#1
Not that I'm hell bent on being a shredder or anything but I wonder... I've been practicing quite a lot lately, mostly cheesy hair-pseudo-metal from the 80's (hello Europe, you still have one fan you know... althought that one I'm pretty close to play it full speed), in fact I've been practicing for years - although a little bit off and on - the fast stuff, but I don't see too many results, or if I do the progress feels really slow, like I've hit a wall or something.

I remember when I was playing sax if my teacher gave me a piece, usually, even if it was pretty fast I could master it in a matter of weeks and I wasn't really practicing as hard as I am today on the guitar. So what gives? I'm older? Bad technique to begin with (probable)?

I try to be 'reasonable' I think in that I start it pretty slow, slow enough so that I can play it very cleanly, and I only increase the speed when I can play it cleanly and consistently (I mostly use Guitar Pro, get the tab and loop the solo, start slow and increase by 1% every pass, it works pretty well). And for the most part it works but I can never get quite close to be able to play it at 100% speed. I don't get it: seems like others manage to do it, so why can't I? Does anyone know what are the most common culprits to hold people back speed-wise?

I know it's not the end all be all, but sometimes I feel like the people saying that are usually the ones who did master the art of shredding...
#2
If you don't suck your alright. I'm not a lead player, but I'll rip your face off when the time is right
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#4
Everyone has their speed wall. I hit mine a loooong time ago, before I even picked up the guitar. But cellists rarely need lightning speed.
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#5
ya hit the wall hard. playing rhythm in a tech death band. learned the songs could play them just always a few bpm behind no matter how much i practiced. mind you i am almost 30 have been playing for 20 years. just too fast for me
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Last edited by TheEmoStrangler at Sep 2, 2014,
#6
i consider myself a decent player but there are some things we are just not ment to play
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Last edited by TheEmoStrangler at Sep 2, 2014,
#7
Quote by TheEmoStrangler
ya hit the wall hard. playing rhythm in a tech death band. learned the songs cold play them just always a few bpm behind no matter how much i practiced. mind you i am almost 30 have been playing for 20 years. just too fast for me

well playing Cold Play while in a tech-death band would present some issues
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#8
Quote by Robbgnarly
well playing Cold Play while in a tech-death band would present some issues



learning cold play was hard. origin not so much
Quote by bendystraw
Fifty bucks says you're fat.
#10
At this point things will go easier, and you will eventually circumvent the wall.
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#12
I'm currently charging into some speed walls now. Its a challenge because Ill have a speed breakthrough and feel great about it and then remember there is still so far to go. Luckily I'm implementing some speed building strategies that are insane! Tom Hess is the man!
#13
Speed comes through efficiency, make the movements in your fretting and picking only as big as they need to be. Also make sure your technique is good. Other than that it is basically just about practice.

While speed isn't the be all end all I do feel if you take care of the fast stuff the slow stuff will take care of itself. Plus shredding is fun.
#14
there's a speed that's called "fast enough".

it's just fast enough to cover the kind of music you play.

i thought i could play the lead to crazy train. then i heard the song again the other day.

while i do know most of the notes, there's no way on earth i can actually play that solo correctly. i can fake it okay, but even that's a matter of opinion.

so just shoot for fast enough and have fun.
#15
Quote by MegadethFan18
Speed comes through efficiency, make the movements in your fretting and picking only as big as they need to be. Also make sure your technique is good. Other than that it is basically just about practice.

While speed isn't the be all end all I do feel if you take care of the fast stuff the slow stuff will take care of itself. Plus shredding is fun.


Absolutely, I found that even if I can't play the fastest sections at speed, when I'm done the other slower sections sound MUCH better. So I guess it's just a slow process. Some will come eventually. Right now I'm trying Mindscape by Rondat. It's gonna take years.:-D Need to go back to Maiden's Losfer Words. That one's fun too...
#16
Big Europe fan here too. I took the time to learn the Superstitious solo last summer and got everything down but the fast part. That is my wall, but I'm determined to overcome it in time.
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#17
Speed and finger dexterity exercises are CRUCIAL (for me at least) to getting my speed up. I have not hit a speed wall (Only been playing electric for a little over a year), but I don't think I will hit real speed wall. I'm pretty darn determined and convinced that in 2-10 years I will be to pull off solos by Adrian Smith(and Murray), Chris Degarmo, Petrucci, Alex Lifeson, etc.
#18
No speed wall here either.

However I do practise what I need to practise in order to get the skills to play faster stuff right.

If it is down picking I set metronome at the desired 160 -168 bpm and play along until it feels enough.

But for the more challenging lead work I am dead serious on going through Speed Mechanics by Troy Stetina and I am at ex 50 currently having worked through all ex not skipped any. I can feel the benefits and my skills are faster and much more cleaner and accurate.

I am also learning Yngwie Malmsteens Far beyond the sun and it does not feel hard to do after doing the Stetina workout. In fact I can play the parts I got pretty good without even a warm up first.
#19
Not a bad idea, I may get that book, it'd probably be a good thing to clean up my technique... Do you do a little bit every day?
#20
Would a 10-52 string gauge be considered detrimental for pure speed? Surely not, right?
#21
Quote by JGM258
Speed and finger dexterity exercises are CRUCIAL (for me at least) to getting my speed up. I have not hit a speed wall (Only been playing electric for a little over a year), but I don't think I will hit real speed wall. I'm pretty darn determined and convinced that in 2-10 years I will be to pull off solos by Adrian Smith(and Murray), Chris Degarmo, Petrucci, Alex Lifeson, etc.


