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> Bleez's Bootcamp, Torture! Pain! And Glory!
Todd Simpson
post Nov 6 2012, 03:45 AM
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The Practice Gods may be displeased. Try this, put the guitar down for at least two days. Three if possible. After a LOOOOONNNGGGG series of steady practice, you may actually be "Over Training". Sometimes, ( not often but sometimes) putting the axe down and letting your fingers rest and catchup can result in impressive gains. This is especially true if you've really been leaning in to it. Take a short break and come back. Let me know if you see a marked increase in overall playing.

It will be harder than you think to put it down once you are in "The Flow". It's nearly driven me mad at points. But it's often helped.

Has anything else changed BTW? Angle of play, sitting side saddle, etc?

Todd

QUOTE (bleez @ Nov 5 2012, 05:29 PM) *
hey sarge, bit of a weird thing happening huh.gif since I last posted a vid of lesson 2 at 230 bpm I was really encouraged and bumped up my sessions to 40-50 mins 6 times per week, where I concentrated mainly on lesson 2, with a little lesson 3 thrown in. But now I am struggling to keep in time at 230bpm! dunno, I just lose it more often than not. kinda sucks rolleyes.gif
d'ya think I should stick to lower speeds or should I keep pushing to get back to 230?
also, is it totally weird to suddenly struggle at a speed you used to get..... even though Ive totally been working on it constantly?



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bleez
post Nov 6 2012, 10:03 AM
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damn those practice gods! maybe some sort of ritual sacrifice is the way forward smile.gif
The only thing I notice that has changed is that it has gotten inside my mind a bit and when I approach 230bpm Im probably already tensing up a bit.
I 'planned' to be on 240 by now rolleyes.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 8 2012, 03:30 AM
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QUOTE (bleez @ Nov 6 2012, 04:03 AM) *
damn those practice gods! maybe some sort of ritual sacrifice is the way forward smile.gif
The only thing I notice that has changed is that it has gotten inside my mind a bit and when I approach 230bpm Im probably already tensing up a bit.
I 'planned' to be on 240 by now rolleyes.gif


Gotcha smile.gif Focus on relaxing and not tensing more than speeding up. The speed will happen by itself when you are playing in a precise and relaxed fashion. Your body will just adapt. But if you push it to early, it will just tense up and slow you down. Be patience and methodical. Go up by 1 BPM, not 5 or 10 smile.gif

Todd



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bleez
post Dec 5 2012, 01:38 AM
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Hey Todd smile.gif
dude, Im totally still working on this issue of losing my speed mojo.
I never really liked the standard metronome I had in reaper so I ditched it and used a drum loop instead, I then went right back to 210 BPM and just played it week in week out, I didnt even think about increasing the speed.
I done that until I felt I owned it at 210 then I began moving up the speed. I got to about 220 and 'something' is going out of time rolleyes.gif
220 used to be a comfortable speed for me and I cant figure out if its my right or left hand which is messing up ( maybe its both! ) anyway, you mentioned in another thread that instructors have a much better chance of diagnosing an issue if they see the problem rather than having it described so I took a quick vid of it tonight at 220 bpm.

I seem to do okay on the E string but when I move to the A string.... mad.gif sometimes I seem to initially have it in time then it just goes out.



I can go back to the slower speeds, thats not a problem but I just wondered if you noticed something that Im doing really wrong?


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Todd Simpson
post Dec 5 2012, 07:10 AM
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Soldier, it looks like the issue is about timing/movement on the left hand. Try this.

1.)Pick a fret, stay there. Start slow and work up speed without moving the left hand. See where your "Roof" is where you can still play in time, controlled, synched. Without moving.
2.)Switch the drum track (just temporarily) to snare or kick only so that the syncopation doesn't jack up your timing.

Once you get a good idea of where your synch/timing is without moving. Try moving again, but instead of doing the lick twice, then moving, do it four times. It lets your hand focus on the picking/synch and not the moving.

Let's focus on the moving by itself. Once you do the above, let's switch to doing the lick only ONCE then moving one fret. Slow the metronome down for this as it's all about the left hand moving. So first finger, pinky, then move, where as before we were doing that twice, then moving. Make sense?

This will isolate each of the things this lesson teaches so that once you have each well in hand, you can combine them again and play the lick as before, but it will just seem a LOT easier smile.gif

Let me know how this goes!

