I'm starting a weekly series where I'm learning to shred, and showing my speed progress week on week, link below. My question is what is usually your criteria for bumping up the speed of the metronome? e.g. Playing the lick cleanly ten times in a row. And how much to increase the metronome by each time, also how quickly if you practice say and hour a day would you expect speed to build. Thanks.

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I don't personally have a set criteria for when I bump up the speed on something, I just do it when I can nail it like 95% of the time. But I would suggest shooting for like 5-10 times, but even that might be excessive.

As for increasing bpm, I do it one of two ways. I'll either run something for like a solid week and then bump it up in increments of eight BPM, or I'll increase it by one or two BPM every day or two. I generally prefer the second method, as the small increases in speed make it so that you don't really have to adjust to any noticeable boost in difficulty. Most of the time it barely feels different at all, making the transition super smooth while still making the same amount of progress.

And this probably isn't a satisfying answer, but everyone speeds up and progresses differently. So I don't think anyone could honestly tell you how quickly you will progress. Any estimate given would be useless in a month anyways because the better you get, the longer it takes to improve. Just listen to Steve.

"The great thing about playing is, the more you do it, the better you get, and you get exponentially better in the beginning… Unfortunately, it gets harder to get better as you get better, but the better it gets, the better it gets." - Steve Vai

Oh, and another word of advice. Practice your sweeps with distortion too, one of the most difficult parts of sweeping is keeping the distortion in check and muting notes so they don't bleed together.

I hope some of this helps, and and good luck on your journey to ultimate shred mastery!
Last edited by Cheeseshark at Apr 22, 2016,
I don't have a set metric, either. It's more of a comfort thing, and evaluating overall technique.

I mean, if you put me on stage and told me to shred, I'd do it, but it would not be good technique, much less sustainable for regular or use or practice.

Your increases in speed will not result simply from putting effort into playing fast. Speed is not a skill in itself; it's just a way of applying your other skills. Your speed should come from advancing your overall technique, which allows you to move smoothly at higher tempos. This applies just the same to "regular" techniques as to "fast" techniques like tremolo and sweep picking. I think many amateur players resort to "fast" techniques because it bumps up their speed limit a bit without developing actually solid technique.

All of your techniques need to be approached with the same rigorous attention to detail - efficiency, comfort, and tone. If you keep the focus on those and always work to improve your technique, you'll be able to play at high tempo regardless which specific techniques you employ. When you hit a wall with the tempo, don't just try to muscle through it. Take a look at everything you're doing, with both hands, slow down, and see what you can do better. Sometimes you just have to slow down for a very long time (weeks, months) before you can take your improved technique back to high tempos.
I increase the metronome whenever I feel comfortable. It doesn't matter if I can play it perfectly 100 times in a row. If I don't feel comfortable with it, I won't increase it.

As for how much I increase it, that also depends on comfort to some degree. As well as how long it took me to feel comfortable. Generally, it's 3-5 bpm, but if I feel good with something in a matter of a few minutes, I'll probably increase it by 10-15 bpm.

How quickly speed builds is not something that can be anticipated. Everyone is different and learns different things in different ways at different speeds.
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There was no need to re-post a video you've already posted to ask this question.

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