reverb66 dude. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuude. No. Either you're joking, in which case it's super hard to tell, and someone might take what you've said at face value... or you actually believe what you've said, in which case I direct you to my earlier post in this thread about resolution and tonality.
Arthur_Frain, SrThompson, wolflen, can you all step back for a minute and ask yourselves something important: does TS have a chance of understanding modes right now? Is that what they need? Is what I am explaining really helping TS, or am I just adding more noise to an already difficult question?

Gosss, there's a lot of talk in this thread about modes, and using all kinds of crazy names... please ignore it. Anything about modes, locrian, dorian, melodic minor, harmonic minor, whatever it is: it will not answer the questions you have right now and will only mislead you anyway, since most people already don't understand it.

The question you've asked seems simple enough, and in a lot of ways has a simple answer: no. The A minor scale doesn't start on G. Scales don't really "start" or "end" anywhere. What defines a scale is the notes it contains and where it resolves to. What we mean by "resolves to" (or resolution) is where the notes feel most "at home" (this is also called "stable": it doesn't feel like anything needs to change). So if you're playing a song like, I don't know, Back In Black by AC/DC, that E chord in the riff sounds like where the song should end, it's where the music doesn't feel like it needs to move anywhere, there's no need to play any more to get it to feel "finished". That's where the riff and chords resolve to: E. That means the song is in the key of E (meaning E is where the song resolves to); so if you're playing a solo over that song, the scale doesn't start or end on E, you can play whatever notes you want over it but at the end of the day, you're always playing variations on a scale in the key of E. This also means we call that E note, the root of the key.

Now we get to the name of the scale by looking at the actual notes that are in it. So for A minor, the name already tells you that it's a song that resolves to A (again: that A note feels most like "home"), and the rest of the notes are B C D E F G, the really important note here is the C. It's what is called a "minor third". There's a whole bunch of theory behind that which I don't really want to get in to here, but the important thing to know is that the third note from the root (A B C) is the thing that defines the most basic name; it sounds minor (at the most basic: it sounds sad/unhappy), so the scale is minor. As a different example, if we look at C major (C D E F G A B): it resolves to C (C is the most "stable" note), and the third note (C D E) sounds major (it has a traditionally happy sound), so the scale is C major.

I'm glossing over some terminology here for the sake of not confusing you, but this is the essence of where scales and names come from. The really important thing that I want you to take from this is that, as I said, scales don't start or begin anywhere, they simply are. Scales are sets of notes that sound a certain way together: A minor sounds like A is the home note, and it normally sounds sad, or at least not happy.

How you play scales, what you do with all those notes, where you start or end, that's all up to you.
I'm sorry but your post doesn't make your problem very clear I'm afraid, is it possible for you to post a video of what is going wrong, so we can get a better understanding?
cdgraves, while all of what you're saying is true, I think you may have missed some details in the OP/thread: they're asking about whether to use the middle or ring fingers in the middle of the shape, not whether or not to involve the pinky. The OP makes it clear that the pinky is being used either way.
Donaldosguitar generally the 1-2 (i.e. index middle) pair is the strongest finger pairing in terms of independence, there's reasons that the others aren't generally as strong involving tendons and the precise biomechanics of the hand. In essence though, the 1-2 pair is the strongest.
pantelis57 this thread is nearly 8 years old at this point, please don't resurrect old threads like that.

Closing it.
Quote by KGC1
Is the world really this lazy where they can't even figure out something painfully obvious?

Well I'm glad you were magically born with knowledge of all things guitar and didn't have to ask questions, nor take lessons, nor learn anything at all.

Meanwhile, for us mere mortals, we're asking questions and not being arseholes just because we might know the answer.

Don't be a dick. You're clearly at a point where you've learned a lot but you're not at the point of reflecting on how far you've come, where you started from, or how it might feel to be someone who is just starting out. Please think more about your responses in future and consider what is actually going to help people, not what's just going to make you feel like the BSD because you know something someone else doesn't.
Thing is, building chords can be done however you like, you put a bunch of notes together you think sound cool and you've got yourself an awesome chord!

The problems really start when you want to name the damn things

Seriously though, I wouldn't be too worried about how to build chords from a theory point of view; it's always going to be awesome to be able to name them and all that but the important thing is that you put some notes together in a way that you like the sound of
Tibetbkn you're asking for a whole lot of information here, so I'm going to just give you some big headline things you should note.

