by ollierb I have actually been playing the guitar for a very long time. I started when I was twelve – I’m 34 now – finding out “Smoke on the Water”by Deep Purple. After a week of constantly practicing the chorus using bar chords till my timing was best I understood that this was it! This was exactly what I wanted to do with my life!
And so it went on year after year from Jimmy Hendrix and Led Zeppelin to Weapons and Roses then Iron Maiden, Queen, Metallica, Van Halen, you name it! If the music had quick lead guitar I existed paying attention to it.
I had a natural talent for the guitar but I found that I had limits. I could not play all of the much faster lead guitar that my heroes might on there recordings. The harder I aimed to play these quick concepts the more difficult they ended up being. Often I would practice 8 hours straight and be no closer to reaching my objective of playing lightning quickly. Does this noise familiar to anybody reading this?
This ended up being even worse when I would try lead guitar by artists like Yngwie Malmsteen. I can play Yngwie Malmsteens tune “I am a Viking” note for note best without even breaking a sweat now. But, at that time this was impossible for me and not through lack of trying or capability.
For a couple of years I quit trying to play as quick as Malmsteen. I began informing myself loser negative comments like “He’s simply born better and faster” or “I might never ever be that good so why trouble” and “I’m simply much better at rhythm guitar than lead” in addition to “He most likely started below me so I can never become that excellent as I began too late”.
Luckily I did keep playing the guitar and worked on semi fast blues playing and a good broad vibrato much like Vai in the motion picture “Crossroads”. I might constantly play quick on one string utilizing concepts mostly borrowed from Kirk Hammet of Metallica. Still, anything quickly that involved string skipping terrified the crap out of me specifically around other people who would say “Wow that’s actually quick” while inside I would be embarrassed due to the fact that I knew that I had just barely been able to play it or often I would make errors and hope that no one discovered. In essence I seemed like a fraud!
The thing is it didn’t matter if other individuals saw or not. I knew! I understood that I wasn’t able to play fast solos appropriately and it pissed me off that I wasn’t excellent enough.
Well that nightmare situation is now very much in the past for me and I wish to talk about the concepts that increased my limitations of guitar speed by alot!
A common and Significant error that brand-new players make is to attempt and play everything quick too quickly. By doing this they establish bad timing routines which are a symptom of another common and Major mistake which is tensing the muscles in the picking and stressing hands. I can see how the problem develops in young players. Consider it; you’re paying attention to loud adrenaline improving Rock and Metal that makes you desire to jump around head banging and pumping your fist in the air, so it’s only natural that this attitude streams over into guitar strategy.
The solution for this is to be more like a sensible tai chi master or buddhist monk. You make all your motions fluid and unwinded. You just use the precise quantity of energy needed for any guitar method. You step beyond the turmoil of the music and let it drain of you in an almost removed style. When I am blazing up and down the fretboard I believe of nothing just “exactly what is”.
This is why when I was more youthful I might never ever play truly fast. I was super tense if anything. I would attempt to squash any failure by tensing up even more.
So start practicing any piece you wish to find out really gradually in a kicked back way. Use a metronome to keep stable timing or usage TAB software like Guitar Pro or Power Tab which have actually developed in functions to play a piece of music at a slow speed. This is the time for you to do any serious thinking of your technique, how you hold the pick, utilizing the most efficient energy saving motions and hand positions. So take it slow at first and you will be playing lightning quickly guitar in no time.
Thanks for reading this post. I will be submitting more on the subject of guitar. Next I will talk about how to use a metronome to really enhance your capabilities in a brief amount of time.
James Erceg is a full-time professional guitar instructor and player with 22 years of experience.
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