Todd


QUOTE (bleez @ Dec 4 2012, 07:38 PM) *
Hey Todd smile.gif
dude, Im totally still working on this issue of losing my speed mojo.
I never really liked the standard metronome I had in reaper so I ditched it and used a drum loop instead, I then went right back to 210 BPM and just played it week in week out, I didnt even think about increasing the speed.
I done that until I felt I owned it at 210 then I began moving up the speed. I got to about 220 and 'something' is going out of time rolleyes.gif
220 used to be a comfortable speed for me and I cant figure out if its my right or left hand which is messing up ( maybe its both! ) anyway, you mentioned in another thread that instructors have a much better chance of diagnosing an issue if they see the problem rather than having it described so I took a quick vid of it tonight at 220 bpm.

I seem to do okay on the E string but when I move to the A string.... mad.gif sometimes I seem to initially have it in time then it just goes out.



I can go back to the slower speeds, thats not a problem but I just wondered if you noticed something that Im doing really wrong?



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bleez
post Dec 5 2012, 08:19 PM
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brilliant, thanks Todd. that makes perfect sense........ Im on it cool.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Dec 10 2012, 06:28 AM
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BOOT CAMP SOLDIERS!!!! Front and Center! THE LESSONS/MISSION in our WIKI have temporarily deserted!!!

The WIKI is having something akin to "Battle Fatigue" it seems and all of my Wiki Lesson/Missions have simply vanished. The team/crew is working on it and can hopefully wrestle the data back in to place. Until then, we are going to dig in to the old lesson thread and pull the lessons out one by one like pulling meat from the bone!!

Here is a shortcut link to the main LESSON THREAD!!!



QUOTE (bleez @ Dec 5 2012, 02:19 PM) *
brilliant, thanks Todd. that makes perfect sense........ Im on it cool.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Dec 10 2012, 02:21 PM
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Good news! The MISSION ROOM (The Wiki Lessons) Are BACK!! Training can resume smile.gif


Todd


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bleez
post Mar 4 2013, 12:15 AM
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Hey Cap'n

Thought I'd drop in with an update incase you thought I went AWOL!
to recap - I had been doing quite well with lesson 2 then suddenly lost my mojo and just could not play at the tempos I had been nailing, I took your advice on how to proceed and Ive basically just been working away at it consistently and not getting too stressed and frustrated when I mess up!
Im more or less back to my previous fastest tempo with lesson 2 BUT I think Im a bit more solid at it smile.gif I'd like to work a little more on it so I can post a vid and beat my previous tempo.
At the same time Ive also been working on lesson 3 and managed to get the speed up to 150 this weekend!! I thought it was worth firing up the webcam to check it out.


I'll keep working on lessons 2 & 3 but I was wondering about general progression, would you recommend maybe just doing 1 lesson at a time and getting it up to warp speed then moving to the next lesson or should I be working on a few lessons at the same time?



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Todd Simpson
post Mar 5 2013, 12:44 AM
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Well played smile.gif You've got the fingering and the picking down cold!!!! The only bit that may need a bit more time at the firing range is probably the hardest bit and that's the timing. Your playing in correct "time", that's solid. The timing I'm speaking is the link between pick strike and metronome count. Your hand will want to play these as triplets since they are in fact triplets smile.gif Groups of three notes, but it's written this way to force the hand to adapt to playing triples as if it were all happening on one string.

Imagine playing this link as a descending pattern using only one string as a series of notes each played exactly one a given click. One way to give your ear a bit of an edge on this is to use a single drum noise, either the snare or kick, that way the 3/4 lick (triplets) doesn't have to fight that drum pattern (4/4 time).

increase the metronome speed until you are striking once per click/snare. The goal is to force the hand to play as mechanically as possible. This will serve you well when playing long runs that need to fit in a finite time space.

I'lll record a quick demo vid and put it up smile.gif


As for suggestions on practice, whatever works best for you is the usual answer but Id say if possible, keep working on ones that you've passed, even as a warmup, work on the ones you've yet to pass a bit more than the passed ones, and start at least getting familiar with the next one on deck. Each one builds on the next so they are all connected smile.gif

Todd

QUOTE (bleez @ Mar 3 2013, 06:15 PM) *
Hey Cap'n

Thought I'd drop in with an update incase you thought I went AWOL!
to recap - I had been doing quite well with lesson 2 then suddenly lost my mojo and just could not play at the tempos I had been nailing, I took your advice on how to proceed and Ive basically just been working away at it consistently and not getting too stressed and frustrated when I mess up!
Im more or less back to my previous fastest tempo with lesson 2 BUT I think Im a bit more solid at it smile.gif I'd like to work a little more on it so I can post a vid and beat my previous tempo.
At the same time Ive also been working on lesson 3 and managed to get the speed up to 150 this weekend!! I thought it was worth firing up the webcam to check it out.


I'll keep working on lessons 2 & 3 but I was wondering about general progression, would you recommend maybe just doing 1 lesson at a time and getting it up to warp speed then moving to the next lesson or should I be working on a few lessons at the same time?


