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> Determining How Fast You Play?
Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 6 2010, 05:56 PM
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Who cares, as long as it is good music biggrin.gif

If you are a fast player it will show in your slowest licks just how good you are. But speed is very good, it's always good to have fast runs and licks at your disposal. There is always a situation where you can pull it off and make it sound good. Of course, the overall playing quality will not depend on that particular lick, it will depend on the sum of all that's being played, how it's being played etc..

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Jun 6 2010, 06:00 PM


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 6 2010, 06:39 PM
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QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ May 19 2010, 04:06 AM) *
By "fast" I was trying to get a personal mathematical metric - I know fast is subjective - it's more of a curiosity about my own speed in terms of bpm. Perhaps you can help me with the math. Let's say I play the following scale up and down to a metrinome set at 120 bpm, with the 4th note landing on each beat, would that be considered playing a scale at 120 bpm? Is there a mathematical equation to apply to just put a number to? In that video of the guy doing 240 bpm of the butterfly thingy, how'd they come up with the 240 bpm is all I was asking.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-1-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-2

groovy.


Hi, I think you're question is perfectly valid and I think I understand what you're trying to ask.

4 notes to 1 click of the metronome.. say it was at 120bpm.. then yes,I would say I was playing 16th notes at 120bpm. If I played that same lick to my limit and say it was somehere like 180bpm.. then I'd say that's how fast I could play, 180bpm.

As you already know, playing 16th note triplets mean we end up with different metronome speeds and I don't know how to sub divide the metronome speeds correctly. For example, if I knew I could play 16th notes at 180bpm, I wouldn't know how to find the corresponding metronome setting to then play triplets (but picking at the same speed). Does anybody else know what I mean and how to work that out ?

But, the way I've come to understand speed, through reading countless testemonies of different players and guitar mags etc.. is this is a good ballpark figure.

16th notes: over 160bpm is getting good. 180bpm -200 is fast. The likes of John Petrucci, Zakk Wylde, Paul Gilbert all have their limit around 200, and just over. That's about as far as most 'normal' people's limit can get. But most of us would be happy with anything in the 185-195 area.

16th note triplets: anything from 130 -150bpm. 140bpm - 150bpm is really killer, but it is possible.. as Muris has shown us :-)

But that's the rough guidelines.. if you're doing 180-200bpm on 16th notes, that would translate at around 130-150bpm on triplets !

I hope that makes some sense ??? sad.gif

Take care

Ben


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Kristian Hyvarin...
post Jun 6 2010, 09:50 PM
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Ben, if you want to turn 16th notes to triplets, you just multiply the speed by 2/3. And vice versa, if you want to know how much is the 16th note tempo for your 16th note triplets, you just multiply the tempo by 3/2.

For example, we have 16th triplets at 120 bpm. We multiply it by 3/2 and get 16th notes at 180 bpm.
And so on and on.

Hope this helped. smile.gif

- Kristian
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Staffy
post Jun 6 2010, 10:15 PM
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I've already commented some in this thread, but I just want to add some thoughts here about speed.
In my opinion (from a improvisers point of view) You have enough speed when You can play in a tempo freely, eg. without pre-defined licks or runs, You should just be able to play what the ear tells You to play without any complications.
For instance, I could probably play some 16'th note triplets in 130 BPM - but then I have to practice the phrase and kind of plan it several bars in advance to be able to use. In 115 BPM, I can play the most I want to, and in 90 BPM I can play anything I want to.

So the conclusion of this is really: Do You want to be a player fast as lightning with pre-defined chops or do You want to be a great improvisor?
Of course there is no sharp line between these ultimates, most players use both approaches.

Just my 2 cents.

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SirJamsalot
post Jun 7 2010, 01:02 AM
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FINALLY - an answer! Thank you!!!!!!
You get the prize!
+10
award!
phew... I was beginning to think that math and the laws of physics no longer apply to music!

cool.gif

CAN WE GET A STICKY ON THIS ANSWER!? lol.



QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jun 6 2010, 10:39 AM) *
Hi, I think you're question is perfectly valid and I think I understand what you're trying to ask.

4 notes to 1 click of the metronome.. say it was at 120bpm.. then yes,I would say I was playing 16th notes at 120bpm. If I played that same lick to my limit and say it was somehere like 180bpm.. then I'd say that's how fast I could play, 180bpm.

