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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
People tell you is all practice, but practice can only get you so far. You will improve but only up to a point and at a rate much slower than those who are great, it all will depend on how good your brain is

Those people you see on youtube, there is a reason they're there, people only focus on the best, but nobody thinks about the thousands who practice but never reach that goal. If it was as simple as practicing your ass off, everyone would be a virtuoso and a shredder. It has nothing to do with your hand strength, as if this was the case, there wouldn't be 10-year-old girls playing as fast as Petrucci. It's all about the brain.

Most don't have what it takes to play at those super-fast speeds, their brain simply can't hack it and wasn't made for it.

If it was as simple as practicing, then everyone would be like Messi, Ronaldo, and so many others. If it was as simple as that, shouldn't everyone play as good as those youtube players? I refuse to believe those dozens of youtube players are so much better than the thousands, if not millions who admire and watch them, simply because they practiced more/better than them. They were born for it, their brains are suited for those tasks, that's why they're at the top and you're not

And people who have obtained these speeds, who obviously have some talent for it, though, theyd rather believe they don't, assume it should be obtainable for everyone else and the reason they can't is that they're lazy and not as hard-working as them.

Ironically is akin to lifting weights, people who have an easier time building muscle, losing fat, etc will attribute their success to all hard work and dedication and will assume everyone who doesn't look as good as them is just lazy

It's the brain that plays guitar, the hands are just a tool, we all have different brain power and neural connections. Hand synchronization at those lightning speeds, is all done by the brain, this can be improved somewhat overtime, but if it was that straightforward and simple as continue practicing and one day it'll happen, how come most people can't play fast?

Its not for everyone and you have to accept rather that pursuing a goal that will never happen
 

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I have been playing since 1983. The first couple of years that is all I did with my free time. Got to the same place as far as playing fast as to where I am now. Physically, I couldn’t play anything faster now than I could when I was 17. But I don’t really practice much as of late. My left hand can handle moderately fast. I have been working on my picking the last couple of years, and I’m just now noticing how much that has improved. I am slower than I was just a couple of years ago due to a medication I’m currently taking.
 

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I don't know. I think there is a huge difference in how people practice makes up so much of it. My daughter has got to grade 5 violin pieces in less than 18 months and before the age of ten. How?

Her teacher pushes really hard from day 1. But also tells her she can and gives confidence. He insists on daily practice. She has to take a video of what she works on and send it back to him at least 3 times a week. The act of listening to yourself recorded is huge plus the frequency of feedback. Plus her mum has perfect relative pitch and tells her immediately if her intonation is even slightly out. And she's only ever learnt with piano accompaniment so she's had correct rhythm enforced from day 1 and is used to playing with other musicians.

Some of the other kids who started at the same age have 30 mins a week with a regular teacher at school and little to no other help beyond some parental encouragement. They're still mostly playing nursery rhymes.

So.. How you learn/practice can be starkly different..
 

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Its not for everyone and you have to accept rather that pursuing a goal that will never happen
Why does someone have to accept it? Why can't someone still strive for the goals they set themself? Why can't someone just enjoy the journey?

Just because you have accepted defeat, doesn't mean others have to.

The other thing is that speed is just speed, it's not the be all and end all of playing guitar.

There are lots of guitarists on youtube, who are very famous and get loads of views. But in many cases that's nothing to do with how fast they can play the guitar and just as much to do with how well they present themselves as a social media personality. Jared Dines has 5 times as many youtube subscribers as Steve Vai. It took me a while to actually find John Petrucci's youtube account and it looks like he has less than 100K subscribers!

