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> Right Hand Picking And Metronome Questions
BMcG
post Nov 4 2008, 06:04 AM
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Hi Guys,

Just wanted to throw a couple questions out to the group to see what kind of thoughts you guys had.

I've been playing for a quite a while now (25 years!), but have never put in the time to get really good right hand picking technique. I've started working hard on it now. I know the fretboard very well from playing so long, and am comfortable with 3 note per string scales (all modes of major scales, all modes of melodic minor), and all the regular CAGED scale inversions, pentatonics, etc.

1-My first question is, with my fretboard knowledge, should I still practice alternate picking with the more simple exercise patterns that are shown in a lot of GMC lessons, or should I apply that practice to scales I already know, scale patterns (scales in intervals, etc.)?

2-When practicing with a metronome, it's not often discussed how to vary the tempo during the practice session. For example say yesterday I did a particular exercise at top speed of 100 BPM after working up from slower tempos. So, today what tempo should I start that exercise at, and how many minutes should I repeat that exercise at each tempo moving towards my new goal for today?

For me I find that starting each exercise very slow (maybe 60 bpm) and doing 2 minutes of an exercise before moving the tempo up 5 BPM and then repeating works well, but it's extremely time consuming by the time I get up over 100 or so (I'm not very fast yet!). I realize this practice must be time consuming to be effective, but I'm asking if this is the MOST effective use of the time, since it definitely decreases the number of individual exercises I can do.

I'm wondering if anyone has better suggestions.

Thanks so much!
Bryan
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Jose Mena
post Nov 4 2008, 01:39 PM
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It depends on what is comfortable to you.

For example, when improvising I set the metronome to about 150 bpm and start playing over a scale 16th notes.

When practicing speed at 16th note triplets I start at around 112 bpm and increase like this.

112 bpm
120 bpm
130 bpm
140 bpm

Then for fun I go up to 150 bpm and 160 bpm, just to exercise a little at very hard speeds.

I am also not very patient so I increase 8 bpm at the time, but you should find your comfortable speed to start, and increase the amount that feels different to you, 8 seems like a good number for me because I really feel the speed has been changed, with only a few bpm It almost feels the same.

Hope it helps


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Nighthawk1
post Nov 4 2008, 01:59 PM
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You should also say what you mean by playing 100bpm because bpm is not really a measure for speed. So which subdivision of notes you play?Because as you know it's a huge difference if you play 16th notes or 16 notes triplets by 100bmp...just that we know what level you are talking about biggrin.gif
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 4 2008, 02:46 PM
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QUOTE
1-My first question is, with my fretboard knowledge, should I still practice alternate picking with the more simple exercise patterns that are shown in a lot of GMC lessons, or should I apply that practice to scales I already know, scale patterns (scales in intervals, etc.)?


You should do both actually IMO, you should practice whatever you feel like it, examples, lessons, patterns, and see how that relates to your fretboard knowledge in general. Fretboard knowledge just helps you to find your way on the fretboard, and relate positions with the sound that you wanna play in your mind.

QUOTE
2-When practicing with a metronome, it's not often discussed how to vary the tempo during the practice session. For example say yesterday I did a particular exercise at top speed of 100 BPM after working up from slower tempos. So, today what tempo should I start that exercise at, and how many minutes should I repeat that exercise at each tempo moving towards my new goal for today?


What I do when I first start with something from scratch is start from whole notes on 60bpm, 70, 80 , 90, 100, 110 bpm, then move to half notes, 60-110, then move to quarter 60-110, then eights, 60-90, then eight triplets 60-90, then quarter 60-90, then quarter triplets 60- whatever i get to. Suppose I get to 80bpm quarter triplets, next time I will start from half notes instead of whole notes, or maybe quarter notes if I really really feel comfortable there. The main thing is to start with something where you achieve best control and precision and build from there. There's no need to rush thing really, speed is acquired fastest through precise and focused practice, no matter on what tempo you begin with, important thing is not to rush it.
QUOTE
For me I find that starting each exercise very slow (maybe 60 bpm) and doing 2 minutes of an exercise before moving the tempo up 5 BPM and then repeating works well, but it's extremely time consuming by the time I get up over 100 or so (I'm not very fast yet!). I realize this practice must be time consuming to be effective, but I'm asking if this is the MOST effective use of the time, since it definitely decreases the number of individual exercises I can do.

well it is important to start slow because of one thing - precision. You should on speed that enables you to accomplish full control of the notes, picking hand, muting, pick everything evenly, and minimize movements. Since you must focus on all these things, going slow is the only way. And don't worry about time consuming process, in time you will need less and less time to practice stuff as your techniques expand, so just keep rockin and be patient.




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BMcG
post Nov 4 2008, 02:56 PM
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Hi Again Guys,

Thanks so much for your responses. I really appreciate it! Nighthawk, thanks for pointing out that I left some information out of my original post. I was talking about 16th notes at 100 BPM. Like I said, I'm just getting started!

Thanks again!
Bryan
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Dejan Farkas
post Nov 5 2008, 12:11 AM
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1. I suggest for left hand something that will not distract your attention from right hand, so it should be something that you can do easy.. so if you are comfortable with scales and still can focus on right hand, why not smile.gif

2. IMO it is the best to start slowly, so something that you can play without errors.. and then increase tempo gradually, and when you reach a tempo that you have problems with (for example 80 bpm), decrease (to 70) and spend some time in that tempo, and then move back (to 80) and see if better smile.gif


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Muris Varajic
post Nov 5 2008, 01:38 AM
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You could continue with exercises you've been practiced so far
plus eventually to add few more patterns/scale shapes/fingerings.
I was always weak with time so I really can't suggest how long you should practice,
the more the better,that was always the case. smile.gif


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BMcG
post Nov 5 2008, 03:30 PM
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Thanks so much guys! All of your advice is very valuable. _Bryan
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