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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Everyone may have their own reasons for wanting to play fast. Some want to do it for ego, some want to play their idols songs and others just want to incorparate the technique into their musical ideas.

Why do I want to learn to play faster? I want to learn to play faster to be able to play the ideas that come into my head when listening to a progression. Honestly, I have these beautiful solos that I think about when listening to a jam backing track or rythym section of one of my favorite songs. Now maybe those ideas come from the fact that most of my guitar experience is built on Satriani, Vai and other talented "shredders" and as much as I would like to be able to play their stuff too, it is really being able to play "my stuff" that is important to me.

I hate to think about all the solos that I have come up with that I have lost because I can not put them onto the fretboard. I dont know of any other way besides learning theory (or the fretboard) so well that I can just write it out from my head.

Sorry for the random thought but it has been bothering me that I cant be as creative as I want to be due to technical difficulties. :)

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Speed

Thanks Harrison, I just got that last week and have incorporated into my practicing. Good stuff and is helping already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yep, that too

LOL Yep, those are two that I have copied exercises out of that are in my "plan." The Rock Discipline is really good. It makes up a lot of the warm up and picking exercises I do whereas the Stetina stuff is mostly for the legato stuff I work on. So far anyway.

Really I think my problem is focus and time. Got a family and such and I not getting any younger!!!

Jeff
 

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Satchmo72 said:
Everyone may have their own reasons for wanting to play fast. Some want to do it for ego, some want to play their idols songs and others just want to incorparate the technique into their musical ideas.

I'll be back....had something cool written and it got messed up when I copied it out of word lol Ron
 

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Metronome, Metronome, Metronome…….

You can buy the inexpensive ones with a headphone jack but they are the best way to gage how your speed is picking up and how fast you should be pushing yourself. Zakk, Joe and John all use them. When I started using one when I noticed a big difference, as well as when I quit.

God Bless
 

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Satchmo72 said:
Really I think my problem is focus and time. Got a family and such and I not getting any younger!!!
Im right there with you on that one...

When I get a few days off the family wants to hit a road trip and I wanna hit the couch with my guitar!
 

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A few tips

This is the most important thing to know when trying to learn to play fast.......
(and this is coming from someone (me lol) who can play just about anything in any style fast...so my advice is based on experience).....is to start out very very simple. It does not matter if you are learning to tap, alternate pick, sweep pick, rake, chicken pick, hammer on etc....you need to learn each techniqe with as few notes as possible and in the easiest neck position for each particular fretting technique. So if you are trying to hammer on fast and I believe that hammer ons are the best thing to start out with as well. Hammer ons do not require as much picking hand attention and none in some cases, finger tapping is hammering on with to hands in a sense so that style is more complicated, alternate picking requires more to handed thinking, sweeping and raking and chicken picken require even more things for you to be thinking about. So take a four note pattern in a spot on the neck that fits your fretting hand nicely from a stretch perspective and one that does not have your wrist all twisted up (you want your wrist as straight as possible for speed and to prevent carpel tunnel etc). Now after you make up a simple four note say 2 string pattern ( 2 notes per string ) work on that through hammer ons and get it lighting fast......this will only require developing the muscles and cowardination in your fretting hand and should not take to long.
If you keep practising a simple pattern like that you will not have to think about a long scale or pattern or complex sequence (sequence means going back and forth between notes as you go up or down with a pattern same as a mathematical sequence).....this allows you to focus on speed and fretting technique and some minor picking technique because you are only doing hammer ons in this example with very few notes......and if that is all that you have to think about you will not get overwhelmed and feel defeated and unless you have a disability with your hands you will get very fast with this tiny pattern.
Once you have done this you will have proven to yourself that you can play fast and this will make your confidence sore and then you can expand your hammer on runs to a very high level. Once you have done this repeat this concept with the other picking styles and then expand them before you know it you will be playing very fast. It worked for me and I still remember my first fast lick and it was a four note pattern that I made up based on a Randy Rhoads lick. Zak Wilde plays alot of short repetitive stuff so if you cannot come up with your own chop to start with learn one of his simpler ones and repeat it until you drive everyone crazy. In conclusion everything that I said adds up to starting out simple and focusing on speed........it took me years as a kid to figure this out because I never had a teacher and the people that were grown up and good who I knew would always show me something to complicated and my head would hurt trying to just remember what it was I was trying to play let alone play it fast. So keep it simple to get started and with a lot of hard work you will become a fast player......just take things one tiny step at a time then piece each tiny step together and you will be a speed demon, it will take time and guitar is something that you never stop learning with but the journey is as fun as the milstone successes. Also remember that speed is only one tool for making great music and never forget how important great timing, feel, vibrato etc. is! Good luck! Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Woah, you had to tpe that twice?

