Originally Posted by Sparkman0811
I was wondering if anyone here plays guitar and can give me suggestions on how to practice. I want speed, I don't care about heart and soul, I want mechanical ability and that is it. Does anyone have practice routines that are effective for speed and technique, in general. I have many instructional dvds by Malmsteen, Johnson, Batio, Lee, Gilbert, May. I notice these are more lick oriented videos and not really foundation dvds. However, I recently stumbled on a dvd by Frank Gambale called Chop Builder and it is set up like an exercise program, almost like an aerobics video in format, and so he says to practice the program three times a week and the results will come. He has it set up in Rounds from 1-10. Rounds 1-3 are for picking, Rounds 4-6 are for the fret hand with many scales and modes, Rounds 7-9 are a combination of both with string skipping, arpeggios, and hammer ons/pull offs, and Round 10 is chords. I have always struggled with an effective guitar practice program, but I feel this will be effective. The reason I feel this way is because I tried it and I felt soreness in my hand and arm in places I have not felt soreness before. He puts an emphasis on endurance.
My previous program was mostly focused on permutations and combinations with respect to fingers on the fret hand. For example 1234, 1243, 1324, etc either in static position(one string, same position) or dynamic(all six strings, same position). Although I like this program, as well, I did not have enough repetitions and so no progress was observed. I relate this to doing one push up a day, which will obviously not show results when compared to 100 push ups a day. I think this program has potential and so I tweaked it to include more repetitions. I also have a program for guitar picking, since I train hands individually, but I feel my picking is okay.
I will be practicing Gambale's workout on Mon, Wed, Fri and my own permutations and combinations workout on Tue, Thur, Sat, and Sun. I just want to say that I believe it is important to have exercises with many repetitions in order to build endurance and in order to get the burn feeling that is common with effective exercise programs. Feeling the burn is what I am looking forward to the most. Speed will come with practice.
Finally, I must say that music theory is something that is important to me. However, I have only read one book on the subject and so my understanding of theory is very weak. Therefore, I look forward to taking several classes on music theory in order to have a good foundation on which to base my musical playing on. For now, I am satisfied playing the music of my heroes and, once I feel worthy, I will begin trying to make my own music.
I would like to add Petrucci, Morse, Moore, Morse, and Holdsworth to my instructional dvd collections. Another good book I have is by Troy Stetina called Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar, that guy is a good teacher and has good suggestions for improving guitar playing.
Please provide your suggestions.