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#1
Do you believe there are physical limitations that prevent us from reaching certain goals in our playing? I'm not into shredding so the speeds I'm trying to attain are not exceptional, but I struggle with a lot of the licks of my influences, like Hendrix, Santana, Allman, Page etc. I've been playing for over 12 years so I feel I have the technique required to play at their speeds down, but I still can't quite get there. In order to get my speed up I try to play the first solo to Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower, but this has been going on for some time and I still can't get it. I don't even know if I'm making progress, it's hard to tell. I use a metronome, but it just seems like I never progress no matter how much I practice. I've made all the little tweaks I can to help, so it makes me wonder if the common denominator here is what's allowing them to play that fast...their long fingers. My fingers aren't short , maybe average to slightly above average, but I just wonder if they're too short to get the same explosiveness they had.

Do you think sometimes all this talk of "practice practice practice and you'll get faster" is false encouragement? After 12 years, maybe the reality is I'm as fast as my fingers will allow.
#2
Quote by JMH 1983
Do you believe there are physical limitations that prevent us from reaching certain goals in our playing? I'm not into shredding so the speeds I'm trying to attain are not exceptional, but I struggle with a lot of the licks of my influences, like Hendrix, Santana, Allman, Page etc. I've been playing for over 12 years so I feel I have the technique required to play at their speeds down, but I still can't quite get there. In order to get my speed up I try to play the first solo to Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower, but this has been going on for some time and I still can't get it. I don't even know if I'm making progress, it's hard to tell. I use a metronome, but it just seems like I never progress no matter how much I practice. I've made all the little tweaks I can to help, so it makes me wonder if the common denominator here is what's allowing them to play that fast...their long fingers. My fingers aren't short , maybe average to slightly above average, but I just wonder if they're too short to get the same explosiveness they had.

Do you think sometimes all this talk of "practice practice practice and you'll get faster" is false encouragement? After 12 years, maybe the reality is I'm as fast as my fingers will allow.



Honestly bro I think you're approaching it at a wrong angle. By the way Jimmy Page might of had slightly fast chops, but he was sloppy as hell so what's the point of being able to play fast, and sloppy?

It's horrible oh, and also Hendrix doesn't even play that fast his leads are easy as **** to play it's not even fast paced.. Like I said I think you're just approaching things wrong it's not even about speed it's all about the accuracy maybe you should look up some exercises to improve your speed or just play more challenging pieces.


Another thing I forgot to write about all that talk about practicing isn't bullshit some people just don't know how to practice efficiently that's why they never make improvements learning how to make quality practice routines is a skill on it's own.
Last edited by Black_devils at Feb 18, 2014,
#3
People with all shapes and sizes of fingers can become perfectly proficient at guitar, its not your finger length holding you back or anything. This question comes up a lot in the bass section (for some reason people assume you need monstrous spider fingers to play bass but that's beside the point), and the answer is always the same: it doesn't really matter. There are people who are amazingly good and have stubby little sausage fingers, and there are people who are just as great with super long fingers.

Blaming finger length is just an excuse. My advice is to keep practicing and stop chasing speed. Speed is a by-product of accuracy, and will come with time and practice.
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#4
I might need to elaborate here. I'm not chasing speed, purely to be fast. I'm trying to get faster so I can express myself more fluidly. I improvise all the time and when a string of notes comes into my head and I can't get them out at the speed I want it turns into a fumbling slopfest. I have been practicing speed in a proper way too, in my opinion. Some people run through scales, like I said I play a particular solo over and over until I can get it at its recorded speed. At the end of the day they're both just a series of notes we're using to improve our speed and articulation.

And also black devils, accuracy is what I'm going for. I can play the solo sloppy as hell already but I want to pick each note cleanly. And I wouldn't say Hendrix is slow, he may not be a shredder, but if you try playing some of his lead stuff at his speed it's surprisingly difficult. The solos in general are manageable for me, but sometimes he'll have a part where it's loaded with 16th notes and that's where I get hung up. And he picks very clean in general, not sloppy like Page sometimes does which adds to the difficulty.