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Mar 5 2013, 01:25 AM


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bleez
post Mar 5 2013, 09:14 AM
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thanks for the vid, Todd. I can see how that would help me. I'll change my drum track to that tonight and give it a blast, cheers biggrin.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 5 2013, 11:09 PM
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Glad the vid helped smile.gif You are coming along really well, keep pushing it!!!!


Todd


QUOTE (bleez @ Mar 5 2013, 03:14 AM) *
thanks for the vid, Todd. I can see how that would help me. I'll change my drum track to that tonight and give it a blast, cheers biggrin.gif



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bleez
post Mar 6 2013, 12:08 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Mar 5 2013, 10:09 PM) *
You are coming along really well, keep pushing it!!!!


Todd


thanks dude biggrin.gif

I tried it out tonight, does this sound about right?



I really dont know what kind of timing I had going on before, It sounds so different this way! Ive got quite a lot to learn about timings smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 13 2013, 06:16 AM
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Sorry to have missed this, shoot me a PM when you put something up if you can smile.gif That way I'll know to check. Let's give this a listen!

QUOTE (bleez @ Mar 5 2013, 07:08 PM) *
thanks dude biggrin.gif

I tried it out tonight, does this sound about right?



I really dont know what kind of timing I had going on before, It sounds so different this way! Ive got quite a lot to learn about timings smile.gif



QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Mar 13 2013, 01:13 AM) *
Sorry to have missed this, shoot me a PM when you put something up if you can smile.gif That way I'll know to check.

Just gave it a listen and NICE!!!!! BIG improvement. Very stable/clean/even picking and playing. Now that you have built the foundation, it's time to PUSH!!!

1.)See if you can stay clean on this and increase your speed a bit.

2.)Do one Pass (slow as needed) using the DOUBLE PICK technique of picking each note twice.

I can see some real potential in your playing here and thus I"m ramping up your BOOTCAMP to RAMBO!!!!

Todd



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bleez
post Mar 14 2013, 03:11 PM
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hey todd
Ive been blasting away on lesson 3 this last week and thought I'd shoot you another quick vid just to make sure Im still on the correct timing.

this is at 150bpm with the kick drum playing as you suggested -




I also went back to watch your original lesson video and tried to replicate your metronome sound so I could play along with you at the lower speeds. I thought I would practice the lessons both ways because Ive noticed on other things Im playing that my picking has gotten a lot better ( ie faster! ) lately and its all down to doing these exercises.

this is also at 150bpm, how are we sounding for timing?



btw, I recorded these before reading your last post which is why Ive not used the Double Picking you suggested, I've started using that now though.


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 14 2013, 11:44 PM
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HOLY FREAKING WOW!!!!

Soldier, if you have gotten this much better this quickly using anything I've shared with you then I've got to say I'm thrilled. Of course, instruction is USELESS unless you put wads and wads and wads of BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS on the line to work through the pain and get better!! You have clearly spent time at the firing range. Scratch that, you have MOVED IN TO THE FIRING RANGE AND TAKEN OVER.

That second vid in particular. BINGO!!!!!

What all has changed since the first attempt?

BTW, these are working for me, so let me know if these are your final MISSION VIDEOS. Or if you plan any more takes on this mission.

Todd


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bleez
post Mar 15 2013, 12:54 AM
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seriously dude, thank you for that biggrin.gif

You're right though, There has been a few things which have changed since my last attempt, basically Ive been off work this last week, with some annual leave, and have been practising pretty much ALL day EVERY day smile.gif like, proper all day, its been awesome!
Also, I went back to really listen to where you were picking the notes in relation to your metronome clicks and thought about how you said it should be played 'mechanically' and with that in mind I just seemed to hear how you were playing it much clearer inside my head. Playing it with each note on the kick helped me understand it a bit better as well.
finally, something happened with my right hand, it just seems to have got a little bit more synchronised lately. Ive been working on hand sync stuff a lot and it must have just clicked a little bit with me.... I dunno!

Dude, if you are happy with those as final mission vids so am I smile.gif
I'll keep lesson 3 in the arsenal for warm ups ect as its a super cool sequence to play but Im totally keen to start on lesson 4!


QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Mar 14 2013, 10:44 PM) *
HOLY FREAKING WOW!!!!

Soldier, if you have gotten this much better this quickly using anything I've shared with you then I've got to say I'm thrilled. Of course, instruction is USELESS unless you put wads and wads and wads of BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS on the line to work through the pain and get better!! You have clearly spent time at the firing range. Scratch that, you have MOVED IN TO THE FIRING RANGE AND TAKEN OVER.

That second vid in particular. BINGO!!!!!

What all has changed since the first attempt?