As you already know, playing 16th note triplets mean we end up with different metronome speeds and I don't know how to sub divide the metronome speeds correctly. For example, if I knew I could play 16th notes at 180bpm, I wouldn't know how to find the corresponding metronome setting to then play triplets (but picking at the same speed). Does anybody else know what I mean and how to work that out ?

But, the way I've come to understand speed, through reading countless testemonies of different players and guitar mags etc.. is this is a good ballpark figure.

16th notes: over 160bpm is getting good. 180bpm -200 is fast. The likes of John Petrucci, Zakk Wylde, Paul Gilbert all have their limit around 200, and just over. That's about as far as most 'normal' people's limit can get. But most of us would be happy with anything in the 185-195 area.

16th note triplets: anything from 130 -150bpm. 140bpm - 150bpm is really killer, but it is possible.. as Muris has shown us :-)

But that's the rough guidelines.. if you're doing 180-200bpm on 16th notes, that would translate at around 130-150bpm on triplets !

I hope that makes some sense ??? sad.gif

Take care

Ben


This post has been edited by SirJamsalot: Jun 7 2010, 01:04 AM


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SirJamsalot
post Jun 7 2010, 08:21 AM
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QUOTE (Kristian Hyvarinen @ Jun 6 2010, 01:50 PM) *
Ben, if you want to turn 16th notes to triplets, you just multiply the speed by 2/3. And vice versa, if you want to know how much is the 16th note tempo for your 16th note triplets, you just multiply the tempo by 3/2.

For example, we have 16th triplets at 120 bpm. We multiply it by 3/2 and get 16th notes at 180 bpm.
And so on and on.

Hope this helped. smile.gif

- Kristian


Thanks Kristian! I am going to learn this stuff one day!
Christian A.


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 7 2010, 09:13 AM
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QUOTE (Kristian Hyvarinen @ Jun 6 2010, 09:50 PM) *
Ben, if you want to turn 16th notes to triplets, you just multiply the speed by 2/3. And vice versa, if you want to know how much is the 16th note tempo for your 16th note triplets, you just multiply the tempo by 3/2.

For example, we have 16th triplets at 120 bpm. We multiply it by 3/2 and get 16th notes at 180 bpm.
And so on and on.

Hope this helped. smile.gif

- Kristian


Kristian, thank you so much for telling me this... I've always wondered how to work it out ! smile.gif

Best regards,

Ben


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SirJamsalot
post Jun 7 2010, 09:59 AM
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o.k. so I'm catching on, but I want to make sure I have this right. I stink at tabs, so I made a simple audio file with a drum backing set at 160 bpm and then did chromatic scales on 2 strings. Before the end of every bar (I think) I did a total of 8 notes then on the following bar I slid up 1/2 tone and started over.

Is this considered playing at 160bpm? Please don't flame me for going on about this. This is an honest question about understanding what picking at a given bpm sounds like - I understand a little theory - I'm memorizing my Keys and the notes on the staff by sight - I'm just trying to tie what I see on the staff to the metrinome in some sort of concrete - hands on way - I'm not trying to delve into a discussion whether or not speed matters!

Attached File  160bpm.mp3 ( 352.88K ) Number of downloads: 103


Thanks for being patient with me!
Christian A.


QUOTE (jstcrsn @ May 10 2010, 08:29 AM) *
This has been my nemesis-A.P.
so i've developed a three note per string scale-The notes inside the phrase are =16
set your metronome at a gentle pace for you -the click will be every note you play
every fourth note will be a beat-(A different sounding click)
The different sound will be the start of your counting/playing
you will count1-2-3-4 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4
you will be counting 4 but playing three and hearing a click on every note you play
so every thing together has to line up perfectly to restart the phrase
I think this has retrained my ear to hear a perfect timing between each note
Before I would play with a slight fluctuation when playing and it has never been close to perfect until i came up with this
hope it helps
Speed comes with perfection ,but perfection does not come with speed
I also think that i'm only as fast as i play my most difficult peice -cleanly


jstcrsn - sorry I missed this... thread grew faster than I expected - thanks for this! I play with the metrinome (drum machine) regularly so I'm pretty good at sqeezing notes in, I'm just terrible at theory is all - I can tell you I have my metrinome set at blah blah - but I had no idea how fast that is in terms of notes played huh.gif So I'm trying to get my little pea brain wrapped around the concept is all. At this point, I've pretty much embarrassed myself so I figure why not go all the way and be the class moron so anyone else who doesn't know won't have the suffer pangs of embarrassment of asking since I did it here!

