STRUG­GLING WITH SPEED

Guitar Techniques - - Talk Back -

I’ve been work­ing on the speed of my al­ter­nate pick­ing and down strokes for a while, and I do yearn to play quickly enough to make a de­cent job out of cov­ers of metal and rock songs. What I have an is­sue with is choos­ing (or should I say pick­ing?) songs to learn. I am of­ten duped by what ap­pears to be rea­son­able speed where I am able to pick sim­i­lar pat­terns, but when I start to learn pieces such as al­ter­nate pick­ing triplets at 184 bpm in Me­tal­lica’s Creep­ing Death solo, I find my­self strug­gling, even though I can pick hap­pily at 184 bpm. This has led to me spend­ing huge amounts of time strug­gling on one or two so­los that are prob­a­bly too hard for me and not learn­ing stuff that is level ap­pro­pri­ate. Do you have any tips for choos­ing ap­pro­pri­ate pieces to skill level? Matt Row­ley One thing you’ll see re­peated over again in GT is that you are far, far bet­ter to learn ANY­THING slowly, so you can play it with no mis­takes what­so­ever, than to at­tack some­thing at speed and keep mess­ing up. When you learn some­thing at a slow tempo, your mus­cles be­gin to re­mem­ber where they need to go next, rather than con­stantly fail­ing to get it right and em­bed­ding er­rors into your play­ing. Try learn­ing some­thing at a much slower speed – if you don’t have one of those de­vices that slows mu­sic down but keeps it in key, think about get­ting one – and when you can play it im­pec­ca­bly at the slow tempo, only then start to build the pace. If you’re a metronome owner then clearly this will be your best friend here. Even things that seem well within your grasp are bet­ter learned this way, as it’s sur­pris­ing how things like string noise can go un­no­ticed in the ex­cite­ment of think­ing you’ve nailed a riff. And you don’t want to build that into the full tempo, full gain ver­sion, do you?

Me­tal­lica’s Creep­ing Death prov­ing tricky

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