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> Developing Speed, just not working
shellshock1911
post Dec 2 2007, 09:51 PM
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I have been working on building up speed for a while now, like 3 hours a day I practice alternate picking speed and sweeping speed exercises.

But there has been literally no improvement at all in a long time, to the point where I almost just want to give up.

I use a metronome always, so no question about that. I have perfect techinque in both hands I think (thumb on back of neck, 90 degree wrist, 90 degree thumb, straight fingers, right-hand fist picking method, etc.)

So I don't understand what is going wrong, I know it takes a ton of practice but I figured if I practice correctly 3 hours a day for like 4 months I would progress a lot. However there is very little.

I practice all 3 major and minor arpeggio shapes as well as diminished

I can do...

2-string arpeggioes (16th notes) at 200 (don't know why or how)

3-string arpeggioes (16th notes) at 126.

4-string arp. (16th notes) at 100

3-string arp. (sixtuplets) at 110

5-string arp (16th notes) at 100

C-Major scale sixtuplets at 72

Chromatic scale at 130


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Bogdan Radovic
post Dec 2 2007, 10:21 PM
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Well there surly must be some improvement...Do you do a standard speed practice routine - gradually raise the bar 2-4 bmp at a time and force your self to the limit and than go back to comfortable speed ? Every practice gets results sooner or later, even in fields not easily visible to you..Like being more confident while playing...playing with less effort etc..The worst thing you could do is give up! But , doing some rest can do you good..Just don't play for few days and then go back to usual routine..it may help..Just keep rocking man! And those numbers up there look pretty impressive to me...


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shellshock1911
post Dec 2 2007, 10:26 PM
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QUOTE (Bogdan @ Dec 2 2007, 10:21 PM) *
Well there surly must be some improvement...Do you do a standard speed practice routine - gradually raise the bar 2-4 bmp at a time and force your self to the limit and than go back to comfortable speed ? Every practice gets results sooner or later, even in fields not easily visible to you..Like being more confident while playing...playing with less effort etc..The worst thing you could do is give up! But , doing some rest can do you good..Just don't play for few days and then go back to usual routine..it may help..Just keep rocking man! And those numbers up there look pretty impressive to me...


Speaking of that, I guess it wouldn't be a bad idea to slow down a bit, because usually it seems like I am practicing too fast. And I will try taking a break from speed exercises for a few days.

My goal is somewhere around 4-string arpeggioes at 152, like in Hangar 18, after that I really don't care to get much faster sweeping wise.


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Bogdan Radovic
post Dec 2 2007, 10:59 PM
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Yeah you should try that definitely.Try to hit the speed which is just on your threshold and than backup a little..Than after while you'll break that threshold..Don't force yourself to play too fast and be uncomfortable with it..
Its great to have a goal and I'm sure you'll get to it if you try hard..And than it pays off..
Making a break in speed exercises after doing them awhile is cool...Just let your mind rest for a day or two wink.gif

Cheers mate !


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David.C.Bond
post Dec 2 2007, 11:10 PM
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QUOTE (shellshock1911 @ Dec 2 2007, 09:26 PM) *
My goal is somewhere around 4-string arpeggioes at 152, like in Hangar 18, after that I really don't care to get much faster sweeping wise.


Yes but once you get there, you won't be satisfied, and will want to be even better! wink.gif
As Bogdan said those numbers are far from slow, but if you are seriously concerned about it, there might be a problem with your picking technique. The movements should be as minimal as possible and your hand should be totally relaxed. Get yourself a Stylus Pick to develop your alternate picking, you'll see the results very quickly I promise!
I might be making assumptions (forgive me if I am), but you seem very focused on speed, this is good but can sometimes be a hindrance. Leave off the speed workout for a few days and work on your expressiveness (vibrato, bends, phrasing etc), and come back to the speed practicing with a fresh mind and it should work better.
Hope that helps
David


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 2 2007, 11:22 PM
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Tips for playing fast (and these are mandatory):

1. Your hands must be TOTALLY relaxed. If they are not, then do so.
2. You must STAY slow for months in order to play fast.
3. Practise WHOLE notes at start to get the proper technique and sound.

Cheers smile.gif


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Pavel
post Dec 3 2007, 12:10 AM
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I just jumped off the boat you're currently in wink.gif I didn't touch my guitar for 2 weeks, and the day i picked it up it was so GOOD! No loss in technique, but actually a huge motivation and new wave of energy. Just let your guitar off for a couple of days. It WILL help you to regenerate (sounds stupid but it works). You see i had to let it go for 2 weeks laugh.gif laugh.gif to finally get the energy again wink.gif


Any video for us? Maybe we can find something there, ha? A lot of GMC-ers found their mistakes by posting a video of themselves playing: Andrew, Leedbreak, Mattacuk to name a few smile.gif And today they are improving.

Don't get discouraged, just take some rest and hit it again in a couple of days!


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Hisham Al-Sanea
post Dec 3 2007, 12:26 AM
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try to practice without effects like delay or reverb just only distorsion
or overdrive .you are actualy will find your reall tempo speed for your hands try it for 2...3 weeks and get back to use your delay or reverb you will see the differents and do it again with any new practicing.


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shellshock1911
post Dec 3 2007, 12:51 AM
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When you say hands relaxed, this is where I always don't get it. Like how to do relax your hands? Do just mean keep a loose grip on the pick and neck? Or like what? Any tips on how to fully relax your hands? I really can't tell if I am or not.

