Why You Don’t Have TO be an Advanced guitar player To FINALLY Play Fast guitar Solos
If you ever wanted to pull out all the stops for your guitar solos, or add that extra-bit of flash to a lead break, or simply have fun impressing your audience with your playing skills, there’s a very good chance I can help you.
Hi, my name is Chris Basener and I have created a compact guide that gives you an overview of 10 easy techniques that allow you to blaze across the fretboard, even if you only practice 10 min a day.
WHY DOES being able to PLAY FAST MATTER?
You may be thinking that playing fast is overrated anyway. Afterall, there are players that can say more with one note than others with a million. But hear me out, there are several advantages to being able to play fast.
It allows you be more expressive
Being able to draw from a variety of techniques allows you to better express yourself musically. Playing fast is one of them. You are able to create more interesting solos by matching the musical intensity and focusing on creating tension and release moments. And as the saying goes: it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
It adds another dimension to your playing
Having the ability to play fast is like having another tool on your toolbelt. It helps you break out of the same old licks that you’ve been playing forever and you can now make artistic decisions based on how you want to use your tools.
Makes you sound more professional
Being able to play at various tempos is a sign of a well-rounded player. Many players get stuck at slow to mid-tempo songs because that’s where they feel most ‘comfortable’. Having the ability to play over faster songs as confidently as slower ones is a major musical skill that makes the difference between a pro player and an amateur.
It’s just plain fun
Let’s be honest, sometimes it's really good fun to show-off and create that ‘Marty McFly rocking out at the Enchantment Under the Sea’ school dance moment from 'Back To The Future'.
THE ISSUE WITH ‘SHREDDING’
There are some issues when we talk about fast guitar playing, specificly when talking about 'shredding'. Oftentimes when people refer to 'shredding' they are describing the type of player that seems to be stringing together mindless exercises that don’t have any feel or make a connection with the music and listener. That’s an outcome of the 1980s intense focus on playing technique over musical context. That’s the dark side of ‘shredding’.
Luckily, the expectation (and pressure) on guitar players to 'show off their skills all the time' is gone and we've largely moved on from that mindset. It's now become more of a personal choice, rather than an expectation, to 'shred'.
The other issue is that it takes dedicated practice to develop the facility to become a virtuoso player. Some say it takes 10.000 hours of practice to become a master at a craft. That’s a lot of hours.
However, in his TED talk Robert Twigger argues that most successful people, including Nobel Prize winners, develop their expertise typically with investments much shorter than 10,000 hours.
At the same time there’s the Pareto Principle that was established by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto in the 19th century, also known as the 80/20 rule. It is the concept that 80% of a person's output comes from just 20% of what they put in.
Which means you may not become a master but you are competent enough to accomplish the most important aspects of your craft.
And that's the angle I am coming from.
SO, WHAT'S my STORY?
I started learning guitar when there was still a large focus on having a well-developed playing technique. Many of my guitar heroes were ‘shredders’ or at least technically advanced and I thought that this was the ‘standard’. Naturally I wanted to know what I had to do to get to that ‘standard’
When I was trying to figure this out myself I quickly found myself overwhelmed: information overload and option paralysis. In those days detailed information was not easy to get by, I bought all the books, VHS tapes and DVDs I could get and spent many hours practising complicated exercises. And while I was getting better at some of them I was still confused as to how some of my heros were coming up with all their flashy licks.
Eventually I decided to study guitar at the Munich Guitar Institute (MGI) in Germany. While I was there I was following a curriculum that really helped me focus on what was important and what was ‘fluff’.
Another big shift came when I noticed that some players were using certain techniques that sounded super impressive but were surprisingly easy to play. I discovered that I didn’t have to spend endless hours practising complex exercises only to add a bit of ‘flash’ to my solos.
Employing open strings, eliminating string crossing or using tapping techniques would allow me to create a ‘wall-of-notes’ that was easy to play. And after a while I could weave in these techniques with my regular licks and runs, which meant I could step on the gas when the music called for it: at the end of a solo for example or let it rip for an outro solo.
Over time I started collecting and organising all the exercises, tips, tricks and licks that have helped me in developing my technique. I have now created a guide for learning the simple techniques to play fast guitar solos with ease.
It's called 'EASY SHRED TECHNIQUES' and is available now.
WHAT IS THIS GUIDE ALL ABOUT?
My goal with 'EASY SHRED TECHNIQUES' is to provide you with an overview of 10 easy techniques and give you an arsenal of flashy ‘speed licks’ that you can execute with little or no warm-up… even on a bad day.
All it requires is a little practice (10 minutes daily) and the mind-set to play smarter, not harder.
The musical examples covered in this guide are based on the techniuqes of some of the most iconic guitarists in rock history, such as:
- Eddie Van Halen
- Joe Satriani
- Yngwie J. Malmsteen
- Ritchie Blackmore
- Nuno Bettencourt
- and more...
After reading this guide, understanding the techniques, and learning the musical examples you will be able to add easy-to-play 'speed licks' to your own guitar solos that make you sound like a pro, impress your audience, and get approving looks from fellow guitarists.