  1. What you think of as "shredding" is the result of refined technique. More than anything else, it is based in economy of motion, relaxation, and synchronization of the two hands. No matter what you practice, keep these things in mind; you should always be aiming for all three at once.
  2. You cannot practice speed. I'm going to say this again, because it is so important: you cannot practice speed. You can practice the things that go in to it, but it's not a skill on its own.
  3. "Practice slow" is, in essence, good advice, but it's not complete. It should be "practice slow, and make sure you practice correctly". Practicing bad habits slowly and repeatedly will only serve to ingrain those bad habits, and I'm sure anyone will tell you: it's harder to unlearn bad habits than it is to learn good ones to begin with.

Beyond that, it all depends on what you want to learn, but if you keep the above things in mind, you'll be off to a damn good start, and you should be able to learn whatever you want.
ignacioriffog ok, AcousticMirror isn't exactly trying to help.

The thing is, we can't really tell you what to fix right now. The best thing to do would be to give us a video of your playing so we can see what need to change. If you can't/don't want to do that you're going to have to be a lot more specific about what doesn't feel right to you, like... do you have trouble getting your fingers in the right place? Is some part of the guitar getting in your way? Take a good bit of time and pay real attention to what your body is going; what is it trying to tell you about what's not right?
Locking this; either you're a spambot (which is what it looks like), or you're a human who's just put this in the wrong place. If you're a real person, then I'm sorry but this thread should go into Acoustic Guitar anyway.
I'd not heard of the guy before now, but by the sounds of it he's got a pretty jazz-influenced sound/vocabulary, so I reckon your best bet is to learn as much about theory as you can, and listen to as much jazz as you can get hold of.

I know you're not going to like hearing this, but no scale is going to give you that sound, you're going to need to learn a whole load more, and do a crapload more listening.
Sadly I don't think you're going to like the answer to this.

The only answer is more practice and paying very careful attention to make what you're practicing consistent.

The pros manage to play the way they do all the time because, realistically, they have played those pieces and parts enough that even on a bad day they still get it right. Obviously even the best still have off days. For example, I was at the gig where Nevermore recorded the video for the song Emptiness Unobstructed, and it went wrong about... 2-3 times I think it was, they had to restart recording and eventually just gave up because it was going to cause the show to run long There's also plenty of footage out there of Guthrie Govan deliberately not playing the monstrously hard tapping lick in Wonderful Slippery Thing because he can tell it's not going to happen in the middle of the song. If you look up recording footage from the right kinds of bands you can find examples of players at all levels of skill making mistakes on every kind of part (if only people knew how many takes some of the guitar parts on my band's album took...).

As for what to do if you've got studio time or a gig coming up and not enough time to get the parts down with 100% consistency, try your best to manage expectations. Obviously don't go around saying "Oh I'm just not good at this, I can't do this thing!". That's not helpful to whoever you're playing with, and it's the sort of self-insulting that really grinds down your self-worth in the longer term.

What you need to do is say to whoever you're playing with either:
1 - If you're in the studio, let them know it's probably going to take a bit of time to get The Take down on tape. If everyone knows that's relatively possible then everyone's going to be much more OK with it.
2 - If it's live, let them know that you've not got the part down consistently yet. Again, if they know then you can either all be all right with it, or you might come to some sort of compromise about what exactly to play; you can adapt parts for live playing and so on. I reckon if you do that, and as long as they know you're still working on playing it "right", everyone should be pretty cool about it all.

I know this can be really disheartening, but for what it's worth: everyone goes through it. It gets better with consistent practice (both consistent as in most days, and doing it the same all the time). You'll get past it
Eazy123 everything has a value, and everything has a place. I would advise that you don't dedicate yourself entirely to one approach, but make sure you're at least a competent with both, even if you don't excel.
There's no such thing as a stupid question, there's only jerks who don't understand where questions come from!

For chords that have open strings, you need to use other fingers as well as the ones that are fretting the chord, so for that Am chord you could bring down your little finger and rest it across the strings to mute them all at once. This basic idea extends across chords that use all your fingers as well: you reposition your fingers so you can mute, even if that means letting go of the chord shape! That can take some getting used to, since you'll need to un-form and reform the chord shape pretty quickly, but you'll get it soon enough if you put in the practice!
Removed link; this is advertising. Closing thread.
Probably not an more, I don't think. I mean... really it depends what you mean by unorthodox, is there anything you already know of that you consider unorthodox?
fabioguilherme1989 next time, please look at the age of the thread before you post, this thread is 5 years old and most of the user's haven't been on UG in almost as long.

