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How to Improve Speed on Heavy Metal Guitar

Let musician Alex Skolnick teach you how to improve speed on guitar in this heavy metal guitar lesson from Howcast.


Speed exercises.

Okay, one of the most important things to keep in mind for speed picking is that you have to start out slow. One of the things I liked to do when I was learning was take a pattern, maybe a four note pattern where I had to switch strings, for example.

Alright, these are four notes. And I would play to a metronome, and just repeat that. And getting it faster.
Maybe I'll move it up the scale.

OK. So there's a lot of notes there, but all that is is basically this four note pattern. Then I started moving it up the neck. When I got up here by the twelve fret I started changing strings.

Now, there's a lot of cool speed licks that aren't picked. Or, they're picked in the beginning, and then the rest of it is either legato or hammer-ons and pull-offs. As an example, here's the first five notes of A major. I could start with the third note, hammer-on, and then pull-off.

It sounds simple enough. When I play it fast it makes a great little fast lick. I can even go to the next string. But as I'm only picking that first note, I'm being very careful with this hand to mute it so it's not too noisy.

This is a six note pattern.

There you have it. Have some fun with speed picking.

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