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You absolutely have to try this out

Posted by The Wizard Of Shred on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, In : Learning Faster! 
- Does perfect practice make perfect? When you practice something with no mistakes at all, will you then develop perfect skills faster? 
 
For most aspiring guitar masters, practicing without making mistakes all the time doesn't really seem realistic. If you feel the same way you MUST read on. 
 
In most sports you cannot practice without making mistakes. You can't slow gravity down so you can hit that ball perfectly every time. 

Take your best shot

You must take your best shot and fail over and ov...

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Learning tons of songs fast

Posted by The Wizard Of Shred on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, In : Learning Faster! 
What do you do when you have a ton of new songs and solos to learn and you have to play a gig in a couple of weeks?

Here's a process that works:

1. Come up with a simple and easy way of playing the songs and solos that you find challenging. Focus on coming up with the easiest way of playing the chords and solos. Nobody will think "Oh he can't play the real thing" instead they will just see a musician playing the song his own way. 

Come up with stuff that is as close to the original as possible t...

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How to develop your own unique sound, part 2

Posted by The Wizard Of Shred on Tuesday, February 8, 2011, In : Zen Shredding 
How to develop your own unique sound, part 2


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The amazing tone of the Mongolian swamp ash

When you go shopping for the amp or instrument you want, try your  best to forget about what others say. Really listen and be open. Be honest about what you like and don't like. And if you can't hear or feel the difference from a $200 instrument to a $2000 instrument, then that $2000 instrument can't be for you. And paying for the difference is insanity if you get zero value out of it...

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How to develop your own unique sound

Posted by The Wizard Of Shred on Tuesday, February 1, 2011, In : Zen Shredding 
How to develop your own unique sound


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Why do you want your own sound?

Now why is such a technical aspect part of "Zen shredding?" Because there's a hidden agenda behind the need to create your own unique sound or tone. Why does it have to be unique? Why would anyone want to sound differently from others? And why is it that we're often repelled by copy cats and people who sound like someone else? It's because being unique, special or significant is part of a basic human str...

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4 simple ways to become super confident

Posted by The Wizard Of Shred on Monday, January 24, 2011, In : Zen Shredding 
4 simple ways to become super confident


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How someone with no skills can take away the prize

When I was in high school I participated in a guitar contest. I was, by far, the most skilled guitarist in that school so I was pretty confident that I would win. But my anxiousness caused me to perform at a very low level while another guy with half my skills went completely berserk on stage. He didn't care that he couldn't play very well, he just did everything he could to sou...

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How to stop being nervous when you play in front of people

Posted by The Wizard Of Shred on Wednesday, January 5, 2011, In : Zen Shredding 
How to stop being nervous when you play in front of people


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How to loose all your skills in a second

Being nervous when you play in front of other people will either make you more intensely present when you play or it will sabotage your playing to some degree. Some people loose a lot of their skills when they go on stage or even when a single person is listening to what they play. I used to drop down to 25 % of my skill capacity when ever I played in front of an audience. I...

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Entering The Zone & The Law of No Effort

Posted by The Wizard on Wednesday, August 25, 2010, In : Zen Shredding 
Entering the zone & the law of no effort


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Unhooking your left brain


When I got serious about becoming a guitarist, I used to dream about performing on stage. I would imagine myself playing a solo, with one foot on the monitor and a big smile on my face. Just playing the notes effortlessly and enjoying the ride.

But it took a while for me to get to that place where I could play without a thought in my head. Because that's what it takes to get in "the zone". If ...

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Confusing Names and Symbols

Posted by The Wizard on Thursday, September 24, 2009, In : Easy Music Theory 
Confusing Names And Symbols


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Let's keep the riff raff out

So we know what to call the white keys on the piano. But what about the black ones in between? Well they actually have two names depending on where you're coming from. "There's no reason to keep it simple" the monks said "The more complicated we make it, the easier it is for us to keep the riff raff out." Let's humor these guys from the past and see what they came up with.


