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> The Art Of Practicing...
Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 30 2013, 08:40 PM
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Hi guys. These days I have been reading again a book that has been my bible during my learning process. This book is "Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitarists" by Troy Stetina. I'm a big fan of his methods and he has influenced me a lot in both my playing and my teaching.

One of my favorite sections is the part where he shares a method for practicing. He lists 5 techniques for practicing: 1. Isolate the difficulty -2. Create Variations - 3.Transition Time (between notes) - 4.Dynamics - 5.Practice in bursts.

Did you know about these techniques? How is your approach to learn a lesson or song?


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Cosmin Lupu
post Mar 31 2013, 03:20 PM
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Good call Gabe! I am all for isolating difficult parts and insisting on them, plus developing various exercises which would take the whole idea to the next level smile.gif

Tell me man, I am curious which is the latest lick that needed a lot of work from you?


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sammetal92
post Mar 31 2013, 04:33 PM
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I have that book too, Gab! Its a really great approach to speed building, but its not for people who get frustrated easily, or who just want to get to shredding speeds overnight, in my opinion smile.gif

I like that approach to practice really much, and another approach I like is by Tom Hess. He states:

QUOTE
1. Determine your maximum playing speed for a technique and then, calculate your respective percentages.
2. Practice at 30%-25% of your Max speed for 5 consecutive sessions.
3. Practice at 50% of your Max speed for 3 consecutive sessions.
4. Practice at 60%-65% of your Max speed for 3 consecutive sessions.
5. Practice at 80% of your Max speed for 5 consecutive sessions.
6. Practice at 90% of your Max speed for 7-10 consecutive sessions.
7. Practice at 100% for 7-10 sessions.
8. Re-evaluate your max speed.
9. When comfortable do 3 practice sessions rotating:
• Session 1 = 60%
• Session 2 = 80%
• Session 3 = 90%
10. After each session play at 100% for a few minutes.
11. Measure your new speed, adjust metronome speeds accordingly.


This post has been edited by sammetal92: Mar 31 2013, 04:34 PM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 1 2013, 03:10 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Mar 31 2013, 11:20 AM) *
Good call Gabe! I am all for isolating difficult parts and insisting on them, plus developing various exercises which would take the whole idea to the next level smile.gif

Tell me man, I am curious which is the latest lick that needed a lot of work from you?


Yesterday I rediscovered "Scene Two: I. Overture 1928". I didn't relearn the whole thing but I learnt the difficult licks again. There are some really cool Alternate picking licks there. smile.gif

What about you?


QUOTE (sammetal92 @ Mar 31 2013, 12:33 PM) *
I have that book too, Gab! Its a really great approach to speed building, but its not for people who get frustrated easily, or who just want to get to shredding speeds overnight, in my opinion smile.gif

I like that approach to practice really much, and another approach I like is by Tom Hess. He states:


Interesting approach Sam! Thanks for sharing!


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Cosmin Lupu
post Apr 1 2013, 07:37 AM
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Hmmmm, come to think of it, a few of the licks in Steve Vai's 'Tender Surrender' - because of the awkward timing and interpretation, they felt really strange at that point and they still do - I kind of take them on now and then, just to see how my senses have evolved tongue.gif In comparison with 'For the love of God' for instance where everything is pretty much just practice away, in 'Tender Surrender' things are not that approachable..


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 1 2013, 03:35 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Apr 1 2013, 03:37 AM) *
Hmmmm, come to think of it, a few of the licks in Steve Vai's 'Tender Surrender' - because of the awkward timing and interpretation, they felt really strange at that point and they still do - I kind of take them on now and then, just to see how my senses have evolved tongue.gif In comparison with 'For the love of God' for instance where everything is pretty much just practice away, in 'Tender Surrender' things are not that approachable..


yeah, dynamics are very important in that song. It's awesome how the song and Steve's playing keeps on growing until the end.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Apr 2 2013, 08:53 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Apr 1 2013, 02:35 PM) *
yeah, dynamics are very important in that song. It's awesome how the song and Steve's playing keeps on growing until the end.


