Alternate Picking I

About Alternate Picking I

Level: Syn's Etudes

Alternate Picking I

Syn’s Tips

Head to the Comments section below to discuss and share videos of yourselves applying this to different Scales and Chord Progressions. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Lesson Comments

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Nate Stranieri
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Nate Stranieri I couldn't really find another lesson that was better for asking this so Im just doing it here. I have an issue, I just recently got into writing but every time I try write something it either turns into a song that already exists or I don't like it because it's not as good as the songs that I like to listen to. To somewhat help me start I've been using the structures of my favorite songs and trying to replicate a similar vibe but I end up just hating what ever I come up with more and more as I get further along. Any tips on how to overcome this, become more original and not hate what I write?
Matthieu Dubois
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Matthieu Dubois My advice for that one would be. Don't let your " picking hand" touch strings.
Matthieu Dubois
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Matthieu Dubois at least for the descending part
Gabriel Perez
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Gabriel Perez Something that has helped me get better at this is by using a method taught to me by my theatre teacher, just changed up a bit so that it works better here. Play with the metronome and start at 80 BPM, play quarter notes, then eighth notes, then sixteenth notes. The trick is to play three times because what I was taught is, "If you can do it three times in a row cleanly then you can do it perfectly the next times." And for sixteenth notes you play it through five times. Each time you get through it cleanly you move up 5 clicks. I don't know how much help this would be for some people but it's something that has helped me a ton in progressing pretty quickly
Davi Gouveia
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Davi Gouveia The problem with that aproach is that you do too high bpm jumps. Play eighth at 80bpm is equal to play quarter at 160, and that is a 80bpm jump! if you are struggling at quarter 80bpm, eighth 80bpm will be an impossible thing. What I do is start playing the lick that I want to learn at 1/4 the original tempo, play it cleanly then add 5bpm, play it cleanly then add 5bpm and so forth. For example: In this "Alternate Picking I" the lick is at 120bpm. I start playing it at 30.
Nate Stranieri
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Nate Stranieri Thats exactly what I do not with just this exercise but I practice all the modes and some scales like the harmonic minor with a metronome and go from quarter to eighth to triplet then sixteenth and move the metronome up 5 clicks once I'm satisfied with how I played it which I try to be perfect but if I kept restarting on one mistake I'd be there for hours but this has helped with my consistency and ability to learn anything quicker so listen to this guy. ^^^
Fernando Romero
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Fernando Romero After spending some time on economy picking I just can't get rid of it and I'm barely able to do this at a normal speed :S
Annabelle Holling
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Annabelle Holling Wow syn I really envy you After watching you play I started to pick up my guitar and pretend that I was playing your solos because I had no one to teach me how to play the guitar but now that SGS has opened I have been coming here everyday to practice and I have been getting better everyday thank you so much for creating this website
Thaddeus Virgis
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Thaddeus Virgis Syn, thanks a lot for this lessons! I think I have really improved and hoping to play someday like you. You're a real inspiration to all soon-to-be guitarists.
Nuaz Safie
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Nuaz Safie This is great!
John Arjonilla-Pailing
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John Arjonilla-Pailing I find one of the best ways to improve anything is to play unplugged. I am currently practicing this unplugged and will increase the BPM slowly. Once I am playing cleanly I will plug in and turn the volume up and turn my gain on full while again, playing with as much clarity as possible. After that, playing with my usual gig ready settings will be sounding sweet! Hope that helps guys! =)
Arturo Pérez
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Arturo Pérez Esta pagina es una de las mejores cosas que le puede pasar a una persona que practica la guitarra, mis respetos para Sr. Brian y a synyster gates, mil gracias por compartir su talento e impulsarnos para poder practicar y mejorar de una manera espectacular, estoy mas que agradecido por todo esto que estan haciendo, soy gran fran de A.V. como todos los que estamos aqui, saludos desde mexico, !espero verlos pronto por aqui!
Diego Santiago Marinho
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Diego Santiago Marinho Syn if you could read this, you are awesome! To me you are like a gate to awesomeness in life (got it?). Where I live (Brazil) things are complete shit, murder everyday, violence... and I am not in a good mood these days, but you, and Avenged Sevenfold means so much to me, I went to 2 concerts of a7x in Brazil, you are a dream to me! (Literally I’ve dreamed many times with meeting a7x lol). Good life with your new son!
Arturo Pérez
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Arturo Pérez Its amazing, thank you for all!
