#1
I have some problems with speed. And when I say I am slow I play at the speed of a fucking 81 year old women with arthritis. How can I build the speed in my wrist to be able to pick fast. for example what techniques to build speed. Also what kind of pick should I use to put this into practice. I would love to be able to play the holy wars solo or some shred shit, so any and all help you can provide is greatly appreciated. Should I pick with my arm, just anything you can give about building speed.
#2
Practice. And then practice more. Speed is nothing without the accuracy with your fretting hand also. So practicing slowly with a metronome and build from there. Also you're going to pick with your wrist.
#3
.Do different combinations up, down, and across the neck 1234, 1423, 1324, etc... Start slow with a metronome, and speed up gradually as you get comfortable with your current pace.
Last edited by guitarsnharleys at May 13, 2016,
#4
You have to play extremely slowly, totally ignore your fretting hand, and concentrate entirely on the motion of your picking arm/wrist/hand, observing very carefully any tension anywhere, and eliminating that. Look out for excessive motion. Look out for moving your pick too far either side of a string, or too high above it, so you're "bouncing" up and down ... no good. Look out for digging too deep, so the pick is catching hard on the string, dragging the string out of alignment.

Minimal motion, shortest distance, minimal resistance from the strings, minimal effort, zero tension.
#5
If your a beginner just stop. Do you know the basic chords, some theory, scales, bend, vibrato?
Jumping straight in to the deep end is suicidal.
If not 1000s of hours of what they said above. No short cuts. I recommend Pebber Brown videos on YouTube really helped me ( he teached one of the fastest players in the world and takes no bulls@it)
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#7
This guy is very good. He now does work for licklibrary. He's quite young in this vid and needs to lighten up a bit! But his technique is excellent.

https://youtu.be/1pGqXzCGP8w
#8
We all have a fucking problem with speed. You know why? Because it takes practice, practice, practice. If you don't know how to play a lick slow, you'll never know how to play it fast. So start slow, learn to know the lick, over and over again. Then slowly try to speed it up. It's a slow method, it takes work, effort. There are no short cuts. Everyone you hear playing at high speeds has done this. EVERYONE. No one you have ever heard playing fast was born with that skill, it is learn through practice.
Keeping you fretting hand synchronized with your picking hand it most important here. Keep your mind in the picking hand, it is the most important one! It drives it all!
Contradictionary to what everyone ever says, using a metronome at this point is COUNTER PRODUCTIVE, because it will annoy the hell out of you and being on the beat is not the most important thing at this point, it's keeping you both hands in synch. Know this: Guthrie Govan never ever practiced with a metronome.
#9
Quote by emmerhoofd


Contradictionary to what everyone ever says, using a metronome at this point is COUNTER PRODUCTIVE, because it will annoy the hell out of you and being on the beat is not the most important thing at this point, it's keeping you both hands in synch.


Anyone who allows themselves to be annoyed by staying in tempo should probably just quit music. Theres no such thing as being in sync but out of tempo. The tempo is the structure around which all of your technique should be built. Playing fast but out of rhythm will make a shit technical and musical foundation, and anything built on a shit foundation is going to sink into that shit pit.

Nobody cares how fast you can play unless you're on the beat with every single note. And if you want to play a bunch of notes, that's a bunch of chances to mess up, which means you need to practice extra hard to stay on top of the rhythm.

And it doesn't matter what Guthrie Govan, Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, or Zakk Wyld did. You don't get to count on being a musical freak with 16 hours a day to spend jamming. You do what you have to do to get where you want to be, and for 99.999999% of successful musicians, that means structured practice with a metronome.
Last edited by cdgraves at May 14, 2016,
#10
Quote by Mrpiggles4
And when I say I am slow I play at the speed of a fucking 81 year old women with arthritis.


81 year old women with arthritis who are still fucking are to be commended.

Practice with a metronome (pushing it higher a little at a time) is to be commended, too.
I use a very stiff pick with a very sharp point (2mm Gravity Razer).

