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How did you learn to play?
I'm curious as to how you all started playing guitar. Lessons,tabs, adapting what you'd already learned on another instrument, good old fashioned faking it?
I've been using tabs, learning scale shapes and have recently started listening to a buddy talk theory but that's beyond me for now. Been pretty happy just learning riffs here and there and building simple song ideas but it's time to move forward.
Some of the vids I've seen on here recently have made me all too aware of how much I still suck (Bucketass on the pink Hello Kitty). So ideas/advice are welcome as always.
Shred Guitar Abstract Melody
on Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:31 pm
Most shred guitarists donít think about melody at all, most shred guitar enthusiastís think of speed, and speed alone, and how much speed they need to impress the other shred guitar enthusiasts. But let me tell you that with years of writing, recording, and producing under my belt, melody can be the difference between prospering financially in the music industry, and starving. In most cases you have just a few minutes to grab an audience with your music, so every second counts. So when you fly in with that mega fast guitar speed shred passage, itís got to add to the overall picture, it has got to play a major role in the goal of grabbing a listener and keeping them.
Here is a cool little trick that a really hot and very well known shred guitarist showed me years ago, and Iím not going to mention his name, just because it wouldnít be kosher.
One night we were sitting around in the recording studio tossing concepts and ideas off of one another, when he showed me something that just blew me away. You see regular shred guitar passages are just so quick that itís very difficult to pick out the melody. For the average fan to be able to grasp and retain a melody, it has to be slow enough for the average individual to take it in, and retain it to memory.
Shred guitar sound very cool on the outside, and it looks very cool when demonstrated live on stage, but letís dig a little deeper.
In general what you want to do is create a melody that consists of alternate notes. In other words, the melody would not be comprised of every note played, because every note is being played way too fast. So letís say you take a passage that consists of ten notes. Then what you do is emphasize notes 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10. These four notes would be emphasized say by playing them a little louder than notes 2,4,6,8, or 9 essentially what the listener retains most is the melody which is made up of the emphasized notes 1,3,5,7, and 10. Now being that the emphasized notes are coming at the listener at a slower pace with emphasis, it is easier to retain as a melody. Now with the more notes you have in a passage, the easier it becomes for the shred guitarist to create and emphasize a background melody. For example, if your passage consists of say thirty notes, you could emphasize say notes 1, 12, 19, and 20. So in this case even though all the other notes are not emphasized, they are still played, and all the notes are played at the same speed, but with the emphasis being on notes 1, 12, 19, and 20, then these four notes would be your melody.
This trick gives a shred guitar player a huge edge in the big game. This technique must be practiced with a metronome. It is best to use a metronome software program that will allow you to input the guitar notes to be played into the software that you can then play along with, as you gradually increase your speed.
Shred Guitar The Pick Counts
on Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:43 pm
Donít practice another minute without the right pick., you can actually set yourself back by creating bad habits that can be almost impossible to break later.
When working to master the art of shred guitar, and get your speed guitar up to par, choosing the right pick is very important. When I first started working at mastering shred guitar, I tried to use a thin pick which is what I grew up using as a guitarist. I kept reading and watching videos from other Shred guitarists, and they constantly stated that you must use a very thick pick.
Then one day I heard of a special shred guitar training pick called the stylus pick. The stylus pick has a special diamond shaped tip. The stylus pick was developed by a shred guitar trainer from Berklee School of Music. The stylus guitar pick is specifically designed to keep beginning shred guitar enthusiasts from reaching the guitar pick to deep into the strings when they are practicing alternate picking. If the guitarist sticks the pick too far into the strings, the pick gets stuck. When I first bought one of these Stylus Picks, it was very uncomfortable to use, but after a few hours I got used to it, and within a week, my speed probably increased by twenty five percent or more. But, this stylus pick is for practice only.
The Stylus Pick is very rigid, and glossy. I soon found out that the rigidity and glossy finish had a huge affect on increasing my speed. After very committed practices with a guitar speed training software program, and the Stylus Pick for about thirty days, my speed literally doubled, and I can tell you now, thirty days of systematic training with the correct tools turned me into a shred guitarist.
I spent years trying to earn the coveted shred guitar status, and believe me, you will know the minute you arrive at that point, and no words can explain the level of self gratification that is felt when you reach that point. After I reached that point, I had to search to find a every day guitar pick that would give me the same rigidity, and glossy finish that I had with the stylus pick, but without the diamond shape on the tip that was used just as a practice pick to alleviate bad picking habits.
Thatís when I found the Big Stubby. The big Stubby picks are very thick, and most of all, they are very glossy, and they hold their glossy finish permanently. The glossy finish keeps the pick flowing quickly over the strings with minimal friction, and the rigidity keeps the pick from bending while working on those monster fast shred guitar licks. So to wrap things up, there are three tools that I spent years looking for that took me from decent guitarist to shred guitarist in thirty days. In order to succeed at shred guitar, and not get discouraged, you absolutely must have the right tools that will make every practice count.
Practice can be grueling, and a huge sacrifice. Donít waste your time practicing without the right tools at hand. Practicing without the right tools can actually set you back, and wind up having to break bad habits later on that keep you from reaching that shred guitar pinnacle you long for.
