Hey there ! It's my first post on this forum, and it's not a merry one
I've been playing guitar for a year and a half, in a thrash metal band and I have some really discouraging issues about my playing. I'm a rythm guy and we play with a LOT of distortion ( I mean, thrash right ? ), and my playing is dirty as hell, I can't seem to play without some strings ringing out now and then, even though I try to mute with both my right and left hand, it's still messy.
I'm also struggling to play standing up, my right hand feels really uncomfortable, I tire out really quickly when playing some fast alternate picking riffs, and I let out even more string noise when standing up... I practice hours a day, standing up mainly, and still, nothing... I'm getting pretty demoralized, even considered stopping guitar a few times... Got any tips or help for me ?
Thanks in advance !
First thing's first: this happens to everyone. All of us get this feeling at some point, and it's absolutely fine. There's nothing wrong with this at all, and in fact it's almost a natural consequence of pushing yourself outside your comfort zone: playing guitar to a high level is really difficult, but you will get there if you keep it up!
So right now I think what's actually most important for you is to step back from practice and try to find the joy in playing again, after all that's why we do this right? Because playing music and making noise is fun
! So my initial advice is to plug in, turn up, and play something simple that's really awesome.
Second thing is: the best thing you can do to help us help you is try to record some video of you playing (any smart phone made in the last 5-ish years will get good enough footage), and from a few different angles, so we can see what might be holding you back right now. Don't get me wrong, people above are asking good questions, but seeing you play would be really useful.
Well I don't know if it's normal but I play differently when I play slow versus when I play fast, like I feel the motion is different.
While it might not be the biggest deal in the world, ideally you should be using the same technique to play fast and slow, or at least when you're doing slow practice you should be using the same technique as you do when you bring a part up to speed. This is part of programming your muscle memory, and the best thing you can do is to play consistently, so you're not having to make a load of unconscious adjustments to your playing to make it work. Like I say, it's not absolutely necessary, so I wouldn't worry about it too much, it's just something to be aware of on some level.
Besides, there's something weird about my hand, when doing alternate pick I can't mute ALL the strings with my right hand, the g string is always ringing, or if I do mute all the strings it feel really uncomfortable to alternate pick anything, and I don't think playing slow will change anything
This is a bit of a misconception somewhere: you probably shouldn't be trying to mute all the strings with just your picking hand, even players with the biggest hands (Guthrie Govan, Paul Gilbert, Emil Werstler, Plini) don't really mute everything with their picking hand, at least not all the time.
It should be a combination of both of your hands:
- Your thumb muscle rests on the strings lower that the one you're playing
- Your fretting hand index finger rests on the strings higher than the one you're playing
Now these two are very general points, and as Guthrie Govan once said: you should really be muting with about any piece of spare flesh you have. This applies double when you're playing with distortion, it can be difficult to control, and you need to be very purposeful about muting out strings you're not playing.
This may also be obvious as well, but when you're removing your fingers from the strings, you want to be careful to make sure your fingers are coming as straight as possible off the strings (unless you're doing a pull-off), so there's the smallest chance possible that you're going to hit any strings you don't want to sound.
Like I say, though, this is somewhat generic advice, the best thing you can do to get super specific help is record a video of your playing so we can see exactly what's going on.