#1
I've read a lot of instructions on increasing picking speed which talk about the thickness of the pick, position of the hand, angle of the pick and what exercises are helpful, but none seem to really explain the theory behind how you need to practice to increase that speed.

My general take is to choose a simple lick and use a metronome, starting at 100 bpm, then repeating the lick for 30s to 1 minute before increasing the speed by 10 bpm. This lick is what some may refer to as the Paul Gilbert lick which is basically 4 notes picked alternatively where the 4th note is pick on an upstroke on the next string before the lick returns. I can play this lick accurately up to 270 bpm when I perform this process, and at 280 bpm it doesn't sound as clear or feel as comfortable.

My question is how should I be scheduling my daily practice to increase speed on that lick in order to reach a higher speed. Would I just need to repeatedly play at 270 and eventually I'll be able to play faster? Should I try to play at 280 until I eventually manage to play it comfortably? I may just be impatient but I've been working on this lick on and off for a couple of months or so and I always seem to hit an impenetrable threshold.


TLDR: how do you use a metronome effectively to increase playing speed?
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#2
Half of the battle of alt picking is basically like standing on a balance beam trying not to fall off. You need to balance the tension in your picking hand and fretting hand and also counter it with accuracy. Keep playing it accurately at 270, but then go to 290. You will struggle and have tension, but after wading through it, when you go down to 280, it will seem marginally easier to play compared to 290.

Also, don't be afraid to go back to basics, play it super slow too and develop your technique thoroughly. If you can only play it fast but not slow that's a problem and a big gap in your fundamentals
#3
Quote by arvarna

My general take is to choose a simple lick and use a metronome, starting at 100 bpm, then repeating the lick for 30s to 1 minute before increasing the speed by 10 bpm.
TLDR: how do you use a metronome effectively to increase playing speed?


I actually would increase by 2-3bpm instead of 10 bpm. It will be easier for your brain to adjust to small variations in the speed, rather than bumping straight into lightyears. (even though i am guiltyof doing all the time )

I do agreed with sourcegamer101. Even though it sounds like i am contradicting myself here. I think what has been said about the jumping to 290 then return to 280 is a valid point.

Then is all about breaking into basic blocks.
For example:
Picking Hand : Make sure to accent that 1 beat, so you can mantain stability throughout the shreding. At high speed its easier to get lost, but if u keep that one point solid in your mind the rest just falls into place naturally.
Pay attention to your thumb's finger nail. Picking hand tension, can be a useful tool to create dynamics in your pick attack. But is also a double-edge sword, if you notice that your nail is starting to go crazy white, is probably because you using too much force and therefore creating excess tension. If you ever go into sweepies make sure your nail is completely relax, without any "white spots".

Freeting Hand: For example i assume you talking about something like;
x--------------------
x----------7--------
x-7-9-10-10-9---
x--------------------
x--------------------

Make sure you dont have tension in your fingers, like when u freeting the 10 note, see if the fingers that freeted 9 and 7 are relaxed.

You can always isolate the part where you are having trouble. Like create exercises that focus on the problematic motion.
Ex:
If you are having troubles with the cross strings at 280. Rather than speding 15 min on.
x--------------------
x----------7--------
x-7-9-10-10-9---
x--------------------
x--------------------
Spend 15 min on something like:
x--------------------
x----7---7---7---7--
x-10-10-10-10----
x--------------------
x--------------------


You probably already know all this newb stuff, regardless good luck
Last edited by renatofrmsantos at Oct 18, 2016,
#4
renatofrmsantos Hey great tips, I appreciate the input really. I haven't tried accenting yet or going 2-3 bpms up like you've mentioned, accenting really helped me develop my 3 finger plucking technique on the bass I guess I never thought about trying it with the guitar.

I'll try isolating the tricky parts like you've mentioned and do hops above my comfort zone like sourcegamer101 suggested, and I'm gonna take it super slow tomorrow and work my way up again.

Thanks again!
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