Golden, sage advice. I honestly think you hit it on the head.

My journey into guitar started with Satriani (1987 when I first heard Surfing)and even from early on, I tried to play his stuff. I knew 3/4 of "Always" for 14 years before I was even able to attempt the rest, I slowly added the tapping part then the faster licks towards the end, I probably have 7/8 of the song down after 14 years. Problem is, I never learned the easy ones along the way. I just learned how to play "Back in Black" this year and not completely. I have Gypsy Road from Cinderella down and umpteen Metallica riffs but not the complete songs. My wife doesn't even like to listen to me play anymore cuz I dont play any songs all the way through. I can play the first part of Brett Garsed's "Undoing" and use it as a practice riff. Same with "Glasgow Kiss."

I have good hammer-on and legato speed with all 4 fingers and can two hand tap Satch's "Midnight." I know Pentatonics up and down the fretboard along with the major scales. Can't sweep, can't effectively use the bar and my creativity sucks.

I have taken tidbits of both the "Rock Discipline" and "Speed Mechanics" and have incorporated them into my practice regimen. Those parts focus on exactly what you describe, small little runs and hammer-on and pull off drills. Your right, I am getting faster, even if it is a slow progression. Very slow given the time I have to practice.

I guess what I'm saying is that I should have started at the beginning, by not doing so has stunted my "growth" Your right, it is frustrating and my confidence is severely lacking. I have wasted a bunch of years.

I appreciate the advice, my plan is to work on those little things first along with developing my rhythm skills by learning the songs I should have known years ago. At least I can feel somewhat confident in my playing and be able to play nice with others while developing my speed.

Thanks!!!!
 

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I'm on a quest for speed myself. I don't want to be the next Malmsteen, but I have the same problem: I hear runs and patterns in my head I can't get onto the fretboard.
I dl'd "Rock Discipline"...holy cow!! Very informative. I bought a cheapie course off of Ebay called "Shred Academy" and it's actually as good as Rock Discipline. Thanks to a column by Micheal Angelo Batio I realized my picking technique is sloppy..so I'm working on all that. I have to undo 16 years of bad habits...NOT EASY!!
But I think I may have a slight problem, one that may hinder me in alot of ways. When I put my hands together like I'm praying, I see that the ring finger of my left hand is longer than the ring finger of my right. In fact, my left hand ring finger is longer than my middle finger. All the other fingers are symmetrical to each other between left and right hand. So with my left hand, the tip of my ring finger and the tip of my pinky are just shy of being
1 1/2" apart, while on the right they're only 1/2". I've found this can make certain stretches and exercises difficult while some people make them look effortless.
I sometimes think that maybe there's only so far I can go before I can't do anymore and I might have to resign myself to the fact there's certain things I'll never be able to play.
I'm actually left handed, and I thought about starting over and trying to play lefty because my right hand fingers are "normal." But geez, I'm 33 already and I don't know if I want to sink the other half of my life into re-learning all over again. But if I did it would be different since I've learned so much about so many things. maybe it wouldn't take that long at all.......
 

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Satchmo72 said:
Golden, sage advice. I honestly think you hit it on the head.