I also found a video of a black cat that meowed a lot and that had more views than any of Petrucci's videos... Maybe you should take some lessons at your local cat shelter? ;)
 

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I wanted to play faster, and pick faster... So I practiced honing my technique. A lot of it has to do with how your hands are positioned. Anyone yes ANYONE can play fast. All it takes is figuring out what is holding you back. For me my fingers were too far from the fingerboard, and my pick strokes had too much movement. And I was using too thin of a pick (.75, now I use 1.4mm) I was picking with my arm and not my wrist, and holding the pick in a way that was inefficient. And my picking depth was too deep. The concept of picking hard to be loud is not correct... It's depth. The deeper you are in between the strings the louder you will pick, the more shallow you are in between the more quiet you will pick and also... The faster you can pick because there is less restriction. Guthrie Govan has a great video on that. This helps greatly with dynamic control as well.

As for the left hand... The further away your fingertips are from the board before you engage the string the longer it takes to get to the note. So practicing basic scales and concentrating on how close your fingers are from the string is important. Rick Graham has some good videos on this. It's about the importance of keeping your finger tips just above the string... It takes dedication to gain speed because you are fighting the old technique that has been burned into your natural way of playing. I had to break habits I had for 20 years... It took about a year of practice. But it was worth it. All we ever see from you are excuses for why you aren't as good as you wish you were. Anything worth having takes work. It's either you put in the work or you don't. It doesn't come to everyone equally as easily... But it's doable. It just depends on how badly you want it. And to approach your problem at hand with a problem solving approach, not a "poor me" approach.
 

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Why does someone have to accept it? Why can't someone still strive for the goals they set themself? Why can't someone just enjoy the journey?
This is an awesome reply. Life advice really. There is no reason to give up on your guitar goals unless you want to.

Who cares how far you get? Enjoy the journey. Enjoy tbe progress. Be as good as you can be. Be as fast and accurate as you can be.

Also totally agree about speed not being everything as well. Look how awesome David Gilmour is! One of the greatest! Look how many views he gets. Unbelievable how he speaks to people through his playing :)

Don't give up unless you want to! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It is easier to believe in hope than be cognizant of an unpleasant truth which negates such hope even if results of that hope never materialize.

I never said I’ve given up but considering how much practice I’ve been putting in the last few months and have very little to show for it in terms of speed improvement. Ive watched countless of videos on how to improve speed. I watched the whole trou grady library. Watched so many instructionals is ridiculous. My picking technique is fine. I simple cant go past my limit i cant break through it

im not even slow per se i can play 135-140bpm on 16th on my best day with tears blood an sweat pouring but thats nothing compared to what people on youtube can reach 180-200
 

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It takes more than a few thousand hours of practice. It can take 10k plus hours to develop the accuracy needed to achieve what you're looking for. It just depends on the person, and if that person is interested/hungry enough to have that ability.
 

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Lol well with that attitude yeah. Something within your technique is slowing you down. For example... Your picking hand and wrist should never be under tension, it should be relaxed... Tense muscles do not do what you want them to. Ask any MLB pitcher. And finger positioning and distance from the string even when not playing with those fingers should be just above the string, including your pinky. And complete finger independence.
 

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It's not number of hours. The 10,000 hour rule has been repeatedly debunked. It's much more to do with quality of practice and feedback. There is likely something(s) you're missing. So you need to understand what it is work on it, then move to the next bit etc.

YouTube tutorial videos aren't good for that unless you're really good at self diagnosing the issues in what you're doing. A good teacher can do that. Videoing / recording yourself and analysing what you're doing also helps.

Troy Grady's vids are great. But the main thing he taught me is more about how to learn. He's methodical about that play - record - check - fix - repeat process.

Practicing till you're 80 won't help of it's not focused on the right things, in fact you might even be reinforcing bad behaviors..
 

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For example... Your picking hand and wrist should never be under tension, it should be relaxed... Tense muscles do not do what you want them to.
Tension is a silent killer of speed, for sure! I have all of the bad techniques... Bad picking technique, don't hold the pick properly, bad fret hand technique, poor posture when playing, get tension in both hands/forearms, and don't know much theory.