The note in between the C and the D is ...
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The Wicked Brothers of Doom

Posted by The Wizard on Saturday, August 29, 2009, In : Power Blues 101 
The Wicked Brothers of Doom


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Using the Harmonic minor to produce the blues sound

Yes, I’m not kidding. Today I’m going to show you how you can use the Harmonic Minor scale to produce some cool blues rock lines. The sound of any scale is deeply influenced by what chords you play with it. This is why your regular C-Major scale has a mode for every note in the scale. The “mode” is really an expression of the sound you get when you play this scale with th...
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Bridging The Blues Scale Shapes

Posted by The Wizard on Sunday, August 23, 2009, In : Power Blues 101 
Bridging the blues scale shapes


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From vertical to horizontal

At some point in your development you feel the urge to learn to play using the entire fretboard instead of being locked into one or two positions. The first step to doing this is mastering all 5 of the blues scale shapes. But if this is the only thing you do, you won’t really develop the freedom you want, you’ll still be locked into positions only now there are five and not two of them. To truly go f...
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The One Minute Major Third Expansion

Posted by Pure Speed on Saturday, August 1, 2009, In : Power Blues 101 

The one minute major third expansion


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Using every available note on the fretboard

I hope you had fun with the idea and the licks in my last article. Today I’m going to expand a bit on that same simple idea. But before I go on I would like to make this clear: You can use all available notes on the entire fretboard to play over any Blues Rock chord progression, and when you come to the end of these articles, you will! So the point of these article is not to show you...


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Expand The Pentatonic Scale In Two Minutes

Posted by Pure Speed on Thursday, July 30, 2009, In : Power Blues 101 

How to expand the pentatonic scale in two minutes


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More freedom and choices

I’ve been looking forward to writing this series about how to master the blues rock sound in all it’s different manifestations. This is by far the most used sound in all of rock music so mastering it is crucial. But most people often feel a bit limited by the measly five or six notes that you have at your disposal in the traditional pentatonic blues scale. I use to feel that way for sur...


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Feed The Beast & Make Your Passion A Priority

Posted by Pure Speed on Monday, July 27, 2009, In : The Malmsteen Study 

Feed the beast and make your passion a priority


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The final Malmsteen lesson

In this last article in this series, I would like to bring your attention to the obvious. From my perspective Malmsteen has one final lesson to teach us mortals and it revolves around the concept of passion. Most of us start out in life with a lot of hope, enthusiasm and passion. But as the years go by we find ourselves with an increasing amount of responsibilities and “stuff” that clutt...


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The Secret Malmsteen Rule

Posted by Pure Speed on Monday, July 6, 2009, In : The Malmsteen Study 

The secret Malmsteen rule


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If it doesn't feel great, get rid of it!

The second principle that Yngwies brain seems to work by is the concept of “The path of least resistance” Choosing the easiest way around anything sounds like a no-brainer but in this case it isn't. This principle can make or break your success in shredding and when I started applying it to everything I did, I made so much progress in so little time, I couldn't believe it.

When I first began to s...


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How To Shred Like Yngwie Malmsteen

Posted by Pure Speed on Monday, June 22, 2009, In : The Malmsteen Study 

How to shred like Yngwie Malmsteen


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If you want to play like the best, you should know how the best became the best. If you know that, you can do the same thing they did, and achieve the same results. In the next series of articles I’m going to give you every little nugget that I’ve picked up in my study of Yngwie Malmsteen. I've found that there are two sides to cover when it comes to this guy. 1. How to play like Yngwie and 2. How to think like him. It's...


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Integrating Sweep Picking With Other Techniques

Posted by Pure Speed on Monday, June 15, 2009, In : Sweep Picking Perfection 

Integrating sweep picking with other techniques


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Integration is the key

Sweep picking is a one-of-a-kind technique. It's so radically different to perform than alternate and economy picking (Though it is closer to the latter) For a long time I wondered why I wasn't using sweep picking very much when I was soloing. Even though I was very good at it, I didn't use that technique very much. Then I pin pointed the problem and found out that I needed to integrate the techn...

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How To Use Your Reticular Cortex

Posted by Pure Speed on Saturday, June 6, 2009, In : Motivate Yourself To Practice 
How to use your reticular cortex


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The power of a clear goal

There's a mental process which you can go through, that will ensure the achievement of what you want faster than anything else. It's easy to do and it has an amazing effect on your progress. Your brain is a goal seeking organism: 24 hours a day it's occupied with figuring out how to get what you focus on. Notice I didn't write "what you want" - the brain doesn't react to your wants and needs, but to what you...

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The Power Of Absolute Certainty

Posted by Pure Speed on Thursday, June 4, 2009, In : Motivate Yourself To Practice 
The power of absolute certainty


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Expand your motivation

How would you feel if you knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you had the ability to become one of the most skilled guitar players in the world? Absolute certainty drives us. Uncertainty makes us hesitate. When you have a goal that you desire strongly, and you know you have a strategy that will get you there for sure (Read the category "Get more out of practice) and you believe, at a gut level, that the "pain...