I've also approached this by starting at a slower bpm and working up, and also playing at a higher bpm and then going back to it. no dice yet.
#5
Just keep pushing it doesn't happen over night bro sometimes you just wake up the next day, and you're able to play the solo at a speed you couldn't the previous day.
#6
Analyze your technique (or get a teacher to have a look). If you've been playing for a good while, and practicing hard, the only explanation for hitting a wall like this is that there is a gremlin in your technique which much be solved. Practicing more w/o fixing the technique problem doesn't necessarily get you closer - well, you just get closer and closer to the maximum that is possible with the technique problem.
Length of fingers doesn't make much of a difference outside of major extremes. Check out Michael Romeo of Symphony X. The guys plays flawlessly, extremely fast, and he has pretty small hands.
#7
Quote by JMH 1983
I feel I have the technique required to play at their speeds down, but I still can't quite get there.


Then you clearly don't.

Quote by JMH 1983
Do you think sometimes all this talk of "practice practice practice and you'll get faster" is false encouragement? After 12 years, maybe the reality is I'm as fast as my fingers will allow.


It's not false encouragement but it's not really very helpful either. You can't just throw metronome hours at your playing and expect to get better. You need to practice playing better in order to make improvements; practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

Quote by JMH 1983
I might need to elaborate here. I'm not chasing speed, purely to be fast. I'm trying to get faster so I can express myself more fluidly. I improvise all the time and when a string of notes comes into my head and I can't get them out at the speed I want it turns into a fumbling slopfest. I have been practicing speed in a proper way too, in my opinion. Some people run through scales, like I said I play a particular solo over and over until I can get it at its recorded speed. At the end of the day they're both just a series of notes we're using to improve our speed and articulation.


Then you are still chasing speed. The reasons don't make any difference, the net effect is still that you're trying to push towards the dusty end of the metronome, as it were.

Stop trying to play faster and work on playing better, by which I mean work on staying relaxed through your whole body and making smaller movements with both hands.
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#8
Don't sweat it, just be the best that you can be. We all have limitations and guitarists come in many varieties. Whenever someone talks about physical limitations I think it's much more than that. It's the fingers, the ears, the gray matter. I've been playing for a very long time and have the respect of other musicians in my circle of players but... I know I will never play like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWoZyeW9ndU

A 16 yr old girl with tiny hands and a boatload of natural talent. She already has as much technical skill, well developed ears, and sensitivity to the song as many of the best players in history. Some were meant to play like this and some weren't. I can't even hear all the subtle detail she puts into each and every phrase and note. No point in me attempting to play like that. Never gonna happen, and still I get the call to play regularly and people appreciate what I do bring to the table.

Be the best you can be. If a song just isn't working, lay it down and move on for a while and play something else. You can always come back to it later.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#9
Quote by Cajundaddy
A 16 yr old girl with tiny hands and a boatload of natural talent. She already has as much technical skill, well developed ears, and sensitivity to the song as many of the best players in history. Some were meant to play like this and some weren't. I can't even hear all the subtle detail she puts into each and every phrase and note. No point in me attempting to play like that. Never gonna happen, and still I get the call to play regularly and people appreciate what I do bring to the table.

Be the best you can be. If a song just isn't working, lay it down and move on for a while and play something else. You can always come back to it later.


I love that people think they can say things like this without really knowing anything about the people in question.

I've met Jess and spoken to her a bit about playing and such... you have no idea the kind of time she puts in to being able to do that; her skill is the result of borderline obsessive practice and playing.
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#10
Quote by Cajundaddy
Don't sweat it, just be the best that you can be. We all have limitations and guitarists come in many varieties. Whenever someone talks about physical limitations I think it's much more than that. It's the fingers, the ears, the gray matter. I've been playing for a very long time and have the respect of other musicians in my circle of players but... I know I will never play like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWoZyeW9ndU

A 16 yr old girl with tiny hands and a boatload of natural talent. She already has as much technical skill, well developed ears, and sensitivity to the song as many of the best players in history. Some were meant to play like this and some weren't. I can't even hear all the subtle detail she puts into each and every phrase and note. No point in me attempting to play like that. Never gonna happen, and still I get the call to play regularly and people appreciate what I do bring to the table.