BUT - I am just a spare bedroom guitar player that does it for fun. When I was 17 I wanted to be the next Yngwie Malmsteen, sure... Nowadays I just jam for fun, learn what I want to learn, play what I feel... and you know what? It became a lot more fun! No stress, but I do try to challenge myself to still learn. It's a lot more fun without putting unwanted pressure on myself and striving for unrealistic goals. 95% of an audience don't want to hear fast guitar anyway.. play something slow and tasteful though and the whole room can relate and feel it. (ala David Gilmour) I still wish I could shred though... lol! \m/
 

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I haven't heard the 10,000 hour thing as a rule. But you're absolutely right ibaraki, if you're reinforcing bad habits all it does is make correcting the problems even harder. I'll have to try the video recording idea for sure.
 

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I haven't heard the 10,000 hour thing as a rule. But you're absolutely right ibaraki, if you're reinforcing bad habits all it does is make correcting the problems even harder. I'll have to try the video recording idea for sure.

10,000 hour rule comes from a popular oversimplification of a study featured in this Malcolm Gladwell book.

On the recording thing. Video is good for specific specific techniques. Especially things like hand and finger position, tension etc.
Just audio recording for things like timing, accuracy of bends, vibrato and phrasing.. Nowhere to hide on record...
 

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I saw something a couple of years ago that I found bamboozling and have a question about. It was in a Nationwide commercial with Brad Paisley and Peyton Manning. Everything was normal until the end of the commercial when Brad Paisley played an open position G major chord but he played it using fingers 2, 3, and 4...🤨 He is the only guitarist I have ever seen play a G major chord that way. Do any of you play an open G using fingers 2, 3, and 4? If you think back to when you learned the open position chords, would this fingering have made G major easier? Probably not. Is this a country thing that country players do to make country chords easier to "country?"

In all seriousness, I think Brad Paisley is a bit of a dark horse of a player. I've never heard him all-out "country shred" but he played "Hot for Teacher" at one of his concerts. He followed it up with a lecture on efficient practice methods for open position chord progressions. He was playing a DNA...
 

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I saw something a couple of years ago that I found bamboozling and have a question about. It was in a Nationwide commercial with Brad Paisley and Peyton Manning. Everything was normal until the end of the commercial when Brad Paisley played an open position G major chord but he played it using fingers 2, 3, and 4...🤨 He is the only guitarist I have ever seen play a G major chord that way. Do any of you play an open G using fingers 2, 3, and 4? If you think back to when you learned the open position chords, would this fingering have made G major easier? Probably not. Is this a country thing that country players do to make country chords easier to "country?"

In all seriousness, I think Brad Paisley is a bit of a dark horse of a player. I've never heard him all-out "country shred" but he played "Hot for Teacher" at one of his concerts. He followed it up with a lecture on efficient practice methods for open position chord progressions. He was playing a DNA...
I sometimes play it that way because it makes it easy to switch between G and G4. There's some fun little riff possibilities with that suspended 4th.
He had a Jem DNA? That's cool. Glad someone actively plays one and they're not all just for collectors
 

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I haven't heard the 10,000 hour thing as a rule. But you're absolutely right ibaraki, if you're reinforcing bad habits all it does is make correcting the problems even harder. I'll have to try the video recording idea for sure.
My karate teacher always says "It's not Practice makes Perfect, it's Practice makes Permanent" typically when he's making us relearn a technique at a ridiculously low speed like we're undergoing interrogation at a CIA black site somewhere ;)
 

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I saw something a couple of years ago that I found bamboozling and have a question about. It was in a Nationwide commercial with Brad Paisley and Peyton Manning. Everything was normal until the end of the commercial when Brad Paisley played an open position G major chord but he played it using fingers 2, 3, and 4...🤨 He is the only guitarist I have ever seen play a G major chord that way. Do any of you play an open G using fingers 2, 3, and 4? If you think back to when you learned the open position chords, would this fingering have made G major easier? Probably not. Is this a country thing that country players do to make country chords easier to "country?"

