Petrucci's Rock Discipline: A good start or too advanced?

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by silverabyss, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. jskershaw

    jskershaw SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but a lot of really great modern players cite buying this DVD as the point at which they really saw a difference in their playing. As with everything, take it slowly at first, there's a lot on the DVD to digest.
     
  2. Zender

    Zender Tinkering, please hold.

    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    47
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    TL:DR RD is not "too advanced" but it really does take discipline, and it misses out on basic technique on what to do exactly with your hands. It's tabs, but not which finger goes where, and how to go from string to string. Also, no description of how to mute all over the place.

    That being said.

    RD has some very nice exercises, but it is missing essentials. Take the right-hand string skipping excersise for instance. You need to be muting everyhting you don't want to hear, but RD does not go into any details i nhow to do that. Also, if you look at the video, you see Petrucci "rolling" his ringfinger from the 4th to 5th string in that exercise. But you won't notice this unless you've been shown that technique at least once.
    Years ago, I tried working through it by myself, but gave up. Everything was messy and noisy. Now I have a new teacher, one who actually did show me muting techniques, string rolling, and other stuff. And now RD makes sense I can actually play the examples (albeit slowly).

    RD is something that can really supplement your learning, but it's not a standalone book. Metal-specific I went with Stetina's series (rhythm 1&2, lead 1&2, fretboard mastery, speed mechanics... ). And am currently still working my way through all that. Whilst RD is also on the side, and anything I can find only that tickles my fancy. I'm a huge Steve Morse en John Petrucci fan, and they both made some awesome instruction videos.

    This is next to everything that my teacher gives me, which for the last year has been almost exclusively patterns over scales. III, II, I, IV, III, II, V, IV, III, VI, V, IV, VII, VI, V, VIII, VII, VI For instance, over an A pentatonic minor in the 5th position. I've done alot of these sequences. (2 notes, 3 notes, 4 notes) in all directions, such that now whenever I land on one of the notes of such a scale, I can flow to any other note with a nice flourishing of other notes within the scale or just run op or down in that scale on that position, or shift from one position to another.
    Part one of my lessons with my teacher is this, the second is playing technique, wherein the focus lies with playing as clean as possible, whilst the gain is dimed, and I don't have a noice gate. Trust me, you'll learn to mute ALL THE THINGS. Although it can take me hours to get a sequence silent, it gets easier each time.

    One day I will play "Tumeni notes" they way it should be played. :D

    Side-note, I'm 35... and only started serious playing a few years ago. I've replaced youthful enthousiasm with extreme perseverence, and the ability to play one scale on one position for half an hour without loosing focus whilst excersising. Discipline is on my side. ;)
     
  3. silverabyss

    silverabyss

    Messages:
    3,825
    Likes Received:
    554
    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    Brewster, OH
    FWIW I farted around with a cheap musicyo kramer for 2-3 years as a teen but got waylaid by anime and video games, now I'm 29 basically starting over again without any aspirations other than making a few death metal and death/metalcore cover videos on youtube when(if ever) I "git gud"
     
    Zender likes this.
  4. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon has body parts lying around

    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    480
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    JP’s receding hairline is pretty advanced...
     
    Andrew Lloyd Webber likes this.
  5. Zender

    Zender Tinkering, please hold.

    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    47
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    So is his beard.
     
  6. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    812
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, UK
    Any day now it's going to recede all the way and he can finally reveal that he's just been Kerry King this whole time.
     
    NateFalcon likes this.
  7. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon has body parts lying around

    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    480
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Man, he’d have to REALLY dumb down his playing while being Kerry...

    ...And have a split personality shared with a total dick!
     
    KnightBrolaire likes this.
  8. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon has body parts lying around

    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    480
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Troy Stetina is badass!! Btw...I learned the ‘metal lead guitar’ book, I thought the voice intro’s and song names were corny but I definitely improved my dexterity on scales and whatnot...maybe a good step before Petrucci’s Discipline
     
    Deadpool_25 likes this.
  9. khm

    khm SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    101
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2016
    Location:
    Rotterdam
    I thought Petrucci's Wild Stringdom was pretty useful as well as Troy Stetinas Speed Mechanics for Leads Guitar, I also made sure I rolled off any gain when trying up my faster picking, as it made me concentrate more on precision and technique, then when I whacked the lead channel back on, it was so much clearer and tighter! I have to thank my old man for that idea, when I was a kid all I wanted to learn was heavy metal, but he refused to buy me a distortion pedal until I could play all his favorite hank Marvin and the Shadows tracks!! Apache still haunts my nightmares all these years later!
     