Choosing The right Pick for Shred Guitar
Shred Guitar - Why?
on Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:46 pm
I get asked by friends, family, and especially girlfriends, what is your obsession with practicing shred guitar? I really started trying to think about the question, and thought I may attempt to explain what is going on during a hard core shred guitar practice session, and hopefully it will help some of my fellow shred heads out there explain it themselves. Itís not man vs. nature, itís not man as predator, itís more like man vs. self, or man vs. machine. When I sit down just me and my trusty Ibanez late in the evening, and Iíve gotten all comfortable and cozy in my practice room, I wrap my hands around the guitar neck, crank up the faithful Line 6 amp, get the drive set just right for that nice sweet sustained distortion that gives me that classic shred guitar feel, and then it begins. Perhaps it starts a little slow, and maybe Iím feeling a little rusty, or maybe I just havenít loosened up enough yet or hit my shred guitar groove, either way, I know here shortly my fingers will be flowing up and down the neck at speeds that at times even amazes myself.
Perhaps itís just some short bursts Iím practicing or warming up with, maybe its some slow moving arpeggios Iím busting my butt to master, either way, Iím after a shred guitar pinnacle, a mountain top if you will. Iím after that point where I hit a certain speed, feel, or accomplishment that words can barely explain. Itís that point were a once complicated shred guitar riff is being conquered after all. Itís that point were your beginning to overcome a barrier, or perhaps a few barriers to reach a level of self satisfaction. Its having mastered that riff that no one has to ever hear except for me and my guitar that personally brings me true confidence and satisfaction. Itís knowing deep inside that I am rising up one more small level towards being able to sit comfortably among the shred guitar gods and know that among their company I have paid the dues to earn the seat. Itís hitting that level that brings my mind body and soul closer to my instrument establishing a bond and relationship that no one can break. Itís that point where you can not be disturbed because itís happening, the barriers are coming down, youíre mind body and soul have taken over and began working together as one in perfect unison and harmony with the instrument. Its that point were your fingers seem to take on motions that are all their own, and have lost the need to be guided by your mind as you watch your fingers dance at lightning speeds that almost seem disconnected from your mind and body.
I try to explain this feeling to others. There is a personal self gratification obtained from overcoming and mastering a skill that requires such a high level of dedication. To master shred guitar requires many hours of focus and personally having the capability to break and overcome many barriers. The best comparison I can come up with is perhaps a combination of a mad scientist spending years to develop a formula, and an Olympic runner training for a race all in one. The ability to master shred guitar requires the analytical skills of a scientist to some level, and the physical development of an Olympic runner, and the dedication and focus of both put together as one.
When I sit down to put in my time, which sometimes is six or seven hours a day, it feels almost like destiny. I donít focus on obtaining rock star status, impressing friends, girlfriends, or getting a record deal, yet my soul focus is on mastering the art of shred guitar. It just feels like shred guitar is an art I must continue to pursue, grow, and maintain.
So the next time a friend, family member, or girlfriend asks you what your obsession is with mastering shred guitar, just tell them that its unexplained destiny, like a scientist spending a lifetime to find a formula, and an Olympic athlete trying to condition their body to perfection all wrapped up in one. If they scoff at you and ask, you a rock star? Just say no, me a person that continually receives an insane level of self gratification felt by a select few for having mastered such a grand art as shred guitar.
I just wanted to write some quick thoughts for some of you younger players out there and for some of you seasoned guys who are looking to expand on your already developed technique. It has come to my attention that many people out there who are into playing a lot of arpeggios love to sweep pick. While I do believe that it is a good technique, I can't stress enough how important it is to be able to alternate pick your arpeggios. In fact it is so important that I feel that if you haven't already started to learn sweeping that you alternate pick them first and get your technique down. The reason I am saying this is that too many guitarists out there use sweeping as a crutch for arpeggios, and while it is a useful technique, it does stop you from developing some very needed technical abilities. If you watch some of the most highly regarded players out there you will see that a lot of them still actually alternate pick their arpeggios as well as using sweeping. Anyway, do what you will, but just take my advice into account.
In this lesson I take an unusual and fun approach at playing scales. Practice them in this nonlinear fashion and watch several areas of your technique improve.
YouTube has been "experimenting" with their technology recently and so far it has resulted in deteriorated quality of both audio and video of newly uploaded clips. I'm not sure how long this is going to be the case, so I uploaded this new lesson to Vimeo. The video quality is good and the sound is pristine. I may be migrating my other videos there eventually.
Enjoy the new exercise!
Well currently im learning how to play the guitar using a set of DVDs ( Learn Rock Guitar Beginner,Intermediate,Advanced by John McCarthy from The Rock House Method) i got a couple months ago. I want to learn to play Lead/Shred Guitar but im unsure of some things. Should i learn all the chords, scales, etc.? Should i just learn what i want to learn? What should I learn that would help me get better at Lead/Shred guitar?
Also Id like to know if theyre any good strings and picks that would help me out. I currently have the Dunlop Jazz III XL picks and i cant remember what strings i have.
I know im asking alot but if anyone has any suggestions. That would help out alot.
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what online guitar vid helped you the most
on Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:18 pm
for me i'd have to say this one gave me the biggest improvement in the shortest time
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