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How do you feel about guitar drills when building chops?

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I suddenly improved my speed more in a few months then i have in like six years a few months ago and it wasn't as a result of those drills. I was distracted by them for years and it just got me frustrated that I wasn't improving.

I found my speed by slowing things down so that I could learn to move as little as possible. Try and play as slowly as possible but don't make unnecessary movement, and with as little effort/tension as possible. After a while you can speed it up without making extra movement, and suddenly it's easy to play fast without effort, and that's the difference in my experience.

So yeah if you're gonna do the spider drills, start them ridiculously slowly and focus on small movement and playing without tension. If you speed up and there's suddenly tension, immediately stop and go back to the start or you'll just end up frustrated and with bad habits.

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What Fishy said.

I use spider drills, but I like to change them up a bit. If I'm just going up and down the strings I'd rather do scales or arpeggios because it'd actually translate into something I'd use someday.


-7 6 5 4 -----------------------------------------------------------
-----------7 6 5 4-3-4-5-6-5-4-3-2----------------------------------

That one's my favorite.

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This little run is great for building up speed and if you want to practice some string-skipping, just go up to the 12th fret on the high e instead of the B. Start off slow, and keep building speed. It sounds really cool and I love using it before a little scale run to finish a solo.

I also recommend learning a bunch of sweeping patterns. Even if you don't ever want to sit there shredding and getting super crazy, these little patterns can help train your fingers for quickly jumping from string to string.







I definitely agree with Darangen. Playing licks and runs that you can incorporate into your everyday playing will not only expand your "library" of patterns, it will also be much more enjoyable. I've never been able to sit there and do the same little exercise for an hour. It just gets ridiculous. Once you get a grasp on certain scales (pentatonic is always the go-to), it may be fun to download a few backing tracks (or make your own) and just jam along. This is great for building improv skills and practicing little licks you've been working on.

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