Be the best you can be. If a song just isn't working, lay it down and move on for a while and play something else. You can always come back to it later.



Darn you made it sound impossible to get to the level where she's at she probably practices a lot. If you can't hear what's going on in the song that much then that means you have shitty ears because I can hear every phrase she's making work on your ears bro, and stop making up bullshit excuses about why you can't play like that.
#11
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I love that people think they can say things like this without really knowing anything about the people in question.

I've met Jess and spoken to her a bit about playing and such... you have no idea the kind of time she puts in to being able to do that; her skill is the result of borderline obsessive practice and playing.



No doubt she is obsessive about practice. In 40 years as a gigging musician I am quite certain I have practiced exponentially more than she has. I'm never gonna get there. Bravo Jess! Damn few guitarists will ever play at her level. She is a phenom.

Yep, shitty ears, weak brain matter, slow fingers... all of the above. Gigged with some top players in LA you may have hear of tho. It is what it is.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Feb 19, 2014,
#12
Quote by Cajundaddy
No doubt she is obsessive about practice. In 40 years as a gigging musician I am quite certain I have practiced exponentially more than she has. I'm never gonna get there. Bravo Jess! Damn few guitarists will ever play at her level. She is a phenom.

Yep, shitty ears, weak brain matter, slow fingers... all of the above. Gigged with some top players in LA you may have hear of tho. It is what it is.


That's the thing, she doesn't just put in the hours, she puts in a shit-tonne of good hours. I've met a lot of guitarists and almost none of them have ever put in both the volume of time and quality that she does.
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#13
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
That's the thing, she doesn't just put in the hours, she puts in a shit-tonne of good hours. I've met a lot of guitarists and almost none of them have ever put in both the volume of time and quality that she does.


We agree completely. Her tenacity is one facet of her boatload of talent. She was born to play at the top of the mountain and she does. Love that and I can listen to her play all day.

Steve Miller, Eric Clapton, BB King, Les Paul, and I collectively bow to her amazing gifts and the dedication she has to her craft. We will never be in her league in terms of technique. Very few guitarists will ever be in her league. Just a simple acceptance of who we are. That doesn't mean music is over though because we have other gifts. Different gifts and talents. Clapton felt much the same way the first time he saw Hendrix play. "I can't get there from here." But EC had a successful career in music filling arenas over 5 decades and Jimi is long gone. Different gifts and talents.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#15
Thanks for the replies guys. That girl is very talented and all but her speed seems to lie in hammer ons/pull offs and sweep picking. Please correct me if I'm wrong there. Her finger size is similar to mine, my fingers might be a tad longer, but I didn't see her pick any sixteenth notes where she had more than one note to a string, in other words it seemed her sixteenths were always in the form of sweep picks hitting one note per string, which won't help me in paying Hendrix or Page. Regardless she's obviously a talented musician.

And as far as being happy with where I'm at, I am in general. I like my style of play, it's just I want to get my speed up a bit more to express myself better as I said earlier. No one needs to copy and paste that statement and break it down and analyze it. In the end I want to get a little faster, and not for superficial reasons, that's why I pointed out my reasoning is not just to chase speed for the sake of saying look how fast I play but strictly to get the notes in my head out more fluidly when I'm improvising.

I don't know if I can walk away from practicing this solo yet either. I hate giving up for one, and I'm just a few bpm away from getting it. Although, suffice it to say I was just jamming along to Duane Allman, and my confidence took a bit of a hit after that. The guy could turn on the burners when he wanted to as well.

If it all boils down to technique I don't know what else to tweak. I may need to see a good teacher a few times. The most beneficial thing I've done so far in this is I switched to using the blunt end of the pick instead of the pointy part and that allows me to be far more quick and fluid, but still not enough so it's going to come down to the smallest of details now, if it's true that finger size isn't inhibiting me.
#16
Quote by JMH 1983
And as far as being happy with where I'm at, I am in general. I like my style of play, it's just I want to get my speed up a bit more to express myself better as I said earlier.