81 year old women with arthritis who are still fucking want a stiff pick with a very sharp point, too.
#11
Quote by cdgraves
Anyone who allows themselves to be annoyed by staying in tempo should probably just quit music. Theres no such thing as being in sync but out of tempo. The tempo is the structure around which all of your technique should be built. Playing fast but out of rhythm will make a shit technical and musical foundation, and anything built on a shit foundation is going to sink into that shit pit.

Nobody cares how fast you can play unless you're on the beat with every single note. And if you want to play a bunch of notes, that's a bunch of chances to mess up, which means you need to practice extra hard to stay on top of the rhythm.

And it doesn't matter what Guthrie Govan, Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, or Zakk Wyld did. You don't get to count on being a musical freak with 16 hours a day to spend jamming. You do what you have to do to get where you want to be, and for 99.999999% of successful musicians, that means structured practice with a metronome.


See, sometimes I agree with you on things.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#12
^ Whenever I have a synchronization problem, it's almost always because my picking hand isn't quite locked into the beat. Spending even a few minutes working on just the picking really helps.
#13
After a year of playing I can shred already. It's all thanks to my teacher and a metronome. Use metronomes man. They're a gift from God.
#14
You can learn picking patterns, most often scales, and play those with a metronome every time you pick up the guitar. I warm up in this way and it increases speed and legato.

I take an alternate picking pattern like Paul Gilbert style and play it using inside then outside picking for a short while, then I play scale patterns backwards and forwards. And then near the end I do hammer-on and pull-off with each of my fingers until I lose stamina.

This is an example good for beginners:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxKcjiaVTuc

The first part is a pattern that can be played backwards and forwards with ease.
And your fingers will get a good workout from this.

After a while you will be able to play the patterns with your fretting hand only, not picking a thing. Your hands will memorize the pattern and you can really get some speed then. You have to keep your hands synchronized and Keep legato in mind also. You don't want certain fingers hitting the frets ahead of tempo cause they happen to be faster.

Practicing these picking patterns will allow you to shred all over the neck. Your fingers will be agile, fast and knowing when your picking hand is about to strike, and your picking hand, having trained alternate picking, will be better able to handle what you throw at it.

You have to structure the time you spend on guitar in order to improve quickly.
Don't spend all your time noodling and playing what you already know but spend a solid chunk of your time practicing challenging things with proper technique.

I stress correct technique cause if your technique is bad you're fighting a losing battle.
Make sure your picking shoulder is relaxed, you're holding the guitar properly, picking correctly, holding the pick properly, your arm not being tense, etc...
You mostly always want to use your wrist to pick, not your arm.

And as for picks you generally want a pick of at least 1mm thickness for fast playing styles.
To quote Guthrie Govan you don't want to feel like you're writing with a rubber pencil.
If the pick is too thin it will bend instead of slicing through the string every time you pick.
I prefer the Petrucci Jazz III picks, which are 1.5mm, and I adore them.
Though some players like Andy James for instance prefer picks that bend slightly.

Now yea the picking patterns can be boring so after that it's time to play something you like that also can help with the area that needs work.

Take this for instance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xtz0o0G1uwc

The beginning part is nice and straightforward alternate picking. Just slow it down and work up the tempo very slowly.

One of the most important things to fast playing is to play SLOW. Your brain has to comprehend what you're doing before you can do any better lol And yes it will feel like an eternity practicing slow and seem so difficult but you'll improve in no time.

Also I use guitar pro often as it has a built in metronome and for the most part tabs are fairly correct (I research each tab beforehand to make sure). You can also see each bar as you play it in real time, and you can loop and slow down the challenging parts.

Watch Youtube or DVD's to see how people with good technique are playing what you want to play. And use proper fingering, for instance don't neglect to use your pinky etc.

All that is pretty much how I've increased speed and ability. I'm not a guitar teacher but hopefully this can help ya out. I know how darn frustrating it is, like all of us, not to be able to play the fast things you want to play. But speed will come with time and all the while you can have a blast playing songs you like that will improve your speed.
Last edited by ESPJohn at May 29, 2016,
#15
I find that it is all in the arm when alternate picking at high speeds. You sacrifice motion for pressure, and that pressure is what affects the downstroke. The tension of the string makes the upstroke require less effort to play, and the pattern/muscle memory is attained when practicing this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnIIKlOZ6Kc

This is a video of my technique. Notice how all of the speed comes from the movement of the arm and less from the wrist. The bottom of my pick is also angled towards the bridge, and even the pick itself is thick, allowing for the lowest latency of movement. Other people go about alternate picking differently and have other methods of attacking the string and other angles of course. I just thought it would give insight to how it works at high FPS
Last edited by sourcegamer101 at May 29, 2016,
#16
That may work for you, but it's bad technique and even worse advice. Picking from the arm is bad for you as not only does it give you far less control, it also introduces a lot of unnecessary tension which could actually do you harm in the long run.

