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Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,349
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,349
11/27/2017 1:22 pm

Hey, there! The short answer is: practice the guitar a whole lot. :)


Originally Posted by: justinbirthaI really want to learn these solos and I have no past experience in shredding at all and I would like to learn how. So do you guys have any recommendations on how I can approach this problem?

I'm assuming you've started learning & practicing guitar already. If not, then it's time to get started ASAP!

Here's the longer answer. You have to practice the physical motions of playing lead guitar technique so much that you've made the physical process of playing any given scale over any given chord progression, or lick or physical motion in any given rhythm completely second nature.

All your playing has to be automated in you subconscious,so that your conscious awareness is allowed to think in larger units.

Playing that fast, there is no time to think about each note as you play it. There isn't time to do that. You have to think in a large unit that contains a whole group of notes that you are already extremely familiar with.

So, for example when an accomplished guitarist, like Paul Gilbert, plays a lick like this:

That fast lick or a whole solo on "auto pilot", he is not explicitly thinking, "Okay, let's see. A, down to G, F, E, down to D on the G string, back up to the B string ..." and so on. He'd never get the lick done at all, much less done blazing fast! :)

At one point a long time ago he did have to think that at least once. Then, he practiced it for 8-10 hours a day for a few years. With enough practice doing one of those giant licks only requires him to think, "A minor scale pattern down & up in 16th note triplets." If even that much!

At a certain point, whole phrases, fretboard patterns & even songs can become second nature because they are automated. The only way to memorize the fretboard and licks like that to competently play those scales (or anything on the guitar) is sheer repetition.

There is simply no substitute for hours, days & years of practice.

This is completely a matter of practice. Everyone has to go through this stage. For some it's longer; others, it's shorter. But the same thing has to take place: you must repeat the physical motions until it becomes second nature to you.

What's happening is your brain must build those new neural pathways, and your muscles will get more and more used to these new signals being sent to them and respond quicker ("muscle memory").

At first you have to fully focus on every little motion & movement. You have to think, "Put my finger here, don't mute the other strings, this is a ... what note? a C note, now, pick it carefully ... what's the next note ... "

Gradually, as you repeat these things, they become automated (shifted over to your subconscious), and you are able to think in larger units. Eventually, after enough practice, you don't have to focus on each & every note or movement. Instead, you can think, "C major scale in 4s" and your brain & hands will take care of the details.

Eventually, you can get to the stage of playing whole sequences of chords or notes or even songs on "auto-pilot". This is because it's been practiced enough to be automated.

So, you don't stop thinking when you play fast. You just think in bigger terms. You think in whole groups or phrases of notes, instead of each note one at a time. Make sense?

Now once a guitarist has accomplished a large group of mechanics, then he can play a solo like the ones you want to learn.

Here at GT I have multiple series of tutorials aimed at teaching the mechanics of shred style soloing. But if you are a beginner, then you'll have to go through the fundamentals courses first before the more advanced material is useful to you.

And there are many ways to get there. You can teach yourself. There are also many other resources on the internet. You can learn from a private instructor or even go to school full time for it (MIT for example).

But no matter which way you pick, they will all require one irreplaceable thing: hours, days, and years of practice. :) Hope this helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory