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Shred Guitar Three Tools to Success

Updated on February 1, 2011

Shred Guitar Three Tools too Success

As a guitar teacher, it literally amazes me at how many young guys come in everyday with an insane desire to be able to play shred guitar. I am in my mid forties, and got into the whole shred scene in my mid twenties. Shred guitar was just starting to pick up its popularity in the mid eighties with the hair bands. There is still argument as to who really made shred guitar popular, some say it was Eddie Van Halen; some say Yngwie Malmsteen, who knows they were both doing it at the same time. Eddie does have a little more commercial shred guitar style, whereas Yngwie Malmsteen has more of a neo classical style.

No matter who brought it in, shred guitar still a very cool style. I love teaching it, and I love watching these young guys forcing its popularity on even stronger than it was in the eighties. Strategically placed in well written songs a strong shred guitar riff can literally make or break a song.

Teaching shred guitar in a large city gives me access to a lot of students, and the one thing that still gets me to this day is how many young guys come to me everyday almost as a heroin addicts needing a fix that have been struggling with trying to master the shred guitar skill for years and still are not able to master it.

The teaching approach I take now with all new shred guitar students is to first analyze all the mistakes they have been making since they first started working towards learning shred guitar, and after a few years of seeing what has been holding them back, for the most part, I can narrow their biggest hold backs down to three very simple basic things.

Here are the three biggest things holding most shred guitar players back...

1) The pick – There is nothing worse that a shred guitar enthusiast can do than use the wrong pick. You absolutely must use a very thick pick, and it must be a very high gloss. I can’t tell you how many guys I’ve handed the right guitar pick to, and have them return for their second lesson a week later with a big smile on their face and showing off to me that they had almost doubled their speed.

2) The metronome – I have these young guys coming in with these little korg clickers they paid way too much for, and don’t have the features so much needed to make every practice count. You see, the right metronome will literally push the shred guitar enthusiast past what I call fast walking speed, into a full run, or shred.

Think about the difference in motion between walking fast, and running, it’s the same with shred guitar, there is a huge difference between being a fast guitarist, and a shred guitarist. The right metronome will take you through gradually increasing speeds without having to stop from a walk, to a fast walk, to a jog, and up to a run or what we call shred.

3) Training materials – I hate to admit it, but in reality most of my students don’t really need me. Ninety nine percent of what I teach is available online for a whole lot less than what I charge. I know that most of my students come to me as much if not more for motivation, and one on one attention as they do for the actual skill training. Many of my students I have just taught up to a certain level, and then just give them the resources to just get them to start training themselves, I just get to a point with some of these guys where it just doesn’t make sense for me to keep taking their money, so I give them my resources, pat em on the back, wish them luck, and just ask them to send me referrals that are just getting started in shred guitar.

In Conclusion...
Believe me, when you get the right tools in your hands, and practices turn from a grueling experience into inspiring sessions and a renewed relationship with the instrument that you love from the depths of your heart. The right tools will have you seeing great results on a regular basis, and have you breaking past pinnacles and barriers that has and still does cost many shred guitar enthusiasts years of insane frustration. And believe me when I say that when you finally get to that point where you know your speed is beyond the fast walk stage, into a full shred, there is no greater satisfaction. You will be among the elite, and walk with your head held high knowing you have mastered the art of shred guitar, an art desired by so many.

Shred Guitar

Guitar Metronome


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