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Thread: I know this is asking the impossible but i need to get better quick.

  1. #1
    redmunk
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    I know this is asking the impossible but i need to get better quick.

    I know this is asking the impossible but i need to get better quick. I need to get fast and asap. At the start of october I go back to college and i hear the 2nd year is tough. I've been practicing steadily all summer fitting about an hour of technique in each day but now it's crunch time and I'm not as fast as i expected to be by now. I'm practing exercises in 2 sets of 5 mins for each one. I suppose it doesn't really matter what you think I might be doing wrong, what my goals are and such like, I just wnat to know all your best tips on how to get fast fast.

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Floydy
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    dont do any arm muscle workout at least for me it makes me go slow, play all the scales in the all the keys, thats an intense excercise its like 15 mins of alternate picking but it helps tons, a good idea is to practice more... if its possible, there isnt really a magical excercise...that i know of at least

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Try practice that technique more- but also, look very closely at the little aspects of your playing and what is slowing you down. Try stuff like angling your pick, using a thicker pick. Experiment.

    When you say you hear 2nd year is tough, maybe it doesnt have to do with speed?

  4. #4
    Laiho's heir guitarist wild_child's Avatar
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    there is no magical way to "get fast quick." the only way you will be able to reach your targets faster is to increase the amount of time in which you practice, and also how efficiently you use your practice time.
    for some reason, people who want to get fast seem to think that "shredding" it is a technique in itself which can be learned, but it is the result of the mastering of a LOT of different techniques and aspects of playing.
    For a start, there's more to playing fast than picking fast. The two most important things in fast playing is co-ordination of left and right hands and accuracy. Those are the things that you should work on first and foremost.
    You also need to have a high level of self discapline, set out a practice schedule and stick to it. no noodling! always use a metronome and never cheat yourself. Read every article on this site that you need, and also pick up anything that you feel would aid you such as books or instructional videos (john petrucci's "rock discapline" might be of interest to you)
    don't just focus on technique though, practice and learn about other things, such as the theoretical side, know WHAT youre playing, be able to play excercises in different keys or different ways based on your knowledge, don't just blindly play things over and over like a robot. Learn to improvise and make up your own music, what moods different intervals and notes over chords can create, and how you can exploit and manipulate this.
    Theres a lot more to shredding than just playing fast!

    p.s. the 2nd year is pretty much the same as the first since AS's became compulsory and most things are modular. I've managed up to 7hrs a day the past year! mind you i don't have a job and i didn't read the book for my english literature exam, still got a B though! thats the British education system for you
    Last edited by wild_child; 08-25-2004 at 01:11 AM. Reason: software thought AS's was a curse word!
    "Remember, it's all good, everything goes and there ain't no damned rules or boundaries. So get off! Tear it a fresh ***, tear it hard, rip gaping holes in it! Make tracks, leave marks!

    "forever stronger than all" - Dimebag Darrell

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    With extreme practicing, you've gotta stretch out a lot. Stretch out your fingers, forearm, upper arm, everything! And take beaks. Otherwise you'll run into trouble. And take days off. If you play for five days, you gotta take a day off at the end to let your muscles, tendons, ligaments etc recover. That's how the damage is done; constant over exertion without any rest.

    For what to practice, break it up into categories. Alt picking, legato, economy, sweeping, '1-2-3-4s' (permutations). Take the Paul Gilbert lick thing and do it constantly starting slow and building speed. I did it 3 years ago; still using it now. Just play different exercises to metranomes in general. Play everything to a metranome! But the main thing is routine and organisation. Have a plan (even just rough) of several things which you can repeat over a long period of time.

  6. #6
    all around psycho
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wudluv2sweep
    dont do any arm muscle workout at least for me it makes me go slow
    does working out effect anyone else as well? Just curious

  7. #7
    Registered User
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    I have to work out every day. Run for about a half hour and about 30 - 40 chin ups. Without that the tendonitis comes back REAL fast.

  8. #8
    Chicks dig me Danster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmunk
    I know this is asking the impossible but i need to get better quick. I need to get fast and asap. At the start of october I go back to college and i hear the 2nd year is tough. I've been practicing steadily all summer fitting about an hour of technique in each day but now it's crunch time and I'm not as fast as i expected to be by now. I'm practing exercises in 2 sets of 5 mins for each one. I suppose it doesn't really matter what you think I might be doing wrong, what my goals are and such like, I just wnat to know all your best tips on how to get fast fast.

    Many thanks
    Just curious... why do you need to get fast fast? For the most part, trying to accomplish something "unnaturally" quickly with the guitar is not the best mindset I would think. It reminds me of dieting. Everyone wants to lose 10 lbs in 2 weeks. Why not lost 10 lbs in two months, and keep it off? Anyhoo, good luck!
    Peace

  9. #9
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    Are you using a metronome or drum machine to practice? This is mandatory for maximizing your efficiency!

    If you are using a metronome, after you warm up a bit try push the tempo to about 10 bpm faster than you can play cleanly. Do this for about 2 minutes, then go back to the fastest tempo you play well. Usually it feels a little easier. This "trick" is used by many greats, including Jason Becker when he was younger.