Then you are chasing speed. The reason doesn't make any difference, that's what you're doing. You need to stop doing that, not because it's musically unhealthy but because purely chasing speed won't make you faster. You can't practice speed, you can only practice the things that make it: smaller movements and more relaxation. I've written about this on here many times and Freepower has at least a couple of videos about correct practice and so on.

Quote by JMH 1983
No one needs to copy and paste that statement and break it down and analyze it.


Getting a little defensive there, got something you want to talk about, perhaps some kind of deep emotional vulnerability?



Quote by JMH 1983
In the end I want to get a little faster, and not for superficial reasons, that's why I pointed out my reasoning is not just to chase speed for the sake of saying look how fast I play but strictly to get the notes in my head out more fluidly when I'm improvising.


Largely irrelevant.

Quote by JMH 1983
The most beneficial thing I've done so far in this is I switched to using the blunt end of the pick instead of the pointy part and that allows me to be far more quick and fluid, but still not enough so it's going to come down to the smallest of details now, if it's true that finger size isn't inhibiting me.


It isn't what's slowing you down, again you need to work on relaxing and making smaller motions with both hands.

If there's any way you can get a video of yourself up we can give you better direction but until then you're going to have to just take what I've said and look at your technique yourself.
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#17
Zaphod, regardless of how much I analyze my technique in trying to attain that speed, in the end I'm still "chasing speed" or "trying to get faster" no matter how I approach it, no matter what my intentions are. I don't see the relevance in analyzing how I phrased my intentions. Someone else called me out saying I'm chasing speed, and he seemed to imply that I had superficial motives by saying that, but I was just clarifying to him that it's more so I can express myself better, not to brag about how fast I play.

Anyway, I was just at it again and I was breaking the solo apart and playing it in pieces until I got that piece, then I'd add more to it. I can play a certain piece fine on its own, but when I add the extra notes in and I can't play that same piece. So it seems my fretting fingers are sometimes struggling to get to the frets fast enough, or sometimes my picking hand struggles, or sometimes it works out. So in other words, I have no ****ing clue what the problem is haha. I mean, how long did it take some of you to get your speed up, how many hours/day assuming you're paying close attention to technique and practicing "good" not poorly?
#18
Quote by JMH 1983
Zaphod, regardless of how much I analyze my technique in trying to attain that speed, in the end I'm still "chasing speed" or "trying to get faster" no matter how I approach it, no matter what my intentions are. I don't see the relevance in analyzing how I phrased my intentions. Someone else called me out saying I'm chasing speed, and he seemed to imply that I had superficial motives by saying that, but I was just clarifying to him that it's more so I can express myself better, not to brag about how fast I play.


You're missing the point, so I'll say it again:

You cannot get faster by trying to play faster. That's all I mean by chasing speed, you need to work on your technique before you can play at that pace; the old standby of "start slow, speed up" isn't going to work.

That's it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Quote by JMH 1983
So it seems my fretting fingers are sometimes struggling to get to the frets fast enough


Then the issue is that your fretting hand is moving too much. You don't need to move faster, just less.

Be wary, to achieve this you should not force your fingers closer to the fretboard but relax your hand as much as you can at all times, to the point where when you're not fretting you shouldn't lift your fingers but just stop using the muscles you're fretting with.

This isn't something you can just practice a few times and say you can do it, reducing finger motion is a constant process that seeps in to your playing slowly over the course of years.

It's much the same process with your picking hand only you can actually work directly on moving less rather than having to concentrate purely on relaxation, although of course you have to be relaxed as well.
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#19
Quote by JMH 1983
Do you believe there are physical limitations that prevent us from reaching certain goals in our playing? I'm not into shredding so the speeds I'm trying to attain are not exceptional, but I struggle with a lot of the licks of my influences, like Hendrix, Santana, Allman, Page etc. I've been playing for over 12 years so I feel I have the technique required to play at their speeds down, but I still can't quite get there. In order to get my speed up I try to play the first solo to Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower, but this has been going on for some time and I still can't get it. I don't even know if I'm making progress, it's hard to tell. I use a metronome, but it just seems like I never progress no matter how much I practice. I've made all the little tweaks I can to help, so it makes me wonder if the common denominator here is what's allowing them to play that fast...their long fingers. My fingers aren't short , maybe average to slightly above average, but I just wonder if they're too short to get the same explosiveness they had.

