Shawn Lane on developing speed

Do you know who actually said this?

Steve Morse

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You must be a fan of twosetviolin :sweat_smile:

Approach wise, I think it’s 80% slow build-up, 20% fast exploration to figure out what’s not working.

It’s very simple. No pain no gain.

Perfection is reached at the point of collapse folks, learn to recognise and ride the edge. Some folks need to learn how to learn, it’s a black art till you succeed.

Is it something he’s said a lot, or is there a particular interview or instructional vid where it came up? Piecing together the history of the puzzle pieces is sort of interesting in its own way.

This is where I’m at, too - starting fast is great advice for developing speed, starting slow and working up is a great way to develop coordination.

But, I think the important caveat here is that one of the main underlying points I’ve taken from CtC is that fast alternate picking is in essence a mechanical problem - there’s an approach or a technique to doing it right, or rather a whole bunch of them, but once you get the basic approach down, it pretty much just works. The point of starting fast isn’t to learn to get faster, it’s to force yourself to develop something that isn’t making you slower.

So, in theory… Once you figure out the mechanics in a way that work for you, pick speed isn’t really the issue. At THAT point, starting slow (using a mechanic that you already know can go fast) and working your way up to speed makes a lot of sense.


Not a lot. He was talking about picking across strings. Something to the effect of “anyone can just pick on one string, bzzzzz, and then move to another string, bzzzz, but if you can’t make that move itself quickly, what’s the point?”

I wanted to say it was in “Power Lines,” but I don’t think it is. It might have been in one of his columns he used to write? I definitely remember him saying this.

EDIT: Here it is! It’s from the old

Start around 2:50. Sorry for the video quality; it was an old RealMedia file that D’Addario put up on their YouTube page. You can make out the quote that I write about above.

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No offence to Claud but after his video on pickslanting im not sure how seriously I’d take his technique advice .

Thanks for digging this up!

Its Claus. His videos dont really address picking mechanics though it’s more mindset and strategy and proper focus when practicing.

He very much on the mental aspect of playing.
I bought his course, the razor, and hes a phenomenal teacher. No he doesn’t address pick hand, etc. But hes burning on these videos.

He attributes it solely to focused practice on short sequences to point of mastery

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Pros often attribute their skill to things which may or may not be responsible for said skill. I think we know from research on practice that repeated practice on a single thing isn’t the same as focussed practice and I’m not sure if that’s what he has in mind.

Claus teaches narrowing 75 -80 % of your practice time towards a small sampling of sequences. This involves tons of reps at slow speeds emphasizing accents, chunking.

You have to have the sequence, passage, etc. Under your fingers first, before you can start applying speed. I mentioned this in MM video and he agreed.

I believe the starting with speed is great initially for finding a picking mechanism that works
But in order to marry that mechanic to actual playing you need to synch the hands up and that can only happen at slower speeds imo.

Once you have that sequence under your fingers…start flooring it. Then clean it up, slow it down, then floor it, etc.

Troy will often dismiss the LH part in this (understandably so) because it doesn’t present nearly the same challenges as the RH, however you need reasonable good LH dexterity and finger independence for both hands to synch properly.

Paul Gilbert said he needed to “get his left hand down” first before the picking stuff could work.
The very best players have LH mastery.

I think LH facility comes easier for some so they overlook it , however it hampers some of us including myself

Idk I’ve tried that and it didn’t really work for me. I think troy is right you should mostly be practicing music with lots of mechanical variety. Not just doing slow sequences over and over again. Like I said that doesn’t pan out to be efficient in motor learning research in sports and I doubt it is in music. I just don’t like Claus, including some his videos on improv sorry.

It’s not just slow speeds, its varying speeds, and you are supposed incorporate variey.
The most essential idea is mastery of a handful of basic sequences instead of large volumes of material.

I’m not trying to sell you on Claus.


I used Claus’ YouTube channel and paid lessons to build the entire groundwork of my alternate picking skills, and then used Cracking the Code to apply those sequences to more “historical” examples seen in the seminars. I’d go as far to say his teachings actually prevented me from eBaying my guitar in 2017 and quitting music altogether.

His alternate picking course features a variety of pedagogical tools like @NCASO says, which includes bursting, slower loop-able practice, and so on. Claus does stress variety but within the framework of what you’re learning. So if you’re learning alternate picking you can learn a few different sequences stressing the same core skill.

He is also one of the only guys on YouTube to actually discuss how often times those who lack guitar technique lack it not by virtue of innate ability, but instead through their own psychological self-sabotage. He has so much value in his ability to communicate the psychology of guitar practice that you could ditch everything he says about actual mechanics and still have a valuable resource.

I’d encourage you to give him (another) fair shake. Worst case it’s another resource you say you tried, but I think there is value in having multiple guitar teachers to whom you refer.


That was brilliant. I gave Claus a 2nd try
I never regretted it. Hes fantastic and helped me immensely

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Trills, trills, and more trills! I neglected the left-hand portion of training for so long and couldn’t understand why it couldn’t just catch up to the right-hand picking. Then I started doing trills of every finger combination for several minutes every day and my synchronization improved almost immediately.

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What stuff from Claus do you recommend? His free stuff is pretty helpful. I tried looking for his Ultimate Alternative Picking Program (something like that) but it’s long gone.

How do trills help with synchronization between the left and right hands?

They don’t help with synchronization in a direct way, but doing trills every day until your fingers are ready to fall off strengthens them and greatly increases your left hand’s fingers’ speed, to ensure they can keep up with your right hand picking. In my case they were an invaluable tool because my hands couldn’t sync up for precisely that reason: my right hand picking was faster than my left hand fingers could move. Also, doing trills among all four fingers helps you do any variation of a lick, like the 6-note Yngwie lick, smoothly and evenly.

Sry I missed this.

Create an account on his site. He sends a good amount of free material. The free alternative picking course was called ingenium. Check and see if he still offers it. I have it.

He has dozens of videos on YT regarding focus, mastery. mindset, practice…

I recently purchased his Razor course. Its fantastic. He takes a series of sequences and shows you how to build them all over the neck as how to apply the concept