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Thread: Improving speed

  1. #1
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Whats the best way to improve you speed. I've been playing for about two years now and I'm just now getting into playing real fast and I figured you boys could give me some quality advice. I know it takes a lot of fucking practice

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    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
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    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
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    Practice! lol

    Chromatics are great for getting the fingers into shape.

    Alternate picking, (up/down).

    String skipping.

    All these types of things will get your hands into shape, (start SLOW, and get good SLOW first),but the biggest thing you need to pay attention to is what your playing.

    You need to know your scales licks, whatever so well that you don't have think about it. If you have to think about you end up stumbling all over the place.

    I've found some useful things that help me.

    1) Inversions
    2) Arpeggios
    3) 6 note octave runs
    4) ***Picturing the neck from the first frett, to the 21 (or whatever). When learning scales etc, a lot of guys learn boxes which while useful, are somewhat limiting. Get out of the box!!

    Try starting your runs on the 3rd, and build it linearlly from there. Connect all the boxes so you can jump around without using the standard shit.

    and..............

    PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Boy, you're gonna get a lot of different opinions on this one...lol
    Whether I'm playing scales or runs, I play very, very slowly till my fingers are stretched out and the run gets easier and more fluid. After a few days of this it becomes faster and faster till it's just speed, but by then your fingers will articulate the notes properly during the run. It's hard to play slowly. Much harder than it is to play fast, but to get the fast runs to sound clean, in my case anyway, I have to repeat them in super slow motion for awhile. It can be kind of nerve wracking making yourself play that slowly for any length of time but it works for me.
    I do this about 20 minutes before a gig as well.
    Afterwards, when I have the need for speed it comes easily.
    I'm sure there are lots of excellent players on the links, but the only other person I've personally heard on here who's runs are very fast and fluid is Dr. HomeUnit. He's very tasteful about how he uses them, but they're extremely fast and smooth. His technique for achieving them is something he'll have to answer.

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    Donor

    This question has come up before, I think...One great idea is to build speed through use of a metronome during practice...I also start REALLY slow...I like speed, but I hate MUD which is what you get when you ain't clean...

    I concur with homeunit and tribb...
    Can't stop...addicted to the shindig...

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    There are as many answers for this as there are players, but here's a couple of tips that have worked well for me and many of my students.

    1)ALWAYS use your metronome! Start slow, nail the exercise, bump metronome up 2 notches, work until you nail the exercise, slow it DOWN 1 notch, up 2, down 1, up 2, down 1, etc. When you finally fall apart and start getting worse, stop and rest. When you come back to playing, work on something ELSE.

    2) Whenever you are playing slow, while the notes may be very slow, make your movements quick and as accurate as you can. Concentrate on synchronizing your hands as well as you can. When you speed up the tempo, your notes will be more accurate.

    3) You need to work out a comprehensive set of exercises to help cover as much ground as possible. 5 minutes a day on an exercise, every day, will improve it greatly in a few weeks or months. If you had 12 different exercises that you worked on each day, you would have an hour filled.

    4) Develop a 'mindless' right hand. You should NEVER have to think about that string to pick or what direction to pick it. Developing a solid alternate picking technique regardless of what strings the notes fall on will allow you to do that.

    5) As was mentioned earlier, KNOW the thing you're working on inside and out. Practice it until you can play it while watching tv or reading a book. With any luck, once you've gone on autopilot, something resembling phrasing will turn the notes into music.
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Everyone here has made some great points and I have used similar types of suggestions when I first started playing waayyy back in 1988. Here are a few more tips...
    1. Listen to Yngwie. Whether you like him or not listen to his phrasing and technique while copping a few notes. His technique is amazing although not the warmest of players.
    2. Play clean or with minimal distortion or overdrive. You will be able to hear every note. This will really tune your ears to every picking nuance.
    3. Chromatics, Chromatics, Chromatics! I did these for weeks until I developed the speed I was happy with. You will get bored quickly but just focus on what you are trying to do. Then move on to scales like Locrian, Dorian, and Phrygian.
    4. Set a day aside(one day a week) and work extensively on your picking hand. Speed it up slow it down. Skip strings etc.
    5. Set a day aside and work on your fret hand by doing hammerons and even do scales without picking them. Mind you it will sound weak but that's not the point at this time.
    6. Switch back and forth from acoustic to electric. When I jammed with my other guitar buddies, they thought I was crazy while doing this in my learning process but hey, it worked for me.
    7. Take your time and don't rush it. You'll be surprised at your progress when you lock youself up in the woodshed and start going at it.
    I hope some of my tips help you in your musical endeavors. Peace
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    A sure-fire but tedious way to develop good chops with speed and precision is to play to a metronome. Get the scales, modes, shapes, patterns, licks etc. together in which you wanna work on, memorize them so you actually know the notes (that's important [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img])and then set the metronome for a slow and steady tempo to play to. Do this for a few hours and you'll quickly notice that you can do better so step the metronome up faster and keep on doing this over time to improve your speed. Keep in mind that 95% of the time when you use a metronome your chops might take a while to develop but you'll play clean. Cleanliness is Godliness in lead guitar playing. Strap on the fuckin' axe and hit the wood shed.

