fore arm as the brace, you can move your hand up and down quicker, a lot more compared to using your pinky as a brace.

Also a lot of where you put your left thumb, is how much hand movement is needed to shift to the next spot, which is why I keep my thumb around the imaginary line. I mean trying cupping the neck around your thumb with no gap and try and go from a G chord to a Fm Chord. The flap of skin between your thumb and index shouldn't touch the bottom of the neck. You can if your chords are stationary.
Last edited by RyanStorm13 at Feb 19, 2013,
PeaceReeper
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#27
While I'm sure that my left-hand finger strength and coordination has to do with my lack of speed, I mainly expressed concern over the strain my playing put on my right arm. Should I play with my right hand anchored, or not? And when I've made that decision, what should I do to improve my speed?
RyanStorm13
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#28
I am not sure exactly what Anchor means, but I brace my right arm on my forearm on the upper body of the guitar body. I use to put my pinky down for a brace. Unless I am doing some palm mutes, I don't bother to put my hand on the guitar.

when you put your hand down on the guitar, you use it for a brace and that time it takes to shift is precious time. I had the problem with my left hand where I would take like 1.4 seconds to go from a G to F chord, cause I cupped my hand around the whole neck instead of leaving space.


I sometimes keep my hand on the strings/bridge area, but thats when I play stuff like Rammstein where your palm muting a lot.

I just tried to put my whole hand onthe bridge and found it akward, and probably why your straining. Cause your using all wrist to go up and down. Instead of using lots of elbow and combination with fingers and wrist.
RyanStorm13
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#29
I honestly have no idea how you could even play chords with your hand on the bridge. I mean I don't do the bowling arm or reverse bowling arm but I play like a country boy playing Folk and Blues.

Well I guess I might be over-anchoring, by putting the side of my pinky on the bridge. Even if you put your wrist, the place were people cut themselves in movies, it just feels like I am forcing my hand into a weird position, instead of just letting my hands and arms flow like pancakes on Teflon.
Last edited by RyanStorm13 at Feb 19, 2013,
Xter
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#30
Quote by PeaceReeper
While I'm sure that my left-hand finger strength and coordination has to do with my lack of speed, I mainly expressed concern over the strain my playing put on my right arm. Should I play with my right hand anchored, or not? And when I've made that decision, what should I do to improve my speed?


Anchoring is fine as long as there is no tension in the pinky and arm from it. I switch between anchoring and a fanned hand. Depends on what I'm doing.

if you are relaxed, comfortable, injury free, and able to do everything you want without strain, then your technique is fine in that sense. Economy of motion and practice will gain speed. Speed is the product of accurate and relaxed playing. Perfect Practice makes perfect.
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PeaceReeper
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#31
Economy of motion and practice will gain speed. Speed is the product of accurate and relaxed playing. Perfect Practice makes perfect.


So keeping that in mind, what should I add/change about my practice routine?

I appreciate all of you guys contributing to the thread. I'd just like a concrete answer
Last edited by PeaceReeper at Feb 19, 2013,
Xter
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#32
Quote by PeaceReeper
So keeping that in mind, what should I add/change about my practice routine?

I appreciate all of you guys contributing to the thread. I'd just like a concrete answer


Depends on what you prefer.

I'd suggest to find a lick, exercise, or an excerpt from a song. Something you'd like, and to play it EXTREMELY Slow. Where you can control every factor into your playing.

Make sure you have proper posture, you are fretting the notes with as little as pressure as possible. It does not take much to fret a note, you shouldn't even notice the pressure really. Make sure your pick strokes are as minimal as possible and letting the string ring out. Angle your pick, flat picking can slow you down, there's videos on angling your pick and I think even Paul Gilbert has one. Make sure you are COMPLETELY relaxed. There should be no strain, no pressure, no nothing, just relaxation.

Another thing in fast playing, legato helps A LOT and is a dynamic. Picking every note will make it hard at times, and sometimes legato sounds better. Depends on your context. Also group your notes up close in licks or have a way to connect them. The less movement, the faster.

Besides that just practice. And when you get a lick down slowly and it's ingrained in your mind, you can sit in front of the TV or something and repeat it slowly during your shows. Just be sure you are still maintaining everything I said. I use to do that at times when I was being a technique monster. That's how I learned to sweep without focusing on it forever, just going super slow and repeating that same thing over and over as long as you are maintaining what I said. Over time the speed will come when you want to bump the tempo up.

Have fun and keep your practicing safe,
Sincerely,
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RyanStorm13
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#33
"you are fretting the notes with as little as pressure as possible. It does not take much to fret a note.."

This goes part with having a nicer guitar that is setup properly. So many people play with stock guitars, without having good intonation, action, strings, picks etc. If you take a bar of notes, and your action is high, each note takes and extra 1/32th of a second longer to play, which adds up(not very likely but much easier to play a setup guitar).

If your completely skeptical with your own playing, make a video and put it on youtube and ask people to make a comment.


I tell every beginner its not always about speed, but I find myself telling myself and professionals the same thing. Like it is way more impressive if someone can play Cocaine correctly, even if its way slower, compared to someone who can play part of it at full Clapton speed, but can't play it all the way through or don't actually play it completely correctly(improvised).