You should start your own thread for this question, but I also think you should start it over in Musician Talk; they're much more likely to be able to point you to resources that will help.

You'll need to use heavier gauge strings for dropping your tuning by that much. For C standard I'd probably go up to a set of 12s (Ernie Ball Not Even Slinkies for reference), if it's a set of 9s you're comfortable with in E standard. The pick you currently use will be just fine though.
lulonick1 I'm going to try and not make this sound mean, but I think if you're going to put up lesson material you should be held to a higher standard, and I want you to reach it.

A collection of exercises does make not a tutorial. Your playing in that video is fine enough, but you're not explaining anything, or providing anything that anyone can get from absolutely anywhere these days. You need to make yourself stand out more, provide something that people can't get from just anywhere, even if that's just your take on explaining the technique or theory of what's going on.
-TarasAndrosov- ok... that's not a thing. Going to state that outright, right now: what you think of as economy picking simply isn't a thing. It seems like both you and randompretzil have gotten this idea from somewhere but by every definition I've read (and used in my playing), what you call "directional picking" is economy picking, and what you call "economy picking" isn't a thing at all.
Most songs from The Black Album will suit what you want. Particularly Sad But True is a nice and simple set of awesome riffs.
-TarasAndrosov- I'm confused as to what you think economy picking is, because it's my understanding that what you've given there is economy picking?
Quote by Outside Octaves
But here's the question still, is 4/4 still the right methodology?  I am noting here that the same 3 note interval occurs three times here, so I could go with a timing that starts the measure on the C each time?

You could, it doesn't really matter that much for the physical process of learning the sweep. The problem with that approach, though, is that because the notes don't repeat perfectly, you're not going to get it to fall happily with the click all the time. You can fix that, as I think you got earlier, by repeating the top G, that's not something I would do but that's all about preference rather than there actually being something wrong with it.

Quote by Outside Octaves
Also, When I get back to the low B there, should that be part up the upstroke or the next down stroke?

The eternal sweeping question... it's up to you. Both have their pros and cons, and it seems that the split between players is actually pretty even. Again, personally, I'd go with an upstroke, but that's more because it's what I've practised than it actually being the best choice.
PlusPaul looks like this user is actually just a spambot; their account remains unactivated. I thought the first version of this thread looked a bit weird...
Outside Octaves, ok, cool, well then how well it fits depends on the exact voicing of the arpeggio you're playing. I was thinking of this one, which fits in to a constant stream of 16ths perfectly:

Really, the way you learn it shouldn't be tied to any specific note division; you should seek to learn it in such a way that you can phrase it how you like rhythmically and still play it fluently. If you're just learning it physically then a good way to learn it is any way that can be looped without the metronome moving against you, so the first note of the lick always lands on a click (and preferably the first beat if your metronome does a special click for the first beat of a measure. If you play it in straight 16ths, as I think you've noticed, you can loop it over a single bar of 4/4 and just keep repeating without losing track of where you are.

Like I say though, really you want to be aiming to have the facility to play it in any subdivision; don't lock yourself in to only playing it in 16ths.
It really depends who you talk to, honestly. Some people will define it as being exclusively the style of playing made very popular by Yngwie Malmsteen in the 80s, neoclassical, where others will define it simply as being 'playing cleanly at a high speed'. Some people have even gone as far as to put a strict lower speed limit on what shredding is.

Personally, I just think it's playing fast. What 'fast' means is really up to you.
Quote by theindividual21
I see mostly alternate picking in the Guthrie video, and in the second one, there does appear to be some economy picking but he's playing legato. I do that too. It's different because there aren't multiple picked notes in succession. He's playing like three or four notes between the two downstrokes. And remember sweeping is different than economy picking. I wanna see a scale with every note picked that uses economy picking, fast and in time.

Fine. Here's Rick Graham, demoing a lick that is purposely entirely picking and pretty clearly all economy picking. He openly talks in other lessons about how his picking is built around the economy picking idea. It's all over his playing.

He's a relatively in-depth, closeup look at Marshall Harrison's picking:

And here's a look at some playing by the elder statesman of economy picking, Frank Gambale:

Probably too much like sweeping for you to accept as "proof", but that's a musical choice, to doubt Frank's facility with the instrument and that it's built on economy picking is utter idiocy.

