Yes, I highly recommend practicing with a metronome.
When used properly, the metronome can make you far faster than you currently are. You may even get faster than you thought was possible!
When people tell me they can't get faster at something, and that they DO use a metronome for practice, something just seems wrong to me. And, whenever they tell me how they are approaching their metronome practice, it turns out they're approaching their practice incorrectly.
Practice doesn't mean anything. Playing along with a metronome doesn't mean anything.
Only PERFECT practice delivers the results you want!!!
What does that mean?
Perfect practice means you play things correctly as you practice them.
If you practice a scale with a bunch of mistakes, you're not getting better at playing the scale correctly. If you hit an incorrect note when running through your scale, you NEED to fix it IMMEDIATELY. Do NOT just keep playing. Hit the correct note, and then start your scale over again.
Just because a metronome is on doesn't mean you'll get some kind of magical speed transference. You HAVE to use it CORRECTLY.
Because this is a lesson on when metronome practice does NOT work, I won't be getting into details on how to use a metronome.
However, the basic idea of using a metronome is to time your notes to be played when your metronome clicks.
You could also aim to have 2 notes be played, evenly spaced, over the time of a click on your metronome. To do this, you will play a note when your metronome clicks, and then the second note directly in between the click you just played on and the upcoming click.
It's best to start by lining up one note per click until you can actually hear when you're on or off with the metronome.
When people use the metronome for the purpose of getting faster there are some common mistakes being made by a LOT of you. Here are some of the mistakes being made:
Some people, like Shawn Lane, never had to do a lot of metronome practice to get fast. I'm pretty sure you're not Shawn Lane. You're probably going to have to really work your ass off if you want to be blazing fast on guitar. But, you're in good company.
Most of us have to put in time with the metronome. That's just the way it goes.
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This lesson was made in response to a special request.
One thing to mention, is that I do not have an 8 string guitar; just a 6 string guitar. Bleed is played with an 8 string guitar. Thankfully, I was able to recreate the intro with my 6 string by tuning the low E string down a half step to Eb/D#.
Bleed's intro can be viewed in a very simple way. There is a short picking pattern that gets repeated throughout the entire intro, and carries over into the verse.
Below (near the end of this post) you will see 3 different tabs showing the picking pattern divided by bar lines. The rhythm will, essentially, be the same. You will always have 2 fast notes followed by 2 slow notes (half the speed of the fast notes).
Here's what the 3 ways of viewing the picking pattern look like:
Two 8th notes + Two quarter notes Two 16th notes + Two 8th notes Two 32nd notes + Two 16th notes
Because of how fast the song is played, and how long you need to keep this rhythmic pattern going, you will need to pick this with the strum pattern of:
|Down Up Down Up |Down Up Down Up |Down Up Down Up |
That was 3 repetitions of the picking pattern. I put a BAR line at the start of the first pattern, in between the other patterns, and at the end of the final pattern to help you visualize the way you will be picking this pattern.
The spaces in between the down, up, and the bar lines are to show you where you will have a gap (or slow down) in your playing.
In order to get this song up to speed, I recommend focusing on getting the picking pattern up to speed, or at least comfortable, before you begin adding in the bend sections. The bend sections will be shown in the tabs below.
USE YOUR METRONOME TO WORK UP THIS RHYTHM SLOWLY!!!!!!!!!!
The bend section is broken into 6 parts.
The open E string patterns, that have already been shown, can be counted in such a way to keep this intro somewhat simple.
Counting how many times the rhythmic pattern (picking pattern) is played, you will have this:
The final bend section WILL carry over into the beginning of the verse (when the vocals start). Just make sure you finish all 6 parts of the bend section, even when the verse begins, because that's just how the song goes.
This first tab is the easiest way to count the intro. You will have two 8th notes followed by two quarter noes.
The second tab is basically the same, but now you have two 16th notes followed by two 8th notes.
This third tab is how I count along with the song. You have two 32nd notes followed by two 16th notes.
When I count this out, I'm only counting at the start of each section/bar/measure so I know how many times I've played the picking patterns, and I know when to go into the bend sections.
One last tab!!
This one is showing the song as it's probably intended to be viewed. The song is in 4/4 and the full rhythmic pattern repeats every 3 bars.
If you have ANY questions about this lesson PLEASE ASK!!!
This song is definitely NOT EASY and will prove to be a challenge for most people. Not only is the rhythm fairly unusual, but you need to have really good speed and stamina to pull this off.
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John Petrucci is a beast on guitar. He is also one of the few super shredders who can ACTUALLY TEACH.
In a Guitar World lesson, John shows two "shred runs" that look like the opposite of how it sounds.
What the heck does that mean?
It means the notes ascend when his hand descends.
2nd intervals are pretty damn cool. They are most commonly heard in suspended 2nd chords. Well, that's at least where I typically seem to hear and see them being used.
Used correctly, 2nd intervals can add a very unique sound to what you're playing/writing.
What is a 2nd interval? A 2nd interval is one whole step up from a root note. For example: the 2nd interval of G is A. A is one whole step above G (in other words, 2 frets higher).
You can also have a flat 2nd interval, aka: minor 2nd. A flat 2nd interval is a half step above the root note. For example, the flat 2nd interval of B is C. C is one half step above B (in other words, 1 fret higher).
Joel Hoekstra put together some really cool sounding exercises to help you get familiar with the sounds of 2nds. Here's the video lesson he did with Guitar World:
Tabs for this lesson can be found here: www.guitarworld.com/lessons-artist-lessons-rock/applying-second-intervals-arpeggiated-riff-ideas/29966
John Taylor - guitar and bass instructor for Mile High Shred.