Author: Ed Cupler



Have you ever wanted become a speed guitar master?
If you are reading this article, the chances are the answer to the question is yes.

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Blured Electric Guitar
The problem is that many guitar players want to be shredders to some extent, but don’t know what to do to achieve this. It is like a mystery to most people, but it shouldn’t be and is not, believe me.

There are some mistakes that are repeated a lot of times, and I mean A LOT, by almost all the guitar students, and even some pros. I can see a lot of false doors in this labyrinth of advices with myths, silly traditions, wrong understanding, etc. to reach the goals of becoming a shredder.

Ok, my point for this article is to show you what is a fact and what is a fiction, and what sometimes is a lot of times some of both. In a sea of shred advisers you should be given the correct information once and for all so that you can take the right path to the shred world.

What I am going to do now, is put a list of suggestions and briefly explain what is fact and what is fiction.

-Practice 8, 10, 15 hours a day to be a shredder-

Well, the most important is not how many hours you practice, it’s how much focus you keep in your practicing time and how good is your guitar guidance. (Guitar guidance must be done by an experienced teacher or a good guitar player at least, not by your friends or another instrumentalist). The main reason for there being numerous guitarists with 20 or more years of experience in vain is simply because they do not have the correct focus or a professional instructor to guide them. You can practice 2 hours a day and make a bigger improvement than practicing 15 hours, just keeping the focus of what you are doing.

-Always use metronome-

There is a trick here. If you’re learning something new, it is not good push yourself right away with a metronome because you need absorb the sound and enjoy the flow of notes in your fingers and body. Many people forget this and that is why there are lots of sloppy shredders. Take your time to UNDERSTAND THE FEELING behind a fast passage before you touch your metronome and your learning experience will be more solid and FASTER without becoming another sloppy player. Of course once you feel how the fast notes flow then you can touch your metronome but again don’t push yourself right away with a super fast tempo, build up slowly. Doing this will make you more accurate and you will increase your speed in a shorter period of time by doing this.

-Learn these licks, chops, etc. and you will write a good song-

Wrong! If you think like this you probably know a lot of licks, chops, etc. The chops are tools to improve your skills in songwriting. If you only learn licks that have challenging chops, what you’ll get is just a Frankenstein song of chops without any sense of dynamics or feeling. Because, after all, the most important elements behind a song are the feelings and emotions. There is an incredible amount of people “writing songs” with exactly the same chops that Yngwie Malmsteen has played for over 20 years, yet lack the emotion that he possesses. I’m not saying that the learning of chops is bad, the chops are mainly tools for your physical skills, so the chops aren’t the best way to compose a song or an instrumental track, but you can see how the composer of those chops selects certain notes.

-Do this routine and your playing will improve-

If you follow a routine during many weeks without any change, you’re wasting your time. You need a routine that keeps you in constant progress, what is good for another player is not necessarily good for you. This is why it is so important to have a professional instructor that will tailor your specific goals into the lessons. Keep in mind your long-term goals so you can make the list of short term goals in order to achieve your main goal. Each short term goal will need a different routine or routines to accomplish it. Again the help of a good guitar instructor is highly recommended.

Of course, this list of suggestions is extremely short, but I’m just giving you some advice to give you the truth away from what you hear from numerous other sources. There is a lot of false information that you are hearing or reading from your friends, family, instructional materials and teachers (yes, I said teachers, there are thousands and thousands of ignorant “guitar teachers” out there [including some in the “best” guitar schools] preaching lies mixed with truth and mostly they aren’t conscious of that). By simply removing these false sets of information, you have already taken a massive step in the right direction on the path to become a master of guitar.

Be sure to check the Part 2 of this article for an even more extensive list of practical suggestions.

See you next time!

Angel Zamora
Any comment is welcomed: angel@angel-zamora.com

©2006 Angel Zamora All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

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