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#1
now this isnt about how to play fast but what to play fast. i hear a lot of guys just running up and down scales or even playing random legato with no scale in mind. personally i just dont play fast when i am actually at a gig.

so for myself and the dozens of other guitarist strugling with what to play fast i'm asking if anybody has any tips for creating speed licks.

so please discuss
#2
i am also one of those guitarists. im at like slow-medium speed i need to be fast. help.
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#3
when you're just starting out with trying to create those 'speed licks', it might be a good idea to take a look at Speed Mechanics For Lead Guitar (by Troy Stetina). It has hundreds of them and you can go through them, learn 'em and then adjust them to your own likings.
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#4
You don't need to be fast. You just need to be creative, and know what notes to hit. Theres some great solos out there that are really slow. A lot of Pink Floyd's stuff isn't very fast, but it's great.
#5
i don't want to go too off topic, but why is it that every guitarist nowadays- finds it necessary to shred? most of them judge ones ability by their speed. though, do they realise how difficult it is to play something slow - knowing which notes to hit for the desired effect? less is more.
"Gear":
1980s Copy of Les Paul [unknown brand]
1980s Acoustic [unknown brand]
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Moonrock
DIY Tubescreamer TS808
Carlsbro Kickstart 25 amp



Fight Ignorance --> www.erowid.org


My Tube Screamer Build
#6
The solos in the Eagles "Hotel California" are good examples of slow, thought out, emotional lead. As far as in when to play fast, In my opinion, songs and solos should have a crecendo, a peak. Running up to this peak in so so speed and reaching the peak in shred fashion, seems to work for a lot of bands. That is what is lacking in a solo that shreds the whole time, there is no build up to the "kill". My 2 cents.
#7
I'm the same way.
Whenever I'm at a gig, and I have to run a solo, often times, I'll have a certain idea layed out for the solo, but from there I just build off it improvising.
And I actually find that in a lot of cases, you'll actually sound like a much better player if you do things like focus on note length, getting the precise bend, and making sure all your hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides are getting the right sound, instead of focusing on speed, ESPECIALLY If you are not able to play cleanly at the speed your attempting.

Just something to think about.
It's not about speed.
#8
Quote by uuhi
i don't want to go too off topic, but why is it that every guitarist nowadays- finds it necessary to shred? most of them judge ones ability by their speed. though, do they realise how difficult it is to play something slow - knowing which notes to hit for the desired effect? less is more.
We find it necessary to shred because we fucking want to shred and shred is fucking fun!

#9
Quote by bangoodcharlote
We find it necessary to shred because we fucking want to shred and shred is fucking fun!



A - fuckin' - men!

#10
many people seemed to miss the point of this entire discussion we are not talking about the merits of shred guitar vs slow emotional playing we are discussing tips for creating quality speed licks
#12
Quote by uuhi
i don't want to go too off topic, but why is it that every guitarist nowadays- finds it necessary to shred?


maybe its because they like to challenge themselves at their hobby....

u never see a runner say, oh i can run the 100m in 10 seconds, but what the hell, ill run it in 15seconds and come last....

i personally belivein pushing yourself to get the most out of your ability....that way you can improve more
#13
All there is to playing fast is practice. Take your metronome and play whatever you want repeatedly and gruadually get faster until you are shredding like there's no tomorrow. This does take a lot of practice though.
#14
Quote by guitarhero?
All there is to playing fast is practice. Take your metronome and play whatever you want repeatedly and gruadually get faster until you are shredding like there's no tomorrow. This does take a lot of practice though.


Yeah... just get a metronome and play everything repeatedly. That's all there is to playing fast, guys.

#15
Quote by Johnljones7443
Yeah... just get a metronome and play everything repeatedly. That's all there is to playing fast, guys.


Start slow and turn up the speed. If you can't play it slow (correctly ... without errors) then there will be no point in shredding it.
#16
Quote by Desk Jocky
Start slow and turn up the speed. If you can't play it slow (correctly ... without errors) then there will be no point in shredding it.


I was being sarcastic in my last post - as regards to the person I quoted being a douchebag.
#17
less is more.


That holds absolutely no truth in music.