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The Biggest Killer Of Your Progress

Posted by Pure Speed on Monday, June 1, 2009, In : Motivate Yourself To Practice 
The biggest killer of your progress


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The enemy of our dreams

There's an element in the human psyche that destroys more dreams than any other single factor. If you're not consciously aware of it, chances are you will become a victim of it. In order to understand the mechanisms behind it, you need to know the following:

For two hundred thousand years, human beings have been 100 % dependant on each other. We don't have a thick fur to protect us from the weather. We can't...

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How To Become Unstoppable

Posted by Pure Speed on Sunday, May 31, 2009, In : Motivate Yourself To Practice 
How to become unstoppable


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Magical shredding super powers

Imagine your favorite guitar player on stage. See and hear how cool it sounds when he or she is playing. Feel the emotions you would feel if you where there right now. How would your face look? How much fun would you have? Then imagine taking his place. Switch parts with your favorite shredder and imagine that you are on stage, playing with the skills of a guitar super hero. Imagine everyones amazement. See t...


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How To Master The Minor And Major Scales

Posted by Pure Speed on Thursday, May 21, 2009, In : Instant Fretboard Vision 
How to master the Minor and Major scales


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The same scale used in a different context

Let's get one thing straight: The "Natural Minor scale" is just your old Minor / Major scale, used over a Minor chord progression. In the last article I covered blues rock and how to mix the "Dorian" scale (Which is still the old Minor / Major scale with a new name!) with the blues scale. To play over chord progressions in a regular Minor key we'll do almost the same thing. We won't ...

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Celebrating Your Victory

Posted by Pure Speed on Wednesday, May 13, 2009, In : The Ten Day Break Through Strategy 

Celebrating your victory


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A powerful experiment

I'd like to add a little note to yesterdays article. Most people that I have introduced these two methods to, has been very sceptical to whether they would really work or not. If you feel the same way, here's my recommendation:

Pick a one or two string lick that you would like to master. Then practice playing it to the point where you can do it without referring to the tablature. Then use the methods I described in th...


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Two Strategies That Will Triple Your Results

Posted by Pure Speed on Tuesday, May 12, 2009, In : The Ten Day Break Through Strategy 

Two strategies that will triple your results


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How to improve your chops when you are away from your instrument

In this article I'm going to give you two methods that you can use to practice when you don't have a guitar. With these two strategies, you can practice everywhere. Depending on what you do for a living, you might add as much as 6 to 8 hours of valuable practice time to your daily shedule. When you use them enough, they become automatic and you'll start to...


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Turbo Charge Your Practice Sessions

Posted by Pure Speed on Monday, May 11, 2009, In : The Ten Day Break Through Strategy 

Turbo charge your practice sessions


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How to program your mind to achieve extraordinary results

Greetings fellow shredder. This article will give you a vital strategy that you can use to improve your results dramatically. It's a little long but reading it is well worth your effort. By now you should have laid down a plan for the ten days. You have scheduled every possible 30 minute session during this period and should be clear about the rules of the game. Now it's t...


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Essential Rules of Engagement

Posted by Pure Speed on Saturday, May 9, 2009, In : The Ten Day Break Through Strategy 

Essential Rules of Engagement


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Now that you've laid down a plan for the next ten days, let's talk about the rules of the game. The first thing to be very conscious of, is what kind of practice routine you are preparing for. It's important to distinguish between these two kinds of practice:

1. Technique
2. Integration

Practicing technique

Improving your technical skills requires repeating a certain pattern of movement until it's embedded in the brain. When you engage...


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Expand Your Practice Regimen Explosively

Posted by Pure Speed on Friday, May 8, 2009, In : The Ten Day Break Through Strategy 

Expand Your Practice Regimen Explosively


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Select three dream licks

Let's begin the planning part of your ten day challenge. The first thing you must do is to find three licks that you would really, really like to master. Don't aim too low when you select them: They have to be so far away from your current skill level that they really inspire you. Ideally, the thought of "acquiring" them should make you feel like a little kid before Christmas eve.

Also the three lic...


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The 10 Day Breakthrough Strategy

Posted by Pure Speed on Thursday, May 7, 2009, In : The Ten Day Break Through Strategy 

The 10 day breakthrough strategy


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I'm very excited about this particular subject. This ten day strategy has meant more to the development of my skills than any other single thing. You will not believe what will happen to your skills when you use this strategy on a regular basis. This is the way to crush your challenges in the fastest way possible.

Here's the basic mistake that we all tend to make:

When ever we are confronted with a challenge of any kind, we estimat...