    It's more important to play something which sounds good, as opposed to something that sounds fast and not-so-good!
    -Bizarro
    Google is your friend

  10. #10
    redmunk
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    Thanks for everybody's help and advice.

    Thanks for everybody's help and advice. It's all usefull stuff. Just to answer some of your questions. I'm going into my 2nd year of degree not A- level. The reason I need to get fast is because I'm only comfortable playing 16th notes at about 120bpm and I know that some of the set pieces for next year will be at a faster tempo than that. Over the summer I've tried to intorduce myself to jazz improvisation but I don't think I have enough time yet to really pull that together before the start of term, so now I'm just concentrating on technique. I've put myself on a 5hr per day practice schedule, complete with metronome and countdown timer, with a big emphasis on legato as I feel that I mainly lack finger strength. After nearly a week I seem to be getting somewhere, but not fast of course. I think I'm fairly self aware about my weaknesses and set time aside every day just to work on maybe a little phrase that is bothering me today. I've had no RSI problems.

    To be honest, I don't really understand how people practice much more than that. Maybe I should evern start another thread about it. I mean, i'f you practice 5 hrs, and you've got to add in breaks, and plus you lose a few minutes every hour when you've got to stop for a minute just to change the metronome and reset the timer. So it takes about 7 hrs to get through this 5 hr schedule. I've heard of people practicing 12 hrs a day. Aside from little breaks, it's going to probably take about 3hrs of your day just to eat meals. 12+3= 15, leaving you 8 or 9 hrs to sleep. And that's if you don't even do anything else.

    well, thanks again for everybody's help
    redmunk

  11. #11
    rising shredmaster
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    I like to focus on one thing at a time.

    I will take one lick, whether it be for sweeping or legato or economy or alt picking and I just play it for about 30 mins at the same even tempo with a metronome.

    Then after the 30 minutes, speed up the metronome by ten and play like this for 2 minutes, as bizarro said, then go back to the original speed and play for another 10 mins or so and take a rest.
    This doesnt mean stopping, it might mean spending the rest time on reading up theory (an idea I really should try and use) and after 20 mins, start again. Repeat this about 3 times and do it everynight and everynight you should increase the tempo by 5, and you will slowly but very surely start to get faster and faster.
    Do it on one lick, just one, and as you start to practice more hours a night or day, you can work on other licks as well. Like spend and hour doing the legato, then an hour doing the alt picking lick then go back to the legato and then back to the alt picking and speed em up by 5 every night.

    You can change the times to suit you and eventually you will be playing for a good few hours of solid practice every night and you will have immense technical ability. (i am still working on it... )
    I didn't really think these times up very well, but thats a general idea of having to step up bit by bit, and eventually you will have it, a good thing to do is to sort out a practice schedule of some sort. Just a page, saying what the times of what you are doing are and have a list of what you should be doing and when and if you notice changes in your playing after a week then you can modify the schedule by making it more fast paced or tweaking it with something new and eventually in a few weeks you will have a fully customized workout, featuring sweep, alt picking, economy picking, legato, tap, chording, theory, scale work... or whatever...

    I have tried to come up with my own but I spent to much time trying to figure out what to do, the best way to find out what to practice is to just get in there and start practicing and add bits to the workout as you go along.

    come back in a few months and tell us all how you can shred like a mad man...

    In the meantime, I am gunna foloow my own advice and get seriously practicing.

  12. #12
    rising shredmaster
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmunk
    Thanks for everybody's help and advice. It's all usefull stuff. Just to answer some of your questions. I'm going into my 2nd year of degree not A- level. The reason I need to get fast is because I'm only comfortable playing 16th notes at about 120bpm and I know that some of the set pieces for next year will be at a faster tempo than that. Over the summer I've tried to intorduce myself to jazz improvisation but I don't think I have enough time yet to really pull that together before the start of term, so now I'm just concentrating on technique. I've put myself on a 5hr per day practice schedule, complete with metronome and countdown timer, with a big emphasis on legato as I feel that I mainly lack finger strength. After nearly a week I seem to be getting somewhere, but not fast of course. I think I'm fairly self aware about my weaknesses and set time aside every day just to work on maybe a little phrase that is bothering me today. I've had no RSI problems.

    To be honest, I don't really understand how people practice much more than that. Maybe I should evern start another thread about it. I mean, i'f you practice 5 hrs, and you've got to add in breaks, and plus you lose a few minutes every hour when you've got to stop for a minute just to change the metronome and reset the timer. So it takes about 7 hrs to get through this 5 hr schedule. I've heard of people practicing 12 hrs a day. Aside from little breaks, it's going to probably take about 3hrs of your day just to eat meals. 12+3= 15, leaving you 8 or 9 hrs to sleep. And that's if you don't even do anything else.

    well, thanks again for everybody's help
    redmunk
    yeh, basically the whole idea with becoming an immense guitarist is not having a social life

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