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Old 09-26-2008, 08:04 PM   #1
stefan1988
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dammit dammit i cant get faster :( playing for months and i still got the same speed

im so freaking frustrated

i have a metronome log that i started on 2/23/2008 and my max speed then was 120 today is 9/26/2008 and im still playing at the same damm speed about 7 months have passed and not even 10bpm increase or anything

i have a guitarpro file that i used the typical 1234 exercise and another one
that goes like this

you hit 000 in between each note 15,000,14,000,12,000,11,000,12,000, kind like this and you do it for all the notes on the bottom

15,14,12,11,12,11,8,7,5,3,2,3,0

so i been doing the same damm thing over and over and over and not progress whatsoever i spend half an hour on the exercises and sometimes 3 hours or more
sometimes even my hand goes numb from doing this all day

here is an old thread that i posted awhile ago
http://ultimate-guitar.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=941501

i been doing the exercise with all kind of increments from 60-120bpm in increases of 1 that leaves my hand numb from picking all the time since then i have changed my approach to increase in 5's from 60-120 in increases of 5 i still hit a barrier at 120

i have read other threads here in hope for an answer as well i check my posture i tried playing standing up,sitting down i still hit that barrier at 120

i have messed with the way i grab the pick
all the motions of my hand come from the wrist
i dont anchor i can lift my hand completely off the guitar and be able to float and pick like that
i try to be relax all the time

i dont know what the hell im doing wrong is there anything else im missing here that im overlooking? does it take more than 7 months for an increase of 5bpm or more?

this has me by the balls all the stuff i want to play is fast like metallica,megadeth,paul gilbert,steve vai,yngwie malsteem,necrophagist and other stuff

im unable to expand my repertoire since all the stuff i want to play is crazy fast i been learning scales since is something that doesnt require speed

what can i do to solve this problem?how should i practice?

any help,tips,advice is appreciated
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:13 PM   #2
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hammer-ons and pull-offs are your friend
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:13 PM   #3
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man...i am the exact same way. i have played the same speed for about a year now. anything above that pretty much sounds like guitar giberish. it has definatly shaped my playing style. pm me dude.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:17 PM   #4
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sounds like your practice routine is your problem...

try a different exercise, for one. you've been playing the same thing for 7 months and hating it... after all this time, it probably sounds wrong to increase the speed because of what you're used to hearing.

try going to a faster tempo but not playing on every beat. then work up to playing every beat or double time, or whatever

consider that the problem may also be in your fretting hand. often i have been cursing my picking hand for any lack of progress on various fast riffs, and then i realize that it sounds clumsy because my fretting hand isn't getting to the next fret at the right time

learn different types of music. and not just because you should. do it because it will teach you different things about timing that will help you understand rhythm better. and also because a break from the norm often fosters sudden growth.

there's no rule against anchoring your pick hand either. some people can play much faster like that.

and lastly, although i'm HOPING that you already do this, make sure to alternate pick! it doubles your speed.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:19 PM   #5
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this helped me but try the finger weights ring things. i think u can get em at musicans friend
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:31 PM   #6
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try a different exercise, for one. you've been playing the same thing for 7 months and hating it... after all this time, it probably sounds wrong to increase the speed because of what you're used to hearing.


i do different exercises all the time but usually this is the one i concentrate the most since i know it so well fingers know it inside out


Quote:
consider that the problem may also be in your fretting hand. often i have been cursing my picking hand for any lack of progress on various fast riffs, and then i realize that it sounds clumsy because my fretting hand isn't getting to the next fret at the right time


i dont think my hammer on's are so slow let me record something and show you some of my playing
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and lastly, although i'm HOPING that you already do this, make sure to alternate pick! it doubles your speed.


yeah 120 is my max with alternate picking
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefan1988
i do different exercises all the time but usually this is the one i concentrate the most since i know it so well fingers know it inside out


You'll improve more if you work more on the exercises that your fingers don't know inside and out more than the ones they do.

Overall, this thread seems like it needs freepower's advice...he's typically pretty good with this kind of stuff...
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:41 AM   #8
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Well to be honest without a video we can't really tell you what's wrong BUT:

If you're topping out at 120 bpm then there's something wrong with your technique. What exactly that is I don't know but the two main culprits tend to be:

1 - Tension - This is a real killer but seeing as how you say you're not playing with any tension then I have my doubts about it.