I already put all my ideas about speed before, and didn't want add to much more. Your daily training is up to you. I started with lessons in Jr. and Highschool but now take them once a year at the learning center, but I get most my training from Training DVD's and Song Books and Websites. You should check out DVD's or even iPad apps like Guitar Worlds Lick of the Day.

There is nothing better than having someone teach you a song. And a big thing that has helped me is actually watching live videos. I mean there is a big difference in watching Randy Rhodes play than reading his tabs.
gypsyblues7373
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#34
Everyone is different, so what works for one person, even if that person is very accomplished, won't necessarily work for you. Xter's advice is good. Keep the pick at about a 45-degree angle for speed picking. It should be about halfway between perpendicular and parallel to the string. So whereas you get a big plink-type sound when you normally flat-pick, you should instead get a somewhat "scratchy" sound as the pick goes over the strings. Keep the pick movement over the string to a minimum; it should go from one side of the string, to directly on the other side, and no more. Also, make sure that only the very tip of the pick is just barely grazing the string, just enough to get a note out of it. That way you're not having to force the pick over the string. Sometimes choking up on the pick can help with that.

Some anchor, some don't (Petrucci, Gilbert). Most players pick from the wrist, and this is usually "standard", but Zakk Wylde uses his entire arm even when he's speed-picking (which baffles me how he's so fast playing like that). Steve Morse ALTERNATE-PICKS arpeggios so fast it sounds like he's sweeping them. That STILL blows my mind. I personally anchor my palm at the bridge. It allows me to lay my picking hand as close to the strings as possible, and use the remainder of my hand to mute the other strings.

As far as tension, which it sounds like you're having a problem with: fret lightly, no death grip. Check your left-hand position: is the neck snug in the palm, or is your thumb behind the neck? Generally thumb behind the neck is best for most fast playing, especially the wider the stretch, since it allows your left-hand fingers to come up over the fretboard more. If you're getting tension in your right shoulder, you may want to try changing your posture. We tend to slouch over our guitars a lot, and you may be getting the soreness due to the body of the guitar being too far up to where you have to extend your picking arm out too much.

Also, you may want to "evaluate" your hands individually: how is your left-hand trilling? If you can't do a fast trill evenly with all fingers, you may need to work on that. What about your right-hand tremolo/speed-picking? Are you maintaining minimum pick movement? Minimum finger movement? All of these things need to be up to a certain level, and then, obviously, the hands need to be synchronized. Do exercises training each individual thing as a warm-up.

Players are divided about metronome usage. Some are big advocates, like both Petrucci and Gilbert, and it's hard to argue when they're so fast and accurate. But then again, Guthrie Govan is anti-metronome. So was Shawn Lane, and he was mind-blowingly fast. His philosophy on learning to play fast was to just "go for it", even if it's sloppy, and the more you get used to being fast, you can concentrate on cleaning it up later, once you don't have to focus all of your energies so much on just the speed aspect. Some will say that it's not possible to clean it up later, that if you learn it sloppy it will always be sloppy, but that's bullshit. No guitarist on the face of the planet ever started off playing anything perfectly at first. Initially when you learn to play fast, it will seem difficult to be able to clean it up because even when you play a lick, it will still seem like a blur of notes to you. However, once you get more used to playing fast, you are more and more able to concentrate on each individual note, regardless of how fast you're playing it. It becomes almost like "bullet-time", where even though you're playing fast, your brain is processing it, and your hands are feeling it, almost like it's in normal time. That's the best way I can think to describe it.

This is the way that I learned to play fast. I tried pretty much everything trying to increase speed and nothing seemed to be working, and one day I just almost absent-mindedly just "went for it" trying to play a particular 6-note lick as fast as I possibly could, and I did it. I couldn't believe it, it just came out of the blue. Granted, it was sloppy at first, but I did it. I sat there doing it, and variations of the lick, over and over for about an hour, afraid that if I put the guitar down, I wouldn't be able to do it again. But over the next few weeks I not only cleaned that lick up, but added several others to it, and before long I was playing many different standard "shred" licks that had seemed completely, totally impossible only a few weeks before. For just starting to play fast, or for especially difficult licks, do this: Break the lick up into manageable pieces, 3 or 4 notes at a time, depending on how the lick is structured, especially if it involves going from string to string. Concentrate on playing only those 3 or 4 notes as fast as you can. Work on the sections individually, then put them together.