Nick Von Gnechten
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Nick Von Gnechten Syn or Mr. Haner, Do you have any tips for players with more wide fingers? Or if anyone here does. I seem to keep making unwanted string noise especially while moving to the next strings. Or will it just come with practice? This seems to happen quite often. Also quite a bit of trouble with stretching.
Travis Miller
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Travis Miller When you start the riff, do you strum the first note (alternately of course) and just tap the last two notes of each strings?
Sayonil Mitra
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Sayonil Mitra The problem I face while doing these things is the pick noise. At every note, a prominent click is heard. How can I reduce that?
Thomas Lovell
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Thomas Lovell The upstroke at the 12th (high E) to begin the descending part of the run is killing me. I keep falling into economy.
Tim McArthur
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Tim McArthur Hey Syn question, whether you're sweep picking or alternate picking, are you palm muting everything?
Vince Mandi
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Vince Mandi Hey It says, this is in C. Is it just me or is it really in F. :/
Edward Lilly
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Edward Lilly Can anyone recommend string gauges. There is a lot of information on heavier strings for faster flow because of the tension, but a lot of people say 9’s are better for speed. I use a 10-46 set myself. Thank you!
Edward Lilly
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Edward Lilly Can anyone recommend string gauges.
Fabil Trizky
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Fabil Trizky Hi syn 😁
Chai Rele
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Chai Rele I was just wondering when did syn started playing the guitar?
Trent Lancaster
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Trent Lancaster Any tips for breaking speed barriers? I’ve been stuck at 75 bpm for a couple days now. I tried the technique Papa Gates mentions by going faster than what is possible for me for about a minute, then going back down to 75 bpm. Although this worked for a couple runs on the lick, it didn’t help me get past 75. Should i just keep practicing at 75 bpm until I get it, or go back to a slower speed and practice there, and try 75 again?
Anly Raju
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Anly Raju But then papa gates said that our picking shouldn't use our hands and only wrist movements. Syn is using his hands
Łukasz Walkowicz
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Łukasz Walkowicz This lessons are very helpful. Thank You guys so much! 🙂
Justin Bowen
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Justin Bowen Is this for demonstration purposes? I could see this being economy picked as well just something i noticed. Thank you by the way for the economy picking lessons i am picking much more fluid now because of that 1 trick and I religiously preach about it now
Syn Gates
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Syn Gates You want to be able to do both. Even tho I love Eco, I feel like I’m stuck when that’s the only technique I use. You also get a more aggressive sound with alternate picking so in order to be as expressive as possible, you should know all of this material
Robi Turner
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Robi Turner Give me some trick how to fast play like you. Im your fans from indonesia. Greeting from the people indonesia
Gene Cable
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Gene Cable You sir are beyond beyond human
Rita De Cassia
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Rita De Cassia Hello masters ... I'm making the correct sound but while the syn uses the fingers 1 3 4 at first I use 1 2 3, is it considered wrong even with the right sound?
Syn Gates
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Syn Gates Whatever works for u!
Demosthenes Pampoukidis
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Demosthenes Pampoukidis Love the rhythm guitar. Any lessons about it ?
Brian Haner Sr.
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Brian Haner Sr. I think Syn is going to do some rhythm guitar videos in the future.
Caio Mazzuia
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Caio Mazzuia hey guys, how much time do you recomend to practice this to acquire some fair results? I'm learning all by myself here and I have no idea
Ids Schiere
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Ids Schiere I tend to schedule about half an hour a day and the results are Pretty good after 2 weeks
Brian Haner Sr.
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Brian Haner Sr. Better to practice every day for 15 minutes than once a week for 4 hours. I don't know your schedule so I can't tell you how much is right for you - but I will say this - PLAY EVERY DAY! It's OK to play for an hour one day and 10 minutes the next if that's all the time you have. Just get that guitar in your hands as often as you can. Good luck!
David Puthoff
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David Puthoff Something I've been doing for fun, is instead of repeating every division of the beat, use the second time through to maybe improvise a mini solo with triplets, sixteenth notes, etc. Having a blast on here, thanks again!
Lars-Henrik Hildonen
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Lars-Henrik Hildonen Syn or Papa, is there a possibility you'll have lessons where you can teach us the A7X songs? for example Syn and Zacky play through the songs (maybe slowed down) and with tabs and everything! that would've been amazing! there are tabs everywhere i know but they arent always completely accurate and i really want to know exactly how you guys play them!. I guess the comment section isnt the best place to ask for this but ill give it a try anyways :') -Greetings from Northern Norway!