Christian A.

This post has been edited by SirJamsalot: Jun 7 2010, 10:01 AM


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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Jun 7 2010, 02:12 PM
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@SirJamsalot.
I wanted to say that we cant' proclaim 4-tones-per-string at 200 as general speed, because it's easiest pattern. Same person can hardly play pentatonic 2-notes-per-string pattern at 200.
It is best to take piece that combines all picking styles and take it as reference point.
Chain is strong as its weakest link! smile.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 7 2010, 02:44 PM
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QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ Jun 7 2010, 09:59 AM) *
o.k. so I'm catching on, but I want to make sure I have this right. I stink at tabs, so I made a simple audio file with a drum backing set at 160 bpm and then did chromatic scales on 2 strings. Before the end of every bar (I think) I did a total of 8 notes then on the following bar I slid up 1/2 tone and started over.

Is this considered playing at 160bpm? Please don't flame me for going on about this. This is an honest question about understanding what picking at a given bpm sounds like - I understand a little theory - I'm memorizing my Keys and the notes on the staff by sight - I'm just trying to tie what I see on the staff to the metrinome in some sort of concrete - hands on way - I'm not trying to delve into a discussion whether or not speed matters!

Attached File  160bpm.mp3 ( 352.88K ) Number of downloads: 103


Thanks for being patient with me!
Christian A.




jstcrsn - sorry I missed this... thread grew faster than I expected - thanks for this! I play with the metrinome (drum machine) regularly so I'm pretty good at sqeezing notes in, I'm just terrible at theory is all - I can tell you I have my metrinome set at blah blah - but I had no idea how fast that is in terms of notes played huh.gif So I'm trying to get my little pea brain wrapped around the concept is all. At this point, I've pretty much embarrassed myself so I figure why not go all the way and be the class moron so anyone else who doesn't know won't have the suffer pangs of embarrassment of asking since I did it here!

Christian A.


Hi Christian,

To my ear, yes.. you're playing 16th notes at 160bpm. That's the way I, and every guitar mag I've ever read, would accept it. If you're playing 4 notes to every click.. that's generally accepted as the bpm. ( Of course you could also half the bpm from 160 to 80, but still be playing sixteenth notes.. and the click would occur every 8 notes then.. but people generally don't use that as the true bpm. )

The drum machine threw me off there as I was expecting a metronome, haha... the only difference is because it's an actual beat, the snare hit occurs on the 2nd beat, rather than hearing a metronome click on the 1st beat. But it makes no difference, it's still 160bpm... so yeah, you're getting there I think ! Hope we've been able to help in one way or another smile.gif

Ben


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SirJamsalot
post Jun 7 2010, 04:43 PM
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QUOTE (Vasilije Vukmirovic @ Jun 7 2010, 06:12 AM) *
@SirJamsalot.
I wanted to say that we cant' proclaim 4-tones-per-string at 200 as general speed, because it's easiest pattern. Same person can hardly play pentatonic 2-notes-per-string pattern at 200.
It is best to take piece that combines all picking styles and take it as reference point.
Chain is strong as its weakest link! smile.gif


understood - thanks. All l was asking was what does it sound like to the ear. It's more of a theory question.

grooovy,
Christian A.

QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jun 7 2010, 06:44 AM) *
Hi Christian,

To my ear, yes.. you're playing 16th notes at 160bpm. That's the way I, and every guitar mag I've ever read, would accept it. If you're playing 4 notes to every click.. that's generally accepted as the bpm. ( Of course you could also half the bpm from 160 to 80, but still be playing sixteenth notes.. and the click would occur every 8 notes then.. but people generally don't use that as the true bpm. )

The drum machine threw me off there as I was expecting a metronome, haha... the only difference is because it's an actual beat, the snare hit occurs on the 2nd beat, rather than hearing a metronome click on the 1st beat. But it makes no difference, it's still 160bpm... so yeah, you're getting there I think ! Hope we've been able to help in one way or another smile.gif

Ben


O.k - I understand it now. Thanks everyone for your input. I can now put this info under my belt of understanding.

Cheers!
Christian A.


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