#1
Hi,

So my friend and I love the guitar. For me, its something I wanna make a living out of. The difference between us is that well....he's been playing for about a year and barely practices. So he kinda....you know, is a beginner. I've been playing for almost six years. I know what i'm doing, but still have a long way to go.

But today one of my other friends told me he can play "Blazing Star's" (by Dethklok) tremolo picking riff full speed using his wrist only.....that's 170bpm sixteenth notes....he's been practicing it for not even a month....the song is so fricken new.

I've been working on my alternate picking for about a year and a half now...trying to pick faster from the wrist. and I can barely get to 130bpm with my wrist....I haven't seen him play this yet, so I Don't know if it's true, but ive seen everything he does from the arm....like is that even possible? What does that say about my alternate picking??? If this is true...id probably go into a depression....
#2
And for how long has this other friend been practicing guitar? If he can tremolo pick at such speed then he's certainly been at it for a while. And he's definitely done his homework when it comes to picking speed if what he says is true. I'd ask him to play it for me first, just to make sure .

As for your alt. picking... do you relax your picking hand when you play? Is it cramped up? If it's cramped up, your hand won't move as quickly and you won't be increasing your speed. I'm pretty sure more than 130 bpm can be reached easily as long as you put your back into it. Also, how much of your pick hits the string? If you have a big part of the pick slide over the string, that slows you down too. Pick while having a very small part of the pick sticking out and hitting the string. It takes a little bit to get used to, but it works in the end. Analyze, with all the details, how you alternate/tremolo pick. If you find a mistake, work towards eliminating it.
Last edited by Navi_96 at Feb 7, 2014,
#3
1) Don't worry about other people's progress. Focus on your own. Let other people's success inspire you, not discourage. If one person can do something awesome, so can you.

2) that story is bullshit. 16ths at 170bpm does not comport with the definition of "beginner".
Last edited by cdgraves at Feb 7, 2014,
#4
Quote by Navi_96
And for how long has this other friend been practicing guitar? If he can tremolo pick at such speed then he's certainly been at it for a while.



Lol, this friend of mine is a computer nerd and DOES not practice pretty much at all....lol. And i'm not exaggerating....

Ive tried the slow and speed up thing, but I jusst need to keep reinforcing it I guess. I play with Jazz III's, so virtually nothing is hitting the string, I pay attention to picking distance. It's just that after a certain speed, my wrist tenses up and then I can't go any faster.....
#5
Quote by cdgraves
2) that story is bullshit. 16ths at 170bpm does not comport with the definition of "beginner".


Lol. Thats what i'm saying...but yes your right with your first point. Thank you for your advice man!
#6
yeah, I recently had a similar experience - though with a very good guitarist - and learned about the fine line between inspiration and discouragement the hard way.

A few weeks ago an old guitar teacher of mine uploaded some of his past commercial recordings, recorded when I was maybe 17, and I listened to a few of them. They were f u c king amazing. The guy's chops and musicality blew my mind. And my confidence was destroyed, especially because when I was younger I had set a goal for myself to be as good as he was by the time I got to be his age. I am that age now, so I took it hard, and discouragement really affected my playing for a few days.

But, not long after, I decided that if that's the quality of playing it takes to be serious professional, then that's what I have to do. The result is that I doubled down on my practice routine, making sure to hit about 4 hours every day, recorded a bunch of samples of myself playing different styles, and feel much better about my playing. It's actually given me a much more clear goal to work for and strong incentive to keep my efforts organized and focused. The last couple weeks of intense practice and recording have helped me get the full potential from my chops, and I feel that I can play better right now than I could at any point in the past.
#7
Quote by McZaxon


But today one of my other friends told me he can play "Blazing Star's" (by Dethklok) tremolo picking riff full speed using his wrist only.....that's 170bpm sixteenth notes....he's been practicing it for not even a month....the song is so fricken new.


two things

One, he can't and if he can, he's doing it wrong

Two. Don't worry about his progress. worry about yours. And if it turns out he actually can, (i'm callin' bullshit) Don't worry.

Tremolo picking is generally done from the elbow by most people anyways. Seeing as he's supposed to be a beginner, i doubt he got the discipline down to differentiate between the 3 muscle groups used in playing yet. (fingers, wrist, arm)

Just my two cents

Quote by McZaxon
It's just that after a certain speed, my wrist tenses up and then I can't go any faster.....


hate to tell you this, but that's going to happen for a while. Especially if you haven't played long.

A lot goes into learning speed, tension relief is one of them. You have to be completely relaxed in every part of your body. Your thumb should JUST be touching the back of the neck, no pain. Your picking hand should be able to move with flexibility and throughout the range of the body.

This isn't going to happen overnight. You have to become familiar with your instrument and your technique, But I assure you, once you get it, it becomes second nature overnight.
ayy lmao
Last edited by chookiecookie at Feb 7, 2014,
#8
Why are you worrying about such juvenile things if you've been playing for 6 years? There's no way you can play for 6 years and still have a mindset like this, and how can you actually care about others progress too? Have you REALLY been playing for 6 years?
#9
So let me get this straight: You say you have been playing for longer than your friend and that he doesn't practice, but he CLAIMS to be able to play something that you can't, and you somehow think this says something about your playing? ..........Wat?
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.
#10
this sounds like one of those:

"If a train leaves St Louis going 85 mph at 5PM..." questions


I wouldnt worry about others' progress vs yours (although the story sounds unlikely).

There is a sweet spot that "competition" brings for motivation though, but you cant cross into negative feelings including jealousy or discouragement.
#11
First, if you have a friend who says he can do amazing guitar stuff, it seems a no-brainer to actually go listen to him and see what he's talking about.

Second, I would not necessarily put it past some one to pick up a guitar, focus on learning NOTHING BUT one particular lead solo, and get it down very fast within a matter of weeks if they are really committed, but then having absolutely no ability to play anything else. I would not really envy that person their skill. Learning to play guitar just by learning to blaze through some memorized solo patterns is not, to my mind, going to make you a great guitar player.

Third, you say you want to make a living playing guitar, but I'd recommend against having that mind-set. The nature of the world is that westernized nations like the USA have youth with a LOT of leisure time, money enough to pay for lessons, and a culture that idealizes musicians so that a LOT of people are going to aspire to go into the music business. The result? Over time, a lot more of the general population is really good at music. For some one good at music to make it in the big time, they generally need a ton of luck and/or networking, not necessarily skill.

With all these really great hobby musicians offering free music on youtube, soundcloud, etc., we are moving to a paradigm where you create music because it's your passion, not as a full time (or lucrative) career. I'd recommend people with a passion for music to follow that passion, but not necessarily commit to being a performer as a career. I mean, you could focus on some related career, like becoming a professor of music history, learning about technology and music, studying the field of music as a form of psychotherapy, etc. There are lots of ways that music can overlap with other fields of study/career options. At the very least, you can shoot for being a career musician, but set yourself up with a fall back. The problem if you do not plan for a fall-back career that you also would enjoy and find fulfilling, and that can make use of your love of music, the more likely you may be forced into a fall-back career that has nothing to do with music just to pay the rent like car salesman or waiter or who knows what. Anyway, if you know your passion is for music, look into what music-related careers are likely to be growth areas in the future (again, tech & music overlap careers, or maybe health-field overlapping with music, etc.)

Ken
Bernie Sanders for President!
#12
It's not a competition. Speed is the natural by product of accuracy and the correct technique. Never force speed. Let it arrive in its own time.