Do you think sometimes all this talk of "practice practice practice and you'll get faster" is false encouragement? After 12 years, maybe the reality is I'm as fast as my fingers will allow.


If it's ok I would like to contribute some thoughts to this thread because I have often wondered about the same problems as yourself. I am going to slightly disagree with some of the posters that have already commented and answered no as to whether finger and hand size has an effect on our playing, but I'm not going to entirely disagree, I am going to go for a sort of yes and no type answer. OK now I've confused everyone I had better go on and explain myself I suppose.

You say you have average size hands, I wish so much for average size hands, mine are tiny for a guy's hands (if I can find someone with a camera I suppose I could always show you to give you a reference point). When I say tiny I am not exaggerating for effect either, many people have commentated on how small my hands are and often not even in the context of guitar playing conversations but just brought it up in conversation. Ironically I was completely unaware of it until I started to learn guitar, and of course then you start to notice other people's hands more. It was only then that I began to realise that my hands were rather on the small side. After a while it started to become a bit of an obsession with me. I can't honestly say that I have compared hand sizes with every guitar player I have ever met but I have with a good many, and just to emphasise how small they are I have never yet met another guitar player (male or female, adults obviously, wouldn't be much use comparing with someone who is still growing) who has had smaller hands than myself. They are the smallest hands I have ever encountered on a guitar player. And yes it has been a handicap to a certain extent, there are many things I have struggled to do on the guitar that other players seemed to be doing effortlessly, certain chords that I just couldn't form if you gave me 10 minutes to sit there and place my fingers. After a while I did start to become a bit obsessional about it, sitting there thinking why couldn't have I just been born with even normal sized hands, never mind big ones. Being aware that it did present certain obvious limitations to my playing I had to start to try and deal with it. I thought I can either jack it in and find another instrument to play or try and work around it and accept that I may always face some limitations due to it, so work really hard on the things that I knew I could do, and try to find ways to improve the techniques that I did struggle with because of the limitations imposed on me. I also thought a lot about the players who had overcome much more serious disadvantages than I faced, Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi who lost the tips of two of his fingers in an industrial accident and was told he would never play the guitar again. Django Reinhardt who suffered serious damage to his fretting hand in a fire and as a result suffered with severe difficulty when trying to use his third and fourth fingers, he was also told he would never play the guitar again. Neither of them gave in and both went on to be very successful guitar players - and if I am perfectly honest I would not swap my disadvantage for either of theirs - what these guys overcame to play the guitar is nothing short of phenomenal and should be an inspiration to all of us. Both of them admitted that there were things they couldn't do because of their injury but they adapted. So, I went with a similar philosophy and just accepted that there would always be some chords my little hands would never make and others that they could but only with a bit of a struggle. You may never be as good as Jimi Hendrix but then few people are IMHO. Perhaps just accept that certain things may not be your forte but you can still be a good guitar player with your own unique style and approach.