2 - Economy of Motion - Your movements are likely to be just too big for you to force them any faster, you need to slow down a whole lot and watch freepower's video on correct practice:
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:00 PM   #9
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^ +1

It's got to be a combo of technique and how your practicing. If there's any way you could record a video, I'm confident I (or a number of others on the forums) could help you pinpoint it.

Things/Questions -
1) If you have been practicing the same thing for 7 months, then that's a major reason for stagnation. Your fingers are just doing what they did yesterday instead of learning something new. You've got to mix it up a bit.
2) If you set your metronome to 124, what precisely happens? Is it just an overall "my fingers won't do this" or a specific, consistent error(s) that occurs (like for example your picking and fretting becoming unsyched)? Study really carefully what happens.
3) How far do your left hand fingers come off your fretboard when you are playing? If your pinky is coming up more than an inch, then this is a problem.
4) Try playing for shorter stretches. Based on your earlier post, you play in a long continous loop, with your metronome speeding up as you go, right? This isn't always the best, since you don't have the chance to "release" any badness that is creeping into your playing as you go. Try something more like playing 2 bars worth, then pausing for a few beats, then repeating. It gives you a chance to reset your technique. Of course, eventually you won't need this, but it will give you a way of getting to that point.
5) I'm not convinced that you are not playing with tension. Particularly because of what you mentioned about your hand going numb.

Anyway, post a video so we can help you more specifically.
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:49 PM   #10
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Think about this for a second - why do you care how fast you can play exercises? Speed isn't the be-all and end-all of guitar playing, arguably it's the least important facet of your abilities.

Rather than busting yourself up over a pointless exercise spend more time worrying about actual playing. Chances are you've built this thing up to be so important that there's some kind of mental block going on - you're getting all worked up and frustrated about something irrelevant, and that frustration will lead to tension and screwing up.

Seriously, just forget about it, theres no point wasting your time on things like this when there's music to be made. You've probably got some decent chops, time to relax and start actually using them. Remind yourself WHY you picked up the guitar in the first place, it was to play the music you love so get learning some, don't get all obsessive writing silly numbers down...this is already driving you up the wall and it's only going to get worse, just let it go.
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:39 PM   #11
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it was to play the music you love so get learning some, don't get all obsessive writing silly numbers down...this is already driving you up the wall and it's only going to get worse, just let it go.


you see that's my problem my friend the music i love is too fast for me i do try to play other stuff but i either end never getting the solo because of speed or i end up getting bored of the song since it doesnt inspire me

Quote:
It's got to be a combo of technique and how your practicing. If there's any way you could record a video, I'm confident I (or a number of others on the forums) could help you pinpoint it.


i will try to post a video later on if possible but my camera kind of sucks so i see waht can i do about it
Quote:
2 - Economy of Motion - Your movements are likely to be just too big for you to force them any faster, you need to slow down a whole lot and watch freepower's video on correct practice:


i have seen all of freepower videos something i dont really get is how much economy i should be applying for example if i keep my motions too small my picking gets weak like volume and that sort of thing

if i try to shorten my motions i feel im tensin up for example lets use the example of a pendulum in a clock as an example the energy it carries i have to stopped it so i dont get too far away from the string i dont think i pick with huge motions but i try to stay really close to the string

Quote:
) How far do your left hand fingers come off your fretboard when you are playing? If your pinky is coming up more than an inch, then this is a problem.


i have to get a ruler or something but this is something else that bothers me what about when you do hammer ons and pull offs when you have to raise your finger so you have enough power to make the note sound right if i keep finger to close to fretboard and try to hammer like that it doesnt give me enough room to put enough energy to make it sound nice
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:45 PM   #12
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Learn other things. I used to try to cram as much practice of the song Master of Puppets as I could, playing it "the Metallica way" and downpicking it. I couldn't get past 150 bpm after doing this for months. My hands got too used to it. So I didn't play it for two weeks and went and learn other fast songs. I came back to Master of Puppets and all of a sudden 175 bpm was easy.
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:48 PM   #13
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Learn other things. I used to try to cram as much practice of the song Master of Puppets as I could, playing it "the Metallica way" and downpicking it. I couldn't get past 150 bpm after doing this for months. My hands got too used to it. So I didn't play it for two weeks and went and learn other fast songs. I came back to Master of Puppets and all of a sudden 175 bpm was easy.


