Andy James Q & A

Welcome to the Andy James Guitar Academy Q&A Page! There is where you get to post your questions directly to Andy and periodically Andy will check in to view the recent questions and record video responses which will be uploaded here!



  • igor

    Reply Reply July 31, 2015

    Hi Andy,
    Is there any chance you could do a lesson on Ice 9 solo by Joe Satriani. There is an interesting scale there and legato ideas (n the first part). Thank you

  • Nick

    Reply Reply July 31, 2015

    Hi Andy,

    Congratulations on your new bands first release – very good! Will you be doing video/tab lessons for this album?

    many thanks

  • Nick

    Reply Reply August 5, 2015

    Testing Testing 1…2….3

  • Jonathan

    Reply Reply August 5, 2015

    Hi Andy,

    I’m having trouble doing a part in Lucifers Tango at 1:02 where you have to play fret 12 through 3 strings, I can’t seem to be able to make it clean! Any tips? Also how would I make the string skip tapping section cleaner in Angel of Darkness at 1:49, open strings ring out for me.


  • Mustafa

    Reply Reply August 30, 2015

    Hello Andy,

    So here is what I can’t understand, I tried to connect phrase 2 and phrase 4 of recent lessons with some a few added variations and I am not sure if i was able to go above 100bpm. Because the moment I try to do that my alternate picking gets messed up. Two questions from this are:

    1) Why does it happen? Does it require more rigorous practice or is something wrong with my technique? Note: I have been practising the first 5 alternate picking patterns

    2) Even though you tell us about your approach and ideas and to be able to play them why does it seem hard to execute the same idea over any where on the fret board? At times I feel like just an exercise guy, how do I overcome this hurdle?

    Note: I have been practising the first 5 alternate picking patterns since day 1 and I face the same problem as mentioned above with respect to increasing speed and getting a messed up alternate picking.

  • Jakob

    Reply Reply August 31, 2015

    Hi Andy,

    when do you start your picking runs with an upstroke and when with an downstroke?
    Is there a rule or is it just feeling?


  • Andreas

    Reply Reply August 31, 2015

    Hi Andy,

    congrats to the WS album and it is great to see you share the breakdown for some of the songs. Would be great to get transcription and lessons for “Butterfly”.

    Any solo album planned?

    Keep it up!

  • Mark

    Reply Reply September 1, 2015

    Hi Andy,

    Very similar question as Mustafa’s. Is it necessary to move the alternate picking motion from the wrist up to the forearm/elbow to increase speed for tempos above 120bpm? Or is it just hours and days of repetition and sacrifice? Also, what do you think of economy picking as part of a picking strategy to increase speed and economy of motion?

  • Mustafa

    Reply Reply September 1, 2015

    Hey Andy,

    Ok so yesterday we got lessons on sweep picking and here are my concerns with respect to it. I watched your lessons when you were in Lick Library and I started sweep picking directly from 3 note per string. So far, I am good in it but as soon I want to add a fourth note instead of being a part of that sweep pick I kinda pick it up individually. What can I do, technically, to overcome this problem?

    Secondly, when I sweep pick instead of just moving simply up and down like a paint brush, I move sort of diagonally, kinda like these symbols “\” and “/”. Is it the right track when sweeping?

  • Fabrizio

    Reply Reply September 2, 2015

    Hi Andy, i’m a beginner and i find your course really really impressive
    i would know if there is a box of the minor penatonic do you prefer to build your solo.
    And if you have any tips to improve the speed of the finger to do the drill and other things (along with hard training 🙂 )


  • Rob Wise

    Reply Reply September 18, 2015

    I’ve noticed you like to use Gruv Gear fret wraps when in studio settings. While I try to play as cleanly as possible, when using high gain amps I still notice a significant difference when I put one on in a way that mutes the strings (as opposed to just putting it behind the nut). Is it okay to become reliant on this thing? Or will it screw me over when I need to remove it for songs that require playing open strings?

  • Emmanuel Chan

    Reply Reply October 1, 2015

    I just joined and wanted to say HI Andy.

    And lately I have been trying to pick faster and harder like I’m working out. I feel like I’m working my muscles. Is that normal? Can I approach it like bodybuilding training? Do you do bodybuilding training? Is that why you look so muscular? How tall are you? What is your weight?

    Do I push beyond the lactic acid ache and try to build the endurance? My picking speed is not even that fast. Left hand can’t move that fast either.

    When I first began I felt like I could not do it because my co-ordination between 2 hands was not in sync. Now they are in sync but I can’t move my left hand fast enough. I think I can play clean chromatic 16th notes at around 160 for a while but the speed drops after less than a minute.

    Thank you Andy James,

  • Damian

    Reply Reply November 19, 2015

    Hey Andy i just biught a premium membership i would like to miprove my technique and play my favourite songs which you’ve created where should i start ?

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