I've been playing about a year now, and have just started to shred, to stuff like Surfing with the Alien, but I need help with my speed, as well as finger tapping(I can't). My alternate picking is up to bar, and so is my improvisational. Any excercises or tips would be great, as well as what specific scales/modes should I know?
UG's Official Tenacious D fan
Try Steve Vai's Ten Hour workout(There's a tab on the site) Chromatic scales, slowly build up tapping, then your legeto and arpeggio type stuff. Don't try to rush them.

Tapping isn't as hard as you'd think. It's just about starting slow. Play a riff you want too learn with tapping in it realllllly slow. Make sure you get all your fingers to drop at the right time, in the right places. Once you get it in muscle memory, it's really quite easy.
as far as tapping do, only picking 1 and taping out the others, then move one fret up each time you finish a succession
e 1 2 3 4
b------------1 2 3 4
g --------------------- 1 2 3 4
d-------------------------------- 1 2 3 4
a ------------------------------------------ 1 2 3 4
E --------------------------------------------------- 1 2 3 4
also you can do Dimes warm up which is along the lines of
e 2 t3p2t3p2
b ---------------2 t4p2t4p2
g ------------------------- 2 t5p2t5p2
d ------------------------------------- 2 t4p2t4p2
a ------------------------------------------------------------ 2 t3p2t3p2
E ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2 t3p2t3p2
To practice better finger independance you could play something pedal point along these lines. Only speeding up when you hit the notes cleanly.


It sounds really cool when you can play phrases like this at blinding speed and it's also a good way to strengthen your fingers by stretching them.