#1
It's stupidly simple, actually. I hear about many people sitting around with a metronome, playing a passage over and over for hours, and then finally cranking up the metronome a tiny bit, and starting the whole process anew. While this certainly DOES work, it takes an unnecessarily long amount of time to reach desired results. There are TWO very simple issues that you can fix in order to increase your picking speed by leaps and bounds (And in a very short amount of time).


1. The metronome:

Start out at whatever speed you're comfortable with. Make sure you can play the passage perfectly. After you've played the passage FLAWLESSLY 5 times in a row, crank up the metronome by about 4 bpm. Repeat the process. It's that simple. If you make a small mistake while playing the passage, forget the previous times you played it perfect in a row and start back on 0. To make a little more sense out of that statement, check this out:

The numbers represent the attempts at the passage:

120 BPM

1 - Perfect
2 - Perfect
3 - Perfect
4 - Perfect
5 - Perfect

CRANK METRONOME UP 4 BPM

124 BPM

1 - Perfect
2 - Perfect
3 - MISTAKE (Start from 1)
1 - Perfect
2 - Perfect
3 - Perfect
4 - Perfect
5 - MISTAKE
1 - Perfect

etc...

Just tonight, I started practicing a descending Cmaj lick at about 90 BPM. Two hours later, following this technique (And the next one I'm about to bring up), I was playing the passage at 160 BPM with no flaws. I **** you not. Granted, I'll most likely have to start tomorrow at 140 or something and work back up, but that's still a grand improvement.


2. Pick attack:

Forget the fretting hand. Your picking hand is the single most important thing when it comes to fast alternate picking. The #1 killer of speed is EXCESSIVE PICK MOVEMENT. By this, I mean letting your picking hand bounce up and down when you're playing. Pick with small, even strokes with a slightly relaxed grip. Try not to move the pick too far from the string and keep it at about the same level as the strings. If necessary, I can make a video further explaining this.
#2
so was your picking in the 120 - 160 bpm in 8ths or 16ths.

and yes this does infact work, its been part of my speed training and acuracy training.
#3
Quote by GuitarFreak1387
so was your picking in the 120 - 160 bpm in 8ths or 16ths.

and yes this does infact work, its been part of my speed training and acuracy training.


16ths...I don't know why someone would practice picking in 8th notes.
#4
Quote by GetOutOfMyYard
16ths...I don't know why someone would practice picking in 8th notes.


I pick/hammer notes in 8ths when I warm up. Then I go to 16ths. I'm doing arpeggios though.
#5
Quote by VIRUSDETECTED
I pick/hammer notes in 8ths when I warm up. Then I go to 16ths. I'm doing arpeggios though.


Bleh I never even considered 8th notes when I'm trying to work on speed haha. Not that I practice with a metronome a whole lot anyway.
#6
would this also be benificial to increasing accuracy as well as speed?
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#7
Quote by TORSION
would this also be benificial to increasing accuracy as well as speed?


Yeah, because you're forced to play the passage over and over until you can play it 5 times in a row with no mistakes at all.
#8
Quote by GetOutOfMyYard
16ths...I don't know why someone would practice picking in 8th notes.


You probably don't know why because you're just concerned about "beating the
metronome" and less concerned with using a metronome as a practice aid for music.

8th notes also happen to be in music so they're also worth practicing.
#9
Quote by edg
You probably don't know why because you're just concerned about "beating the
metronome" and less concerned with using a metronome as a practice aid for music.

8th notes also happen to be in music so they're also worth practicing.



+1

I would recommend practicing ALL note values. Work on different rhythms. Work on timing & feel.

Those that use the metronome strictly as a way to gauge speed, are missing out on the bigger picture.
#10
Try picking eight notes at a very very very slow tempo accurately and then tell me if practising them is useful or not.
#11
^^ exactly, i dont even remember the number of guitar players i heard blazeing it up only to not be in time when playing slow.................epic fail!!!!!!!!!
#12
Quote by GetOutOfMyYard
16ths...I don't know why someone would practice picking in 8th notes.


