This question is not restricted to just Chris, I just wanted to direct the question to him so he knows I'm asking for his input, everybody is welcome to jump in with their input, especially if you have a similiar interest. Also, the more guitars you've played, the more valuable your input will be. I'm planning on hopefully taking some lessons from Chris, I emailed him this question but he didn't respond so hopefully he'll respond here. I'm trying to prepare myself for his lessons, and there's a few things I'd like to have addressed first so that I can make the most of the lessons with as little downtime as possible. First, I'm trying to narrow down my choices for a new guitar. I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to neck shapes, etc. I'm somewhat surprised by the number of people I offend with this question when I post it on other forums, but I think there's a better chance that you guys will know what I'm getting at. I'm looking for everybody's personal opinion on what guitar they feel has the fastest neck and why, i.e. the best guitar for shred, guitar that is the easiest to play, most comfortable guitar for the fretting hand, etc. I know everybody is built differently but I'll sift through everybody's responses myself to get a consensus. Before anybody thinks about posting a typical response like "Buckethead can shred on a Les Paul," keep in mind that Buckethead is an alien with alien fingers and I am a guy with relatively small hands, and while I can play ok on a Les Paul, I found that I can shred considerably better on the Vigier Supra that I played last year at a music expo (the point at which my interest in shredding resumed and the point at which I decided I will look specifically for the guitar that is geared towards technical lead playing). In the last year or so I've narrowed down some attributes (ones that I'm sure will be obvious to a lot of you, but like I said, I'm relatively ignorant on the subject) that are standards for shred lead playing, like a flat radius and extremely low action, jumbo frets, thin neck, wide fingerboard, and some other things that help as well like an unfinished neck, ebony fingerboard, etc. I'm pretty clueless when it comes to neck shapes, I can tell you that I don't like Jacksons at all. Right now the gold standard for me is that Vigier Supra (I don't know how the other Vigiers stack up to it), but alot of people say Ibanez is the way to go, but there are so many Ibanez guitars out there that I have no clue where to begin. I'm not in a position (or location) where I can go out and try every guitar out there. I was thinking about just posting a thread asking what the best Ibanez neck is, and ask for help narrowing down the best Ibanez guitars so I can just seek those out and try them. Some people really like the John Petrucci Ibanez models (but which one is best?) and others prefer his Ernie Ball musicman sig guitar. A few people also mentioned Charvel and the Parker Fly. Anyway, please post your opinions, and try to elaborate on why you think your choice is best. I have some other concerns as well, like the fact that I'm getting pain in the ring finger of my fretting hand (and a little bit of pain in my pinky as well) when I get to a certain speed. I can play fluidly at fast tempos, it just hurts. Sometimes it forces me to put down the guitar for 2-3 days. Should I break in between sessions, or is it ok to keep going with the pain? Is there a general movement or position that I'm doing incorrectly that is resulting in the pain? I'm wondering if getting a guitar that is easier for me to play (e.g. thinner neck) will help alleviate the pain as well. Maybe I just need a better practice regimine.