My journey into guitar started with Satriani (1987 when I first heard Surfing)and even from early on, I tried to play his stuff. I knew 3/4 of "Always" for 14 years before I was even able to attempt the rest, I slowly added the tapping part then the faster licks towards the end, I probably have 7/8 of the song down after 14 years. Problem is, I never learned the easy ones along the way. I just learned how to play "Back in Black" this year and not completely. I have Gypsy Road from Cinderella down and umpteen Metallica riffs but not the complete songs. My wife doesn't even like to listen to me play anymore cuz I dont play any songs all the way through. I can play the first part of Brett Garsed's "Undoing" and use it as a practice riff. Same with "Glasgow Kiss."

I have good hammer-on and legato speed with all 4 fingers and can two hand tap Satch's "Midnight." I know Pentatonics up and down the fretboard along with the major scales. Can't sweep, can't effectively use the bar and my creativity sucks.

I have taken tidbits of both the "Rock Discipline" and "Speed Mechanics" and have incorporated them into my practice regimen. Those parts focus on exactly what you describe, small little runs and hammer-on and pull off drills. Your right, I am getting faster, even if it is a slow progression. Very slow given the time I have to practice.

I guess what I'm saying is that I should have started at the beginning, by not doing so has stunted my "growth" Your right, it is frustrating and my confidence is severely lacking. I have wasted a bunch of years.

I appreciate the advice, my plan is to work on those little things first along with developing my rhythm skills by learning the songs I should have known years ago. At least I can feel somewhat confident in my playing and be able to play nice with others while developing my speed.

Thanks!!!!
Your welcome! And about the amount of time I spent writing that post......the first post I wrote was a lot better ........I had a ton of great tips and a total breakdown on every aspect of playing with speed but I lost it and could not put hours into something again........short on time so I banged off the one I posted for you pretty fast . Same general ideas as the better one anyways. If you would like to here me play here is a link to a recording of me playing in my buddies breeze way recorded in the cheesiest of ways lol but the playing cuts through I think. And the irony in the low end recording is that I own a pretty serious studio and I make records for a living lol. But I seldom do the guitar solo recording thing anymore ....so my buddy forced me into it during a visit then he posted it.
Here it is:
http://media.putfile.com/guitar-master-yngwie-killer-ron-horton
Enjoy I hope! lol Golden Ears
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
small hands

Fret!!! Yeah, I have thought about that too. I have been playing awhile and there are stretches I just cant make. Even in the early stages of Rock Discipline. I look at a lot of the speed players and they have long fingers, able to make those. I guess there are going to be some things I just cant do.

As far as bad habits?????? I agree, I have about 15 years of those too. it was not until recently that I started caring about adjacent string noise and have been trying to rid myself of it. After 15 years, I also get stuck in going back to things I have always been able to play instead of challenging myself but that is changing too!!!

Good luck man and just keep at it!!!!!!!!!!! I do recommend the Speed Mechanics, alot of great little exercises.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Omg

VHF, I have some of those but switched to a stubby Tortex. I just brought them back out and those reviews are right, what an awesome pick. I'm actually faster with it and the attack is much better!!! Thanks for the tip!!!!!
 

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I used to use Tortex picks all the time but after awhile I found they deaden the tone a little. The Shred Academy thingy I bought reccomended using the dunlop Jazz III picks. They're hard to get used to but now I can't use regular "big" picks. The Jazz III's come to a point which is less tip to cross the strings.
I will say this: for all those looking to improve their picking, you need to find something called Stylus Picks. These are strictly training tools, but VERY valuable. When you're using it right, it glides across the strings with no effort. But if you go too deep, it snags and brings you to an almost dead stop. This trains you to use only the very tip of the pick to minimize resistance. Once I started working with these my picking improved within a few days, I swear.
 

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Well I found those Dunlop Stylus picks on E-bay and picked up a set for $5. They come with a book detailing use and some excercises....looks mighty interesting. I have some of those small jazz picks but I just can't get used to the small size......I'll try them again.