BTW, these are working for me, so let me know if these are your final MISSION VIDEOS. Or if you plan any more takes on this mission.

Todd



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Todd Simpson
post Mar 16 2013, 04:02 AM
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Well earned Soldier!! I can tell you have putting the time in. There really is, honest to God, no substitute for the "woodshedding", you gotta lock yourself up, stay focused and work through the suck to get to the good. This is a key moment in your journey as a player. Being able to listen and absorb a lick and spending time living with it is key.

You have made serious progress in this week of hardcore practice and it portends well for your future playing. Finding the time to spend with your instrument, day in and day out, and the discipline to stay focused and work on the bits that seem like a pain, especially at first, is the main thing standing between every one who wishes they could play, and everyone who can. Being able to play an instrument is something you just gotta earn. You can't buy it, fake it, steal it, you gotta pay for it in practice, sweat, and frustration. It really is worth the time. I'm thrilled to see you making such good progress. Keep it up!!!

On to the debrief!!

Soldier, you just

!!!!!!LEVELED UP!!!!!!!


MEDAL OF HONOR

1.)HUGE jump in skillz
2.)Tight hand synch
3.)Tight beat synch

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QUOTE (bleez @ Mar 14 2013, 07:54 PM) *
seriously dude, thank you for that biggrin.gif

You're right though, There has been a few things which have changed since my last attempt, basically Ive been off work this last week, with some annual leave, and have been practising pretty much ALL day EVERY day smile.gif like, proper all day, its been awesome!


Also, I went back to really listen to where you were picking the notes in relation to your metronome clicks and thought about how you said it should be played 'mechanically' and with that in mind I just seemed to hear how you were playing it much clearer inside my head. Playing it with each note on the kick helped me understand it a bit better as well.
finally, something happened with my right hand, it just seems to have got a little bit more synchronised lately. Ive been working on hand sync stuff a lot and it must have just clicked a little bit with me.... I dunno!

Dude, if you are happy with those as final mission vids so am I smile.gif
I'll keep lesson 3 in the arsenal for warm ups ect as its a super cool sequence to play but Im totally keen to start on lesson 4!



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bleez
post Apr 27 2013, 07:00 PM
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hey dude smile.gif

working on lesson 4 and thought it best to check in. I wasnt sure of the best metronome style to use as the more 'normal' sounding one seemed to throw me off a bit so I used the single drum hit you suggested in an earlier lesson.

This is at 200bpm. Hopefully Ive got the timing right!

cheers todd.



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Todd Simpson
post May 3 2013, 06:33 AM
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Some Darn Fine Fighting There Soldier!!!!!!! Your left hand is moving smooth and right hand is nice and precise. I must point out though that you may be at risk for developing some not so great Fight Habbits. Eventually, once you are a Master Sarge of Shred, these bits and habbits won't matter as much. But they are pretty important here at start.

Forgive me Soldier if I start to repeat myself, but let's talk briefly about proper FIGHTING TECHNIQUE.

TIP 1: HOW TO SIT LIKE A NINJA


I sit in what is called "Classical Position", which is just how Classical Guitar players sit. With the guitar in between both legs, left foot raised on something (anything) neck about 45 degree angle. As you mentioned, it will GREATLY increase your reach. What you are doing is playing "Side Saddle" which is certainly valid, many players do it. However, until you master many of the techniques in bootcamp, I"d suggest adjusting to classical to take advantage of the reach, and arch of the hand. It changes the entire mechanics of the hand and playing angle. It may seem odd but it can really pay off.

Once you have mastered most of this stuff, you can put the guitar pretty much anywhere and still play whatever you want. But that usually takes several years. During the learning phase, I'd strongly suggest classical position. Here is a youtube vid talking about good posture/position on Classical Guitar and it applies quite readily to electric. I started sitting this way when I took some classical lessons and it really enhanced my playing.

START ABOUT 1:23 IN TO THE VIDEO



1.)HOW TO GRIP LIKE A NINJA

Also, check out this vid about "Classical Hand Position" VS "Rock Hand Position". The Rock Position, (with thumb near or over the top of the neck) is used often for bending since it allows greater leverage. The classical position is often used in running scales and various shred bits since it lends itself to greater finger reach and precision. For MISSION 4 try to stay in Classical Hand Position.

QUOTE (bleez @ Apr 27 2013, 02:00 PM) *
Combine these bits with the work you've already done and you should see your KILL RATIO soar!!


SARGE
Todd




hey dude smile.gif

working on lesson 4 and thought it best to check in. I wasnt sure of the best metronome style to use as the more 'normal' sounding one seemed to throw me off a bit so I used the single drum hit you suggested in an earlier lesson.

This is at 200bpm. Hopefully Ive got the timing right!

cheers todd.



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