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Thanks for the help guys. Now for a dumbass question... what the fuck is a metronome?

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    A metronome is a time-keeping device that you can adjust. It ticks or beeps, depending on what kind you get. Drum machines work too, but they're much more expensive.

    You can get a decent one for $20-$25, and of course the fancier stuff you get on it, the more it's gonna cost.
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    12.11.17 @ 09:25 AM
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    what's a good booko to but that has the chromatic scales and all the modes in it? or which ones? something with tab too, i cannot read music.

    JMJ
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    07.16.12 @ 10:56 PM
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    All of these guys have given some stellar advice.

    In reference to that last inquiry, I would suggest, if possible, getting your hand on some back issues of Guitar World where John Petrucci was featured on Wild Stringdom. His suggestions, and examples are excellent. Specifically his chromatic exercises, are bitchin alternate picking strengtheners.

    I know it's been said many times. But I cannot emphasize enough the value of a metronome enough. This tool is especially useful if you don't have a drummer to play off of. You will be immensely surprised with how much it accentuates your clarity and speed.

    If you have any notions about foraying into sweep picking, be prepared. As Jeff Scott Young once said, "sweep picking in the upward motion is significantly harder", and he is not bullshitting one bit.

    My last are just small recommendations. Take into account if you play on a number of different guitars, being that they all have different tensions, and different string heights as well. Going from 440, to Eb, will also have notable differences in tension. I have just found if you do that often, be prepared for how it will affect your picking strength, although subtly.
    FUCK THE DUMB SHIT!!!!

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    12.10.17 @ 08:57 AM
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    short fast 3-4 note runs

    like a gunslinger pulling out his gun over and over


    and pick up and down
    but
    you'll notice that you're not realling "picking up and down" but you are actually making small circles


    and remember that playing a million notes doesn't have the effect you are going for if that's all that you do


    and typing on a UBB helps imporve flexibility too! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
    Eat Us and Smile!

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by hain23x:
    Short fast 3-4 note runs. Like a gunslinger pulling out his gun over and over<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thats what I am doing right now just to get the hang of alternate picking. After I can do that pretty well I guess i'll start skipping strings but right now its impossible for me to do with speed. This shit is almost like homework....now I remember why for 2 years of playing I have done nothing but learn songs.

    I've only been doing alternate picking for about 3 days and I can tell a huge difference in the way I play some fast songs that I already knew. For example, I always play "Animal" by Pearl Jam when I pick up my guitar and it has a little riff that uses alternate picking but I had always done it with real quick downstrokes, but now its so much easier.

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    05.28.08 @ 07:33 PM
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    Back when I played all of the time and had a good deal of speed, I would practice my runs on an acoustic. My way of thinking was, if I could spew out fast runs on an acoustic cleanly, then they would sound even better on my electric. I have always had trouble with doing fast ascending runs, but descending runs have always come easy. I think it comes from a lack of coordination between my ring and pinky fingers, and that always frustrated me. I would give anything to be able to play that fast ascending run in Spanish Fly, right after the picked harmonics (you guys know the one.) However, that's just one thing that I can't do well, or maybe I should say, as cleanly as I would like. Still working on it though. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

    You know, you can tell when you've really had a good "workout" while practicing...or at least I can. I get a burn in the muscle on the side of my hand next to my pinky. When that happens...I play for just a bit more, then I start warming down by slowing down a bit at a time. Remember, train...don't strain. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
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    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
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    Just doen't over do it! tendonitous sucks!
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