I was faced with a decision this last weekend that is directly pertinent to this discussion. I went to buy a new guitar and as I had never owned a Les Paul in my entire life I thought it was time to try one out. I went to the guitar store with two models in mind but had a strong preference for one of them. I looked at the Epiphone Les Paul Plus Top Pro and the Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus. Now both were nice guitars and I liked them both but there was no doubt that the Tribute Plus was the superior guitar and the one to get. The price differential in the UK between the two is only £80 GBP and the Tribute included the case in the price, which the Plus Top didn't meaning I would have to have spent another £70 on the case if I bought the Plus Top, and the Tribute has Gibson PAFs fitted as standard which are hideously expensive if bought as an after market option which a lot of people do with the Plus top. Additionally the Tribute was higher grade in terms of materials as well, it was obvious just from looking at the fret board that the Tribute had higher grade rosewood, in short it was a lot more guitar for the money, the choice was obvious, get the Tribute Plus. Yet I dithered for a while, and for one reason only. The Plus Top Pro had a much slimmer profile neck that my small hands adjusted to straight away with no problems. The Tribute Plus on the other hand had the 1960 profile neck and was much much chunkier and far more of a handful for my small hands. To be honest it was just the dilemma I didn't need, the Tribute Plus was much the superior guitar in every dept, not that the Plus Top Pro was a bad guitar at all, on the contrary it was a really nice guitar but you just got so much more of everything with the Tribute, case, pickups, build quality, materials, everything. I wanted it to be an easier decision and all of a sudden it turned into a hard one. Did I get the Plus Top because I knew I would settle with it with little effort but also knowing that I was choosing the lesser guitar, or did I get the Tribute with it's much more chunky neck and hope that I got used to it and acclimatised to it? I was all in a dilemma, didn't know what to do. I think a few years ago I would have gone with the guitar that was easier to play. But this time i decided to be brave and go with the Tribute and hope I got used to it with practice and patience. It was the right decision definitely, by the end of the evening I was already getting used to it, yes it may be slightly more of a handful but it's well worth the effort. I think I could have easily talked myself out of the better guitar and ended up regretting the decision. I suppose the overall point I am trying to male is yes physical characteristics have a bearing on our playing but we need to concentrate on being ourselves most of all. Yes there may well be things Jimi could do that we can't and never will but that doesn't stop us being who we are which is what we should concentrate on. So, after that long winded ramble my answer is yes it does but how much does it matter. Sorry for the waffle.
#20
You have to push yourself, I'll have been playing six years in July and after less than two I was shredding. I felt that I was where I wanted to be, in that I could play a lot of the solos that inspired me to pick up guitar (Avenged Sevenfold stuff).

Just recently I've really knuckled down and I feel I'm finally taking it to the next level. I feel like I'm picking slower but I'm actually playing faster with more control and I can really feel that I'm in control.

There will likely be genetic limitations but it won't be Hendrix solos. Also there is a video of an 8 year old girl shredding on YouTube, she literally has little girl hands and can't have been playing for more than 8 years.
Last edited by MegadethFan18 at Feb 19, 2014,
#21
hey richards, thanks for the thoughtful post. funny enough I was just watching a video on small scale guitars. They're supposed to be far easier to play than fenders or gibsons, and as a matter of fact I just got a les paul and noticed immediately the difference in playability after playing a strat for 12 years because of the smaller scale. It would be interesting to try a small scale guitar and see if it's that much easier. I just want to be able to play the shit out of my guitar and fumbling is really irritating, especially after trying so hard to get my speed up. Small scale's something to consider if you don't mind catching shit from people every once in a while (or all the time depending on the character of the crowd you hang out with haha).

I think I'll eventually get this solo, I just hope it translates into my improvising. If I want to smoke through a bunch of notes here and there while I'm jamming, will my only option be the watchtower solo? Or will the speed of learning that solo crossover to all my playing?

Also I'm wondering if fast blues playing (Jimi, Allman, Page) is more difficult than shredding. They're two totally different styles, so can you shredders legitimately play Hendrix solos flawlessly? If so, I'm more encouraged because I've seen some shredders with small to average size hands. If being able to shred means you can easily handle Jimi stuff then there's hope for me and my hands.
#22
Too much excuses.
Or you can accept some "talent" bs and tell yourself that you can't play and quit.
Do you feel like I do!?
#23
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqgTdVuGrAQ

Stop. Making. Excuses.

If all you want to play is Hendrix then the only thing, the only thing stopping you is you.
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#24
Quote by JMH 1983
hey richards, thanks for the thoughtful post. funny enough I was just watching a video on small scale guitars. They're supposed to be far easier to play than fenders or gibsons, and as a matter of fact I just got a les paul and noticed immediately the difference in playability after playing a strat for 12 years because of the smaller scale. It would be interesting to try a small scale guitar and see if it's that much easier. I just want to be able to play the shit out of my guitar and fumbling is really irritating, especially after trying so hard to get my speed up. Small scale's something to consider if you don't mind catching shit from people every once in a while (or all the time depending on the character of the crowd you hang out with haha).

