#1
So, I have been a guitarist for 10+ years at this point, but have only recently discovered my biggest weakness. Fast metal style riffs, with string hopping, played at 120 BPM or higher. Example: Measures 4-24 and 48-56 on the attached tab. Super simple riffs, but my pick hand cannot keep up with the tempo, and the string skipping in the second riff gets very sloppy at the higher speeds.

Anyone have any tips for what to practice to make me better at this type of riffing? I have tried lowering the tempo and slowly speeding the song up as I get cleaner, but that has only helped me up to like 110 BPM. Its like I have hit a hard wall of my skill level.

Also, some other songs I have been practicing and attempting are (don't judge me)

Mors Principium Est - Departure
Blessthefall - Hollow Bodies
Darkest Hour - Sound the Surrender + Deliver Us
Make Them Suffer - Neverbloom
In Flames - Take This Life
Dark Tranquillity - Damage Done + Final Resistance + Nothing to No One

Thanks in advance for any help someone can offer me!
Attachments:
Miss May I - Apologies Are For The Weak (Pro).gp5
#2
Sometimes the issue is how you are holding the pick - some grips in some hands have their limits- try looking at that. For example, I can pick much faster if I play with a closed floating grip ( django style) than when I fan my fingers out. ( vai) - there are a million was to pick, so check out some videos like "cracking the code" etc and see if that helps.

Also, make sure you are using a very hard pick.
#3
Also, the angle your pick is hitting the strings can slow you down if it's too parralell
#4
Haven't thought about changing my pick style yet. Thanks for the advice. I am going to start trying that out now.
#5
When he says "string jumping" does he mean jumping from (example) string 1 to string 2 or string 1 to string 3/4/5/6?

Also great choice of music (I'm also a fan of Dark Tranquility and Blessthefall)

If you mean jumping from 1 to 3/4/5/6, I learned like this:


e [-----15----14----14/15------]
B [----------------------------]
G [-12----12----12-------------]
D [----------------------------]
A [----------------------------]
E [----------------------------]


and just repeat that over and over, start slow, going faster each time I feel like I can master it at that speed. Eventually I reach the speed necessary for the song.

On another note, I can't seem to open that attached file :/
#6
Parac Thanks for the advice. I practice stuff like that trying to get faster, but I have hit a wall right around 115 BPM. Maybe it is just one of those hurdles that takes forever, but once I finally get it, everything else will fall into place. The actual parts that I have been working on are

140 BPM, all 16th notes, except for tremolo picking run at the end. Palm muted root note. Sorry for the messy tab. The ASCII file is not pasting well for some reason.


--------------------------------------------|---------------------------------------|
--------------------------------------------|---------------------------------------|
--------------------------------------------|---------------------------------------|
--------------------------------------------|---------------------------------------|
--5----7------------5----7-----------7----8-----|--5----7-------------5-----8-7-5-7-5-------|
-----0----0--0--0----0----0--0--0----0----0--|-----0----0--0--0-----0----------------8-7-5-|


------------------------------------------------|-----------------------------------------|
------------------------------------------------|-----------------------------------------|
------------------------------------------------|-----------------------------------------|
------------------------------------------------|-----------------------------------------|
--8----10----------8----10----------10----12----|--8----10----------8----10------------8----|
----8-----8--8--8----8-----8--8--8-----8-----8--|----8------8--8--8----8----8--8--8---7----|


and


|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|--7-------------------7---7-----------7----7-------7--------------------7----7------------7-----------|
|-----------------------------------------------------|------------------------------------------------------|
|----5--5--5--5--5----5----5--5--5----5----5--|-----5--5--5--5--5----5----5--5--5----5--5--7--|


------------------------------------------------------|
------------------------------------------------------|
------------------------------------------------------|
--5-------------------5----5-----------5----5-----|
------------------------------------------------------|
-----8--8--8--8--8----8----8--8--8----8----8--|

----------------------------------------------------------------------|
----------------------------------------------------------------------|
----------------------------------------------------------------------|
----------------------------------------------------------------------|
--5-5-5-5-4-4-4-4-5-5-5-5-7-7-7-7-8-8-8-8-7-7-7-7-8-8-8-8-10-10-10-10-|
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|


But thanks for the compliment on my music choice! Have you heard the new Dark Tranquillity songs? I have been pretty happy with the 3 that have been released so far.
#7
Quote by ncmetalguitar88
So, I have been a guitarist for 10+ years at this point, but have only recently discovered my biggest weakness. Fast metal style riffs, with string hopping, played at 120 BPM or higher. Example: Measures 4-24 and 48-56 on the attached tab. Super simple riffs, but my pick hand cannot keep up with the tempo, and the string skipping in the second riff gets very sloppy at the higher speeds.

Anyone have any tips for what to practice to make me better at this type of riffing? I have tried lowering the tempo and slowly speeding the song up as I get cleaner, but that has only helped me up to like 110 BPM. Its like I have hit a hard wall of my skill level.

