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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2001, 02:51 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Frankfort, KY
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Ok, I know I may sound kinda out of the group with what I'm about to ask but I was wondering how I can learn to play faster, like if there is a certain speed building excercise of some sort? The kind of music I have been playing is that of Guns N' Roses, Metallica (mainly rythem part only), Korn....please don't bash on me for this....I've seen it happen before . Recently I have heard more of Steve Vai and am very impressed with his skill. Now, I was also wondering if someone could please let me in on some basic ideas of what the techniques would be like (for example....the definition of sweep picking). If anyone would take the time to help, please do so.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2001, 03:01 AM
Join Date: Feb 2001
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[b]practice practice practice [b]

work on alternate picking- alot!

as far as sweep picking, just take it slow at first and work on palm muting, try to keep the muting near the bridge at first. try to make your pick an extension of your fingers. you must carress the strings with it....
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2001, 04:28 AM
Join Date: May 2001
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It sounds almost too simple, but it's the fastest way to build up your fingers for speed: *On the first 5 frets, Play a chromatic scale (that's the scale that is all of the 12 notes,) on each string, up to the fifth fret. As mentioned above, use alternate picking, and be certain to pick each note cleanly (so important).

Go up from the bottom string to the top, then top to bottom. Go forwards, then go backwards. You want to stay within the first 5 frets, as the idea is to build up strength, however you can go to the middle of the neck for breaks periodically.

Using a metronome is a good idea, but not very important for this particular exercise. You really want to focus on clean execution of the notes, speed will follow.

This will have a dramatic effect on your playing very quickly, and is a good idea for anyone at any skill level. (I do it about 2 hours a day, standing up, while I watch TV, without plugging into an amp.)

Many fine repositories of guitar theory are to be found on the web, which should have the answers you seek.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2001, 03:02 PM
Join Date: Apr 2001
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vwall is right when he says "practice practice practice". I have seen several players buying lots of books, cd's and videos believing that there is some magic trick they could learn. As far as I know the only way is to practise a lot.

Myself, I'm just faking it
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2001, 06:33 PM
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Ok, first off, I agree, practice practice practice, but there is another one that is just as important, discipline, discipline, discipline. *The Steve Vai 10 hour workout is one of the best speed builders out there, and I have to disagree with 1string2many, a metronome or drum machine is essential. *That is part of the discipline. *Here's a part of the 10 hour workout.
*use alternate picking for it all, and then change around the numbers, instead of 1234, go, 1324, or 1423, etc. *Do this up and down the strings, start at the first fret, and each time you finish the strings, (1 to 6) move up a fret, ie. going up go 1 2 3 4, once you hit high E more up and come down, 2 3 4 5 at low E, move up a fret and go back up 3 4 5 6, etc. *then alternated directions, 1 2 3 4, up to E, 4 3 2 1 down to low E again. *The secret here is discipline, do it all the way up to the 12 13 14 15 and if you make even one tiny mistake, start over until it's perfect. *Then, you can start string skipping, or doing one note per string
etc, make up your own combinations, then try it with 3 notes, then, take all your scales, and do the same thing, always in perfect time with the metronome. *The problem with not using a metronome, is if there is one place in particular, say in a scale, that the fingering position is awkward for you, without the beat of a metronome, you can slow down to do it easier, consistency is key here, and discipline again. *If you make a mistake, start over again.
Start slow, and speed up gradually, don't expect it overnight, you won't get it.
Here's a link to a recent post about sweep picking for you to check out too
Good luck!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2001, 07:14 PM
Join Date: May 2001
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The metronome is unimportant only for the exercise I mentioned, which is effective at any speed. It's meant as an aside to actual scale practice.
Using a metronome to play scales is essential.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2001, 11:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Kentucky
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Always use the metronome if you are wanting to be able to play in time.

You said your exercise is for strength and accurate picking. *If you don't practice it that way against the beat, then you won't perform it that way against the beat.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2001, 01:44 AM
Join Date: May 2001
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Think of it as lifting weights, and separate from your usual practice routine. I do it absentmindedly, and find it makes what I think of as my "proper" practice, scales with a metronome, much easier, cleaner, and ultimately more productive.

Aw f*ck, maybe it is pointless advice. Do what littlegreenman told you to do.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2001, 02:04 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Let me mediate for a second...see if this makes sense...

Use the metronome/drum machine when you can. *It's great for improving your timing once you've got the hang of the exercise. *

I've also learned that playing with real live people messes with your always-accurate, perfect-meter metronome playing. *Humans mess up all the time, so time adjusts a little. *I like playing with live folks; varies the pace a bit, and keeps me on my toes. *:-)

Something else I've been working on is playing "behind the beat." *I'm not quite sure how to describe this...I'll come in about a 1/4 or 1/8 (or 3/5 LOL) beat after I'm supposed to. *Does that make sense? *During the lead, I'll play "catch-up" and end it in the correct spot.

Try all the methods. *Just remember to have fun.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2001, 03:25 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 835

Practice your legatos too. But make sure you warm up before you do any big stretches.

And always start SLOW.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2001, 06:09 PM
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 237

I have recommended them before but John Petrucci's book and video are excellent. They both have a variety of exercises, and some good examples of the material in a musical context. Like the others say, a metronome, more than any other tool/aid/exercise will probably help you most in the long run. It takes discipline to use it properly, though. *

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2001, 08:45 PM
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 115

GuyCool is right, John Petrucci's video is a good example that shows you how to practice correctly. It's a bit difficult to pass the idea in a message forum. So, if you could get that video (just an example) you could then apply those principles to your own exercices. Troy Stetina's Speed Mechanics For Lead Guitar book is also very usefull.

(Edited by Mirrored CAT at 7:46 pm on June 18, 2001)
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alternate picking , john petrucci , palm muting , steve vai , string skipping , sweep picking

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