#1
Growth of music skill is not linear. Rather, you are in a rut for sometimes years, and then you learn something new, and wham, you're playing just jumped up more in 1 day than in the last year or two.

Was there a certain technique or bit of theory that abruptly elevated your playing to a new level? Something that took maybe only an hour to learn, yet had huge implications on your playing by opening a whole new door you never knew about.

This is not meant to sound like some shortcut for becoming good. I have been playing 20 years, and know there are no shortcuts in anything complex. But there may be some keys that open some doors that you never knew about b/c you didn't take lessons, or didn't do deliberate practice, etc.

For example, the simple act of moving the minor pentatonic scale down 3 frets opens up an whole new major sounding scale. Instantly. Nice to know. Or, maybe you learned a new mode like Dorian/Mixolydian where your solo sound changed instantly, just by moving the major scale up or down a few frets

Or, maybe it was it finally learning chord construction which allowed you to understand the intervals in the chord tones, and opened the door for including 7th chords (or some other kind) into your vocabulary. etc. One hour, and suddenly, you understand chords, and are now exploring and expanding, since it's not just dots to be memorized.

Can you think of something that was a real "Eurekha!" moment that you had wished you had learned years sooner?
1978 Les Paul Custom Sunburst
2001 USA Strat (Hot & Cool Rails)
Effects: Boss GT-6 with Tech-21 Power Amp
#2
Of course.
Top 5:
5. This was not really a specific moment, but I literally doubled (according to the metronome) my playing speed in about a month of LOTS of practice. Compare this to 3 years of playing (slowly, lol) before.
4. The time it finally hit me that I didn't have to learn songs completely perfectly note-for-note anymore, searching through shitty tabs and replaying youtube over and over again.
FREEDOM! Not to mention vastly improved improvisation.
3. Not really a single moment in time either, but understanding the whole concept of intervals...understanding the positions on the fretboard of fifths, octaves, and major/minor thirds, most importantly. Once I started applying these more, Eureka! for sure.
2. Discovering the Minor Pentatonic scale. You know. The basic pattern that makes it insanely easy to create a bajillion rock solos.
1. Said it once before, I'll say it again, LEARNING TO PRACTICE UPSTROKES. The greatest miracle that ever happened to my guitar speed/technical ability. Really part of number 5. though, lol
#4
Yeah, please elaborate the number 1.
"Sans la musique, la vie serait une erreur" Nietzsche
#5
For me, it was learning to alternate pick instead of all downstrokes. I guess you could say I mainly economy pick, but who's keeping track anyway?...

Also, learning to pick from the wrist instead of the elbow has really paid off. I can now pick just as fast with more accuracy and without my arm threatening to fall off after a long thrash song.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#6
Quote by KailM

I can now pick just as fast with more accuracy and without my arm threatening to fall off after a long thrash song.


Thou has obviously never playeth the fingercrusher that goes by the name of Take No Prisoners..

On Topic:

What really helped me as a player technique wise, was to avoid tension at all times.
baab
Last edited by My Last Words at May 8, 2013,
#7
Quote by My Last Words
Thou has obviously never playeth the fingercrusher that goes by the name of Take No Prisoners..

On Topic:

What really helped me as a player technique wise, was to avoid tension at all times.


I don't know -- I can tremelo pick and gallop for a LONG time without tiring.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#9
Quote by flissful
A lot of what KailM said. Learning to alternate pick. Learning to pick from my wrist instead of using my thumb and forefinger. Learning that tremolo picking does actually involve timing, as opposed to just PICK AS FAST AS YOU CAN...


100% down with this - this was the single most important thing I ever learnt for speed guitar. It drastically changed my timing to a really accurate thing. Took a while to build it into outside picking - since outside picking needs a "hop" on a downward string change and everything is wrist tremolo style. It's really weird when I first started wrist only loose tremolo picking - every thing seemed much less accurate timing - until I stated recording and listened to it - was 100% spot on. I cringe every time I see video showing muting using thumb/forefinger action :P
#14
Oh, "Bleed" ... awesome Oo
"Sans la musique, la vie serait une erreur" Nietzsche
#15
Quote by KailM
Lol, is this a ****-measuring competition? No problems whatsoever playing that song...


Not really, but this was the first song that popped in my head when I read the words "thrash song" and "arm falling off"

Isn't Bleed the gallop death song nowadays?