Thomas Lovell
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Thomas Lovell you tube
Atakan
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Atakan Both of you play very well! But,I wonder all the time what pedals, processor or something you use in order to get this nice sound of Syn Custom guitar? 🙂
Faiz Abdillah
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Faiz Abdillah its too insane for me
Cole Leaman
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Cole Leaman I’ve played guitar for about a year and a half. Then I look st the lessons... turns out I don’t know much at all about guitar!
Jennifer Bamer
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Jennifer Bamer Thank you so much for this! I tried to learn how to play by YouTube but i cant haha In Austria its not easy to find a good teacher - so thank you to give us the chance to learn it from you and Papa Gates 🙂 I hope i´ll get the chance at the nova rock festival in Austria in June to get your signature for my schecter synyster gates custom s tattoo *_*
Philip Griffiths
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Philip Griffiths Oof those vibrados hit me just right.
Gugu Paiva
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Gugu Paiva Ohh Yeahh , 🤘🤘🤘
Franck Jonas
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Franck Jonas Hi, Syn or Papa Gates. On those licks, do we have to insist on the notes on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th times of the measure ? Or all the notes are played evenly. I have always wondered. For triplets or sextuplets it is quite natural, but for binary patterns, it is confusing as we have three notes per string. This is my existential question of the day. Thanks.
Dave Ward
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Dave Ward Is there anyway to print this music/tab? That would be very helpful for me. Thanks
Arite Khape
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Arite Khape All my dreams are turning to life .. Thanks Synyster Gates..
Ekrem Taha Ünlü
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Ekrem Taha Ünlü I have an idea to take video record all of your etudes. I hope i can 🙂
Levi Stanyer
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Levi Stanyer This website is awesome! It’s amazing to watch an entire community of guitarists come together like this! This would make an awesome app.
Matt Wildman
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Matt Wildman You can see my video on vimeo, if you look up" alt picking 1 almost down" I experimented with a new chord progression. I haven't figured out how to upload videos to the comments yet so sorry about that!
Matt Wildman
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Matt Wildman So If someone could show me how to upload videos using vimeo that would be great. Thanks
Héctor Borges
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Héctor Borges oh wow thats awesome, hope one day to play like that, i´ve been checking the lessons from the begining but i came here to see that alternate picking i honestly though it´l be a little easyer but i guess one can just begin slow, i practice my alternate picking with the scales and excercises i know, do you guys recomend me to practice this? i´ve been playing for like 4 months and i use to play in 90bpm with my excersises so im not so sure if i should practice this or wait till i get better?
Cedric L
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Cedric L Sooo... Is every lesson in E-Standard? I expected Drop D
Lacey Hall
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Lacey Hall Woah....syn your amazing. Hopefully I get that good. I want to be a musician so bad!!
Behdad Baghaei
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Behdad Baghaei I recently realized that no guitar instructor in my country could teach me what I needed to become a "guitarist". Now I know where to look \m/
Jake Young
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Jake Young D Aeolian!
Aurelia F
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Aurelia F I couldnt load any video here 🙁 does anyone have the same problem? Or it’s just me? 😭
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Awesome! Fuck Yeah , I'll Improve a lot here!
Michelangelo Cipkalo
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Michelangelo Cipkalo i dont know if its just me but i find it really hard not to use economy picking for this
Michael Greiner
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Michael Greiner For those who, like me, are struggling with the pattern in 3s because of the accent changes, check out the lesson 74. Papa Gates shows some exercises that deal with this issue.
Stela Estrela
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Stela Estrela I thought that as Alternate Picking "one" it would be doable for me, even at 50 % speed, I can't xD by the way, are we supposed to attack each string down, as it is more natural to just let drop the pick when one serie of 3 notes is over, all the way down? And do the contrary all the way up?
Thomas Lovell
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Thomas Lovell That would be economy or sweep picking. Alternate picking alternates up and down strokes in succession. Difficult to master but stick with it.
Tucker Nelson
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Tucker Nelson Whoever ends up reading this, I’ve taught myself for two years and am an intermediate but I’m not sure exactly where to start? How long should I spend on the lessons? Any tips. Thanks
Jaxon Muller
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Jaxon Muller Start learning the stuff you wanna learn, however, learn how to play it right. Even if you have to play at 25% speed. Gates talks about "perfect practice makes perfect". Learn it slow and I promise you'll be able to shred it once your muscle memory and rhythm are practiced.
Joshua Bataneant
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Joshua Bataneant Hey, sorry for the username, I know you guys'll hate for it but what's the most effective way the the alternate pick cleanly with out extra strings noise? thanks
Hailey Romero
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Hailey Romero DAMN that's fast. I'm a beginner and just came to see what advanced to. I guess I'll come back in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 years when I'm ready.