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The Secret Picking Method...

Posted by Pure Speed on Tuesday, May 5, 2009, In : Economy Picking Revealed 

The Secret Picking Method...


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The most effective and versatile technique


Today I'm going to introduce you to a simple but radical picking technique: It's the "Pick-the-notes-in-the-easiest-way-possible-technique" It's the most versatile and effective way to pick, that I know of. Alternate picking has a vital advantage. It doesn't care much about how many notes you play on each string. It's based on such a simple mathematical up and down process that you can use it ...
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The Magic of Mastery

Posted by Pure Speed on Monday, May 4, 2009, In : Economy Picking Revealed 

The Magic of Mastery


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Making economy picking more versatile

If economy picking is the only picking style you master, you have to be very careful with how you structure your licks. You have to have an uneven number of notes on each string in order to be able to make the string shifts happen. Also there are a few things that are practically impossible to play with economy picking only, because of this mathematical limitation. But there's a quick and easy way around thi...
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How to make super fast picking easy

Posted by Pure Speed on Sunday, May 3, 2009, In : Economy Picking Revealed 

How to make super fast picking easy


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Guaranteeing success

As with alternate picking, the hardest lick to play is a full three-notes-per-string scale pattern over all six strings. That's why it's so essential to start with very few string shifts and build from there. If you do that, you virtually guarantee that you'll progress faster than most people around you, and you'll create those little successes - that will motivate you to go for more. In the last article we we...
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The hidden key to learning economy picking fast

Posted by Pure Speed on Saturday, May 2, 2009, In : Economy Picking Revealed 

The hidden key to learning economy picking fast


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A radically different process

Practicing economy picking is a radically different process than practicing alternate picking. And the reason is this: Because economy picking involves a sweeping motion, you have to use two different practice routines to get the best results fast:

1. Playing the metronome game
2. Chunking several movements into one
3. Integrate immediately

1. Playing the metronome game

If you are unfamili...


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How to pick like a Swedish virtuoso

Posted by Pure Speed on Friday, May 1, 2009, In : Economy Picking Revealed 

How to pick like a Swedish virtuoso


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Play with flow and ease

If you want to play like the wind and the water, economy picking is for you. Alternate picking feels and sounds like a machine gun, where as economy picking flows like a river. Once you have it down, economy picking feels easy in comparison to alternate picking. It feels completely effortless and that frees up a lot of energy to focus on other things. As a consequence, I always use economy picking unless I...


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My best alternate alternate picking exercises

Posted by Pure Speed on Thursday, April 30, 2009, In : The Ultimate Guide To Alternate Picking 
My best alternate alternate picking exercises

Six notes up and down

Before I end this series on alternate picking I want to give you some of the "exercises" that I have used to build my picking speed. Please pick the ones that you are most comfortable with. The first two are super simple but also very fundamental. I use these licks all the time and you will too once you have them down. You can take these two licks and use them to go all the way up and down the neck. Try going all the way up an ...
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How to pimp your axe for maximum speed

Posted by Pure Speed on Tuesday, April 28, 2009, In : The Ultimate Guide To Alternate Picking 

How to pimp your axe for maximum speed


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Creating the ultimate shred machine

Years ago, I thought that any skilled guitar player should be able to play fast on any guitar. Even though I loved playing on a guitar that had all the qualities that I'm going to discuss in this article, I still did nothing to make my own instrument more playable. "Playing on an impossible instrument will just harden me and make me better in the end" I thought. but I missed the point. ...


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The killer strategy for mastering string shifts

Posted by Pure Speed on Monday, April 27, 2009, In : The Ultimate Guide To Alternate Picking 

The killer strategy for mastering string shifts


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The two headed monster
 

Every technique has its challenges. When it comes to alternate picking, shifting strings is definitely one of them. What most people aren’t aware of is that this is a two headed monster. There are two different string shifts that you can make:

1. Outside shifting

2. Inside shifting

Outside shifting is when you go from picking down on, let’s say the B-string, and then picking up on the high ...


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How to break through the speed barrier

Posted by Pure Speed on Sunday, April 26, 2009, In : The Ultimate Guide To Alternate Picking 

How to break through the speed barrier



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The strategy described in this article could increase your speed instantly! (Seriously)

I assume that you are using the methods described in the category “Get more out of praticing”. If you are not, you are going to experience a lot more challenges than I describe in these articles. But even though you do everything right, at some point, you are going to hit the wall. You are going to reach a level of speed that you cannot ...
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How to increase picking speed by 500 %

Posted by Pure Speed on Saturday, April 25, 2009, In : The Ultimate Guide To Alternate Picking 

How to increase picking speed by 500 %


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A crucial factor in alternate picking

The engine in a car is a complex piece of machinery where everything has to fit together to produce the power needed to drive the car. Imagine if some part of the engine suddenly started to loose it's place. If the explosions in one cylinder suddenly misfired and worked against the rest of the engine, then what would happen? The way to ensure that our alternate picking engine works perfect...