I think I'll eventually get this solo, I just hope it translates into my improvising. If I want to smoke through a bunch of notes here and there while I'm jamming, will my only option be the watchtower solo? Or will the speed of learning that solo crossover to all my playing?

Also I'm wondering if fast blues playing (Jimi, Allman, Page) is more difficult than shredding. They're two totally different styles, so can you shredders legitimately play Hendrix solos flawlessly? If so, I'm more encouraged because I've seen some shredders with small to average size hands. If being able to shred means you can easily handle Jimi stuff then there's hope for me and my hands.


I wouldn't say they are "totally different", Shredding is just playing fast and if you can play fast you can play slow. The hand size thing is an absolute cop out though, as I already said there is an 8 year old girl on YouTube letting rip and her hands are tiny.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJmCKY1SR-E

On top of that many fantastic players rarely use their pinky, reducing their stretch effectively making their hands smaller. Marty Friedman, Andy James and Alexi Lahio come to mind. On top of barely using his pinky Alexi is 5'6 so his hands are probably pretty small and he plays some blistering stuff.
#25
by different, I meant blues playing to me seems to stick around the three high strings with lots of bends and when playing fast it's easy to fumble when you're moving around that small area in such a random order.

Shred style seems to be less random and more methodical throughout a given scale, so once you have a technique down you just apply it all over the fretboard.

I don't know if bends mixed with a faster style of play would hang people up because when catching a bending string the string would be in a different place then it would if you were not bending it and you have to get used to that.

That, and I don't recall shredders throwing bends in their runs very much, but I admittedly haven't watched/listened to a lot of shredders.

All just curiosities I have here, not stating them as truth as I don't know a whole lot about shredding other than what I've heard.

On a side note I actually nailed tat solo today at the correct bpm. At least a few times, then my fingers got kind of lazy, so I'm almost there. Then it's on to his second solo in the song which I don't think I'll have too much trouble with.

Maybe I should attempt the Heartbreaker solo next
#26
It shouldn't stop anyone from playing the guitar but I think there's is no doubt that physical characteristics will have some effect on aspects of our playing. It's ok people keep posting links of little girls playing awesome guitar, I've seen plenty of videos of kids playing guitar and yes some of them were really good. That wasn't really my point in my original reply to JMH. My point was way may have to accept that certain techniques may well be easier for some people than others due to those limitations. The reason I included my example was because there are definitely certain things I can't do due to my small hand size, it's a fact that I can't make some chords because my fingers just aren't able to stretch that far, you could give me all afternoon to make these chords and my fingers wouldn't get there because they can't reach that far. It's unfortunately a fact I have learned to live with. The point I wanted to make was live with your limitations and work around them as best you can. It doesn't stop me being a guitar player or trying to improve. My Tony Iommi example was included because he has said on many occasions that his problems limit some of things he can do, he doesn't let it stop him but we can't all turn round to him and say it's all in your mind mate, he's got the whole end of two fingers missing, it will affect him. But he has worked around and become an inspiration to many guitarists. That's the essence of what I was trying to say, yes it may well do but don't let it hold you back.
#27
It would be helpful, if anyone who can play this solo with ease could tell me what your picking pattern is. I'm really only getting hung up on the three descending notes on the g string. The frets are 12-11-9. I'll rundown what I do to get to that point. Just covering the last few notes, I downpick 9th fret b string, uppick 9th fret e string, downpick 12th b string, uppick 9th b string, downpick 12th g string, uppick 11th g string, downpick 9th g string.

That transition from b string to g string is where I keep ****ing up when I try it at about 108-112 bpm (original is at about 112 bpm). I find if I start with the downpick on the g string there's the problem of bringing the pick over the string which causes fumbling because I ususally clip the string trying to bring it over. But, if I try and start with an uppick there it's awkward because I'm coming from an uppick on the previous note on the b string.

