String Skipping Speed For Shredding, How fast do you have to get?
Nov 20 2012, 11:22 PM
GMC:er
Posts: 24
Joined: 24-April 12
I was just wondering how much speed you would have to develop on the following technique to be able to shred:

G-0---0---0-----------------------
A---0---0---0---------------------

YouÂ´ll encounter this problem a lot of times, for example if you try to play a scale in fragments of four, so e.g.:

( ) ( )
E--12--10--8-----10--8------------8-------------
B---------------12---------12--10----12--10------

Another example would be the pentatonic in steps of three notes:

( ) ( )
E-12--10------10------------------------------------
B-----------12-----12--10--12--10-----10----------
G--------------------------------------12-----12--9---

The final example IÂ´d like to talk about is the famous Paul Gilbert lick:

( ) ( )
D---------------9-----------------------9-----------
A--9--10--12----12--10-9--10--12----12-10-9------

I put exclamation marks over the parts where you have to change strings real quickly and then again go back to the original string yet again.

What I am really wondering about is the following: LetÂ´s say you wanted to play the first two examples at a tempo of 200 beats per minute with four notes per beat, and the Paul Gilbert example at a tempo of 135 beats per Minute and six notes per beat (triplet feel).
If you wanted to be able to do so, you also have to be able to change strings at the same tempo, right?

I can totally understand how you can move the pick from side to side at those tempi, but what I donÂ´t get is how you can get over the next string at those speeds (I am talking about alternate picking). The muscle I need to lift the pick high enough to get over the next string without accidentally hitting it is the same muscle that I use when I am knocking at someoneÂ´s door (or when I am knocking on the table), right?

I actually tried to knock on the table at a speed of 200, and I can only get half as fast as I would need to be. I mean, you have to get the pick up after you hit the first string, and then get it get it down again after you pass the next string, right? That makes four one movement up and four times one movement down if you try to practice string crossing in the way I tabbed it in the very first tab, or am I mistaking?

What do I not get that this is such a mystery to me?

I am sorry, the exclamation marks are not where I want them to be. But I think you´ll understand anyway!

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This post has been edited by dairwolf: Nov 20 2012, 11:24 PM
Nov 21 2012, 01:09 AM
GMC:er
Posts: 22.622
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
This is going to sound snarky, but honestly, it really is just an issue of PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. I mean, you obviously get the technique, you get what's involved, you know how to do it. You just have to play it a few million times to get it up to the speed your wanting. There is simply no way around it.

QUOTE (dairwolf @ Nov 20 2012, 05:22 PM)
I was just wondering how much speed you would have to develop on the following technique to be able to shred:

G-0---0---0-----------------------
A---0---0---0---------------------

YouÂ´ll encounter this problem a lot of times, for example if you try to play a scale in fragments of four, so e.g.:

( ) ( )
E--12--10--8-----10--8------------8-------------
B---------------12---------12--10----12--10------

Another example would be the pentatonic in steps of three notes:

( ) ( )
E-12--10------10------------------------------------
B-----------12-----12--10--12--10-----10----------
G--------------------------------------12-----12--9---

The final example IÂ´d like to talk about is the famous Paul Gilbert lick:

( ) ( )
D---------------9-----------------------9-----------
A--9--10--12----12--10-9--10--12----12-10-9------

I put exclamation marks over the parts where you have to change strings real quickly and then again go back to the original string yet again.

What I am really wondering about is the following: LetÂ´s say you wanted to play the first two examples at a tempo of 200 beats per minute with four notes per beat, and the Paul Gilbert example at a tempo of 135 beats per Minute and six notes per beat (triplet feel).
If you wanted to be able to do so, you also have to be able to change strings at the same tempo, right?

I can totally understand how you can move the pick from side to side at those tempi, but what I donÂ´t get is how you can get over the next string at those speeds (I am talking about alternate picking). The muscle I need to lift the pick high enough to get over the next string without accidentally hitting it is the same muscle that I use when I am knocking at someoneÂ´s door (or when I am knocking on the table), right?

I actually tried to knock on the table at a speed of 200, and I can only get half as fast as I would need to be. I mean, you have to get the pick up after you hit the first string, and then get it get it down again after you pass the next string, right? That makes four one movement up and four times one movement down if you try to practice string crossing in the way I tabbed it in the very first tab, or am I mistaking?