Brian Haner Sr.
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Brian Haner Sr. Go back to the beginning and work on each lesson. If you play a little every day, it happens quicker than you think!
John Pacheco
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John Pacheco ...well that escalated pretty quick...going back to beginner now. LOL
Tristen Becci
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Tristen Becci This is so much more than expected. This whole site is more than just a couple lessons, it's a community. Thank you both!
Teagan Shephard
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Teagan Shephard When I'm alternate picking the strings from high to low, it feels natural but when I'm going from the low strings to high i just feel really stiff, Is it because I'm resting my hand on the bridge?
Teagan Shephard
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Teagan Shephard Turns out i was trying to economy pick instead of alternate picking but I guess I still have the same problem with the stiffness haha
FLoo L.
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FLoo L. Thanks Syn for the lesson ! 😉
Nath Bradshaw
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Nath Bradshaw Hope I can get up to this standard!!!
Calum Caughey
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Calum Caughey Thanks for creating this man, looking forward to giving this a go haha! Thanks for all the hard work you and Papa Gates have put in !
Muan Pis
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Muan Pis Can i get dowhload link backing track😜
Gerben
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Gerben It's under the tab's and stuff, click on the thing where it says recording and it'll give ya an option of the video, synthetic and the backing track
Jhilou Kiera Madayag
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Jhilou Kiera Madayag Hi y'all, I am 14 years old and This shows me how important to practice alternative picking and also the use of backing track, It is hard for me to find backing tracks so most o the time it is just my guitar and a metronome, oh and METRONOME is a big help when you are practicing for picking, -Jhi
Valtteri Lamminen
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Valtteri Lamminen These are some really amazing pieces to practice different techniques on! I really need to work on my alternate picking, I just automatically start to economy pick these kinds of things (thank you Syn for making me learn economy picking btw!)
Thomas Lovell
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Thomas Lovell Same here, its a bad habit that's hard to break
Syn Gates
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Syn Gates I do the same thing. It's easy to do whats easy but I do my best to practice the tough shit
Jaco Trololo
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Jaco Trololo Two way pick slanting is strong with this one..
Anthony Gabriel
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Anthony Gabriel Hey Synyster, will you do lessons of the avenged sevenfold's solos? I think that it would be a nice idea and would help a lot of people like me 😀 Thank you!
Jaxon Muller
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Jaxon Muller Just google the tabs for the songs. Most are pretty accurate (once you realize how slowed down you'll have to play to learn them), if not there are published songbooks for all of A7X's albums with music notation and tablature.
Syn Gates
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Syn Gates The licks in my "Etudes" section contain many signature licks that I've used in all of my solos and I will continuously add to those. I already have hundreds of em written it just takes a lot of time getting in front of a camera and recording em all. Hopefully later this year we will be teaching songs!
Brayden Sosa
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Brayden Sosa ... oh shit
Robert Garner
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Robert Garner Thanks for creating such a cool and unique learning opportunity. Most people are trying to scam people out of money now days...👍🏻
Syn Gates
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Syn Gates My pleasures hope you enjoy it!
Mark Pabst
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Mark Pabst Great alt picking lesson! I will be working on this one for a wait to get up to your speed. Just recorded my first riff to be upload(this was the 1st time I have recorded myself playing). Great concept looking forward to being part of a guitar community, learning and sharing from everyone.
Matt Wildman
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Matt Wildman Going back down the scale is way harder for me than going up It! I love it!
Syn Gates
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Syn Gates Same for me
Pete D
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Justin McGuire
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Justin McGuire I guess this is as good of a lesson as any to ask... I consider myself to be a fairly advanced player in some ways... However, one thing that kills me constantly is hitting open strings or a string ringing out mistakenly. I know of plenty of ways to avoid this (though I can never seem to utilize any to full potential). What methods do you use to avoid this? I’d love to hear from both of you! Thanks a ton! I absolutely love the site! Congratulations!
Syn Gates
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Syn Gates They key is to "play as slow as you can play it perfectly" and build up your speed in small increments from there. We all wanna play faster than we can but you are truly creating bad habits that are much harder to break than creating good habits and proper technique. This shit takes time, the key is making it a fun process and that's different for everyone.
