#1
Hi. I will try to be as quick as possible.

TLR: Which is the best way to practice shred guitar and increasing speed?


Say i want to be able to pick fast (e.g: triplets at 200BPM) and i have 2 hours and 30 minutes to practice everyday.

Considering what "Shredding" is, i believe that the most important techniques i feel the need to work in, are:
Alternate picking, Sweeping, Legato/Pullofs/Tapping, Downstrokes (am i right?)

So my question is, should i practice the whole 150 minutes alternate picking (with a couple of alt. picking licks?) )until i reach triplets at 200BPM with alternate picking and then move to sweeping?

Or should i practice 30 minutes of each technique everyday?

I'm asking this, because i'm a little overwhelmed about which is the most efficient way to practice. Right now, i'm practicing all the scale modes (alternate picking) for 150 minutes.

Each day of practice i increase the maximum BPM's i can play, one by one, so eventually i can reach say 200. Right now, i'm at 140BPM, consider i'm being VERY careful with playing clean.

Plus: If i wanted to practice those 4 techniques, is there like a GOOD set of exercises for those techniques so i can practice them all the time during practice time?

Thanks in advance!.
'92 (Fujigen) Ibanez RG550
'94 Fender Jazz bass MIJ
M-Audio Keystation 49es
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
#3
Udjine, those are all good collections of licks and exercises but really from what I've seen of them, they all miss the really key information.

Lemming16: there's a lot to shredding. I don't want to be discouraging, I just want you to know that it's a pretty rare player that can learn to properly shred just by running exercises. Sure it's doable, but it's the hard way. That said... mix it up. As much as anything else, running scales over and over for 2.5 hours every day will very quickly get you to burning out on the whole thing and possibly make you give up guitar when you're not progressing as fast as all your practice would have you believe you should be.

Another key thing: don't just run scales and exercises. Play songs, licks you hear in solos and think are awesome. Even if you can't do these things up to tempo at first: most of these things, with the exception of very long scale runs you hear in some songs, sound pretty awesome slowly as well, and getting it down slowly will build towards a bag of tricks you'll have once you can play faster.

The real keys though, are some pretty simple pieces of knowledge:

You cannot practice speed. You can improve your technique and that may make you a bit faster, but you can't actually practice playing faster. I know that seems like a pretty fine semantic distinction, but if you're going to practice properly it's absolutely crucial to understand it.

Economy of motion is king. Realistically speaking, this is what will let you play fast. Moving every single part of your hands and arms as little as possible. The less movement you have to make, the less time it will take, so the more of those movements you can fit in to any given space of time. Thus: more notes.

Relax. No seriously. Shred is physically taxing. Not like running a marathon or anything, you should never end up out of breath from playing. But it's still very difficult to do it well, and any tension in your body at all (not just your hands and arms; playing is a holistic activity) will make it much more difficult, if not impossible depending on how much you're tensing up. So relax, everything is easier when you do.


Now with all that in mind: practice!

You'll actually want to work on shredding at a speed a snail would say "Yo, dude, come on, quicker!" to. Seriously slow. Obscenely slow even. A pace where you can actually control what you're doing, so you can get nicely relaxed and make those small motions with both hands. From there, what you practice is relatively irrelevant in terms of building your technique. What matters is that you practice relaxing and moving as little as possible.

Also bear in mind that this is for the purpose of building up your mechanics, not for learning new material. You can't just practice like this for a few weeks and call it a day. This takes months, and years, to seep in to your playing. Do this kind of no-tempo practice for maybe 45 minutes a day (up to an hour if you're really feeling it) and devote the rest to normal practice; learning licks and riffs and writing your own material and what have you.

Finally, a lot of material will tell you that practicing with a clean tone is the only way to go... if you ask me this is also wrong. You should practice with a decent mix of both clean and dirty tones. Practicing clean will help you more easily pick out where you're flubbing notes and if you're not getting good tone out of each note, but practicing with gain will tell you where you need to mute better and will teach you how to control that sort of sound. For a modern electric guitarist, you absolutely do need both skills.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

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#4
Quote by Udjine
Lemming16 Hi, did you check these lessons (especially sets of lessons)? https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/search.php?search_type=lessons&order=&value=shred


No i hadn't!!! i'm checking it right now!! i really appreciate it!.

and Zaphod, i can't thank you enough for your in-depth response. I'm gonna keep it in mind, and start practicing songs as you suggest. Also, the motion economy thing was very interesting, i'm gonna put a lot more attention into that.

Once again, thanks!.
'92 (Fujigen) Ibanez RG550
'94 Fender Jazz bass MIJ
M-Audio Keystation 49es
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
#5
For the love of god learn some music! You can't spend all your time running scales to a metronome- which is a sure fire way to become a simple and stupid player.you can spend some time doing that, but work in some musical examples to go along with your practice, otherwise your are coping out and taking the easy road.
#7
Quote by reverb66
For examlle, learn " Flight of the Bumble Bee " or " Too many notes" from Steve Morse or the solo from Erotomania Dream Theater etc and work those up to speed.


thanks man!, i haven't heard that one from Steve Morse. Gonna check it out!
'92 (Fujigen) Ibanez RG550
'94 Fender Jazz bass MIJ
M-Audio Keystation 49es
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
#8
What Zaphod and Reverb said. In my experience, the best way to improve as a shredder is to practice actual songs. You'll never "feel" scales or sweep arpeggios or any technical exercise the same way you will an actual song, and it's essential that your technical proficiency closely matches your ability to make the music your own. Start off learning some Metallica! It's some of the easiest thrash metal out there and it's ideal for guitarists still learning how to shred. Maybe don't start out with Master of Puppets or Disposable Heroes - try Enter Sandman and work your way up from there.

While you should work time for playing songs, though, technical exercises are definitely important. You need not spend a full two hours on them, but if you neglect them you'll almost certainly end up a much more sloppy player. Your list of techniques you'd need to practice seems alright - one more that I might add, however, is economy picking. It's frustrating to figure out at first but once it clicks it makes otherwise fast and difficult riffs simple and much more smooth. In addition, it forces you to pay more attention to your picking hand.

You don't necessarily have to run through scales up and down constantly - improvise a little in the scales while you work on them. It'll ensure that you're able to play well in the scale rather than just being able to run up and down in it all the time, plus it'll help your musicality. You can work in the legato and the alternate picking in the scale practice, just make sure you do it slowly and cleanly, as you've said you're focusing on. Sweeping doesn't fit into scale practice too well, so you may want to work on it separately; just start slow and work your way up.

Hope this helps. And a final note, there is no universal practice regimen that you should attempt to follow - different methods work better for different people. These methods have worked well for me for several years, but they may not for you. Experiment a bit and figure out what you like.