Thanks for the tip Dragon!:thumb:
 

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Satchmo72 said:
Fret!!! Yeah, I have thought about that too. I have been playing awhile and there are stretches I just cant make. Even in the early stages of Rock Discipline. I look at a lot of the speed players and they have long fingers, able to make those. I guess there are going to be some things I just cant do.

As far as bad habits?????? I agree, I have about 15 years of those too. it was not until recently that I started caring about adjacent string noise and have been trying to rid myself of it. After 15 years, I also get stuck in going back to things I have always been able to play instead of challenging myself but that is changing too!!!

Good luck man and just keep at it!!!!!!!!!!! I do recommend the Speed Mechanics, alot of great little exercises.
My hands are really small and it doesn't stop me from doing any stretches that are required because I have a trick. I feel the small hands were a blessing seeing as how I am a big guy 6ft 225lbs I was always pissed that my hands were small because of my interests like guitar, wrenching on cars, boxing etc..........all of my hobbies are hand strain plus but I learned to work around this........for boxing it gives me more psi in my punches and I am just careful not to do to much bag work and rap well etc. For cars I can fit my hands into tighter places and I let the tools do the work as much as possible now for the most important thing in all of our worlds GUITAR...I found away around this problem at a young age. People tend to keep there fretting hand to stationary....try playing a three note fill then jumping up 8 frets or whatever seems impossible to you then do the same combination of notes up there on the same string and you will be shocked how fast and smooth this can be done......going back and forth. Then once you have that down when you are doing a stretch lets say low E string on the F note up to the A....instead of planting your hand with your thumb and gripping tight....stay lose and pivet off your thumb using 90% of your reach but not all of it (save your hands) and just play the first note then pivet off your thumb and kinda turn your wrist (rolling it a little counter clockwise) this will get you to the next note with out any strain then reverse this concept going back. Now work on this back and forth and in no time you will be playing that stretch or any other just as fast as me. Its a great trick I hope you try it and if it does not feel natural at first give it time because I am proof that it works. Good luck and let me know how you make out. Us little handed guys have to stick together Ron/ Golden Ears
PS When my new studio is finished I will be doing some videos of my solos and some others like EVH Eruption just because I have never really learned that one and everyone out here is so into it. I played a ruff version as a child but I want to try and mimik to a T from a playing and sound perspective....along with a malmsteen tune or so and some old school jazz and blues.
With these videos I will break down what I am doing and explain as much of my technique as possible. The advantage of learning this stuff from me is that I can do the same shit the famous guys do and I will show you how I did it unlike the famous guys who only give hints. I hope this will help some of you so that we can build an even bigger army of great players.
Later
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Stylus Picks!!

OMG these things rock too!!!! Never knew my picking was as choppy as it is. These are going to be a great help. Probably got them from the same Lori chick on Ebay VHF!!!!!!!!

Jeff
 

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Well ive played music for probly 20 years now and have bought alot of books and videos which were good because it taught me how artist use tones and note paterns but more importantly it taught me a little more abought phrazing which is conecting the dots which I think is the awnser your searching for.

Buy guitar-pro and you wont regret it why is this program so universal to me because after playing for probly 15 years of my favorite guitar players songs there instructional videos didnt tech me jack in a nut shell how to wright one myself so wile I saw how thay conected the dots in their music and tought me how thay phrazed there compositions every time I tryed to take a section from what thay did it never really sounded right if I played it any diferant then thay did like if I combined diferant licks with there phrazing.

So after using this program for abought a year now its tought me how to take my Ideas out of my head and put it on paper so to speak lay everything out in the open so I can hear it and see it at the same time.

So the first time iused the program and i had an idea in my mind and I put the notes down and hit play I found out quickly I didnt really no much abought how notes and phrazes really work together along with musical direction.


Because I wrote down the pattern just like I vishiond in my mind but when I played it back it sounded nothing like I thought it would because I was mising a big part in my musical interpretation and that is note deration and musical direction which this program teaches you how to do just by continuing to work with it wile you wright down your ideas.


The mother of invention is nasesity work with this program and it will force you to become a better musician take care buddy.:thumb:
 
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