Because 8th notes have a different rythmatic feel then 16th notes. This statement makes everything in your original post fail.
#13
Quote by zeppelinfreak51
Because 8th notes have a different rythmatic feel then 16th notes. This statement makes everything in your original post fail.


No ****. I'm talking about practicing 16th notes to increase picking speed, not to practice all music.
#14
Quote by GetOutOfMyYard
No ****. I'm talking about practicing 16th notes to increase picking speed, not to practice all music.


Irrelevant post is irrelevant.
#15
Quote by zeppelinfreak51
Irrelevant post is irrelevant.


you should stop being an arrogant ass.

most straightforward shred licks ARE 16th notes, and 16ths ARE the best note values to practice alt picking with to gain speed.

Having a consistent timing of notes allows you to focus solely on other aspects of playing- minimising excessive movement of the fretting and picking hands.
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#16
It's funny, this is actually the EXACT method I've been using personally. Though it isn't much of a surprise that other people are doing the same thing since it's pretty effective.
#17
Quote by Night_Lights
you should stop being an arrogant ass.

most straightforward shred licks ARE 16th notes, and 16ths ARE the best note values to practice alt picking with to gain speed.

Having a consistent timing of notes allows you to focus solely on other aspects of playing- minimising excessive movement of the fretting and picking hands.


Should also practice with sextuplets (16th triplets) because that's what a lot of 3-note-per-string runs are going to be in.
Quote by dudetheman
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Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
#18
i was doing similar with an excersize i made up to practice alt picking and string skips. it was a series of 20 16th notes, but instead of repeating it 5 times (not to mention thats so monotonous), i would start at 5th fret and each time move it up 1 fret up to 12th, then repeat 5 to 12th. first round i would concentrate on left hand and getting the feel for it (since it was intentionally awkward), then the second time let my left hand do its thing and concentrate solely on making my right hand more efficient in picking. both reps were played on time with right hand.

i would move up 5bpm, if it felt strained or if i started making a few mistakes i would bump it down 1bpm, repeat until i nail it perfect then bump back up.

i ended up similar to OP going from i believe 100bpm to around 160, from there found very small improvement and decided to call it a day for that excersize.

but it worked very well for not only picking faster and accurately, but for releasing tension, which over time will allow much much faster picking. also the main goal was to completely hammer out anchoring, wrist, arm, finger, whatever.
#19
Sounds interesting, might at least at a little variety to my practice. I'll try it out.
#20
Quote by Night_Lights
you should stop being an arrogant ass.

most straightforward shred licks ARE 16th notes, and 16ths ARE the best note values to practice alt picking with to gain speed.

Having a consistent timing of notes allows you to focus solely on other aspects of playing- minimising excessive movement of the fretting and picking hands.


Narrow minded post is narrow minded. Practicing only one thing is always a bad idea. No matter what the circumstances are.
#21
Quote by zeppelinfreak51
Narrow minded post is narrow minded. Practicing only one thing is always a bad idea. No matter what the circumstances are.


Leave that crap in the pit. Nobody cares here.
#22
Quote by Avedas
Leave that crap in the pit. Nobody cares here.


To bad you only read that part and failed to mention the truth in the second sentence.
#23
Quote by zeppelinfreak51
To bad you only read that part and failed to mention the truth in the second sentence.


While it is truth, you already pulled that crap once before in the thread and it was just completely unnecessary.
#24
Quote by Avedas
While it is truth, you already pulled that crap once before in the thread and it was just completely unnecessary.


I didnt pull crap, I also think you need to get off your high horse.
#25
Quote by zeppelinfreak51
I didnt pull crap, I also think you need to get off your high horse.


I think you need to go back to the pit and STFU.
#26
This thread will be closed if the flaming doesn't cease. Now let's get back on the topic of speed training methods.
#28
I just do this with every riff/lick I work on.
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#29
I don't see what's wrong with practicing 8th notes. Just double the speed of your metronome...
Quote by Kensai
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#30
Quote by GetOutOfMyYard
Yeah, because you're forced to play the passage over and over until you can play it 5 times in a row with no mistakes at all.


+ 1

But I suggest that it would be better to play slow for some time.