And for the sake of completeness, here's a super short burst of Guthrie pulling out an iconic Yngwie lick like it's the easiest thing on earth, unamplified, in time, clean as anything, and as far as I can see, economy picked (about 9:08 in the video):
Quote by theindividual21
Hmm. Well can you post a video of an economy picker shredding it up like Yngwie? How about any fast scalar passage?

Frank Gambale, Guthrie Govan, Jason Richardson, Marshall Harrison, any gypsy jazz player (particularly check out Joscho Stephan, Bireli Lagrene, Angelo Debarre, and Stochelo Rosenberg), Rick Graham, Tom Quayle, Alex Hutchings. Those are just the names I can think of off the top of my head without even looking at my music collection, and I know for a fact that all of them apart from Jason Richardson are incredible improvisers. Your statements on economy picking are empirically, demonstrably false.

As for video evidence, let's go with Guthrie:

Of course it's always hard to pin Guthrie to one technique, he could shred rings around all of us with any of them. So let's go with an absolutely clear cut economy picking example, Rick Graham:
tate.givans, I know you're looking for answers and you're not getting what you want, but can you keep it to one copy of a thread in future? I'm sorry that no one's helped, but those are the rules.
dannyalcatraz all true.

What did anyone do about that? The vast majority of what I see isn't anyone trying to actually get to the heart of the issue, but people continually and aggressively telling OP that they were wrong and just needed to practice.

This is also true... but how the hell is OP supposed to know what to practice, when they clearly can't figure it out themselves? You all acknowledge that it's a technique problem, and the solution may be obvious to you, but it very definitely wasn't to the OP.

That's the problem. No one asked that before OP had decided that this forum was horrible and left, when it should have been the first question.

I'm not going to lock this just yet, I still want to see what others have to say, but I will do soon.
Quote by Captaincranky
Zaphod_Beeblebr. The following are responses given by a fellow moderator, As they say at the card table, "read 'em and weep".

And I think he's wrong too, there's no obligation here for me to present some sort of united front with Steven. I stand by what I said.

Quote by Captaincranky
Certain topics seem rather incongruous. One member has played for 7 years, and out of a clear blue sky asks, "how long will it take before I'm able to shred"?

Another, (according to you), has played for 20 years, and "all of a sudden" decides his fingers are, "too short?

I don't see your point. If you can't see the difference between that thread and this one I'm not sure what to say other than that the discussion in that thread was completely different.
I'm going to throw out my standard recommendation: Justin Sandercoe and his beginner/intermediate courses, available here:

If you've played a bit before, and by the sounds of it you were pretty good, then some of it might feel a bit basic but I'd definitely recommend going through it all and making sure you know it all pretty well. It'll give you a super solid foundation to work from, and Justin is a lovely guy and great teacher so there're few better places to go as a beginner.
Quote by Captaincranky
For what it's worth, I personally don't think telling someone, "if others can do so can you", it is a 'dick move' at all. In fact, mothers have been using exactly that same tactic, since the beginning of spoken language, and before that, they likely pointed fingers at their non productive offspring, while they were patting the worthwhile.progeny on the back.

There is a very fine line between "if others can do it, so can you" and "others can do this, why can't you?". Without putting things in the proper perspective and using the right language the fine line trodden by this kind of 'encouragement' is very easily trampled over in to discouragement. Very few people in this thread posted anything that could be considered encouraging.

Quote by Captaincranky
As fas as it goes, there were some reasonable suggestions made. and you've apparently decided to separate the chaff from the wheat, and take the chaff to market.

True, some people did actually try and help. K33nbl4d3 and Tony Done, thank you, I'm proud of you guys and I want to thank you for trying. AcousticMirror also tried, but wasn't great in the first few posts.

Quote by Captaincranky
Since we're on a "constructive criticism, say whatever's on your mind" frame of reference. perhaps the moderators should have led by example, using tact and cunning to erase the OP's self doubt, instead of bullying the troops as an after thought.

I'm not bullying anyone, I'm calling this what it is: a clusterfuck of people not thinking about what might actually help. Very few people have given any evidence of actually considering the problem from the point of view of the OP.

I didn't post because until I thought about it more recently, I didn't have an answer for this. I do now, but at this point posting it would be a waste of my time: TS hasn't been back and posted in about 6 weeks.

Quote by Captaincranky
Besides, realistically speaking, asking questions on the internet solves all your problems, seems to be the millennial expectation of all it takes to cure any issue. Nowadays, hard work and practice, seem to be more off the table than on it.

