What’s wrong with shredding and playing fast notes on guitar? That’s the kind of guitar player I want to be!

When I first started out on guitar, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I was only able to play basic open chords back in the day when I was starting out. I was a shit guitar player back then. Have been shit for a long while admittedly and now I’ve been doing all I can to improve myself. Take my guitar playing to the next level.

A lot of people want to knock people who shred and play fast. People call it “noodling” and shredding all sounds the same, blah blah blah. You get the deal. That’s why instrumental shred music is so underrated and overlooked. People always say when playing lead guitar solos, “less is more”. They always say don’t overdo yourself. I disagree. I would say play as many notes as you want in a guitar solo and play shred all you want to. You can play a lot of notes in a guitar solo as long as you make it sound musical and it can work.

Admittedly, I do have aspirations to become a shredder and virtuoso type of guitar player. I want to play like all of my heroes. Lately I’ve been listening to all the shred guys like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Jason Becker, Yngwie Malmsteen, Alan Holdsworth, Al Di Meola and others.

I’m trying to solo like a shredder. I want to do all the crazy techniques like fretboard tapping, whammy bar tricks, sweep picking, pinch harmonics and all that stuff. I’m still trying to improve my perfect pitch and ear training which is getting better. You gotta have a good ear if you want to be considered a virtuoso and you also got to have good knowledge of music theory which I do. I studied pretty hard on music theory over the last several years and I pretty much know music theory pretty well now.

I don’t necessarily care to melt people’s faces and knock people’s socks off — all that is fine — I just want to play and improve myself. Keep moving forward in my guitar playing and take it to the next level. Just want to write bad-ass rock songs, ya know?

I really love playing lead guitar, though. I’m loving that a lot more than playing rhythm guitar. I’ve always learned that if you want to be a guitarist, you should learn both rhythm and lead. I feel that you can’t separate the two. If you play guitar, might as well play both. You’re not a real musician if you don’t play both.

When it comes to guitar solos, I’ve always loved improvised solos. Ya know, just wing it out. I love spontaneous guitar playing. I’m not a big fan of guitar solos that are written out. I like jamming. I love shredding and improvised jams.

When it comes to scales, I don’t go too crazy on scales. The only scales that I usually solo on are major/minor pentatonic scales and the modes. I love modal soloing too and I experiment with that a lot.

As for how fast I can play when playing along with a metronome, I’m not a speed demon yet ’cause the fastest I can play on a metronome as if this point is about 90 bpm or a little over. Shredding means playing over a 150 bpm. I still have ways to go but I’m working on it. I’m really working on trying to improve my speed too. I want to be able to shred on both acoustic and electric.

You can achieve all of your guitar playing goals. Just gotta work hard, practice and it’ll all pay off before you know it. Just gotta stick with it and don’t give up.

Kev

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