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How to make alternate picking easy

Posted by Pure Speed on Friday, April 24, 2009, In : The Ultimate Guide To Alternate Picking 

How to make alternate picking easy


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Beware of this or you'll sabotage your self

The hardest lick to play with alternate picking is just going up or down the scale, shifting strings for every third note you play. Why? Because there’s an element of alternate picking that we rarely see or focus on. But before I reveal it to you, let’s make a quick list of the challenges involved in alternate picking:

1. Picking rhythmically up and down
(Accenting every third or fourt...


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How to pick with precision and power

Posted by Pure Speed on Wednesday, April 22, 2009, In : The Ultimate Guide To Alternate Picking 

How to pick with precision and power


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Let's turn your axe into a machine gun

Alternate picking is, in my experience, one of the hardest techniques to perform with precision. But it is also the most aggressive sounding technique I know. The consistent up and down motion with the pick, produces a machine gun like sound, that I can't seem to produce with any other picking technique. I'm also going to cover all other picking techniques on this website, so please don't as...
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The one key that makes all the difference

Posted by Pure Speed on Tuesday, April 21, 2009, In : Get More Out of Practice 

The one key that determines whether or not you will become a master


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You now have all the tools you need to practice effectively and get the most out of what you put in. But what’s going to make you practice? Why would anyone spend hours performing very small and repetitive movements with their fingers? Why do we bother? Well, it’s really quite simple right? We’re doing it to get something. It’s not a new car we want and it’s not a thing really, it’...


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Triple your musical vocabulary in months

Posted by Pure Speed on Monday, April 20, 2009, In : Get More Out of Practice 

Triple your musical vocabulary in months


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"Wasn't that a nice trick? I mean lick..."

How do you put together a jigsaw puzzle? Do you look at the picture on the box, then pick a pice up in your hand and try to place it in the correct spot right away? Or du you find pieces that are similar and try to fit them together until you have something that makes sense? Most people choose the latter.

But because of our curiousity and drive to learn something new, we nearly a...


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8 things that keep us from getting better, part 2

Posted by Pure Speed on Sunday, April 19, 2009, In : Get More Out of Practice 

8 things that keep us from getting better, part 2


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Mistake number 5

Practicing licks in an uneven tempo

This seems like a small sin but it isn't. This will totally sabotage your chances of becomming a world class shredder. When you practice a lick, don't play the easy parts faster than the hard parts. Put your focus on getting the hard parts to be easy instead. If you fall into this trap, buy a metronome and make sure that it is your constant practice companion.

Ant...


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8 things that keep us from getting better, Part 1

Posted by Pure Speed on Saturday, April 18, 2009, In : Get More Out of Practice 

8 things that keep us from getting better, Part 1


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Mistake number one:
Biting of more than you can chew

Because we humans are impatient by nature, we tend to bite of more than we can chew. This is quite normal, but it is not an effective strategy. We suddenly decide to loose weight and since it has to happen now rather than later, we go for a 20 mile run. Then one of two things happen: Etiher we actually run the 20 miles, but because or body isn't ready for that kin...


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How to gain an extra 4 hours of practice time a day

Posted by Pure Speed on Saturday, April 18, 2009, In : Get More Out of Practice 

How to gain an extra 4 hours of practice time a day


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The art of Practicing while watching TV...

It's no joke... When I first started playing guitar I needed tons of practice time because I didn't have the luxury of practicing effectively (You don't have that excuse anymore) I had 7 hours of school to attend to and I had to get some amount of homework done in able to survive the next day. (My teachers where lethal) But I managed to put in 6 hours of practice a d...


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The ultimate speed building strategy

Posted by Pure Speed on Thursday, April 16, 2009, In : Get More Out of Practice 



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The ultimate speed building strategy

In this blog I'm going to show you exactly how I went from playing like a turtel to shredding like a lamborghini. This is the most effective way, I know, to build incredible technique. It will not only make sure that you progress as fast as possible, it will also give you amazing precision in what you do. I call it The Metronome Game (Tadaaa). And it is truly a game. Besides making your practice sessions many times more effecti...


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