Locking the elbow and vibrating your arm at the strings is usually what players latch onto first when they're trying to play fast, but it's a bad habit that is best ditched early on - one of the benefits of a good teacher. The longer you do it for, the harder it is to adjust to something different.
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#18
Quote by cdgraves
Yeah, you'll get tendinitis if you keep your elbow stiff like that. The wrist can go plenty fast on its own.

You really don't want tendonitis. I've had tendonitis in both arms for about 5 years that refuses to go away completely, (lateral epicondylitis). Mine is not related to guitar but working with computers. Andy James talks about how he was out of commission with RSI for almost a year, and he had to keep an eye on his technique after he healed to prevent it in the future. Have good technique at all cost RSI is no fun at all.
Last edited by ESPJohn at May 29, 2016,
#19
Quote by sourcegamer101
This is a video of my technique.


In a few years, you'll be referring to it as a video of why your right arm doesn't work.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#20
Quote by ESPJohn
You really don't want tendonitis. I've had tendonitis in both arms for about 5 years that refuses to go away completely, (lateral epicondylitis). Mine is not related to guitar but working with computers. Andy James talks about how he was out of commission with RSI for almost a year, and he had to keep an eye on his technique after he healed to prevent it in the future. Have good technique at all cost RSI is no fun at all.


Just a year ago I picked the guitar back up after 8 months out of commission with left wrist problems. Unsure if or how much of it was due to guitar, but I definitely keep an eye out now for tension and discomfort.
#21
What do you guys suggest then?

I can last for minutes doing this when warmed up, and feel absolutely little to no tension
Last edited by sourcegamer101 at May 29, 2016,
#22
I suggest not doing that because you'll wreck your arm.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#24
i find it really easy to pick from the wrist and it is less taxing tensionwise, but sometimes i revert back to the elbow during long passages

guess im gonna have to re adapt
#25
Quote by Mrpiggles4
I have some problems with speed. And when I say I am slow I play at the speed of a fucking 81 year old women with arthritis. How can I build the speed in my wrist to be able to pick fast. for example what techniques to build speed. Also what kind of pick should I use to put this into practice. I would love to be able to play the holy wars solo or some shred shit, so any and all help you can provide is greatly appreciated. Should I pick with my arm, just anything you can give about building speed.


You start out by playing the thing you want to play, at your comfortable 81 year old lady with arthritis pace. Then you do that over and over, until you feel you play just as well as grandma, then you ramp it up a little to 81 year old lady without arthritis, until that's no sweat, and so on, until you get to super hero guitar wizard speed.

The trick is doing that in less time than 81 years, before you become a woman with arthitis, or you're screwed.

EDIT: you will likely need to change your technique in a variety of ways along the way.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at May 30, 2016,
#26
If you can't move your shoulder or elbow freely while picking, you've got too mush tension. Your fingers should also be able to hang there without balling up into fist.

The funny thing about tension is that you don't really feel it. It's usually a result of being hyperfocused on what your hand's doing and losing awareness of the rest of your arm/body. Sometimes I find myself tense up to the neck, shoulder all shrugged, back twisted around and just have to take a second to let all the tension drop out.

Musically, tension also comes from trying to play beyond your abilities. If you don't have solid technique, you can only play fast by using big muscles and locking the small muscles into place. Imagine trying to walk by keeping your ankles and feet completely stiff, moving only your knees and hips - you'd have almost no control over your motion. Same with guitar. Ideal technique uses the smallest muscles possible because they are made for the very precise movements that result in good sounds from the guitar. Using only the big muscles, you lose control over your tone and lose the overall flow when you have to adjust technique.