I've been playing for 6.5 years, and my goal for the last 3 has been to advance my picking technique to the level of Petrucci et al, but I only started really practicing and working on technique in July, when I started to devote 4+ hours per day to practice. I've seen steady improvement since then, and now I can comfortably alternate pick 16ths at ~120bpm (after starting ~75-80). My long-term goal as of right now is to be able to play 16ths somewhere around 200, but I've been focusing on much smaller/easier short-term goals. So, for those of you who can shred, how long did it take you to learn accuracy and precision at high speeds and how much time did/do you practice every day? I've been amazed at how much I've been able to accomplish in the last few months but I'm trying to gauge how far along I'll be in, say, a year from now.