im trying that but if the stuff is shred and you learn the stuff slow it just sounds like a bunch of scales thrown together the intensity of the song is lost because of the speed
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:10 PM   #14
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Practice scales.
It's said a lot, but it is really beneficial towards your playing.
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefan1988
im trying that but if the stuff is shred and you learn the stuff slow it just sounds like a bunch of scales thrown together the intensity of the song is lost because of the speed


And do you know how those shredders got their speed? By playing really slowly.
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:50 AM   #16
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i have seen all of freepower videos something i dont really get is how much economy i should be applying for example if i keep my motions too small my picking gets weak like volume and that sort of thing


Yeah, this is where things get tricky. You have to make a small, precise, loud pickstroke. The slower you play, the easier it is to get this (and I mean, one note every 2 seconds slow). You need to apply economy of motion to everything, all the time, but you also need to play with a loud consistent tone. Bear in mind, it doesn't take that much force to preform any guitar technique - if you're trying hard (on a decent electric guitar) you should probably change your technique, not just try harder.
Quote:
if i try to shorten my motions i feel im tensin up for example lets use the example of a pendulum in a clock as an example the energy it carries i have to stopped it so i dont get too far away from the string i dont think i pick with huge motions but i try to stay really close to the string


Thats good. Remember - it takes hundreds of hours of picking practice to make these perfect strokes and speed them up without tensing up. That's something that's just true.

Quote:
i have to get a ruler or something but this is something else that bothers me what about when you do hammer ons and pull offs when you have to raise your finger so you have enough power to make the note sound right if i keep finger to close to fretboard and try to hammer like that it doesnt give me enough room to put enough energy to make it sound nice.


It's good that you pay attention to the sound of your playing, most baby shredders ( ) just concentrate on quantity of notes output, not quality. However, you need to keep the movements small. Put aside a portion of your practice where all you do is attempt to make small, accurate hammerons and pulloffs. It's difficult, but will improve your playing more and faster than just repeating licks the way you play them atm.

Hope that helped.
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:11 AM   #17
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Yeah definately use different exercise. Plus if you hate the particular exercises you are doing you are never going to get anywhere. You need to engross yourself. The problem is almost definately something you are doing wrong. Take your picking down to a very slow speed....like 30bpm or something. Make sure you are playing perfecty and keep it at 30 bpm for say 5 days . Then move up to 50 or so and do the same for like 5 days. If you get to any speed where there is any tension and its not totally simple for you to keep playing...then go slower again. Also try and play the complete exercise say 5 times in a row PERFECT.

Keep working up the metronome like this and when you get to your top speed of say 120 bpm in your case. Go back to 100 bpm, and work up say 2bpm increase making sure everythings perfect until you get to 120 bpm and repeat as neccesary to gain speed. Also, practice things in bursts at the end of your practicing session. This means just play at the highest possible speed trying not too tense. The focus is not on playing perfectly when ding this. More away of letting your brain know that, 'yeah I can actually play that fast'

I have just woke up so I hope these ramblings can be understood lol
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:45 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stefan1988
im trying that but if the stuff is shred and you learn the stuff slow it just sounds like a bunch of scales thrown together the intensity of the song is lost because of the speed

But that's the ONLY way to learn them - you have to perfect something slowly to have any chance of being able to play it at a faster speed.

Also, you don't get faster by playing exercises, you only get faster at exercises by playing exercises - if you want to play a particular song then play it. Imagine if you'd spent the last 7 months working on a song instead of that exercise....
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Old 09-28-2008, 06:14 PM   #19
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Take your picking down to a very slow speed....like 30bpm or something. Make sure you are playing perfecty and keep it at 30 bpm for say 5 days . Then move up to 50 or so and do the same for like 5 days. If you get to any speed where there is any tension and its not totally simple for you to keep playing...then go slower again. Also try and play the complete exercise say 5 times in a row PERFECT.


i will try this see if it works

thanks alot for the advice guys i will try to change my routine a little more and learn other stuff and mess a little more with the economy of motion i let you know in a few months if it has improved
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:27 PM   #20
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put your metronome at 130, try that ,then go back to 124.
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