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Does not being able to shred bother you?


I used to be a shredder. Then I got into jazz and discovered what real shredding is.

speed without chord changes is just scalar masturbation.
Though I am not a jazz guy, I have an admiration for jazz players and their knowledge of theory. It always impresses me.

Jon C

Silver Supporting Member
Not at all. Everyone has different ability and strengths.

Mine isn’t that and that’s not really what I want to or need to play to enjoy it and consider it a success. :YinYang

I know shredders who don’t have a feel for certain styles, that’s ok, too.


If you want to shred you have to practice a lot. Hours of practice needed will depend on a blend of natural ability and efficiency of practice methods.

Honestly, it’s about the same story with anything that requires skill. Get a metronome and use your time more wisely.


Best compliment I ever received was from a keyboardist who did a lot of studio work when he wasn't touring with major acts. He often said: "I like playing with you, you're the only guitar player I know who can play slow"

boo radley

Not being able to shred doesn't bother me in the slightest. It's of absolutely zero concern.

I like to hear fast playing sometimes (faster than I can manage), but mostly it's just tedious. It's as boring and incomprehensible as someone talking extremely fast.
If what they're saying is interesting, then it's just a little annoying that it's going by too fast to follow.
If what they're saying is BS anyway - like most shredding I've heard is - then who cares?

I guess I can see the appeal if you're the sort of person who is wowed by circus tricks, or excited by athletics. (Watching people run fast? What's that all about? :huh :confused)
Much of the world, present and past, is impressed by athletics, so your reply seems intentionally disingenuous.

Even if you don't like, or care for, "sports," there is a beauty and courage in the countless hours of dedication and mental discipline required to excel and push boundaries of human performance and endurance.

While it's not always to my musical taste, rock shredding is similar; no one just achieves that without significant effort and desire. I admire that -- I also admire bluegrass flat-pickers who step up on the first stage of festivals. Or am blown away by Keith Jarrett or Art Tatum on the piano.

Anyone who has played guitar for a bit knows exactly what it takes to increase speed to the level where it impresses. Why would anyone mock that?


I used to, but not anymore. I focus on my rhythm playing, and any leads will be simply and melodic, but with feel. However, I do hate seeing videos of children or young teens shredding - that's just not fair!


Platinum Supporting Member
I was totally expecting this thread to be about a new herbal supplement that will help me shred.
If taken and you cannot stop shredding after 8 hours call your doctor.


Gold Supporting Member
Not as much as it bothers me to hear shredding done badly. I wish I could take a Valium a few hours before every trip to GC.

Just kidding...well, mostly.

Shredding isn't particularly of interest to me, but I when I hear it done right I'm envious of the technical mastery involved. In general, when I hear a good player, regardless of genre, I wish I could play better than I do.


I sometimes practice to build up speed, mostly just to broaden my playing ability. Then I listen to Steve Vai and I realize how bad it sounds when it's all theory and technique but no song.... .twiddly, twiddly, twiddly, squeal... .. then repeat


I used to be a shredder. Then I got into jazz and discovered what real shredding is.

speed without chord changes is just scalar masturbation.
Yea, I'm not quite sure what a shredder is. I can, and do, play fast on some stuff. A fast country 2 beat for one. Some jazz guys rip but there is changes there too. Lot's of other stuff where I may play some fast lines, but never considered myself a shredder. Which is kind of funny, the rip part of my online name came from a fake stage name (we all had them, they were supposed to be funny, ha ha) Rip Shreads. :)


I believe some are fixated on the connotations of the term, Shred.
The fundamental is gaining efficiency and control.
It takes work to gain that comfort.
The rub: don't let the work develop into a workout pattern that gets into your music.


I have a love/hate relationship with shredding/playing fast.
Some years I’m totally into the whole shred thing and others I just completely abandon it.
I put in the work when I was younger so my hands still have that ‘speed’ in them, just gotta grind for a bit to get it out.


Senior Member
I can't shred, and I have no guilt or regret about it. Lots of different types and skill levels of players out there. If I can make music that people like to listen to... If I see people tapping their feet or fingers when I play... If I have fun playing guitar... Those are the things that matter to me.

If it was my life's ambition to shred, that would be a whole different story.


Silver Supporting Member
I'm one of those guys. I can play with feeling, and I have good tone and dynamic control, but I suck at playing fast. It's the bane of my existence. I sort of think that I got good at the other stuff because I can't play fast, as though it was an overcompensation, if that makes sense. I feel as though I'm the guy at the gym that has a good looking physique but can't lift any weight. Haha. If you're one of those players, or if you WERE one of those players, and got fast and can now shred, please share. I'd love some inspiration for how to move forward and get out of my rut.

I really am trying to get faster, but the alternate picking is not my strong suit. I started another thread where I asked better players than me how to improve at speed, and there are some awesome replies in that one. This thread is mostly to see how other guitarists with a similar skillset feel about being a good guitarists, but not being fast. Does it bother you not being able to shred? It really bothers me. It's like there is this universe of music that you want to access, but your stupid fingers and brain won't sync and it's just incredibly frustrating.

Anyways, not trying to bum any other players out. I'm honestly looking for ways forward as a player, and maybe if you feel similarly to me, we can get some inspiration for how to improve. Cheers, fellow guitarists.

Haha! Shredding bothers me! Playing fast like Bukavoc is a goal, but I'm sure Dave Gilmour hasn't lost any sleep over not being able to shred. Playing with feeling and dynamics is harder to learn than "shredding" IMHO.


It frustrates me sometimes from the point of view that there's some stuff I can't really do anymore. Too much stretching with my fretting hand pinky and it locks up and that half of my hand gets pretty uncomfortable. Hence I avoid doing it, and much of the music I like and play these days doesn't really call for it anyway. I remember Django and Iommi and carry on. A couple of players here on TGP are similarly inspirational too.

Similar deal with the other hand. I used to hold the pick more like how you make the 'ok' sign, during which I learned to 'shred'. After my right arm and hand getting smashed up I now hold my hand more like a fist when playing. Some things are trickier. Les Paul being in a car crash and having them reset his arm so he could play makes me chuckle. I know the feeling.

Funny how the term 'shred' triggers some folks anyway. Resort to slagging of other musicians and styles of music. People are weird.


Oh, to actually answer the question: Yes, it bothers me a little which is why I keep working on it and getting better. My original inspiration to really learn how to play was Jason Becker's "Altitudes" and I will be able to play it one day.

I don't ever expect to be playing Shawn Lane tunes, but I do expect to get into the ballpark of, say, Joe Satriani in the next ~5 years.

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