What do I not get that this is such a mystery to me?

I am sorry, the exclamation marks are not where I want them to be. But I think youï¿½ll understand anyway!

# You are at GuitarMasterClass.net

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Nov 21 2012, 07:46 PM
Instructor
Posts: 13.792
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Nov 21 2012, 12:09 AM)
This is going to sound snarky, but honestly, it really is just an issue of PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. I mean, you obviously get the technique, you get what's involved, you know how to do it. You just have to play it a few million times to get it up to the speed your wanting. There is simply no way around it.

I'm afraid that Todd is right my friend !! Sometimes, the more info we have the less work we do ! The internet is an amazing thing but I think that if I had the internet when I was in my early guitar years I would have lost my way with too much searching for answers. Because I didn't know the questions existed in the first place, I had no answers to look for.

All answers are revealed in toil, toil and more toil ! Physical action

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Nov 21 2012, 09:34 PM
Instructor
Posts: 34.960
Joined: 3-March 07
From: Argentina
Well, my friends are right about this... it's a matter of practice! The two difficult things when you want to play something fast with alternate picking are hands sync and crossing strings. In this lesson I shared different patterns that cover the different possibilities that can appear when you cross strings with alternate picking technique. This exercises are very useful to master the technique and be able to play every type of lick an pattern.

Check it out:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...t=0#entry576899

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Nov 26 2012, 02:14 PM
Instructor
Posts: 164
Joined: 13-May 12
From: Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
It's all a matter of practice. Sitting down and beating the life out of your guitar (through practicing of course). Technique is all but technique which require the right amount of skills.

Now skills can be developed in just a matter of time. Some quickly, some after a while and some take a long time. But it all boils down to how many times you repeat the same pattern over and over again in a day. That should be enough time for you to develop the skill.

Think of it like business. The amount of time you practice and the way you think about your guitar playing now will reflect how you will be in the future. You're not just giving time to practice you're INVESTING time for a better guitar technique that you can use and enjoy over and over again throughout your life.

My main point is don't worry about speed now. Just worry about how to make it sound right.

"Why play something fast that doesn't sound right?"

Play it slow first and make it sound right, gradually working your way up to being fast and MELODIC.

hope this helps!

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Nov 27 2012, 12:15 AM
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Posts: 24
Joined: 24-April 12
Thanks for your answers, everyone! Actually I was expecting the kind of answers your were giving. I am afraid I´ll have to partly disagree.

I agree that you have to start practicing new techniques at a slow tempo and then gradually increase the tempo. In fact, that´s what I have been doing for some years now, and I honestly can´t recall any technique where I couln´t improve this way. However, picking seems to be an especially difficult technique.

I think that if the technique is flawed to begin with, you can practice as long as you want, you´ll just not get where you want to be. Just a few weeks ago my picking technique was very different to how it is now. I already feel as if I made a lot of progress because I am actually using a muscle of my right arm I never used before (the muscle that you need to move your wrist up and down), so I am really curious as to how far I can get.

There is one thing that irritates me though. I seem to be "hopping" around a lot when changing strings. I figured that the reason for this is that I have the thump rest on the lower strings before hitting a string. So right now I am trying to always have my pick "higher" than before by lifting my thumb up, so that my pick would "hang in the air" before and after I hit the string. This way, the up and down movement to get over the next string is reduced as much as possible, and I feel that this might be worth a try.

I decided to practice for six months from now on and see if I can improve. I´ll also meet with guitar teachers and try to incorporate their advices (even though I am afraid they won´t really have any substantial advice for me because they just somehow did it right from the beginning). And if I can´t improve in those six months, I think I´ll honestly quit guitar playing. It is just way to frustrating.

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Nov 27 2012, 10:35 AM
Instructor
Posts: 13.792
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Todd just posted an interesting topic that I agree with. Switching the focus from lead to rhythm can actually really tighten up and hone your picking hand. When playing riffs you tend to focus on the overall sound and quality rather than technique so whilst your nailing riffs your picking hand is left to just get on with the job

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=46883

QUOTE (dairwolf @ Nov 26 2012, 11:15 PM)
I decided to practice for six months from now on and see if I can improve. I´ll also meet with guitar teachers and try to incorporate their advices (even though I am afraid they won´t really have any substantial advice for me because they just somehow did it right from the beginning). And if I can´t improve in those six months, I think I´ll honestly quit guitar playing. It is just way to frustrating.

