#1
After a month of absence from guitar playing I started playing again from this April and I was looking for new inspiration. So I picked up few fast playing exercises and I’ve been practicing them. But one problem I am constantly facing while playing fast which is my playing doesn’t sound clean, I knew I’ve got problem with muting but whenever I try to play a bit fast it sounds awful no matter how hard I try.

For the reference I’ve attached a recording of my playing here (I didn’t want to start with the fast parts so I tried to make things a bit interesting but failed, so please don’t mind).

Example of my problem

It has scale sequencing and a little bit of sweeping. I learned a tapping idea that involves string skipping but I couldn’t record that because no matter how hard I try to do that with distortion (I never use too much gain) I can’t hear notes properly.

So under this circumstance what can I do to clean up my fast playing without sounding sloppy?
Last edited by Luminance at May 16, 2015,
#2
Based on your previous post history you're still a beginner so...

You're basically asking how to do one of the most difficult things on guitar. It's nothing but practice practice practice. Speed doesn't come overnight. It's going to take you many years. Then you're asking to play cleanly with distortion, which is even more difficult. A lot of people can play "fast" but are very sloppy.

My go to for super clean distorted leads is the king himself - Andy James:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JFhsfENYRA

Although I would never go against anything Andy James says, I do however discourage using a hair band, especially as a beginner. It's almost cheating in to making you think your muting is better than it is. Not to mention I've seen Andy James play live without it and he DEFINITELY doesn't need it.

It's all about accuracy and good muting. Accuracy begins by playing slow, and both muting and accuracy come from lots and lots of practice.
Last edited by vayne92 at May 16, 2015,
#3
@vayne92: I want to sound clean while playing fast ideas (I know I can't play fast) as much as possible, but this unwanted noise while playing fast is really annoying. Whenever I try to play a bit fast I've noticed some string vibration always happen that I don't want; I try to take care of that as much as I can with both left and right hand but I can't successfully execute that as of yet. Andy suggests some good things to follow here and I've seen some people play with hair band on their guitar's neck but then how do they play open string notes? Andy does suggest to use hair band for tapping but I've seen people playing tapping phrases properly without hair band. How do they do it? I mean the bottom strings make most of the noises and as I can't palm mute while trying to tap how do I control noise while tapping?
#4
Quote by Luminance
Whenever I try to play a bit fast I've noticed some string vibration always happen that I don't want; I try to take care of that as much as I can with both left and right hand but I can't successfully execute that as of yet.


You're still new to guitar. You can't play fast. There is no trick to magically fix this problem. As with literally everything on guitar it is practice. It's an incredibly common problem for beginners to be fixated on speed, and what they don't realize is that speed will come over time. A lot of people would stay speed comes to you when you stop chasing it, and I would somewhat agree with this. Even grinding to a metronome slowly for a couple weeks wont help you shred like Andy James. You have to accept that with good practice speed will come, but only in time. There will never be a light bulb moment that happens which makes you - think wow that wasn't so difficult.

Quote by Luminance
Andy does suggest to use hair band for tapping but I've seen people playing tapping phrases properly without hair band.


Hair bands don't help as much as you think. Listeners wont notice a difference.
Andy James does NOT need the hair band. He only suggests it for those technical performances for just a tiny tiny bit of added muting. Hair bands are only really used in recording environments, which lo and behold.. Andy James is in a recording environment.
Last edited by vayne92 at May 16, 2015,
#5
Quote by vayne92
My go to for super clean distorted leads is the king himself - Andy James:

Yes Andy James is great. I've bought his John Petrucci and sweep picking dvd's, Amazing teacher. Anyways yeah just practice it a lot, I had trouble with it too and it had me insanely frustrated. Easiest way to do it in my opinion is just do chromatic runs down the fretboard while making sure all the strings are muted then go back. This is a good video if you haven't checked it out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4hFt7n6aag
Quote by MeTallIcA313
Guys, you heard Mr. Sacamano. No fun until racism is over.
#6
@vayne92: I'm in no rush, in fact I prefer to play slow but clean rather than fast and sloppy. My real problem is that unwanted string noise that comes when I try to play fast; I mean while playing fast due to fast finger movements extra noise arises (I guess you've already realized that from listening to my playing that I've added in the post) and this happens the most when I try to play tapping.

