All my life (ok, most of my life at least) I have played guitar, wishing that I could crest a plateau that has evaded me. Alternate picking, one of the foundations of shredding on guitar, has been a skill I struggled with.
Of course I tried often. A lot of exercises. Training videos by Al di Meola, Paul Gilbert, Rusty Cooley all bought, watched and attempted. All failed.
Life intervened, I got a busy career, and my practicing waned. What was a three hours a day passion (practicing and playing) in College, turned in to an hour every other month, if I was lucky.
Add in 25 years to the equation, and it was bleak.
Then as I posted a while back, I had a breakthrough. Strict alternate picking just “clicked” and the speed that I chased in a misspent youth was there.
That was my electric guitar with a good crunchy tone. Today, on my nylon string acoustic, and a thin pick, BAM, it just worked again. Shit. Not quite Al di Meola smooth, but fluid, fast, and now clean.
Damn. Too bad that I now have pretty serious arthritis in my left thumb, so I can barely play for a half hour without several days of agony.
Curse you music gods.