Yeah man, you know, timing seems so tricky for some of the licks - I really think that this song is all about true feeling and you can't really emulate it that well, unless you are him laugh.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 2 2013, 02:17 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Apr 2 2013, 04:53 AM) *
Yeah man, you know, timing seems so tricky for some of the licks - I really think that this song is all about true feeling and you can't really emulate it that well, unless you are him laugh.gif


yes, I remember reading Steve words in "Passion & Warfare" songbook that says that he couldn't play two times the same thing in the same way, at least talking about some parts of that album. So.. if he can't, who could do it? biggrin.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Apr 3 2013, 08:12 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Apr 2 2013, 01:17 PM) *
yes, I remember reading Steve words in "Passion & Warfare" songbook that says that he couldn't play two times the same thing in the same way, at least talking about some parts of that album. So.. if he can't, who could do it? biggrin.gif


I remember learning 'Tender Surrender' back in 2006 and mainly using my ear alongside an explanatory movie, by Guthrie Govan - it was the first year I've ever seen and heard him and I was blown away from the very first time.

Anyway, I learned the piece without truly understanding what's going on in there - now I watch some videos and I find it weird that I didn't take the time to really understand things - especially the rhythmic connection between the groove and the melodies. It resulted with some of the licks being played in my own manner, rather than his. I tend to take this as me being superficial, but some ppl say that it's better like this rather than trying to match his exact playing.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 3 2013, 03:28 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Apr 3 2013, 04:12 AM) *
I remember learning 'Tender Surrender' back in 2006 and mainly using my ear alongside an explanatory movie, by Guthrie Govan - it was the first year I've ever seen and heard him and I was blown away from the very first time.

Anyway, I learned the piece without truly understanding what's going on in there - now I watch some videos and I find it weird that I didn't take the time to really understand things - especially the rhythmic connection between the groove and the melodies. It resulted with some of the licks being played in my own manner, rather than his. I tend to take this as me being superficial, but some ppl say that it's better like this rather than trying to match his exact playing.



yes, I definitely agree! Adding your own personality to the piece is more interesting and truth than emulating another guitar playing. I did something similar with For the love of god and The animal, talking about Vai.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Apr 4 2013, 08:27 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Apr 3 2013, 02:28 PM) *
yes, I definitely agree! Adding your own personality to the piece is more interesting and truth than emulating another guitar playing. I did something similar with For the love of god and The animal, talking about Vai.


Very nice! I like 'The Animal' a lot biggrin.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 4 2013, 03:26 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Apr 4 2013, 04:27 AM) *
Very nice! I like 'The Animal' a lot biggrin.gif



yeah, I bought a book called "Steve Vai Guitar Style & Techniques" that included song's transcription, scale and chord progressions analysis, technique explanations and backing tracks (extended). It is a very useful and inspiring book. "The Animal" was my favorite backing track. I remember that using a combination of Pentatonic & Dorian worked so nice over i.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Apr 5 2013, 08:02 AM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Apr 4 2013, 02:26 PM) *
yeah, I bought a book called "Steve Vai Guitar Style & Techniques" that included song's transcription, scale and chord progressions analysis, technique explanations and backing tracks (extended). It is a very useful and inspiring book. "The Animal" was my favorite backing track. I remember that using a combination of Pentatonic & Dorian worked so nice over i.


Nice! I used this:



And I also have these two (My mom is a big Steve Vai fan and whenever she travel abroad, she came home with guitar books or dvds with Steve's songs, as back in the day she knew I would go crazy for them laugh.gif )





There are no backing tracks included in my versions but the music scores are original and full smile.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 5 2013, 04:28 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Apr 5 2013, 04:02 AM) *
Nice! I used this:



And I also have these two (My mom is a big Steve Vai fan and whenever she travel abroad, she came home with guitar books or dvds with Steve's songs, as back in the day she knew I would go crazy for them laugh.gif )





There are no backing tracks included in my versions but the music scores are original and full smile.gif



Cool! I also have "Passion & Warfare" original sheet music. This one doesn't include backing tracks. I bought it when I traveled to USA with my family at the age of 17.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Apr 6 2013, 12:40 PM
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Great mate! Somehow all those weird notation were pretty much a back off for me in that time - both tabs and classical notation and since there were no audio examples, I felt like 'Oh man, how the hell am I going to understand this??'


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Apr 6 2013, 03:08 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Apr 6 2013, 08:40 AM) *
Great mate! Somehow all those weird notation were pretty much a back off for me in that time - both tabs and classical notation and since there were no audio examples, I felt like 'Oh man, how the hell am I going to understand this??'


hahaha yeah, the addition of audio and backing tracks is a great feature.


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