Can anyone who can pick this very cleanly tell me how they're picking it. You can just tell me how you're picking from the e string up to the g string at the end of that first solo (from 1:04-1:08), don't have to tell me all the notes before that as I got those down pretty well.
#28
Quote by JMH 1983
anyone explain how they pick this?


Entirely unfamiliar with the solo, tab it out properly and I might be able to help though.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#30
E|-------------------9----------9----------------------9----------------------------------
B|----------------9-----12b14-----12--9---------9-----12--9---------------------------
G|------9--11b13-------------------------11b13---------------12--11--9------11b13--9--
D|--11---------------------------------------------------------------------------11------------
A|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last edited by JMH 1983 at Feb 28, 2014,
#32
physically? no. not unless you have some sort of disability or condition that prevents your muscles from performing. if you are healthy, then there are no physical limitations to reach what others have reached -- they had the same sets of muscle that you have.

there are absolutely, however, psychological limitations. it would be wise to keep that in mind. you cannot accomplish that which you tell yourself you cannot accomplish - becoming skilled at something is more often than not a case of self-fulfilling prophecy.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#33
Quote by MegadethFan18
You have to push yourself, I'll have been playing six years in July and after less than two I was shredding. I felt that I was where I wanted to be, in that I could play a lot of the solos that inspired me to pick up guitar (Avenged Sevenfold stuff).

Just recently I've really knuckled down and I feel I'm finally taking it to the next level. I feel like I'm picking slower but I'm actually playing faster with more control and I can really feel that I'm in control.

There will likely be genetic limitations but it won't be Hendrix solos. Also there is a video of an 8 year old girl shredding on YouTube, she literally has little girl hands and can't have been playing for more than 8 years.



Q: What is meant by 'shredding'?

Q: What is meant by 'sweeping'?

Thanks.
#34
Quote by Pimmy Jage
Q: What is meant by 'shredding'?


Fast, clean, accurate playing.

Quote by Pimmy Jage
Q: What is meant by 'sweeping'?


It's a technique used for playing one note per string lines where you play consecutive notes with the same motion so something like:


e|-----5-
b|---4---
g|-3-----
d|-------
a|-------
e|-------


Is played with one downstroke, being careful to separate out the notes by careful muting so you don't end up just playing the notes as a chord.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#37
Quote by AeolianWolf
physically? no. not unless you have some sort of disability or condition that prevents your muscles from performing. if you are healthy, then there are no physical limitations to reach what others have reached -- they had the same sets of muscle that you have.

there are absolutely, however, psychological limitations. it would be wise to keep that in mind. you cannot accomplish that which you tell yourself you cannot accomplish - becoming skilled at something is more often than not a case of self-fulfilling prophecy.


There is so much truth in this post. +1000000
#38
I can relate to TS as far as the brain not working as fast as the fingers sometimes. Sometimes I force myself to play at an unattainable speed sloppily ( for a minute max) to help train my brain, not my hands.
#39
Zaphod, have you had a chance to play that solo yet? I tabbed it a few posts up, I'd be interested in hearing how you pluck it, especially transitioning from the b string to the g string on the last part of it. That's my biggest hang up.

I've also switch from using the side of the pick back to using the pointed part of the pick. I think it'll be more beneficial once I get used to it. Using the side of the pick, I think was keeping me from upping my speed to where I wanted it.

And speak of the devil, All Along the Watchtower just came on the radio
#40
Hey JMH, I gave it a quick whirl, just for a few mins. Here's how I went about it:


E|-------------------9----------9------------------9----------------------------------
B|----------------9-----12b14-----12--9---------9-----12--9---------------------------
G|------9--11b13-------------------------11b13---------------12--11--9------11b13--9--
D|--11-------------------------------------------------------------------11------------
A|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    D   U  D      D  U  D       U  D  U   D     D  U  D   U  D   U   D   U  D      D


Hope that helps (actually, I REALLY hope it helps - it took freakin' forever to line up the pick strokes with the tab). The trick is using breaking from strict alternate and using consecutive downstrokes when going from the 11b13 on the G string to 9 on the B string. That gets everything to land nicely on the pick stroke you want.
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