One of these things is far, far harder than the others...
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Jackson Dinky (JB+59) > TC Polytune Noir > TS808 clone > DOD 250 > Modded RAT > CH-1 > GE-7 > TC Flashback > Plexi Clone
#22
If you have hit a speed wall then you just need to improve your technique. Relaxation and economy of motion are probably the culprits.

I don't believe anyone of physical health has any kind of permanent speed wall provided they practice properly.
#23
Quote by OliveG
Not a bad idea, I may get that book, it'd probably be a good thing to clean up my technique... Do you do a little bit every day?


Yes I try to do that to be on the beat so to speak.
#24
Quote by Archer250
One of these things is far, far harder than the others...

True enough, thus the wide time frame. Might be more like 15, or even 20 but I think I'll be able to do it eventually.
Last edited by JGM258 at Sep 4, 2014,
#25
I don't believe a speed wall exists. Your speed is just a testament to how efficient and practiced your technique is. Many people seem to think speed comes after a few years and you either can or can't do it. It takes a long time and it takes a particular kind of practice to improve your speed most effectively. Anybody who says something along the lines of speed being a natural talent or whatever is full of shit really. Just my 2 cents
Last edited by vayne92 at Sep 4, 2014,
#26
so i haven't been playing guitar long and im not fast by any means but i have managed to conquer some pretty intense speeds on drums and i hit a lot of speed walls on drums lol, of course take my advise with a grain of salt since drums and guitar are two different monsters, but neither the the brain nor the muscle operates differently between instruments and you're still trying to achieve great feats of dexterity, so in theory the exercises should be the same

i found that if i hit a speed a speed wall it was a control thing and i would do exercises centered around control, and the way the exercises worked is I would play a pattern and that pattern would get played in different combinations of speeds and volumes so any bpm between 80 and 250 (just make sure you dont surpass a comfortable speed) and any dynamic between ppp - fff and play in as many combinations as you would like; then play the exercise slow and gradually get faster and then back to slow, and vice versa, and play the exercise from quit to loud back to quite and vice versa, then combine the volume and tempo swells like getting faster and softer

now drums have rudiments which is basically 42 exercises to do this with i think scales would work really well with this as well as exercises presented in this video (of course i think these exercises are good for speed lol)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0FxUazEcjI

play the exercises straight up and down fret board across and both and of course don't forget the right hand and apply many different picking patterns, also i am not sure how much dynamic control one can have with a guitar but a light touch to tying to break the fret board should do lol

hope this helps and best of luck down the path of extreme speed the path is not always fun but i know its possible for anyone
Last edited by pops12 at Sep 5, 2014,
#27
The best thing to do is practice ... a lot.
The reasons why those guitarists can shred and make it look effortlessly is because they've practiced a hell of a lot.
It all comes down to muscle memory.
Something I've been doing lately is playing a lick 100x slowly. After 10 times I play it as quick as I can 5 times.
After 100 times I increase the tempo by 2bpm. And do it another 100 times. I repeat this until I get up to goal tempo.
Use the slow tempo to nail any parts that comes off messy, and refine your technique. As the speed goes up, it will become second nature.
#28
The speed wall only exists if you keep practising for speed. Leave speed picking for a while, practice clean and relaxed playing for a while and then return to the piece of music that's been troubling you. You'll see that you've actually broken your speed wall.

Rather than grinding through something every day I now leave it, learn another song and then return to that older song that was troubling me. After some time 'off' that song I'm able to play it much better than I could have before.
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#29
Thanks for all the advice (and encouragements!). I think I can do it! ;-)
#30
Speed wall? That only exists if you don't understand how to practice..
Last edited by Black_devils at Sep 5, 2014,
#31
Sometimes I find when my fingers feel glued together, I use one of the massaging wand things work out the tightness in my hand and arm. I can usually "pick up" a little speed just from that.
#32
There isn't really a speed wall, imho. It's just a matter of diminishing returns. Personally it took me the same space of time (and probably a lot more practice!) to get from 150->200bpm than 0-150.

You just have to keep improving your playing and technique and the speed will come with time.
#33
I made a few adjustments to my routine. I work sort of the same: start at whichever speed I can play comfortably the section I'm working on (even if it's like 40 bpm for some sections of Patrick Rondat's Mindscape), and then concentrate on the same section over and over by just looping these few bars (sometimes even 1 bar), but instead of increasing the speed by 1% every time the loop is repeated, I play it at the same speed until I feel I have it right. Then depending on how comfortable I am with it I increase by 1 or more bpm. Some sections that are particularly hard I litterally do that, increase 1 bpm at a time only. Others that are easier I can increase faster...

Doesn't work so bad so far but for sure for some sections I think it's going to take me months to play it at speed... but that's OK.
#34
Angling the pick slightly can help, rather than it parallel to the string, so it cuts through. Also a good grip on the pick so it doesn't move about. Can seem obvious, but all worth checking sometimes the obvious approach.
#35
What I find hard is picking back and forth when you only do 3 notes on one string and then you need to change and pick the next string upwards instead of downwards. Unnatural. Working on it. 32nd notes I'm at 50 bpm right now. My goal is 84 bpm... Needless to say, it's going to take some time!