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  1. #1
    On Fire Blount5150's Avatar
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    07.27.11 @ 07:16 PM
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    Default Playing 16th notes

    I have been playing guitar for about 10 years, as a hobby...not trying to do gigs or anything. Mostly I play rhythm or "slow" lead. I feel like I have Mick Mars syndrome: my intentions are good, but just can't pull it off 100%. I have always had trouble with playing fast and making my fingers work like I want them to. Do you guys have any resources or can point me to some good practice material? I am wanting to play stuff like the 16th notes in the final few bars of "Sultans of Swing" or even stuff like Lindsey Buckingham does in "Gypsy"...I know the answer is more practice, but I am just looking for some additional resources. Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 04:50 PM
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    Default

    Well with Gypsy and Sultans, they finger picked the parts. So that could be part of your problem.

    I have been playing for almost 20 years and am also frustrated with the lack of progress. Of course I don't practice nearly enough but even when I do, I hit a plateau.

    Its like everything else, some people have it, some people don't. I can practice 8 hours a day but I will never be Nuno Bettencourt. He has the gift. Some drummers no matter how long they play can never keep time. It just happens.

    However that being said, I would go to PowerTab.net and download some lessons. Maybe go to a Guitar Center and buy a work that is supposed to increase your speed.

    David Gilmour does pretty good and he does not play a lot of 16th notes. So there is hope for us people who cannot shred.

  3. #3
    Romeo Delight
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    07.05.11 @ 05:27 AM
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    Default

    Practice alternate picking with a metronome. Four notes per click. If you don't have a metronome go here http://www.metronomeonline.com/
    Happy riffing guys!!!

  4. #4
    Little Dreamer
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    12.19.06 @ 07:49 PM
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    Default Fast Clean Picking

    For that accurate, speedy picking stuff, I really find it helpful to watch Paul Gilbert. His instructional videos nicely go over the phrasing, timing, and dynamics in picking...and it's so staggering to watch. He's like a goddamn machine with some of that stuff.

    Amazing as that stuff is though, it could never touch something like a Dave Gilmour solo...Gilmour just has a touch that no amount of practice could reach!

  5. #5
    Hot For Teacher PassingBy's Avatar
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    10.10.17 @ 06:08 AM
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    Default

    As my sole practice focus is speed currently, I feel somewhat qualified to answer this, although I am still quite a beginner:

    For me it was very useful, is to have read the book "The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar" http://www.guitarprinciples.com/. It basically told me how to practice correctly - surprise. That actually does take quite some self discipline. I force myself to adhere to those principles every time I practice, so as to not fall into bad behaviour patterns. Bad behaviours mean less speed - argh.

    Then I looked at various books and obtained a copy of Speed Mechanics for Leed Guitar from http://www.stetina.com/. This has some very good exercises and hints how to build up speed and how to play well at high speed.

    Finally a really good video is "Speed Kills" from Michael Angelo Batio http://www.angelo.com/. I haven' t done any of the exercises yet, but there are quite a few insightful comments on this video, that make it very good. It's also quite funny -- "if Gary Moore can do that, than I can do this"

    So these would be my suggestions for media material.
    Thanks for paying my rent. -- EVH

  6. #6
    Romeo Delight Evil Jimmi's Avatar
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    06.01.13 @ 02:57 PM
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    +1 to the "The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar" from http://www.guitarprinciples.com/ . . .

    Although I must say if you are able to consistently apply the techniques learned from that book your patience will become worthy of legend.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    Default

    And before you run out and buy all those fine books, I have some questions for you.

    How do you hold your pick?

    What kind of pick do you use? (thin, medium, thick? tear shape? triangle? jazz?)

    How do place your picking hand over the guitar? Do plant the lower palm of the hand on the bridge? Or do you support it with the pinky and #3 finger so that your palm floats over the plectrum?

    When you pick, do you pick from the wrist or the elbow or the shoulder?

    There are a few techniques for fast picking. You need to be comfortable with the up and down motion and you need to keep it consistant as you transit between stings.

    On electric guitar, you can get away without picking every note. The advantage Van Halen freaks have is that through hammer-on/pull-offs (what the kids call tapping) we have the finger strength to cover a huge stretch of notes without picking every note and it still sounds good. So, one picking excersise would be to pick everyother note, then every third note,every fourth note and so on. You should also try running your favorite scale using only the left hand, hammering each note*. (* this will sound like shit the first 20 times you do it)

    Steve Lukerther has a simle but effective practice technique that is also a good warmup technique. He just picks back and fourth on an open string slowly at first, then he gradually increases speed. He does this on each open string.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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