Going back to the metronome, here's the thing with using one: most people who use one see gradual progress that they're happy with, until they reach a point where they hit a wall. Suddenly, there's this "threshold" that they can't cross. The reason is because when you get up to a certain speed, the mechanics of your hands start to change, if ever so slightly. But it's the difference between a car being in 5th gear, and being in overdrive. And you're either in "overdrive", or you're not. Some players gradually push past it, and for some people, it becomes insurmountable, and they never reach the speed they want to get to, or either quit playing altogether (although if you quit playing because you can't get up to a certain speed, you're probably playing for the wrong reasons). Some people do great with the metronome, others do great without it. My take on it is, no one NEEDS a metronome to become fast. I think some people feel that the metronome "pushes" them to become faster, but this is mostly just a perception. A metronome can't physically make you faster. When you increase the BPM, it doesn't make your picking faster, or make your fretting hand faster, or make your hands more synchronized. The metronome isn't pushing you, YOU are pushing YOURSELF. And that's nothing that you can't do without a metronome, as well.
Last edited by gypsyblues7373 at Feb 20, 2013,
Anon17
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2009
295 IQ
#35
Quote by vIsIbleNoIsE
well, yea... this whole discussion makes the assumption that you're playing something you're unable to play because you lack the technique. yngwie malmsteen doesn't need to slow down because he's already practiced most of the things you would ask him to do, in enough different situations.


This, I don't get why everyone insists on making guitar technique discussions such a dick swinging contest.

The fact is if you're not up to the level that you can play X song at full speed, then you're going to need to slow down to improve your technique or get the passages into your muscle memory.
RyanStorm13
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2012
484 IQ
#36
I also think its hard. I have found at least a dozen movies, how how to build speed. Just watching one Malsteem video was enough to slap me back about 2 years of practice.

After looking into much more than my personal experience, if I had to say what one thing is the ultimate answer to building speed.

I would have to say your ability to sync up your left hand and your right hand. But being good at that isn't everything. Malmsteen uses tons of different things in his playing, so looking at his tabs and wondering why you don't sound the same, is cause he is major technique.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNsccTEmIPg
PeaceReeper
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2009
500 IQ
#37
Okay, so is there any exercise that I can do to improve my synchronization? What I would like is a list of songs that gradually get faster with each song, that I can learn to play faster with.
Last edited by PeaceReeper at Feb 20, 2013,
RyanStorm13
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2012
484 IQ
#38
Take your fingers alone and tap them across frets 1 2 3 and 4 on E string. You can probably do it really fast. But try and pick the string at the same thing, you probably do it much slower.

Up Down Up, is about as fast as you can go on one string while picking, but then there is also tons of other ways to play notes, such as legato. But if you don't know what legato is then you will never be able to pick a song as fast as a song with legato. Cause in legato you can play 3 or 5 notes with one pluck. You can play a scale with out even plucking, it just all depends on how you want to play it.

No one method is definitive. The absolute method is overall guitar theory and how you practice it! Once you know lots of techniques, and can read music, then you won't have as big of problem playing songs. Compare it to Piano players, even the best in the world practice the music and songs, and continue to learn.


Dude is right, if you can't play a song cause you don't know what it is made of, even if your looking at its music sheets, then your not going to be fast enough for it, let alone good enough to play it period, so why bother playing it slowly. Don't attempt something difficult, not until your ability has risen, so its up to you to know yourself and how you learn stuff. The best guitarist knows himself/herself, and how they learn.

Each big player took their lifetime of guitar playing to develop their technique, picking up one of their song books and expecting to play it just as good, even if you know all the concepts, doesn't mean you will be as good, or even good enough to play it.

Which is why suggest you look into something like JustinGuitar or Lick Library, they have videos on how to do everything, and even if I laid out my entire guitar playing careers lessons and tips(which I have been doing), it doesn't compare to having some one visually teach you or spell it out letter by letter, something that can be re-watched. Cause it just seems like your in need of lessons. Video lessons are awesome for study, but nothing beats real guitar lessons from an experienced player.
gypsyblues7373
Registered User
Join date: May 2010
387 IQ
#39
Quote by RyanStorm13
I would have to say your ability to sync up your left hand and your right hand. But being good at that isn't everything.


Actually, that is everything. Because if your hands are out of sync, you're not going to be able to play "Three Blind Mice" worth a damn. And you definitely won't be able to speed-pick. That's one reason why exercises exist, and why it's good to practice simple licks slowly at first, to make sure you're fretting and picking perfectly in time. Try this lick/exercise: fret, on the D string, at the 10th, then 11th, then 13th frets, then jump over to the G string and fret the 10th fret. Then jump back to the D string and go back down those same positions: the 13th, then 11th, until you're back at the 10th, then repeat. Some people call this the "Paul Gilbert lick" because I think he advocates it in one of his vids or something, but I've seen it numerous times. It's a good exercise to get your hands/fingers synced up, and since it jumps to another string, it'll help with getting used to doing that fast, as well. Start off doing it slowly, then build it up to as fast as you can play it. You should be using your index, middle, and pinky fingers to play it.

Edit: Also, a variation you can do to mix it up, and throw a different fingering in there, is to swap out the C# at the 11th fret for the D at the 12th fret on the D string. You still play it the same way, except for that one note, and you can use your ring finger to fret that one.
Last edited by gypsyblues7373 at Feb 21, 2013,
vIsIbleNoIsE
The Asian-Viking Paradox
Join date: Feb 2006
1,559 IQ
#40
i think you're all inundating him with marginally applicable advice. he's not a complete noob, he's been playing for five and half years for heaven's sake.

just focus on relaxing your picking hand/arm, and not anchoring hard. if you manage to do both of those to a good degree, you will solve a lot of your problems.
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