  10. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    547
    Likes Received:
    324
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2017
    @silverabyss , your story sounds somewhat familiar. I can tell you I have a TON of DVDs, books, and e-lessons. Rock Discipline is often recommended and I can see why it's highly respected but I just didn't jive with it (yet).

    For starting out, I like Troy Stetina's stuff (I have Metal Rhythm, Metal Lead, and Fretboard Logic). There's one thing Troy said that I haven't heard anyone else say (although I'm sure others must have). He said (paraphrasing) that you should learn techniques that are right for whatever level you're currently at. That seems pretty obvious but many lesson materials quickly have you learning things you haven't been properly positioned to learn. Often they're somewhat out of context as well which is fine later on, but in the early stages can get boring. For example, practicing chord changes and scales out of context, though having a great deal of value, can get boring. Of course, if you have tons of fun practicing chord changes and scales on their own, do that. :)
     
  11. devastone

    devastone SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    36
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Longmont, CO
    Stetina's stuff is great, definitely sounds like Speed Mechanics is a good first choice. The Lead books are great also (went through them a couple of decades ago).
     
    Deadpool_25 likes this.
  12. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    594
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    A teacher is the best place to start if you can afford lessons.

    Rock discipline is pretty hilarious. I mean the general message (start slow and work up with the metronome) is a good one, but petrucci himself is just so far beyond the skill of a normal human that when he "starts slow" it is still comically fast.

    +1 for Guitar grimoire exercise book and a metronome too.
     
  13. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

    Messages:
    2,223
    Likes Received:
    376
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Rock Discipline is a great resource for exercises. I never actually worked through it all in sequence though. Most exercises I do to keep my picking in shape are either from that or Speed Kills, Michael Angelo Batio's old instructional video. I, ironically, found Speed Kills to be more "musical" than RD. Batio's exercises are scalar runs and sweeping, rather than chromatic runs and exercises purely meant as a finger workout as in RD. Speed Kills also has lots of 3 note per string stuff, which forces you do learn different string switching techniques, whether or not you notice it, solely because you must change strings after both up and downstrokes.

    I, personally, would find 5 or 6 exercises from RD/others and work them consistently. Find ones that focus on different aspects of picking, string changes on up vs down strokes, combinations thereof, string skipping, and 1 note per string stuff. Rather than actually working through it all in order. Don't forget to turn some into endurance challenges, too. Pick a speed on the upper end of moderate and set a timer for 2 or 3 minutes, loop it until the timer is done. Also pick one or two that you can do "burst" exercises to. You'll find that if you pick a < 8 16th note phrase it is not hard to reach 180/190bpm with some consistent practice. This is also a good warm up right when you pick up the guitar (I hate the 1234, 1234 stuff on adjacent strings). Also, ignore advice about gradually increasing BPM. Jump 5-10 BPM if you can handle it. Spend some time at speeds where you feel like you're thiiiiis close to falling off the beat, live there for a good while. You need to internalize the speeds and what it feels like. Picking fast is not like picking slow, neither from a mental or physical standpoint.

    What Rock Discipline, and EVERY other resource is lacking, is in-depth analysis of picking mechanics. Not just exercises that this or that player think are good to work on. Or, if they make mention of it players say things like "you should pick fast like you pick slow" and then proceed to break their own rules when they play examples. It's incredibly frustrating, and has been for me for a very long time. I think that this is because some people naturally gravitate to certain motions, which also happen to be very efficient, and others need very in-depth instruction into those motions. However, the former group doesn't understand why such things don't come naturally to everyone and/or have never actually mechanically examined their own playing. Troy Grady's Cracking the Code videos are the only thing I've found to not be complete nonsense in this respect. The important mechanical aspects are in the first video of the series, and that one is free on youtube (so, no need to pay for the whole thing). They're more of a thing to watch and be aware of when you're trying to play a phrase and to inteneralize the motions so they do start happening naturally, rather than spending lots of time intensely studying it. Like, when you have a run you can't really play, try adjusting your pick slanting, etc.

    This is only for the mechanical aspects of picking technique training though. Not even getting to improvisation, fretboard knowledge, vibrato, etc. However, it all links together to some degree. Rock Discipline, while a great collection of exercises, is not a comprehensive instructional method.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018 at 5:36 PM
    Deadpool_25 and watson503 like this.

Share This Page