In answer to threadstarters questions. Take some licks that you like from some of your favorite shred artists and use it or change it to your liking. What to play is totally dependent on the groove and mood of the music.
#18
speed isnt everything, u also need originality(ur own style), versatility, and be able to play what u know perfectly.

there are tons of different ways to shred i dont see why u have to ask
#20
Quote by xX Maverick Xx
speed isnt everything, u also need originality(ur own style), versatility, and be able to play what u know perfectly.

there are tons of different ways to shred i dont see why u have to ask


speed may not be everything, but a versatile guitarist should have it in their arsenal in case they feel the need to shred for a few bars...i prefer having the ability to play fast, you know, just in case...but the secret to speed is muscle memory, and in order to gain this you must play everything at a slow enough speed where you can play it perfectly, and increase from there (using a metronome, of course)...attemtping to play faster than you can CLEANLY will lock tension into your muscles so that you break down when you reach a certain speed
Quote by BigFatSandwich
it took you 15 consecutive hours of practice to realize that playing guitar makes you better at playing guitar. congratulations.


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#21
Quote by Johnljones7443
I was being sarcastic in my last post - as regards to the person I quoted being a douchebag.


You, my friend, are blind.
Yes, practicing with a metronome [starting slow and building up] is quite honestly the best way to build your speed. You sit down and practice a certain lick at a speed you're comfortable with and over time you start to pick up speed. It's simple.
The guy who said to play with a metronome knew exactly what he was talking about.
#22
You don't need to be fast. You just need to be creative, and know what notes to hit. Theres some great solos out there that are really slow. A lot of Pink Floyd's stuff isn't very fast, but it's great.


The solos in the Eagles "Hotel California" are good examples of slow, thought out, emotional lead. As far as in when to play fast, In my opinion, songs and solos should have a crecendo, a peak. Running up to this peak in so so speed and reaching the peak in shred fashion, seems to work for a lot of bands. That is what is lacking in a solo that shreds the whole time, there is no build up to the "kill". My 2 cents.


speed isnt everything, u also need originality(ur own style), versatility, and be able to play what u know perfectly.


All there is to playing fast is practice. Take your metronome and play whatever you want repeatedly and gruadually get faster until you are shredding like there's no tomorrow. This does take a lot of practice though.



PLEASE STOP WITH THIS! i, as well as the thread starter, am in dire need to know what to play fast. we dont need to know HOW, we dont need to be told "oh, playing fast isnt everything to music" WE KNOW playing fast isnt everything! but the guy started a freaking thread about what to play fast! not on what is better to play! so please! some actual suggestions on what to play. we cant just run up the pentatonic scales as fast as we can, or do a bunch of three note licks insanely fast. is there some kind of pattern, maybe good spots inside scales that sound good, anything like that? thats what we're looking for.at least what im looking for.
#23
To anyone saying you dont need to go fast: Maybe so, but you spped is a great skill to have. Most of your solo can be slow but then build up into a fast shred lick or something. And believe it or not some speed solo's fit the song perfectly.

To thred maker: I'd learn some classical stuff. ie. beethoven, bach, mozart. all the notes sound beautiful and there can be some fair fast stuff in there and its not that hard (although i only just got into this and ive been playing Vai and Satch for a while). If you want faster learn some Satch or Vai, while some or their songs are ****ing hard you can still do the other stuff pretty easily. Remember speed isnt that hard. Speed and accurassy are hard.
#24
Good classical songs to learn are:

Symthony 25 in G major by Mozart

Turkish March by Mozart

Beethovens 5th symthony

The piece Vai ****s up on in the guitar dual, look up guitar dual and you'll see what im talking about...
#25
Quote by MisinformingYou
You, my friend, are blind.
Yes, practicing with a metronome [starting slow and building up] is quite honestly the best way to build your speed. You sit down and practice a certain lick at a speed you're comfortable with and over time you start to pick up speed. It's simple.
The guy who said to play with a metronome knew exactly what he was talking about.


No, practicing with a metronome and playing everything slow will improve your timing - and that's about it. Why? When somenoe says ''Sit down with a metronome and play excercises slowly'' what do you they mean? They mean sit down and just play them.

