sTx
Proud Autodidact
Join date: Apr 2006
1,692 IQ
#1
Sharper, Faster, Smoother & Better!

If you're serious about playing guitar like your idols, you'll need two things: determination & technique. Luckily, I'm here to provide the ultimate workout.
--
There are a few metal guitarists who don't possess good technique. That's not to say that all are blistering lead players, but they do have great chops.

Whereas punk may well rely on 'attitude', to achieve its characteristic sound, metal requires precise riffing and soloing. Loose, sloppy playing will result in a horrible mush, especially when you factor in highly distorted tones and radical down-tuning - control over your instrument is a must.

This extensive set of 19 exercises will give both of your hands a full workout. To start, there are some alternate picking exercises, great for building co-ordination - exactly what you'll need for Zakk Wylde-style speed-picking.

After you've worked through the latter, there are a number of triplet ideas to work on. These are great for your technique, as the triplets will force you to pay attention to your picking as the groups of three will work against the familiar alternate-picking patterns.

There's lots of hammer-on and pull-off workouts (legato playing) which should help you towards super slinky lead lines. Remember, take your time & rest if you feel any pain.

Points For Practicing


As with any disciplined practicing, bear these points in mind:

1) Adopt a relaxed body and hand posture when playing, as relentless playing can encourage a hunched back and tense arm muscles. This is a sure way of incurring RSI (Repititive Strain Injury). So, whenever you experience arm/finger muscle 'tingling', drop your hands down by your sides and shake them, to loosen the muscles.

2) Be brutally honest about what you fluff and then work to eradicate these weaknesses. You will improve quickly this way.

3) Reduce the distortion - yes, it adds excitement to your sound, but also blurs out mistakes. Even better, practise, both, unplugged and plugged into an amp, to encourage solid technique building.

4) If possible, record your playing - listening back to yourself will make you realize your flaws more quickly.

5) Be patient - you may only manage these exercises at 75 bpm after three weeks, but there will be a day when you're easily clocking 90 bpm (an amazing feat for beginners).

6) After the exercises, end the practise session with some fun, like playing over backing tracks. This will develop your individuality - a quality that will encourage others to play with you.

Speed

Guitar playing should not be a sport for achieving the fastest single note solo. There are tempos which constitute world-class guitar playing à la Zakk, Tremonti, Dimebag, Schuldiner, Hammett et al. Basing performances on three-notes-per-string scalic note sequences, six notes per click @ 120bpm+ and four notes per click @ 160bpm+ are considered elite figures. However, if you're just starting out, you should be happy at four notes @ 85-90 bpm. Soon enough, you'll be doing OK @ 100-110 bpm.

Ok, now we start with the exercises:

Alternate Picking Work-out: Start with a down-pick for the first exercise, and up-pick the second one.

e|---------7----------------------10-8-7------------|
B|-7-8-10---10-8-7---7-8-10-----------------10-8-----|
G|-----------------9---------------------------------|
D|---------------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------|


e|-7---------7-----------7--------------------7-|
B|----10-8-7-----10-8-7---10------------7-8-10----|
G|-------------------------------9----------------|
D|------------------------------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------|


String Skipping:

Picking across strings will greatly open up your playing, making it sound less scalic. Learn and develop these two phrases to explore a new approach to pentatonics.

e|---------7---10-7-------------------------------|
B|-------------------------10-7-------------------|
G|-9-7-9---9-7------9--------------9-7------------|
D|--------------------------------------9-7-------|
A|-------------------------------------------10---|
E|------------------------------------------------|

e|--------7------10-7---7-------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------|
G|-9-7-9--9-7--------9----9-7-----7----------9----|
D|------------------------------------------------|
A|--------------------------------10---10-7-------|
E|------------------------------------------------|


Ascending In Thirds
:

Moving up a scale in thirds is a good way of practicing a scale that's more melodic than playing straight up and down a shape.

e|--------------------------------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------------------5---7-5-8-7-|
G|--------------------------------5---7-5-8-7---8---------|
D|-------------------4----5-4-7-5---7---------------------|
A|-------3---5-3-7-5----7---------------------------------|
E|-3-7-5---7----------------------------------------------|


Triplets:

Triplets can be tricky to play regarding both timing and picking, so, this is a good pattern to work on. As with all triplets, played with alternate picking, each group of three notes will start with an alternate pick stroke - for example, if you start on a down-stroke, the next group of three will begin with an upstroke. This may feel strange at first, but stick with it, as there may come a time when you'll need to use both down and up picks, on the main beats of the bar.

e|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------------------------------------------5-5-7-5-7-8-7-|
G|------------------------------------------------5----5-7-5-7-8-7--7---------------|
D|------------------------------4---4-5-4-5-7-5-7----7------------------------------|
A|-----------3----3-5-3-5-7-5-7---7-------------------------------------------------|
E|-3-5-7-5-7----7-------------------------------------------------------------------|


Twelve-note Patterns:

