How long until shredding speed?

I have figured out that I am upwar pickslanter or let’s say I hope or it feels more natural to me. I’m doing dailiy exercises like 1234 5678 on a string or spider exercises where I always focus on the pick that it has the right upward angle. But I’m not feeling real progress when I’m imlrovising a solo. I’m a bit faster but not Paul Gilbert fast or it is not close to shredding. Any suggestions? I’m doing the finger exercises in front of the TV bc it’s really boring. Xd

Greetz chris

Personally i love practicing boring stuff in front of the TV! :slight_smile:

Noone can really tell you how long it will take to reach your goals. However, with the right information we can at least be sure that we are walking into the right direction. Good luck and welcome 2 the forum :grin:

This is a good question. I have the impression from the forum discussions that (generally of-coarse) the initial motion (e.g. one note, single string) should be rather immediate if you get the set up right (takes experimenting). After that I’m hearing there is a ‘long tail’ of learning that takes 6 months to 2 years—ish for mastery (hard to define I’m sure). I understand this is the time period that you get single string repeating patterns down and then start moving across strings in a way that works with your escape motion. I am currently, from what I can tell, in the long tail…it’s been about 4-5 months since I got my first motion down and I’m expanding my musical vocabulary with it.

I’m also reading that using musical phrases is more likely to advance your technique given the more randomness that happens as opposed to straight exercises that present the same challenges over and over.

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Thx guys for the replies

Feel free to continue playing exercises because they certainly won’t hurt, but if your goal is to be able to play actual music, you need to learn some actual music. Check out some solos and licks by other upward pickslanters (AKA “Downstroke Escape”) in your style and work on applying your technique to their phrases. Otherwise you won’t have any vocabulary to bring into your own solos and improvisation.

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Damn! I just got my single string six note pattern up to 130bpm. I thought it would be easier now to play it across strings. Here goes for the long haul :hot_face:

Are you making sure to play phrases where the last note on every string is always a downstroke? Or are you just trying to play any phrase you want while holding the pick with what looks like an upward pickslant? Because that’s not really how it works.

Sorry for the confusion here! We’re guilty of not explaining things very well in some of our earlier vidoes. Try not to worry too much about the pickslant. Instead, try to ask yourself what type of escape motion you’re trying to do, and what joint you’re trying to use to do it, because that’s the first step. An escape motion is a type of picking motion where the pick goes up in the air at some point in its travel, whether that’s on the downstroke, the upstroke, or both.

If you look down and see a bouncy motion, where the pick escapes (goes into the air) on both downstrokes and upstrokes, then that’s what we call a double escape motion. And many players do this motion wrong, with stringhopping, and can’t do it quickly. If that’s what you’re doing, this may be why you don’t feel fast. It doesn’t matter what your pickslant looks like, because if you’re doing the motion incorrectly, then you won’t be smooth or fast.

The first step to take here is to experiment with as many different kinds of picking motions as you can to find one that goes fast right now. That’s really the only way to make sure that your picking motion is working correctly. It’s ok if the motioin looks inconsistent, or you can’t do it for long. But don’t waste time on slow motions that aren’t working. Go right to the front of the line!


Thank you guys for the input. Puh very technical english here, I’m german have mercy. Talk to me like I am stupid little child xD. Thank you For, for this detailed answer. So the holding of the pick in upward or downward position isn’t important, although I feel differences when I go down the fretboard, the downward angle feels good and upward the upward angle. And I use the downward angle when I practice sweep picking. I’ll try what you said troy, picking motion which goes fast.

But one really important question: when I want to improve my Downpicking too and get in the near of master downpicker Hetfield how can I do that? Any advice? Thx in advance.