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> Increasing Metronome
jstcrsn
post May 19 2010, 03:02 PM
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how do you know when it is time to increase the blasted piece of essential equipment
I know i need to push myself but im struggling with not getting to sloopy
??????????
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NoSkill
post May 19 2010, 03:09 PM
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I had a friend of mine that used to build aerobatic airplanes. He always prided himself on how light he built them. I once asked him, "How do you know when you've built them too light?" He replied, "They come apart in the air."

You'll know by how you feel when you're playing. I turn it up to the point where I can't quite play it cleanly anymore. Then I keep it there until I can. With pieces that have faster, or more difficult parts, I use that part to gauge the speed of the metronome. There is no sense in getting the less difficult parts to speed, if you can't play the harder parts cleanly. How many times have we seen comments like that, from instructors? "Spend more time with the faster runs to clean them up." I think this is a case of speeding up the metronome too quickly. So you can play 90 per cent of the piece at speed and cleanly, but not the more technical 10 per cent?

Just my thoughts.

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jstcrsn
post May 19 2010, 03:13 PM
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my biggest hurddle is ascending scales outside the strings any thoughts
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Gitarrero
post May 19 2010, 03:32 PM
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practice practice practice....
Once you feel comfortable with a certain speed, increase the metronome by 5-10 beats, play the scale a couple of times. If you can do it cleanly, increase the beats again.
I found out that it can also be a good idea to play without a metronome now and then and just let the speed come naturally. I did that for a few days in a row, then practised the same lick with a metronome again and was astonished to see that I could to it 20 beats faster without a problem...


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jstcrsn
post May 19 2010, 03:51 PM
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QUOTE (Gitarrero @ May 19 2010, 03:32 PM) *
practice practice practice....
Once you feel comfortable with a certain speed, increase the metronome by 5-10 beats, play the scale a couple of times. If you can do it cleanly, increase the beats again.
I found out that it can also be a good idea to play without a metronome now and then and just let the speed come naturally. I did that for a few days in a row, then practised the same lick with a metronome again and was astonished to see that I could to it 20 beats faster without a problem...

sometimes i can ,sometimes not
some days im fast, some days im not even close -and this is whats confussing me
don't know how to practice through the slow and sloopy days
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maharzan
post May 19 2010, 04:44 PM
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Ye, Practice efficiently and properly analyzing where you are picking wrongly or how your fingers / right hand are working. Unless you do that, even practicing won't help much. I have at times experienced that even after a month of same lick practice, I am getting worse day by day. You could pickit 80% the first day and after a month you can only 50%. I know this shouldn't be happening but it has esp when I am practicing high speed lessons.

So, yes, its all about practicing properly. smile.gif

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Bogdan Radovic
post May 19 2010, 05:34 PM
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When you can comfortably play on certain tempo and you feel its clean and everything (not sloppy) , go on and push yourself and speed up the metronome. You shouldn't always practice tempos you are comfortable with, rather tackle ones that are not. Slowly, sometimes you have to go in increments by 1 bpm.


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Artemus
post May 20 2010, 11:13 AM
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From the replies that have been posted, it would seem to boil down to efficient practice, self-critical analysis and slow increments in speed. I agree completely with all that's been said. If you want to achieve a good speed, accurately, with the ability to perform at that speed as the norm, the approach has to be slow and you have to be patient.

Asking when to increase the metronome is a valid question, and to be honest, I'm surprised it's not asked more often. However, I think there's more to the question. As mentioned, merely increasing the bpm doesn't mean that the next time you practice you'll be able to take off from the newly achieved speed. Indeed, it sometimes seems that you're going backwards.