Right... and that has what to do with anything? TS is 31 (or was at time of posting), and is barely in the 'millennial' demographic anyway (technically in it by a few years), but more to the point, has been playing for 20-something years and at least claims to be able to play to a pretty high standard otherwise. They have clearly put in the hours and practice to this point, but needs help with this very specific problem. One which I share, I might add; I find playing long sequences of barre chords quite fatiguing. Incidentally it was thinking about this that lead me to some solutions... which TS will now probably never know, because of the previous responses in this thread.

Quote by Captaincranky
But what the heck right? We have nothing, if not too much free time on our hands, to deal with the never ending problems and inadequacies of the masses.

Well I don't know about anyone else, but I'm here because I feel like I've got a bit of knowledge; a bit of skill; and a lot love for what I do, and I want to share that.
I want to help people to get to where they want to be so they can also have the feeling of getting that recording or show or whatever just right... but if you want to phrase and frame it as "[dealing] with the never ending problems and inadequacies of the masses" then sure. I mean, that's really negative and downbeat, but whatever man, it's your life.

Guys, I'm going to say something, and I think it's something you all need to hear, and some of you aren't going to like it:

You're all wrong about what you need to be a good teacher, and that wrongness is incredibly evident through a whole lot of the replies here.

A good teacher needs skill and knowledge, sure; but the most important thing, bar none, is empathy. It's understanding what your student is feeling and thinking, and what they need should fall out of that. TS in this thread didn't need a bunch of examples of people who can shred, they needed someone to understand the frustration of being apparently unable to do something that everyone says is basic, they needed someone to understand that they already know it's a technique issue but that they couldn't figure out what the problem was. They needed someone to understand that saying "practice more, git gud n00b" is actively harmful to this situation.
Well done guys, TS hasn't posted on UG at all apart from in this thread, and hasn't posted here in over a month.

You've all managed to successfully be such assholes that we've definitely lost a community member and the guy has quite possibly given up the instrument altogether, because you all couldn't stop trying to be Big Swinging Dicks for 30 seconds and think about why the guy might feel this way and what would actually help.

For future reference: aggressively telling someone that they're wrong in the name of "just telling it like it is", is a dick move.  Coming up with examples of professionals who can play with small hands is a dick move.  Neither of these things help.  Maybe, instead of telling TS that they're dumb and wrong for thinking that their hands are bad, could you possibly tell them how to fix their fucking problem?
willy252017 only that's a half-truth at best.  All the sources I can see say that while caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, the amount of liquid you take in while drinking them more than offsets that effect.  They're still not good for you (at least not in excess), but all the stuff about them dehydrating you is basically misinformation.

As for warm ups myself, I don't generally do stretches or anything like that (although I have done in the past).  I run some scales, play simple parts of songs I know I find easy, that sort of thing.  Generally build intensity over the course of about 5-10 minutes or so.  It takes me a bit longer than that to properly get in to the groove of playing, but for home practice that's more than enough.

For playing live it has to be a bit different; the sort of music I play doesn't have the luxury of space within the set for a warm up.  I tend to play slow and relaxed for about 10 minutes or so a little while before the set, and run a couple of the tracks aiming to finish about 5-10 minutes before the set starts.  That way I can feel like I know what I'm doing, and have time for a drink and to take antacids before I go on (I need those because of stage-fright/adrenaline related nastiness).  I also try and make sure I've had exactly a single pint of cider (hard cider for the yanks) before I go on; again, enough to relax but not make me sloppy as... a bad thing.

I wouldn't recommend antacids and booze for everyone though; I've come to know what I need through years of experimentation and knowing myself.
If I remember rightly (it's been a long time since I played one), it's more easy to hit the strings hard and throw them out of tune on a nylon strung guitar.  Both in terms of the chords being out of tune on their own, and the strings getting knocked out of tune.  Again, it's been a while, but as I remember you have to be more careful with a nylon string instrument because they're just generally that much more sensitive.

Now, I say this because you mentioned it's something that either started or you noticed recently: as you've grown as a player you've either gotten more attuned ears and can hear this better, or you're gaining confidence and you are hitting the instrument harder (whether you mean to or not).  So the solution, I think, is to play a bit softer and see if that helps.  If it does, and you still need to hit hard for the music then I think I'm going to have to agree with your friend and say that a steel string guitar is going to be a better choice for you.
Desy_K I'm really glad it helped, honestly, but please in future don't resurrect threads this old.

I'm going to close this now, to make sure no one else mistakenly replies.
Junior#1 eh, it amused me for a while.  Now it's properly off the deep end I am going to put everyone out of its misery.