Also, some other songs I have been practicing and attempting are (don't judge me)

Mors Principium Est - Departure
Blessthefall - Hollow Bodies
Darkest Hour - Sound the Surrender + Deliver Us
Make Them Suffer - Neverbloom
In Flames - Take This Life
Dark Tranquillity - Damage Done + Final Resistance + Nothing to No One

Thanks in advance for any help someone can offer me!

I would suspect that it's a combination of movements that are too big and too much tension in your hand/arm/body.

Guitar at this kind of skill requires relaxation and small movements, and you can only do that by slowing down to a point at which you can really control what you're doing and staying there while working on moving less and staying relaxed. Don't speed up while working on this, just stay super slow and work on making your movements smaller.

Also note that your whole body should be relaxed. Any part of you tensing up can easily creep in to your playing, so you really need to watch out for that!
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Album.
Legion.
#8
Quote by ncmetalguitar88
But thanks for the compliment on my music choice! Have you heard the new Dark Tranquillity songs? I have been pretty happy with the 3 that have been released so far.


The first one I heard was "Misery's Crown", and it's been my favorite ever since. I tried learning it, but googled the tabs, found it was in "C#F#BEG#C". Ended up not learning because I couldn't figure out what that tuning was, but I do recommend the song, very nice contrast between the clean and harsh vocals
#9
Parac Misery's Crown is awesome! It is actually my favorite of their mixed style songs like that. And the little break riff in the middle... glorious.
#10
Zaphod_Beeblebr I actually think that might be the piece I was missing. After practicing these songs for so long, my picking hand/arm would be tired as if I had worked out. I figured it was just about keeping it up until I got the stamina. So you suggest just playing super slow until I basically perfect my economy picking techniques?
#11
Quote by ncmetalguitar88
Zaphod_Beeblebr I actually think that might be the piece I was missing. After practicing these songs for so long, my picking hand/arm would be tired as if I had worked out. I figured it was just about keeping it up until I got the stamina. So you suggest just playing super slow until I basically perfect my economy picking techniques?

Sadly it's not as simple as practicing it until you're perfect. The best way to do it, at least in my opinion, is to work on it for about 30-40 minutes a day and practice everything else you want to do around that. If you keep it up, it'll slowly creep in to your playing and you'll get better over time. You really can't just practice it until you've got it though, sadly!

Keep at it though, you keep it up and you'll get there!
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Album.
Legion.
#12
learn to relax in between the notes. imagine that the picking motion is actually just an initial impulse to get the pick moving toward the string(s) - once it's on its way, you can relax.
Quote by archerygenious
Jesus Christ since when is the Pit a ****ing courtroom...

Like melodic, black, death, symphonic, and/or avant-garde metal? Want to collaborate? Message me!
#13
Zaphod_Beeblebr You think that this is the kind of thing that is worth getting a teacher for a month or two? I have only had lessons once, and I quit when the teacher just kept telling me to read a book at home. Didn't seem worth the money at the time.
#14
Quote by ncmetalguitar88
Zaphod_Beeblebr You think that this is the kind of thing that is worth getting a teacher for a month or two? I have only had lessons once, and I quit when the teacher just kept telling me to read a book at home. Didn't seem worth the money at the time.


Whats the point of a teacher if you could just read the books and learn? No offense but that teacher isnt a teacher if they don't actually teach.

I guess having an actual teacher is nice, they can actually see what you're doing and try to give suggestions to make it easier
I'd say find a good teacher and go for it
#15
Quote by Parac
Whats the point of a teacher if you could just read the books and learn? No offense but that teacher isnt a teacher if they don't actually teach.

I guess having an actual teacher is nice, they can actually see what you're doing and try to give suggestions to make it easier
I'd say find a good teacher and go for it
That was my exact thought. WTF am I paying this dude for if he just wants me to read at home then come in to a 15 minute "lesson". Now I just have to find a good teacher.
#16
Quote by ncmetalguitar88
Zaphod_Beeblebr You think that this is the kind of thing that is worth getting a teacher for a month or two? I have only had lessons once, and I quit when the teacher just kept telling me to read a book at home. Didn't seem worth the money at the time.

I think it's worth having a teacher, assuming you can find a good one, for as long as you can afford it. Finding a good one isn't the easiest thing sadly, but it's worth it.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Album.
Legion.
#17
On youtube, there's a few artists I know that offer (or offered) lessons during the summer (probably northern hemisphere)

I heard Angel Vivaldi did them during summer 2016, I dunno if he still does though..
#18
Isolate the two problems you are having. Forget about the songs and tempo right now.

Improve the technique of your picking hand. Play one note and build up the speed of your picking hand. Focus on correct picking technique.

Improve your string skipping technique. Make some string skipping exercises, start slow, focus on the correct technique and then start to build up the speed.

Keep practicing these regularly and combine the two techniques when you're ready.