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Set Number: #2 - May-June 2006
Guitar Guru: Joe Stump

Question: Dear Joe, first of all, you are the king of shred. Thanks so much for keeping shred alive. I've played for about 18 years now, and often get lots of soreness in my left hand when practicing(for hours) and right forearm... Are there any warmups or stretches I could perform daily before playing to prevent this soreness? Thank you so much for your time Joe. Take care and warm regards, Stacey

Guitar Guru: Hey Stacey, I don`t do any warm -ups or stretching type of exercises, but of course I`ve encountered many younger developing players that have problems with their hands. Sometimes this is due to practicing and playing things a little bit over their heads tempo-wise, causing them to tense up and putting more strain on their hands. The best way to practice things is to play it at consistent speed that you`re comfortable and relaxed with when executing but also it should at the same time be challenging. Another piece of advise is to take breaks while playing, a half hour on , 20 minute rest , one hour playing , half hour rest, etc. Also many times when players have forearm soreness in their picking hands they`re using alot of their arm while trying to pick fast. You could try economizing your motion and getting the wrist more involved in your picking motion.

Question: joe, you mention in your dvd that Richie Blackmore's playing had a great effect on your playing, but he has left the world of shred long ago and you are the new messiah!!! so why do you think he left the scene at the top of his game? tekken345

Guitar Guru: Well, I`ve seen Ritchie play with Blackmore`s Night and while he does play primarily acoustic during the set when he straps on his strat he still does plenty of damage and certainly hasn't lost a step in his electric playing. But he does love Baroque and medevil music and always has. So after all he`s achieved in his great career he`s certainly entitled to go in whatever direction he chooses. But of course like everyone else I`d love to see him do another hard rock record and tour.

Question: i have been playing rhythm guitar alot and have just started to try lead, so i have started listening to more solos learning the pentatonic scales and developing my simple techniques like bending sliding and vibrato and so on. But i cant play fast, i have been working on alternate picking for a long time now and i just find it very differcult keeping each hand in time with each other. I start off slow with a metronome and gradualy rise the speed playing 1-2-3-4 on each string and fretting it with each finger and then go to 2-3-4-5 etc etc but i havent seen a drastic improvement, so i was wondering if im doing it wrong or is there any better excersises i should do? Or is it just practise makes perfect?
Thanks! Harry

Guitar Guru: Hey Harry , developing picking technique does take time but picking up the proper instruction in order to help you is essential. I`d check out some dvds or seek out lessons with a player qualified to help you to put a practice routine together to sync up your hands. I have a Chop Builder dvd released by Berklee Press that`s cool for that type of thing , plus there`s a ton of cool stuff out in the market place to pick from.

Question: I've been playing music for a while, but about two years ago I began to create my own music. 9 times out of ten my inspirations comes from a rythm I begin to play on my acoustic and adapt to my elctric. What i want to know is what can I do make sure i don't simply make variations of the same type of idea? How can i make sure that i don't find myself in a musical rut that hapens to me every once in a while? It helps me to change instruments when I play, but I want to find that essence that will let me bring what I know i can play out of me.
Eddie Mendez

Guitar Guru: That`s a fairly tough question as every musician is always trying to tap into themselves and stay inspired while composing. At this early stage of your musical developement I`d just keep writing and like everyone try seeking various sources for your inspiration to come from.

 


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