Shredding on the Guitar – 3 Crucial Steps to a Bullet Proof Mind Set

3 Crucial Steps to a Bullet Proof Mind Set

Why am I talking about mindset? Because its a necessity. All the great players have great mindsets. Bullet proof mind sets. Confidence to the maximum. I believe confidence comes from not giving up. From going into the war room as a ritual. A consistency factor rating of 10+. Here are the 3 first steps:

  1. Realize that shred guitar training is a violent pursuit.
  2. Build your Agressiveness.
  3. Be Clear as Hell (Clarity).

Shred guitar training is a violent pursuit. You may have never thought shred guitar training as something violent, but it is. Think about it. Listen to players like George Bellas, Joe Stump and Yngwie Malmsteen. Marty Friedman, Jason Becker and Francesco Fareri. These are all true shredders. True pioneers of the shred game.

There are many more, these are just the ones off the top of my head right now. They all violently attack the strings. Not physically but theoretically. They leave no stone unturned. If theres a place for them to shred, they shred. Period.

They all have an element of violence in their music. Just listen to the drumming. Any one of those drummers could beat someone to death with that amount of force and speed they play with.

Its the same for guitar players. They attack the strings, licks, musical phrases, sweeps with an element of violence to them. Maybe think of it as a violent sound. Shred is violent, whether you like it or not. But you and me, we love it. We wouldn’t love if it weren’t. Start thinking like this and you will begin to here those sounds come out of your guitar. To shredders alike, it may not sound violent right away but to virgin ears, its violent!!

Hell, thats the reason we got into it in the first place. To release our violent emotions in a healthy way.

If you have a passion for getting faster and playing at astronomical speeds you need to develop the next mindset…


If you want to dominate the guitar in a way that you can just fly across the fretboard leaving trails of smoke behind you, then you must be aggressive. If you want to play in a way that average players only dream of playing you must be aggressive. You must go in there with an aggressive mindset ready to attack your scales, licks, phrases, arpeggios, chords and riffs.

Aggression is the attitude you must have, to accomplish what these players have. If you want to get anywhere you must be aggressive. Period. You must train with shred licks at high speeds using a metronome. Play them with aggression. Practice aggressively. You could practice without aggression but you will never get to the place you want to get to without this mindset. If you think aggressive, you will sound aggressive. If you don’t, you won’t. You’ll sound slightly aggressive but it just won’t cut it.

If you want to be super fast, you have to be an animal. With that said, you also need this critical mindset…


Now why do we need clarity? Why do we need to be clear and about what do we need to be clear about? Glad you asked. You need to know exactly what you want to sound like, or at least be in the ballpark with your vision. For example, do you like fast thrashy metal riffs and licks or do you like slower compositions with more density (meaning more going on at the same time.) Do you know what counterpoint is? Do you know how to harmonize leads?

You have to have an idea about what you want to sound like. Do you want to sound heavy? Do you want that neoclassical sound? Do you want a combination? These are all questions you can take some time with and do a little writing with. Take out a pencil and a sheet of paper or your journal and answer all these questions. This will give you a clear cut path to what you need to do next. 

The ability to think clearly and see things as they are is of vital importance to the shred guitar player. Only when you think CLEARLY will you be able to objectively work out your weaknesses and address them accordingly.  Only when you think clearly will you know when to push and when to hold back. What is the exact sound you are going for? What scales do you love most? How fast is fast enough? Think about these things when you are songwriting. You are songwriting right?


In order to become a shredder for real and shred licks and scales up and down the neck you’re going to need to realize that shredding is very physical at first. It will wreak havoc on your hands and leave you in the dust if you don’t take it seriously. Recognize it and you’ll be okay. Don’t, and it will run you over.

You also need to be aggressive about your practice schedule and composing. Get off your lazy bottom and start being that person. Aggressive doesn’t mean aggression, it means marked by obtrusive energy and self-assertiveness, marked by driving forceful energy or initiative. I promise you if you self assert yourself and you take initiative towards your goals and don’t rely on other then you will most certainly become the player you want to be. Remember theres 2 types of players…the ones who become the player they want to be…and the ones who don’t.

You’re also gonna need to be clear about what you want to accomplish. Clarity is crucial. Don’t be the guy who has 10 hobbies, always hangs out with everyone and never gets anything done. You need tunnel vision. You need purpose. You need an intense practice schedule.

Recognize that this shred thing is a violent pursuit. Be aggressive. Be clear. If you have these 3 mindsets you’re gonna be alright kiddo…


Til next time’

Shred On!!


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