They don't mean awareness, they don't mean concentration, they don't mean patience, they don't mean discipline, they don't mean relaxation, they don't mean dedication and they certainly do not know exactly what they're talking about.
#26
I just bought the book 'Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar' (try amazon) and it is fantastic. I honestly really recomend it to anyone who wants to improve technically, i know my guitar playing is going to improve so much thanks to this book. Yeah, I know I sound like a total n00b but it's true.
#27
I am a very fast guitar player with my solos and all. I play alot of megadeth and things like that.

Okay let me help you out cause i teach guitar also. I'll clear it up for you.

First off, you need to understand a few things. First off Fast is not always good. You want to start off slow, working with scales, arpeggios, maybe some random things at first but i mean develop your timing and ability to pick fast without stressing out to much. Use these things to help you:


Skill building Exercises:

Alternate picking Figure:

E-1-2-3
A--1-2-3
D---1-2-3
G----1-2-3
B-----1-2-3
e------1-2-3

Use this basically til you have the feel of your strings down really well. You can also use patterns like this, reverse it, slide whatever. That is just a basic movement to get your fingers ready. You can also go on to fret 4 but if you have stubby fingers and cant stretch yet just relax and do this at first.

Mainly another thing you may want to do is if you are playing an electric guitar, change your strings often maybe about once a month depending on play time. I use D'addario XL (lights) and they were really really good for my sound. I am testing Zakk Wylde Signature ones but not really impressed at all. Just get strings that make it easy for you to feel the way. If you have bad strings or just a low quality one you may not be able to transfer as well in picking fast because you are not haveing the right feel.

Tensity

This is straight from my book "In the style of Raven Rage"

Speed picking problems:

A lot of people have told me "I can't keep my speed going" or "I cramp up". This is normal for almost any guitar player who has the right idea in most cases, but your execution is a little bit flawed. You have the right idea of trying to play fast. Do your best to relax both arms, don?t choke your fretboard. This just leads to stressing out your wrist, and you won?t get anywhere anyway.

Another big problem I hear all of the time with my students is they burry their hand on the bridge to hard. The cause of this problem is we all have different bridges in most cases. On my Warlock I have a "stop-block" bridge; it?s basically a thin piece of metal on the end of your guitar?s body. If you have a Tremolo bridge like a Floyd Rose, you won?t have this problem. The reason is you can leave your hand on it without muting the strings. If you have a stop-block like mine you need to be careful of this, free-lance pick it (not touching guitar), or you can put it behind the bridge if there are no strings holding there.

The biggest misconception I always hear from my students is "the harder I tense up the faster I play!" This is 100% false, the truth is you must keep both hand relaxed. Just like stretch or especially warm up with alternate picking exercises. I will have those in later lessons, but warm up or just relax completely. If you tense up, you'll cramp up, go slow and you just won't get your riffs out. So just relax and sort of Shake up and down in some sorts.

Another big problem I see is people try to just go crazy when you don?t have the experience. In any style from Blues to metal you have to remember a lot of the time you are playing the same thing, just different amp settings. If you are inexperienced I suggest learning your picking patters, bends, all of that terminology you have to know.

This is VITAL. Just because you play fast, doesn?t mean you play good. You can play faster then Malmsteen or Hammet. But still suck. Its all in your sound, speed is just an element of your sound, not a big like part of a song. Some solos are really fast and insane and hardcore. Some are slower and high pitched. Both are good.

Last note:

If you really want to become a good player really build up. Dont play fast at first start off with slower simpler stuff. Just keep adding onto it.


Sweep picking:

Sweep picking is a technique used by Yngwie malmsteen alot. The idea of this is a little hard to grasp though. The thing is instead of with alternate picking doing one string at a time or whatever you need to sweep it. Meaning you sorta strum the strings, you hammer-on alot when you sweep. The way to really work with this is just find a simple arpeggio or something. I will give you a random notation to help you that i use alot to build up:

e-17h16
B-13

The rest are the strings arent really used. that was a really beginner pattern for that. It will help you out some though. Eventually that will fall under your hands.

That is about it for now... Hope this helped u

Feel free to e-mail me for comments or further questions

subzero3009@yahoo.com

Later

#28
^ wow, that was, like, a totally awesome lesson on sweeping.

Where was i?

When writing fast licks, you need to have it visualised. The sound you want. Then you need the chops to pull it off. Oh, thats easy.