Technique wise bleed isn't really that hard for me - I find it harder to understand what the **** is happening riff-wise really. Quite easy to get lost in that one..
baab
#17
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
This is still the gallop-doom song for my money:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S-PwvNiHtY

I have yet to see anyone who can keep up with that for the whole song, even the lead guitarist from the band can't keep it up for the whole song!


I think I could play the whole song.
#18
Quote by Zaterlord
I think I could play the whole song.


Good luck, I stand by what I said though.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Album.
Legion.
#19
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr



I have yet to see anyone who can keep up with that for the whole song, even the lead guitarist from the band can't keep it up for the whole song!


I remember seeing a video of IE where the lead guitarist switches to alt picking halfway through the song because he can't keep up with Jon
baab
#20
Quote by My Last Words
I remember seeing a video of IE where the lead guitarist switches to alt picking halfway through the song because he can't keep up with Jon


probably that very video I posted; Jon Schaffer's picking hand is one of the only ones that really scares me
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Album.
Legion.
#21
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Good luck, I stand by what I said though.


I have learned it and I can play the whole song. I'll film it in a few days.
#23
Quote by Zaterlord


No downpicking in the middle section, you look horribly tense for almost all of it and possibly most importantly: you're not consistently in time. All that together speaks of a lack of actual control.

More than anything else though... I'm surprised you think I actually care whether you can play the song or not
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Album.
Legion.
#25
I played the whole song through two times before I recorded the video so arm was really tired and tensed.

You Said I have yet to see someome to keep up with this song, so I thought Ishould post a video.
#26
Quote by Zaterlord
I played the whole song through two times before I recorded the video so arm was really tired and tensed.

You Said I have yet to see someome to keep up with this song, so I thought Ishould post a video.


Why would you shoot a video when tensed anyways?

OT: We're going awfully off-topic here..
baab
#27
Quote by Zaterlord
I played the whole song through two times before I recorded the video so arm was really tired and tensed.

You Said I have yet to see someome to keep up with this song, so I thought Ishould post a video.


Excuses.

Quote by My Last Words
Why would you shoot a video when tensed anyways?

OT: We're going awfully off-topic here..


Meh, screw it, topic was pretty crap to begin with
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Album.
Legion.
#28
Quote by Zaterlord
I played the whole song through two times before I recorded the video so arm was really tired and tensed.

You Said I have yet to see someome to keep up with this song, so I thought Ishould post a video.


Yeah, you're not keeping up.

Not that I could, that's a ****ing brutal tune!

In terms of technique, watch from this timestamp -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mwlc_7tu11w#t=1m54s

Look at your hand as you gallop, and then look what happens to the shape of your hand during the held chord. Your hand should always be as relaxed as when you're just holding that chord! There's no advantage to the amount of tension your holding in your picking hand atm - funnily enough, if you could eliminate it I bet you could keep up with the song. Tension has massive impact on speed and stamina. Look at the picking hands of these guitarists -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iUh2gz79OA

Look at his spare fingers. They're flopping about because they're chilled out as ****.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd6z39PbIRw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPmlguGFA9w

If you really want to get ridiculous right hand chops, make relaxation your first priority for a while and you'll start seeing great results.
#29
I never really thought about keeping my righthand relaxed. I tried to think more about it now when i played, and it felt better to and I could go faster.
#30
Zaterlord's picking hand looks like a chicken foot or something.
It give me the willies.
The hand part seems as slim at the wrist.
1978 Les Paul Custom Sunburst
2001 USA Strat (Hot & Cool Rails)
Effects: Boss GT-6 with Tech-21 Power Amp
#31
Whoaw... all this metal... You guys need to play more reggae :p. It helped my playing into being rhythmically capable. That sounds funny maybe, but when there is only three chords to play and in one rhythm, what can you do? You're role isn't to shred the bejesus out of the axe your holding. So you do a lot with your picking hand, muting stricks, playing sixths, all types of different intervals at the right time, making a simple chord structure live and breath with small things. It learned me all these things

besides that; ear training
#33
Quote by My Last Words
Is he.. Is he.. Is he really playing that fast in the beginning??!!


That's black metal for you man, those guys can pick damn well.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Album.
Legion.
#34
The bit that always gets me is the bit 32s in where he plays the line and slowly adds harmony while maintaining speed and definition. ****ing ridiculous. Caused me to rethink and rework my tremolo picking technique a lot and helped me work towards some tough riffs. (not anywhere near his level obviously!)