Can You Really Learn to Fly Across the Fretboard?
I hear this all the time. “Wow, how did you do that?” It may or may not be me that they’re referring to. Nonetheless, I hear it all the time. I’ll tell you how they did that. Its simple. They learned the fretboard. Its just not easy.They learned the fretboard by putting in effort day in day out. They put time and effort into the equation. Time + effort = progress.
Now that may or may not be true considering the fact that you need to be putting in the right type of effort, meaning you have to know that what you are doing comes from a reliable source and not just something you came up with in your head. You want something that has been tried and tested before.
So can you learn to shred all over the neck? Yes. Will you learn to shred all over the neck? All up to you.
“If its to be, its up to me.” – Brian Tracy
If you are still asking this question in your head, the answer is a resounding YES. You must believe this. You must learn this for yourself. That SELF BELIEF is the key.
5 Things You’re gonna Absolutely Need
You’re going to need to possess at least 5 things that have nothing to do with the guitar. That was number one. Believe. You Gotta Believe.
The 2nd thing you will absolutely need is a metronome. Too many students practice without one. You’re practicing in the dark when you do this. The reason I say this is that a metronome will SUPERCHARGE your practice. All those videos you see on the internet and all those magnificent licks you hear in the songs you love for the most part were practiced with a metronome. It is a musicians best friend, just like a dog is man’s best friend.
The third thing you need is TIME. Sacrifice is going to be the name of the game for you if you want to learn more, play faster, and sound better. There is no substitute. Time is the ultimate commodity. Can you get a lot done without a lot of time? PROBABLY NOT. You will have to sacrifice time with your wife or girlfriend. You will have to sacrifice TV. Forget about those friends who want to go out and drink to oblivion. They just want you to go down the drain with them. You don’t need that. You want skills. At the end of the day you want to feel good and like you did the NEXT right thing. When you go to sleep at night you want to feel like you’re skill level has gone UP, not DOWN.
Discipline is number 4. You need discipline. Tons of it. How do you get discipline you might be asking? You simply start building a habit. Habits will get you discipline. Start small and build from there, and you will soon see some discipline. Read about discipline if you wish. It wont hurt you to spend a few bucks on Amazon to learn more about discipline. There are several very good books on Discipline. No Excuses by Brian Tracy is a good pick. You can also pick up 30 Days of Discipline (The Ultimate Discipline Program.) It has nothing to do with guitar, only with Discipline.
The 2nd most important thing you will need besides self belief
Number 5. An ABSURD amount of repetition. Repeat, repeat and repeat. There is no substitute for repetition either. Thats it. Just repeat. Each shape. 10x.
So can you really learn to fly and play like the greats? It’s solely up to YOU. No one is gonna come and do it for you. Only YOU can pick up the guitar and only YOU can make yourself a better guitar player.
All these videos out there and lessons and books saying “Do this”..and “Do that” are ploys to get you to read and buy their products. Thats all fine and dandy. Knowledge is king. But its only when you USE your knowledge and APPLY your knowledge that you get any real results.
So How Do actually Fly Across the fretboard?
How do you fly across the neck like your favorite players? Its simple. Its just not easy. Do the above and you will be fine. Don’t think, just act. The thinking part will come later when you start to compose your own solos, licks and melodies. Here are some suggestions, take them seriously…
Start with a scale you know and learn all its shapes or modes. After you have done that…
Practice 2 String Runs, 3 String Runs and add strings if you wish… up until you use all 6 strings of the guitar. Do the same if you have 7 or 8 strings. Use them all. Get extremely familiar with them.
Practice the scale and its shape/mode both ascending and descending.
Practice the scales by connecting the shapes/modes all over the fretboard first in 1 octave, later progressing to 2 and 3 octaves.
Set aside time to make melodies. Slow ones as well as fast ones. Record them or put them into your DAW or Guitar Pro. Guitar Pro is much, much easier and faster.
Practice EXTREMELY SLOW.
THE SLOWER YOU PRACTICE THE FASTER YOU WILL BECOME FASTER.
READ THAT ONE AGAIN. DON’T BE A SLOPPY JOE. NOBODY LIKES A SLOPPY JOE AND NEITHER WILL YOUR EARS. OR ANYONE ELSE’S FOR THAT MATTER.
Recap: 5 Things You’re gonna Absolutely Need
- Self Belief
- Absurd Amounts of Repetition
In all honesty if you have the first one (Belief in yourself about your abilities) you should have no problem whatsoever.
To learn how to get around the fretboard in all the keys using the Pentatonic Scale. Visit this link.