Problems with Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar

Good People of this forum.

Any of you have experience with this book: “Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar by Troy stetina”. This is a popular book among shredders and has good reviews on the internet.

I bought this book four months ago, and although I can play most of the exercises at 105 bmp without mistakes, I can’t play them at 160bmp as Troy does. Recently I reached the pag. 28 “the art of practicing”, but I’m not sure if I should restudy all the book again or continue, due to I can’t play the excersies at 160 bmp.

My question is:

  • How should I practice the exercises of this book? Do I have to reach 160 bpm in each exercise before moving on to the next exercise?

I’ll apreciate your help.


I’ve got this book sitting on my desk :slight_smile:

Apologies in advance for the brief responses but these are quite crazy/busy times for a lot of us I’m sure! Please feel free to ask for clarifications :slight_smile:

Great! This means you have the patterns memorised in your hands, and you’re ready to try and speed things up!

Is the trouble that you can’t reach the desired speed, or that you do so but you are not clean? the second scenario is totally desirable and would mean you are on the right track! Two relevant videos:

The consensus around here is that this would not be very productive (and would be very boring!). A variety of exercises seems to work best.


Thanks for your reply Tommo.

I was thinking about doing that, 'cause practicing the same exercise for one week is really boring. Usually I practice 3 or 4 exercises per week during 20 minutes to maintain things interesting. Then, I practice other stuff like songs (20 minutes), scales, modes, etc (20 minutes), all this take me one hour of practice. I do this every day.

I can’t reach the desired speed. I can play the exercises at 105bmp without problems, but beyond that, I begin to lose control and to play sloppy. My current record is 115 bmp (playing sloppy), beyond that I can’t play them.

Tommo what do you think?. Should I continue or restudy the whole book again. As I said, in this moment I reached page 28 “The Art of Practicing” and I feel that my technique is better than four months ago.

Thanks for your help and time.

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Do you feel that the left or right hand may be the issue? In the second case, that’s a typical tempo where “stringhopping” is expected to fail for most people. If you feel like posting a video in the technique critique section that could be helpful :slight_smile:

It depends a lot on your musical goals. Do you have an example of what types of songs / licks you would like to play?

Also, if you’ve been stuck with the book for quite a while, maybe trying some different material could give you some much needed variation, and more learning opportunities!

Vague hypothesis I’m using: learning something new correctly is (probably?) easier than fixing a problem in something you already know.

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Tommo, thanks for your help. As you said before, these are busy days for all of us for the world current situation.

Good idea Tommo, I’ll upload something in the critiquite section. When I play fast I have problems with the right hand (stringhopping). Also, when I practice some cromatic exercises my left hand has problems of corditation. To put this in context, my left hand isn’t enough fast to play in coordination with the right hand.

I’m watching the “The Pickslanting Primer” to learn about how to improve my technique. I hope this would help me to discover what is wrong with my technique.

Thanks for your help Tommo.

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I bought this book a long time ago, long before “Cracking the Code” came along. I learned a few things from it but never got up to breakneck speed. I now know why----I had no understanding of what my primary picking motion was (-it’s downward escape motion, or DSX, with an upward pickslant, or UWPS).

Now that I DO know those things about my playing, I am in search of practice material. Since I already have this book, I think I’ll look about for patterns / sequences that I can play with a DSX motion and see how better I can play them now than I could before. ;o)

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I think working out of speed books is a waste of time. Some of the fingerings are awkward so that just slows you down. There is no way you are going to develop finger independence either. And then they give you a sound file where they play it slow and then fast. What is the point of including the fast part? Most of the people that buy the book are not going to be able to play the exercise as fast as the author is playing it, so now you feel inadequate.