@hurricane0202: The video you've shared is quite helpful, I'll remember these advices and will use them while playing. Really nice stuff. Thanks for it.
#7
Quote by Luminance
@vayne92: I'm in no rush, in fact I prefer to play slow but clean rather than fast and sloppy. My real problem is that unwanted string noise that comes when I try to play fast; I mean while playing fast due to fast finger movements extra noise arises (I guess you've already realized that from listening to my playing that I've added in the post) and this happens the most when I try to play tapping.

Yeah I know what you're talking about, like when you're playing fast and you lift your finger to switch strings and you get a bunch of noise, yeah you just got to be patient with it dude it takes a while to get it down. I'm assuming you already alternate pick everything so when you go to do the chromatic runs down the fretboard and you get them up to speed, you're picking hand should be doing a sweep picking like motion. When you go back up make sure you're first finger is covering the rest of the strings.
Quote by MeTallIcA313
Guys, you heard Mr. Sacamano. No fun until racism is over.
#9
Practice with a clean sound or better yet, on an acoustic. As vayne said, sped is something that develops gradually over time. Same as a lot of other people I didn't get good at playing fast until I gave up on it and started to concentrate on playing melodic and making every note count. One day I wasn't paying much attention and realized I was playing faster than I ever could when I was trying to play fast...

Don't worry about fast. It'll come in time. Worry about clean and accurate. Speed will only come with years of practice. I almost never practice with any distortion, usually clean or acoustic. If I can do it on an acoustic or clean guitar, I know it will sound good once I step on the overdrive pedal. Finger picking might help. That makes you play clean too. And you can play fast while finger picking, listed to Mark Knopfler play Sultans of Swing...

I really admire Eric Johnson. Fast as they get and you can hear every note. Roy Clark, same thing. And I don't think he ever used distortion, clean country picker. but he could play any style you want, and do them well. Look up Roy Clark on youtube...amazing player. Clean as it gets, and he could play some incredible stuff.

Better yet, here ya go...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhiKgeJV3k0
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#10
If you want to learn to play with distortion then practice with distortion.

Mute with your palm ascending and with your fingers descending is a good method.

Patience, Yago, patience.

It is common for beginners to have doubts about what they are doing. I think this may be the case with you as you make repeated posts asking for advice. There are no secrets.

Play at a pace that allows you to play correctly. Practice every day. Keep at it. Have fun.
"When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. This is my religion." -- Abraham Lincoln
Last edited by Virgman at May 19, 2015,
#11
Like others have said this is one of the most difficult things about playing the guitar. Everyone is slightly different in the way they mute the strings, so you gotta experiment. My only other advice would be to only use as much gain as needed. You might be surprised how little gain you need to get a good metal riff sound.
#12
@Paleo Pete: Thanks for the input, haven't listened to Eric Johnson but however Andy James's playing impressed me a lot; his stuffs are not my cup of tea but his playing is extremely clean, I mean I can't find the notes he plays by ear but I do hear every notes clearly. That's the type of cleanliness I want to achieve.

@Virgman: Thanks a lot for the comment, I'm trying and trying but sometimes it is so frustrating to listen to me playing bad notes or notes that are supposed to be heard but can't be heard clearly due to poor technique.

@jlowe22: I hate using too much gain (yes my equipments are not world class but I adjust things that won't make my sounds go muddy), but apart from gain I think I need to learn to tweak EQ settings for rock style playing, that probably might enhance my tone a bit. Can you recommend something about this?
Last edited by Luminance at May 22, 2015,
#13
@Luminance You should experiment, and roll the knob on your guitar. It might make it a little bit easier on you if you really learn the sound of your volume, and tone knob on different settings. It can really clean up the sound on your guitar. You don't really need "amazing" gear if you learn to use your set up properly.


#14
@Black_devils: Thank you for the comment. I didn't know that but I'll see what I can do with tweaking the volume and tone knob while playing.