P.S. String skipping is 1 tiny aspect of the possibilities of guitar playing. It's not a mandatory 'rite of passage' that everyone has to take. If you're going to devote your life to being in a Paul Gilbert tribute band then it may be of more importance but it definitely shouldn't be so important as to make the difference between giving up or not giving up the guitar.

How's your vibrato ? Bending ? Tone ? Melody ? Timing ? Composition ?

A list of great guitar players who probably can't /couldn't pick like PG but are still great:

Marty Friedman
Eddie Van Halen
Zakk Wylde (yes he can pick but not to that degree of accuracy or intricacy)
Joe Satriani
Steve Vai
Michael Schenker
Dave Murray
Jake E Lee
George Lynch
Dimebag

Giving yourself a time limit is a sure way to disappointment and frustration. I'm saying this because I know from personal experience, not because I'm an idealist.

But if you do want to give up, then make sure you're honest about why you're giving up. You'll be giving up because you don't want it enough, not because you couldn't get the string skipping technique down.

I know the mindset that you've got yourself in because I've been there many times. The only way I ever got myself out was by completely switching focus and looking at the things I was good at and rediscovering why I was playing in the first place.. for me. To enjoy playing. Stop over-thinking.. start playing again.

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This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Nov 27 2012, 10:36 AM

--------------------
Nov 28 2012, 01:32 AM
GMC:er
Posts: 22.622
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
It sounds like you are more agreeing than disagreeing? It seems like you are hitting a bit of a hump on a difficult technique. Your probably exaggerating your picking motion which will kill your precision/speed. I didn't see a video of your technique posted? So it's really hard to tell whats going on as we can't see you play But how about this. If you post a clip of what you are doing, we can all help you work through it

Also, quitting guitar playing in six months if you can't master string skipping seems a bit, extreme? There is so much more to guitar playing that one technique. Give yourself a break. Honestly.

QUOTE (dairwolf @ Nov 26 2012, 06:15 PM)
Thanks for your answers, everyone! Actually I was expecting the kind of answers your were giving. I am afraid I´ll have to partly disagree.

Thanks Ben!!! I thought this was a pretty good post/idea too Sadly, it's generated ZERO responses. I don't think the students get what I"m on about in that post. Hopefully your explanation of it here will make more sense to them

QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Nov 27 2012, 04:35 AM)
Todd just posted an interesting topic that I agree with. Switching the focus from lead to rhythm can actually really tighten up and hone your picking hand. When playing riffs you tend to focus on the overall sound and quality rather than technique so whilst your nailing riffs your picking hand is left to just get on with the job

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=46883

P.S. String skipping is 1 tiny aspect of the possibilities of guitar playing. It's not a mandatory 'rite of passage' that everyone has to take. If you're going to devote your life to being in a Paul Gilbert tribute band then it may be of more importance but it definitely shouldn't be so important as to make the difference between giving up or not giving up the guitar.

How's your vibrato ? Bending ? Tone ? Melody ? Timing ? Composition ?

A list of great guitar players who probably can't /couldn't pick like PG but are still great:

Marty Friedman
Eddie Van Halen
Zakk Wylde (yes he can pick but not to that degree of accuracy or intricacy)
Joe Satriani
Steve Vai
Michael Schenker
Dave Murray
Jake E Lee
George Lynch
Dimebag

Giving yourself a time limit is a sure way to disappointment and frustration. I'm saying this because I know from personal experience, not because I'm an idealist.

But if you do want to give up, then make sure you're honest about why you're giving up. You'll be giving up because you don't want it enough, not because you couldn't get the string skipping technique down.

I know the mindset that you've got yourself in because I've been there many times. The only way I ever got myself out was by completely switching focus and looking at the things I was good at and rediscovering why I was playing in the first place.. for me. To enjoy playing. Stop over-thinking.. start playing again.

# You are at GuitarMasterClass.net

Don't miss today's free lick. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

Don't miss today's free blues, jazz & country licks. Plus all our lessons are packed with free content!

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