Bursting at the Seams: How to Build Shredding Speed

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g3l2e7n9n

One of the best speed-building lessons I've seen/read probably in all the 15 years I've been playing guitar. The biggest thing I struggle with is getting past the metronome-speed-plateau and switching quickly from string to string at the same pace that I can tremolo pick. Steve covered both topics here with a very fresh idea on how to address it. I can't tell you how many times I've been disappointed from reading articles on building speed where each one gives the same tired exercise: play the 4 note per string chromatic exercise or three note per string scale exercise. And then they quote the most overused advice ever given in guitar teaching history: "start slow and build speed gradually...and don't forget to play to a metronome". Thanks for taking the opposite approach here, Steve, and giving us would-be shredders the courage to NOT use a metronome (at least temporarily) as we learn to build speed! You rock!
-Glenn

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jcalrocks

I agree. But I would like to add how important this lesson really is. When you do lessons like this one, you are actually "building speed gradually" by doing the lesson. When you start doing modal and scale sequences, they sound like crap slow, but sound wonderful when you speed them up(see Paul Gilbert). These exercises will prepare you for that needed speed.I would add the necessity of doing the four note exercise and skip strings as you get better at playing the notes cleanly. Always go in both directions. If you go up, go down as well. If you go up the neck, also go down the neck as well. Adding that fifth note on the next string will really help you...Really! Pay close attention to that part of the lesson...Please, I beg you. Save yourself a year(or three) of frustration. Finally, please learn how to play and play cleanly -before- you worry about tone. Tone comes last, playing cleanly and quickly is first...
-Jim

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