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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:19 pm 
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Ok, so this is going to be a long post, full of info, looking for someone who can shed some light on the subject for me. First off, I have been playing guitar for about 11 years, but never worked on speed. Mostly, melodic riffs, and easy solo patterns and what not. I have been working for about the last year really focusing on building speed. Im hoping someone can tell me what the heck im doing wrong here, because its obviously something. So here is my 5 hour workout i do DAILY!

I start with a basic chromatic like this

-------------------------------------------------3-4-5-6---7-6-5-4---------------------------
----------------------------------------4-5-6-7---------------------8-7-6-5------------------
-------------------------------4-5-6-7---------------------------------------8-7-6-5---------
----------------------5-6-7-8---------------------------------------------------------9-8-7-6
-------------6-7-8-9---------------------------------------------------------------------------
---7-8-9-10------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

all downstrokes to the high e string, followed by all upstrokes coming back down...
i start at 50 bpm and go to about 110 bpm
then i do the same drill with alternate picking and start at about 50 bpm and make it to about 80 bpm before i cant go anymore

then i do the same drill, but like this

low e string ---------7-7-----7-7-7-7-----------------------------------------

first 2 notes downstroke, next 4 alt picking and do that for the whole scale, alternating starting with downstrokes and upstrokes. I do this and a few other exercises like this for about 3 hours, then follow up with about 2 hours of jamming to a backing track.

once again i only make it to quarternotes at about 80 bpm.

i cannont seem to break 80 bpm for anything? Can anyone please god help me figure this out....speed is really about all im lacking to be great.

P.S. My left hand feels really up to par, its might right (the picking motion) that seems so off. I am left handed, but have always played right handed. its all that feels normal to me.... any help would be greatly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:45 am 
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When you're picking, are you pivoting from your wrist or elbow? Because you should be using your wrist.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:04 am 
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I would say as a rule of thumb to change any picking pattern once you feel too comfortable with it.

This little program has helped me a lot and still does:

http://www.guitarspeed.com/

(that program will make you reevaluate your picking technnique, wether it's strict alternate or hybrid or sweeping and will give you plenty of ideas to work on specific areas, it contains exercieses I certainly wouldn't have been thinking of..usually strict alternate players are good when picking down but not up, and the balance is crucial if you want to accelerate)

other than that...pettrucci's "rock discipline" and Paul Gilbert's "terrifying guitar trip".

I personally think over 45 minutes of pure shred practice is overkill, I'd rather use that time to focus on other aspects(learning chords, triads, scales, intervals, songs, phrasing, composition, harmony, rythm, strumming ...)



hope that helps.


:peace


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:43 am 
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Hey and thanks for your input. I have guitar speed trainer, and while it has really improved my precision, i still cannot get over 80 bpm. : ( and i pivot alittle of everything, ill try wrist, be slow and get frustrated, then try elbow, be slow and get frustrated and go back to wrist....lol. I feel like im the only person in the world struggling with this... and cant figure out how to get to the next level in my playing.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:02 am 
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Have you tried those? :

http://www.jimdunlop.com/index.php?page ... s/pip&id=3

:peace


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:38 pm 
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I think the picking movement's meant to be entirely in the wrist, with your whole body relaxed.

And I agree with lydian's post.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:28 pm 
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Maybe you should try alternate picking with single string figures... even chromatically... picking slowly at first and working your way up to speed... then use two strings and then three,,, make sure you stretch your wrist muscles as much as possible to keep them loose


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:32 am 
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lmake sure your upstrokes look exactly the same as the downstrokes. Most guitarplayers do the upstrokes diffrent and get stuck between the strings. Try to manage that on only one string. Of course you have problems with playing from string to string, but you won´t manage that without being able to pick fast, straight and even on one string. Also keep your movements of the pick very small, even smaller than you can imagine. You can see this, when Paul Gilbert plays slow, that he always mutes the note with the pick just right after he played it. That sounds like sh#t to me ;), but helps keeping movements very very small when you play fast.