This is the last of the patterns commonly favoured by guitarists to vary their scale practise, using the three-note-per-string approach to scalic playing. Notice that after completing the pattern, on two sets of strings (this occurs every three groups of four semi-quavers), the picking pattern repeats itself. Ultimately, this means that once you've mastered the sequence on two sets of strings, you're sorted picking wise for the rest of the exercise's ascent.

e|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------5-----5-7----5-7-8-8-|
G|------------------------------------------------------4----4-5---4-5-7-4-5-7---5-7-----7----------|
D|-------------------------------4-----4-5---4-5-7-4-5-7--5-7----7----------------------------------|
A|-------3-----3-5---3-5-7-3-5-7---5-7-----7--------------------------------------------------------|
E|-3-5-7---5-7-----7--------------------------------------------------------------------------------|


Arpeggio Work-out:

Malmsteen - watch out.
Dividing a scale into arpeggios is a great way to expand your options within a shape. Despite being tricky, using this in your solos will instantly make you sound more sophisticated. For maximum versatility, practise both picking methods (i.e, starting from: i) a down-stroke ii) an up-stroke).

e|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|--------------------------------------------------------4----------------5-4---------|
D|-------4-----------------5-4-----------4-7-5-4---------5---7-5-4-----4-7-----7-5-4-5-|
A|-----5----7-5-3------3-7-----7-5-3---5---------7-5-3-7-----------7-5-----------------|
E|-3-7------------7-5----------------7-------------------------------------------------|
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Last edited by sTx at May 2, 2007,
sTx
Proud Autodidact
Join date: Apr 2006
1,692 IQ
#2
*Post Reserved For More Additions*
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DaddyTwoFoot
Barned
Join date: Oct 2004
338 IQ
#3
Looks good, but you should fix up the tabs. Make them more even, some notes are right above others.
Quote by dudetheman
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Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
sTx
Proud Autodidact
Join date: Apr 2006
1,692 IQ
#4
Tabs corrected. I'll add the remaining exercises once I get back home. I'm in another town, at the moment.

Cheers, and keep rockin',
ST
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marmoseti
are not Stalin.
Join date: Oct 2005
456 IQ
#5
In the second paragraph,"there are a few" should read "there are few" in my opinion. Great article though
Quote by VR2005
Very good post Marmoseti, you're on the right track.



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Mighty_Meh
Harbinger of Heavy Mehtal
Join date: Mar 2006
633 IQ
#6
This looks an awful lot like a work out from an issue of Total Guitar magazine I got
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sTx
Proud Autodidact
Join date: Apr 2006
1,692 IQ
#7
Quote by Mighty_Meh
This looks an awful lot like a work out from an issue of Total Guitar magazine I got


*Shh!*

Metal Special? With Dimebag on the cover? Yeah, I wrote the exercise section =D.
You simply MUST check out my music on
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sTx
Proud Autodidact
Join date: Apr 2006
1,692 IQ
#9
Not bad. Which issue is it? The dead heros one?


The one with Dimebag on the cover: Metal Special (Collector's Edition, noobcake =D)
You simply MUST check out my music on
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sTx
Proud Autodidact
Join date: Apr 2006
1,692 IQ
#11
Quote by chrismacker
MORE lol


I haven't gotten around to posting all the exercises. Hopefully, they'll be complete by next week.

Cheers,
ST
You simply MUST check out my music on
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Agosen
UG's Iron Maiden Fanatic
Join date: Sep 2006
398 IQ
#12
Awseome job mate - Actually looking forward to dedicating myself to guitar exercises everyday. One question - String skipping, do i mute the middle string? Well, dampen it... or chicken pluck them? Or what?

Thanks - And again, well done, keep up the good work.
Agosen
UG's Iron Maiden Fanatic
Join date: Sep 2006
398 IQ
#13
Rofl, jus gonna give you some feedback. The bottom two exercises are pretty hard to play at any speed... due to the frets being so far apart - Maybe thats what you intended The first exercise is awseome i gotta say, been practising for 10 minutes, and on that one exercise my speed has far surpassed anything ive ever played before.

Ta
sTx
Proud Autodidact
Join date: Apr 2006
1,692 IQ
#14
Quote by Agosen
Awseome job mate - Actually looking forward to dedicating myself to guitar exercises everyday. One question - String skipping, do i mute the middle string? Well, dampen it... or chicken pluck them? Or what?

Thanks - And again, well done, keep up the good work.


You should play with your finger not touching any of the strings you're not playing: that is, make them sort of fly, instead of resting them on the strings. You could, however, mute the middle string in the beginning, but I don't recommend it.

Cheers,
ST
You simply MUST check out my music on
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Sonicxlover
The blood of this city
Join date: Mar 2007
1,360 IQ
#15
C'mon man, can't you add the excersises soon? I've been following this thread religiously.
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sTx
Proud Autodidact
Join date: Apr 2006
1,692 IQ
#16
Quote by Sonicxlover
C'mon man, can't you add the excersises soon? I've been following this thread religiously.


Ok, ok!

I just hate writing tabs. Maybe I'll post shots off GuitarPRO.
You simply MUST check out my music on
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