#1
Hi

For the past few months i've been concentrating on trying to get my speed up. I know theres probably hundreds of threads on this but i was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to get faster.

The problem i have at the moment is that i choose a fast lick or solo or scale pattern from a song, and just play it along with with a metrenome, getting faster and faster until i can play at full speed. I can play most things i want to like that, but it takes a long time to build up the muscle memory, and the annoying thing is that i am really fast at the thing i practice, but i'm not faster at everything else. If i carry on like this, i'm going to have to pre-practice everything i want to play fast for ages, or is this what your supposed to do? I'm not looking for an easy way out, but to good guitarists have to play a lick for weeks to get fast at it, or is there a way to get their general speed up so they can play something fast after a few hours practice?


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#3
Quote by Freepower
Read through the stuff in my sig. Especially the "collected wisdom" link.


Thanks i read that and its very helpfull, but it doesn't say anything about the getting 'faster in general' thing i'm talking about. Don't get me wrong i the stuff you said about starting slow and getting the technique down is very important, and i do do (lol dodo) that but will there come a point where everything speeds up, and not just the lick i practice for weeks?
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#4
If you wanna improvise at a faster tempo you'll need to start slow and eventually you'll get faster.

It took me a year of improvising slowing to reach high speed. It might not have taken so long if i wasn't busy studying and practicing other things...

So improvise everyday for one hour while taking breaks and also maintaining a healthy diet of music theory and riffs/licks/songs.

edit/// and get enough sleep. Don't deprive yourself of sleep, learn what you can and sleep on it. Sleeping reinforces what you've learned. SLEEP!!!
*reported*... twice in one reply!


OH NOES!!! Theowy is scawY!!!
Last edited by allislost at Jan 22, 2009,
#5
I think its just a case of getting your technique down - if you can do that at slow speeds you'll naturally find you can play faster generally
#6
hey dude, i got the right answer for you, which took me long time to really understand:

SPEED CAN NOT BE TRAINED

train you accuracy, try to build a perfect technique, play always at a speed that lets you play flawlessly.

speed will come in time, cause "speed is a byproduct of accuracy"
#7
So you want to become fast at everything by practising less than everything?
Call me Batman.
#8
at first, force yourself to play fast as in do it even if you know you can't, then get used to it for a week then begin playing slow and accurate, then you'll get to shred fast and neat...
#9
Quote by J.A.M
So you want to become fast at everything by practising less than everything?


haha well not exactly. What i meant was that i only become fast at the thing i practice, but when it comes to something new, im back to square 1. I'm looking to be fast at improvisation as well as pre-learned licks.
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#10
Quote by nugiboy
haha well not exactly. What i meant was that i only become fast at the thing i practice, but when it comes to something new, im back to square 1. I'm looking to be fast at improvisation as well as pre-learned licks.

I don't know what kinda stuff you practise, but varying your fingerings will definately help, so that your fingers get use to lots of different combinations.

That will help to improve your improv speed in the long run.

Take a lick, or a run, if you learned it ascending, then learn it descending, and mix up the order of the notes by changing your fingerings.

...and remember to practice and a perfect speed, cuz that will equal perfect playing.
#11
I don't know how much use this will be to you, but psychologically speaking you will learn faster if you try to learn for instance 3 things at once rather than focusing your ass off on one thing. Note, that doesn't apply to all things but happens to hold true for guitars.
Also, as one guy above me said: sleep on it! Practice for about 10 minutes before you go to bed and when you sleep you'll consolidate the information.
Remember that what you're essentially trying to do is to improve your muscle memory so if you have a look around at ways to do that you'll be well on your way.

A final thing I'll say is that although it might be fun to play your guitar for hours on end, that is not the most efficient practice schedual. Try playing for around half an hour, take a 10 minute break and go get a drink or something, then play for another half an hour and continue like that.

Hope some of that helped.

Edit: Psychological stuff aside: technique plays an important part in your playing, if you want to play fast make sure you don't press down the string harder than you have to to produce the note. Also make sure you pick with as little of the pick as you can (the very tip) and try and relax your hands. Tension is your enemy.
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B.C. Rich NT Jr. V (With Seymour Duncan AHB-1 Blackout in bridge)
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Last edited by LeperAffinity at Jan 22, 2009,
#12
Quote by nugiboy
Thanks i read that and its very helpfull, but it doesn't say anything about the getting 'faster in general' thing i'm talking about. Don't get me wrong i the stuff you said about starting slow and getting the technique down is very important, and i do do (lol dodo) that but will there come a point where everything speeds up, and not just the lick i practice for weeks?


Yeah, you get faster and faster as you make it a habit to economise your movements. Obviously, if you just try and nail a fast lick, you'll never get that - you have to make sure that as you move around the fretboard in any direction with any technique you are using the least amount of motion and effort possible.
#13
Try to understand that although technique manifests itself in a purely physical manner, it is actually the mental processes that is most important in increase your speed in general. For example, and I'd love to show you in person because there it can be most clearly illustrated, there is a certain thing called 'metric organization' which is basically the 'pulse' of the music. The faster the music, the larger your metric pulse is. That is to say, a piece in 4/4 time played around 180bpm would likely have a pulse around a double whole note, or two whole bars before you felt the distinctive 'downward pulse' which unifies and synchronizes the phrase.

Anyways, here is an example of the concept as illustrated in a beethoven sonata (waldstein)

double whole note pulse
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3nnYGPZlp0

whole note pulse
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjWBweNBHIM&feature=related

Anyways, all that to say, if you are thinking naturally in lower pulse units (like quarter note or half note) that would likely be part of your problem in being unable to 'generally increase speed' or increase the rate you learn and perfect difficult music.

Also, there is the possibility that the licks you are learning are too 'isolated' or too 'context sensitive' to be of use in your overall playing. If you are to learn a lick, I suggest that, since the guitar is made in such a way as to make sequencing (the repetition of a motif/phrase/lick in another key) very easy, you practice the lick all over the fretboard so your fingers can get used to the feel of playing that kind of pattern in every conceivable, or practical, application. This kind of generalization of a lick should definitely help your over all playing.