I remember buying Racer X's "Street Lethal" in my teen shred years and just being blown away buy the lightning speed alternate picking.
Now, older and wiser, I've had many years to practice and come up with licks and routines to build speed and shred confidence or "shredfidence" as I like to call it. I chose the Locrian scale for this lick as I feel the scale shape is pretty pleasant to play and you can focus most of your energy on your picking hand. Anyway let's look at the lick (see diagram below).
The thing that most guitar players will have trouble in the early stages of shred, or just trying to increase speed is that the picking hand will often slow down on string changes (leaving a lame and inconstant gap). This exercise gives you multiple chances to drill this string changing concept as well as shredding in an enjoyable triplety manner. Be sure to practice with a click/metronome. And please be patient. It's counter productive to play faster and attempt things outside your capabilities. I mean look at Shaq, he was great doing a small acting part in "Freddy Got Fingered" but I think the film "Kazaam" was beyond his capabilities. It was too much acting (a 94 minute film) and I also feel the genie character was too much for him to handle. So make sure you're really comfortable with the lick before you do any drastic leaps in BPM whilst practicing.
Have fun with this one guys. Happy shredding!
By Chris Zoupa
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