There are 2 instructional videos I can recommend: Paul Gilberts Intense Rock 1 and Speed Kills 1 by Michael Angelo Batio. I couldn´t do it either before I watched both of them.


P.S.: Batio is also lefthanded, so don´t think you´ll have any problems! And please don´t overdo shredding, you know why, if you listen to his music :P


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:21 pm 
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I suggest a) improvising when shredding, instead of doing just exercises and b) focusing on being as relaxed as possible in both hands.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:17 pm 
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Well i'm not gonna pretend that I know half as much as 90% of the people on here but, how is your legato? That will give you a good idea on your speed limit for now. I have know several shredders screw themselves up by playing to much. I have found the certain shapes are easier for me to play, figure out why that is for you and try to adapt your other shapes to make it easier. I have been fortunate to be around and meet some of the best players from local heroes Michale lee Firkins and Mark Zavon to Seminars with Gilbert and a private lesson with him, Vai, Satch, Lynch the list goes on and I have asked all of them for advice and in one way or another they all told me find what works for you and go for it. I am guilty of not knowing all the theory I should (shoot most of the theory i should), but I did learn the basics and like satch says mix it up and once you got the basics down throw it out the window and play. Even gilbert says Legato, legato, legato, make it your friend I think you are to worried what one side is doing when you need to let the otherside go. I hope I didn't miss the point you wanted here but I have quadrupled my speed by letting go and now I alternate pick almost everything but I had to let my fret hand go first.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:37 pm 
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Well put my friend. Find what you works best and improve upon that. Later down the road when you need a "filler" for your practice time (hopefully it's 100% chocked full all the time :D ) you can work on different picking techniques.

Me personally I practice legato and alternate picking on scales up and down and everywhere. I even try alternate picking things that shouldn't be alternately picked (sweeps come to mind in my situation). So it's really what works and sounds best for you. Don't forget to practice at least 30 minutes a day. Most importantly, Have FUN!! :headbang


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:18 pm 
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First post :D

I think the only way anyone could really help you is by seeing you play. Is there any way you could put up a video of you doing the exercises?

BTW when you say you cant go above 80bpm, what are you playing? 8th notes, 16th notes?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:33 am 
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Hard to advise without seeing how you play/pick.
But I had similar problem when I started as well - and what made to overcome it was pretty simple change. Just tried much heavier pick. Before I had some of those "mediums" and thought anything heavier would actually slow me down. Wrong. Since I got size 1.13 I started playing with more control, cleaner and yes much faster(when needed).


Just my 2 cents.

BTW this might just individual preference - I actually using sand-paper to scrub both sides of the pick -- rough surface gives me perfect grip of the pick.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:09 pm 
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TS,

most of the advice/inputs given here are actually true but you gotta add patience to it

and I would like to second Jeminator's input, changing to a heavier guage pick, if in case
you use something lighter can have a difference in being able to pick faster


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:50 am 
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Patience. Patience. Patience. A year really isnt that long for shred skills. Those take quite a while to get going.

5 hours of that a day is overkill. You should just work on pure speed for 15 - 20 minutes, switch to something else like legato for 15 - 20 minutes, switch to sweeps for 15 - 20 minutes, work on chord vamps for 20 - 30 minutes etc.

I usually start out slow then work my way up the metronome until I cant get it clean or I start to stiffen up, then back it off a tad. Work on it for a half hour maybe. Switch to something else, then come back to it later. I can usually start real close to where I leave off and then kick it up a few bpms, then repeat.

The key is not to limit yourself to one thing in practice. Try everything. Even if you are not working on speed you may be working on something that requires accuracy which helps out when you work on speed.

Its all about patience though. Dont expect to do 180 bpm overnight. It takes those guys years (decades?) to get that fast.

Switching to the Dunlop Jazz IIIs with the really pointy tip helped me quite a bit. It didnt add 50 bpms but I did see a noticeable difference in attack and cleanness which helped me add a few ticks to the metronome.


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