I'm no authority on this - I'm also struggling a lot with trying to regain the speed I used to have before I gave up guitar last year. Just recouping the lost speed is hard enough, let alone trying to make improvements. Nevertheless, here are my thoughts on the matter:

It's not about a particular bpm and it's not about knowing when to bump up the speed. Hear me out.. There are quite a few techniques, or rather, practice methods that adopt using a metronome to increase speed and accuracy.
1) The original, tried and tested: play at one speed until it's clean - increase by 2-4bpm and repeat until you start losing the accuracy, then go back a few bpm and repeat the process
2) Blasting - combination of method (1) and pushing the bpm well beyond your limit and just blasting out whatever you can at that speed, concentrating not on hitting every note, but rather the motion and feel of that speed. Then go back to the speed where you were just about having difficulties in method (1) and seeing whether you can push the bpm any further. This should only be tried briefly in my experience but it helps you focus on the goal and reminds your hands what they're after - if movements are too large, if there is excessive tension, or anything else that will impede your speed - it will be more obvious at ludicrous speed than within your comfort zone. Then you can focus practice to honing and adopting the appropriate technique
3) Speed bursts - if it's a lick/scale just take the first two notes at speed. When you can play those two notes at the speed, add the next note and play those three notes at speed. When you can do that, add the next note and play those four notes at speed. Then just carry on in the additive process. This doesn't help with everything, but it can be a lifesaver if you're struggling with a particular lick in methods (1) or (2) that just doesn't seem to come.
4) Play VERY SLOWLY - this is very important, perhaps more so than the previous approaches. When I say slow, I mean S-L-O-W. The goal here isn't speed (obviously), it's accuracy, and believe it or not, speed can be a by-product of accuracy. Aiming for speed before accuracy is, to my mind, putting the cart before the horse. When playing slowly, you have the time to concentrate on everything that's important that you can't focus on simultaneously when you're shredding away at 2 million bpm. Focus on good posture (back, shoulders, arms, legs, wrists, thumb, fingers), relaxation and the correct amount of tension in the right places, synchronisity between fretting and picking/note length, the gaps between notes, the amount of movement being made by each hand, picking angle..etc.
5) Record/analyse - a good practice is to record yourself practicing and then slow it right down so that you can analyse your playing in the same manner as you would in method (4)

If you have the time and dedication, it's useful to keep a practice journal with a list of tempos and things you've noticed about your playing. If you managed, even if only for a split second, to hit a perfect run of notes at speed, try to recall what went through your mind at that moment or what you were thinking (or not thinking).

Lastly, when working on increasing speed and focusing on a specific tempo mark, I don't find it helpful to just use a single value as a gauge of what you can achieve. As has already been mentioned, it's not possible to achieve said tempo everyday because there are lots of factors that can influence our playing.
Try instead to have a tempo RANGE and aim to increase this RANGE. This takes the stress off trying to push one particular speed. Therefore, keep a note of a tempo at which you can achieve everything perfectly, day-in-day-out; a tempo range in which you can play fairly comfortably but have to keep focused; the highest tempo that you've managed to play at reasonably; the highest tempo you've managed to only just keep together; the tempo(s) around which you start missing out notes; and the tempo at which your fingers start to disintegrate and tears start to flow wink.gif

I'd also like to add that talking to supportive people (of which there are plenty here) can keep you motivated and not fall to despair, which can be very easy to do. Also.. take breaks and have FUN!

This post has been edited by Artemus: May 20 2010, 11:21 AM


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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Jun 4 2010, 11:27 PM
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Don't get to concerned with that, believe me. It is better to undervalue your speed then overvalue. Take your time. smile.gif


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zen
post Jun 5 2010, 06:36 AM
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Wow .. awesome advices in this thread

I should read this thread every week to remind myself not to stress out or get obsessed with increasing speed smile.gif




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Todd Simpson
post Jun 5 2010, 09:41 AM
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Some great replies and the guys are right, PRACTICE! It's the key to pretty much everything. Also, I'm teaching alternate picking and speed lessons on Saturdays in the video chat rooms so please do join us. We start at 2:00 E.S.T. and 7:00 PM C.E.T. In the mean time, check out this link for a series of lessons designed to help you work up your speed and precision. 11 lessons so far covering what we have been doing in the vid sessions. You are in the right place! GMC is the best place you could be IMHO to help you grow as a player. The commmunity here is amazing!

LESSON NOTES AND TABLATURE 1-10

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