Any, if I take a break, should I break from EVERYTHING guitar or just the physical playing. I have a ton of ear-training, theory books, and stuff that I could do, but the only thing I have to do is play guitar and learn stuff about it all day, so giving it up completely is pretty much not an option. biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by shellshock1911: Dec 3 2007, 12:59 AM


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nickmarx12345678
post Dec 3 2007, 01:07 AM
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QUOTE (shellshock1911 @ Dec 2 2007, 05:51 PM) *
When you say hands relaxed, this is where I always don't get it. Like how to do relax your hands? Do just mean keep a loose grip on the pick and neck? Or like what? Any tips on how to fully relax your hands? I really can't tell if I am or not.

Any, if I take a break, should I break from EVERYTHING guitar or just the physical playing. I have a ton of ear-training, theory books, and stuff that I could do, but the only thing I have to do is play guitar and learn stuff about it all day, so giving it up completely is pretty much not an option. biggrin.gif

Well hopefully I can help you understand about the relaxed hands thing. At first its something you have to actaully think about while you are playing so what I do is just think "is my hand tense at all?". By tense I dont mean holding your pick so loosly it could fall about but its the difference between holding something like say a full coffee mug or a paper clip. Also its wise to remember to relax your left hand also
Hope that helps


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Bogdan Radovic
post Dec 3 2007, 02:17 AM
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Thats it , you are relaxed when you don't feel a tension in your hands..Muscles are relaxed..Try to play something really easy and than a fast speed drill and you'll see the difference..It takes a lot of practice to be able to do fast stuff without tension but that unlocks a lot to you...And I would recommend giving everything up (which involves playing)..That way your mind and your muscles get to relax and you'll see the difference in energy and everything when you pickup the guitar..Its just few days.. wink.gif


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Chris Evans
post Dec 3 2007, 11:05 AM
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Some good advice from Bogdan, playing the piece slow till it is spot on and firmly memorised, then notch up the speed a little then back again to slower speeds, I usually alternate once memorised, something like 2 takes at really slow then two takes at next speed then two takes at normal speed for the lesson then back again to the really slow backing, builds up stamina too, I also usually combine a couple of other lessons in this routine as well to keep it interesting smile.gif


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mattacuk
post Dec 3 2007, 07:53 PM
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QUOTE (Pavel @ Dec 2 2007, 11:10 PM) *
I just jumped off the boat you're currently in wink.gif I didn't touch my guitar for 2 weeks, and the day i picked it up it was so GOOD! No loss in technique, but actually a huge motivation and new wave of energy. Just let your guitar off for a couple of days. It WILL help you to regenerate (sounds stupid but it works). You see i had to let it go for 2 weeks laugh.gif laugh.gif to finally get the energy again wink.gif
Any video for us? Maybe we can find something there, ha? A lot of GMC-ers found their mistakes by posting a video of themselves playing: Andrew, Leedbreak, Mattacuk to name a few smile.gif And today they are improving.

Don't get discouraged, just take some rest and hit it again in a couple of days!


+ 1 with all of that !!! smile.gif

And yes, its well worth posting a video and letting the instructors and crew take a look at your techniques! smile.gif


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steve25
post Dec 3 2007, 08:22 PM
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Have you tried doing bursts before? Speed bursts i mean, where lets say you can do something quite quick like this for example:

E----------15-14-12-15-14-12-15-14-12-etc
B------------------------------------------------
G------------------------------------------------

So you can do that at a high speed constantly over and over without messing up, but you can't seem to raise the bpm. Have you tried doing speed bursts of this

E-----15-14-12-15-14-12-15STOP
B------------------------------------
G------------------------------------

Play the burst about 10bpm more. Eventually you've be able to add another onto it so instead of just 2 15-14-12s you'll be able to do 3, then 4, then 5... catching my drift? It's helped me so far maybe it will you as well. That is of course just an example you can create your own. I used to do this because my pinky wasn't quick enough, now it's better
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trueblue450
post Dec 6 2007, 10:41 PM
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another thing... if you don't believe you can reach those speeds, then you wont. I think 60% of guitar is mental/confidence while the other 40% is tech/practice. You know you can get to those speeds because your are a guitar god.... !! atleast thats what i like to think rolleyes.gif


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leedbreak
post Dec 7 2007, 03:33 PM
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QUOTE (shellshock1911 @ Dec 2 2007, 02:51 PM) *
But there has been literally no improvement at all in a long time, to the point where I almost just want to give up.



Lets just say, I am in there with you, dude. Many areas of my playing just do not want to improve not matter how many times I play it slow.

But this brings up a story I really like to tell. You see, I have a great guitar buddy that I only get to play around every couple months or so. Twice he has said, “ %^(&%, dude you are playing so much better each time I see you, it is amazing” You see, I do see this improvement because I hear myself everyday.

Brilliant music playing is done by the subconscious mind. Each time you play something right your subconscious mind can learn from it. Play it wrong and your subconscious mind loses ground. So, it is not as much as playing fast, as it is playing right.

We will not notice the little improvements in our own playing. So we get disappointed too easily and think it is not working.

Good luck my friend, and we ain’t quitting nothing. biggrin.gif


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David.C.Bond
post Dec 7 2007, 04:30 PM
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Aside from what I mentioned earlier, if you feel your motivation is waining, go out and get some inspiration. Go to some gigs of bands you enjoy, study their technique and compare it to yours.
Also try to get videos (theres loads on youtube) of guitarists you like, and when you're getting frustrated with practice, stick the videos on and they'll fuel you up with positivity and inspiration i promise!
Basically just hang in there, we all go through periods when we feel we are making no progress but it more a confidence thing. Progress can be slow that it feels like it isn't happening, but if you compare where you are now with 12 months ago, I'm sure you've improved a lot!
David


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