Luke Schafer
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Luke Schafer I saw the opening and shit myself
Ben Thorpe
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Ben Thorpe same lmao
Miroslav DIlov
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Miroslav DIlov Interesting, it seems like you are using swiping. When you transition from the 6th string to the fifth, you you hit them both. like this -----10--12--13 --------------x
Andrew Kyle
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Andrew Kyle Aw man, I was almost able to perfectly play along until those tasty 16th sextuplets! I'll keep practicing 🙂
Nadav Saban
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Nadav Saban ok, ill start. you don't know me obviously and even though I'm just a fan I can say that I know you well enough. it all started in 2007. my brother came to me and he told me ''Nadav, take a look can you see whats on the screen right now? I've never seen a band plays so good live.'' from that moment my life completely changed foREVer. I've always was into music and appreciated it till I saw you played afterlife live in the lbc. everywhere I go on the internet, social media I see a lot of people with deathbat tattoos and saying things that I'm saying right now at this moment: ''you changed my life, you are an amazing band and I am honored to be part of this great family around the world but I really think I don't adore you as a guitarist or as a band member, as much as I adore you because the person you are. from the moment I saw you live 10 years ago. something in your personality just did to me something, I cant describe it in words. and you bring all of that to the guitar. it's the perfect combination. well, for me. I see all of the fans who go up on stage in a show to play with you and I see the expression on their faces, and I just say to myself: "I don't know what your expression would be if you see these guys live face to face upstage. you see, I'm from Israel and I don't know how much you are aware of our place in the world. here we have to go to the army to serve our country because of all the terrorism and wars. I have never seen you live and I don't know what is going to happen when I will stand up in the line and wait for you to get on stage. I have always appreciated how you look on your fans and how full of pride you are about us, and all the backstage events and I think to myself I wish I could be there with them and with you. all the time you are so humble and gracious for what you have and over the years, naturally I just noticed how I'm so attached to you and to your music. my parents don't support that much at the idea of me want to go after my dream and be a guitarist and I see from time to time your interviews and the documentary movie and it gives me strength as just as I saw it in the first time. all I had to do is go against my parent's principals because of the music thing. over the years I really wanted to have one of your guitars and because I'm a lefty and from Israel, it cost me a lot of money to purchase your guitar. I paid 2000$ to have it, its worth it dough but now I don't have enough money for an amp, HAHA. but its fine.I'm going step by step to make the dream come true. I have always known that sooner or later I will find a way to bring you to awareness of my feeling existence about you and I decided that today is the day. the day you and paps launched this school. I was talking with a friend earlier the first I saw the launch and I told him: "do you get what they did? it's beyond every guitarist in the whole world". you see I don't take it for granted all this idea. and I will tell you why and promise me that if you read it you'll remember what I'm going to say here. ok, what you guys did here it is REVOLUTIONARY. I will explain why all the time they keep talking about Hendrix, David Bowie that they changed how we look on music and stuff like that but what you did here with that school is one of that thing like Hendrix or jimmy page. it's historical, its revolutionary. I mean it. I wouldn't be excited by the idea if it was a great guitarist that not famous. all this school idea it just proves me what I think about you. among all the shows and the studio sessions and the video clips, you chose to do this and give us your valuable time. we can see in brighter light how much your fans mean to you and the all guitar subject. I just wanted to say how thankful I am for having you in my life. I am sure we will meet one day face to face. I never stopped belief... I hope you will read that latter. once again, Thank you Nadav Saban, Israel.
Syn Gates
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Syn Gates Hang in there and keep saving you'll get one soon! And when you you're ready, these guys should go take lessons from you! Have fun!
Soren A
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Soren A jesus
Steven Huth
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Steven Huth I love runs like this. Simple and effective.
Ben Thorpe
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Ben Thorpe *sees opening*.... might need to lower the speed settings a bit
Syn Gates
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Syn Gates Haha yep..... at first;)
Enes Malik Fırat
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Enes Malik Fırat I don't even have a guitar, how i came to the this lesson ?
Brian Haner Sr.
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Brian Haner Sr. I am not Syn Gates
Jishnu Sachdeva
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Jishnu Sachdeva for sure, papa.
Syn Gates
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Syn Gates Thanks! Simple but effective to lead to a big high epic bend or sumthin!
Robi Turner
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Robi Turner Your fingure is fast . I like this
Elton Douglas
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Elton Douglas How to play as fast as you synyster?
Firas Migh
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Firas Migh it s really insane how that community finally comes to be real , idk to thank u syn from the bottom of my heart for offering us the opportunity to share our passion and improve together , that s simply great ! greeting from germany, BIG fan of u \m/
Brian Haner Sr.
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Brian Haner Sr. GREAT jumping off point for alt picking!
Ekyle011
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Ekyle011 Start using a metronome and play as clean as possible. Then slowly speed it up at a pace you feel comfortable with.
Elton Douglas
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Elton Douglas How to play as fast as you synyster?
Yes No