In all seriousness, I think Brad Paisley is a bit of a dark horse of a player. I've never heard him all-out "country shred" but he played "Hot for Teacher" at one of his concerts. He followed it up with a lecture on efficient practice methods for open position chord progressions. He was playing a DNA...
As a British chap very few people I know understand my love of modern country an Brad is my favourite country player. I would also say he's indeed a dark horse. A couple of times on his albums you can hear him downshift and take off, but I always get the feeling there's a lot more he's holding in reserve if he needs to ;)

Completely off topic, but I also think he's a very clever songwriter and that translates even across the Atlantic.
 

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It is easier to believe in hope than be cognizant of an unpleasant truth which negates such hope even if results of that hope never materialize.

I never said I’ve given up but considering how much practice I’ve been putting in the last few months and have very little to show for it in terms of speed improvement. Ive watched countless of videos on how to improve speed. I watched the whole trou grady library. Watched so many instructionals is ridiculous. My picking technique is fine. I simple cant go past my limit i cant break through it

im not even slow per se i can play 135-140bpm on 16th on my best day with tears blood an sweat pouring but thats nothing compared to what people on youtube can reach 180-200
Firstly, I'm not going to argue with you that different people have different talent levels - who cares? Yngwie recorded the Steeler and Alcatrazz stuff nearly 40 years ago when he was 19! Even today, how many guitarists can execute an Alcatrazz solo as cleanly as Yngwie did at 19? 40 years later virtually no-one can replicate it! Jeff Loomis is the only person I have heard play an Alcatrazz solo without error. Am I going to give up guitar because I have been playing for 40 years and can't play stuff Yngwie did at 19? Nope! I love trying to learn that stuff as a challenge!

Okay, so it sounds like you are trying to pick at 180-200 bpm. That's where you want to be. Firstly, my tip would be you have to respect that it is actually very, very difficult to play cleanly at 200 bpm. The infamous Paul Gilbert lick is executed at about 200 bpm and virtually nobody can do it properly. Paul Gilbert discusses how difficult this has been for many people over the years. Anton Oparin can do it. Troy Grady can do it. But remember both these guys have whole schools of students following them because it is actually very difficult to play this stuff properly. Not impossible. But not easy.

Secondly, there is a difference between playing things fast and playing things well. If you just want to be fast for fast sake - and not care to much about execution - you could follow techniques to work on that. I would personally rather here something played really well, synced and executed cleanly at 140 than un-synced stuff at 220. But that's me and it depends on what is important to you.

Finally, have you picked one lick you are working on? Maybe the Yngwie 6's or something? If not I would suggest pick one. Then try and play it legato - without picking and see what speed you can hit without worrying about picking. If you can get it legato - my reasoning is you should be able to get it with picking. With work. Remember what you are trying to do is not easy. So you should not be to down on yourself for not being able to pick at 200 bpm! Guitar playing should be fun - it is enjoyable to try to reach things - even if you don't get there! And if you do - that's great too! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The internet is full of material for speed, tension, shred, etc and yet most people can’t play fast lol

I know this is fact because of how many people search and look for this and the amount of content put out to attract people into programs, lessons, guides, instructionals, etc

as I said before this is very similar to bodybuilding

very few have the genetics to look really good and they will assume everyone else who looks worse than them are just lazy bums who didn’t put in as much hard work as they did

and this hobby is also plagued with too much information, too many people trying to sell you snake oil, guides, workouts, etc

I mean playing super fast is desired by millions and if practice is all is required? You would think if they want it so badly, if should obtainable by everyone but is not the case

is akin to going hours and hours to the gym, putting extra work hoping you will look like those jacked dudes in workout videos, magazines etc you’ll look better than before you have physical limitations

also if talent didn’t matter how come most guitar shredders or gods as they call them developed tjeir craft in the 80s when there was no internet, very few instructional video, etc

Kids these days have access to knowledge that these people never did
 
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