Anyway, get the feel for the sounds you like. I like arpeggios and fast pentatonics, i love the slippery feel of legato and the CHUNK of strict alternate. Therefor i come up with licks that highlight what i like. I come up with entirely legato fingerings for playing pentatonics and arpeggios quickly, i sequence them and mix em about. Picking - i love to accent hard, dig in and sequence and use dynamics to create interest rather than the actual notes.

You follow?
#30
Lol sorry bout that. I didnt wanna put intensity because i mean if u are tense there is not intensity. Sorry bout tht tho. I guess tenseness is a better word. I'll keep that in mind thanks man.
#32
ok im kind of getting the point here, but my main problem, is like when im writing a solo, it all sounds nice and everything, has a good flow with the song, but sometimes i wanna like near the end put like a face-melter in it or somthing. and i see these guys on tv and stuff and when they do stuff like that, they have about 32 different notes in there. and its like "how did they possibly write that? how did they know those notes put together would make that sound, and how did they even come across those notes to begin with?" so its like, where do you find this stuff to make that with?
#33
i think it would help to fully understand the modes/scales and what makes them different and how different ones will bring different sounds/feelings.
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#34
Okay the thing about that is that sometimes that is not written out, and if it is though. 9/10 it is actually scales, pentatonics, harmoic minors, anything like that. Just all that tech stuff but its just put into a certain way. Certain direction.
#35
Quote by quinny1089
maybe its because they like to challenge themselves at their hobby....

u never see a runner say, oh i can run the 100m in 10 seconds, but what the hell, ill run it in 15seconds and come last....

i personally belivein pushing yourself to get the most out of your ability....that way you can improve more

You cant ACTUALY compare the two they're completely diffrent kinds of things
#36
i think what the threadstarters was asking is how did the guitarist know to hit those specific groupings of notes in that order etc etc (and if that is what he is asking) i would say its prolly due largely in part to music theory, knowing what groupings of notes create certain chords etc and the order in which to play them to have the maximum melodic effect (thats also a big piece of counterpoint)
#37
Quote by axe_grinder247
speed may not be everything, but a versatile guitarist should have it in their arsenal in case they feel the need to shred for a few bars...i prefer having the ability to play fast, you know, just in case...but the secret to speed is muscle memory, and in order to gain this you must play everything at a slow enough speed where you can play it perfectly, and increase from there (using a metronome, of course)...attemtping to play faster than you can CLEANLY will lock tension into your muscles so that you break down when you reach a certain speed


the first EXTREMELY true and useful - more than anything - thing i've ever heard in a forum. thank you.
#38
try mastering ur phrasing, whether it be repetitive or not. so learn ur favorite guitarist's licks and phrases and mold them until it's not "copying" their style but "creating" your own. That's how i've found on my own how to play fast for the most part (among various otehr things, of course, but...)

also, to touch upon z4twenny's statement, yes within every scale there are more dominant notes than others. why? because of different modes within the scales, from wut i understand. also, i think the dominant notes (are these called the "tonic(s)"? i forget wut those are, but i kno they have sumthin to do with it) are also very dependant upon which chords they are being put over. so one chord progression will/may have different notes that u find u wanna "stop" or "rest" on than a diffferent progression of the same key and scale. if i've technically mistated sumthing and it's so small that it doesn't affect the idea i'm trying to get across, then i'd appreciate no corrections from you walking-music-theory-book-persons....lol. it's late and yeah...

So no really tho, wut's the "tonic"? PM me with the answer someone? thanks.
#39
oh and just plain mess around with different style scales/modes and whatnot. like, if you're typically a minor pentatonic dude, try fooling around with the diminished scale or sumthing. just jam out for say, 20 minutes and see what u can come up with. if u can/want, record urself doing it for like 5 mins and u'll love some of the things that u'll pickk up that u played, that sounds better when u go back and listen to it. then tab it out and use it somewhere in a solo. just a couple more suggestions, u kno? Good luck.
#40
Quote by Nor'Easterbass
the first EXTREMELY true and useful - more than anything - thing i've ever heard in a forum. thank you.


no prob...try not to triple post though, mods hate it
Quote by BigFatSandwich
it took you 15 consecutive hours of practice to realize that playing guitar makes you better at playing guitar. congratulations.


Quote by Sharp_as_steel
Axe_grinder pwns!!!!



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