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#1
When practicing to increase your maximum clean speed (or when you used to for people like Freepower ), how do you set a goal for the day? Or do you?

I'm trying to figure out if I should keep going at a pace like I did today (nearly quadrupled my clean speed), or if I should just set a specific goal for either increasing or reaching (increase by 30 or get to eighths at 160, for example), or just go until I either get sick of it or feel like I hit a road block?
#2
i dont but i should, ive been meaning to get cleaner runs...
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#3
i just practice and practice and practice and practice and prac.......


then i sit down and i set the metronome to see how much i've improved ( i do this like, once a month)
#4
I think you should just play guitar.
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#5
I deliberately avoid that. Why? Well, if I'm having a day when I'm not very fast, then I'm going to force it if I have this goal in my head. It's also too easy to define the day as being sub-par if you don't meet your speed goals, when really you were actually playing pretty well. And it leads to frustration.

I just focus on making sure I get a bunch of good clean playing in each day at whatever speed happens to be comfortable that day, and let time take care of whatever speed increases I'd like to have.
#6
I don't. If I'm trying to get something up to speed I just practice it LOTS at whatever speed I can play it cleanly. If I tried to set a 'speed goal' that would push me to speed up too fast, which would defeat the object.
#7
In all honesty you shouldn't be setting ANY speed goals, certainly not this early on - speed is not a skill, it's just a reflection of your skills. Your priority is to simply get comfortable with the guitar and build a good knowledge of the basics, that means everything. Picking single notes in scales is one tiny aspect of the guitar, you need to broaden your outlook. You need to be learning chords, working on your right hand rhythm technique, start working on your listening skills and above all start playing some simple songs.

Speed doesn't develop on a day to day basis, it develops over months and years - the metronome is not a speedometer and it's not some sort of measure of how good you are, it's just there to keep time for you. Likewise your speed at playing scales is irrelevant, what matters is whether you can actually use that speed - being able to play a single scale pattern at xxbpm when you can't actually play a song is pointless. Remember, you picked up the guitar because you wanted to play the thing, not do exercises.

Don't get me wrong, exercises are important and help your development but they're only a part of the picture, it's vital you develop a balanced approach to learning as early as possible, dividing your time between practicing AND playing.

You should only really worry about speed when you're already a competent, all-round player and are really looking to push yourself. Guitar follows the law of diminishing returns in that the better you get then the harder it is to improve further. Early on it's fairly rewarding but later on you can be putting in 10 times the effort for what seems very little gain.

At the moment your simply getting used to the guitar so you will feel like your charging ahead, but all that's happening is your hands are gradually becoming accustomed to what you're asking them to do so it's getting easier. Whilst that's happening there's absolutely no point in paying attention to the numbers on the metronome and it's downright counterproductive to start "chasing" it. You can't practice speed, however you can practice the things that govern it like accuracy, control, dexterity, finger independence, timing, synchronisation, stamina and fretboard knowledge....THOSE are the things you need to actually be concerned about. The problem is people are obsessed with measuring things in some empirical way, and because you can attach a number to speed that's what people fixate on. In reality if you worry about the things that really matter, the things that you actually have control over and can influence, then speed will take care of itself.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jul 22, 2009,
#8
Quote by steven seagull
The problem is people are obsessed with measuring things in some empirical way, and because you can attach a number to speed that's what people fixate on. In reality if you worry about the things that really matter, the things that you actually have control over and can influence, then speed will take care of itself.
Nicely said man, I completely agree.

Seems like people have some strange motives behind playing guitar.
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#10
Yeah, i recognized myself in his story a lot. Thanks mark
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#12
i've been getting faster and more accurate at a steady pace that i'm happy with so i've actually really never thought out my practice plan since it's just been working for me thus far. basically i play a lot of the same things over and over and as i become more comfortable with different things i'm naturally able to play them more quickly, slowly...

i think the word i'm looking for is control...?

i have more control over the instrument as i continue to play and practice which inadvertently allows me to play faster. someone said on her earlier today:

speed is a byproduct of accuracy
"... and on either side of the river was the tree of life, with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of this tree were for the healing of nations.
#13
Quote by steven seagull
In all honesty you shouldn't be setting ANY speed goals, certainly not this early on - speed is not a skill, it's just a reflection of your skills. Your priority is to simply get comfortable with the guitar and build a good knowledge of the basics, that means everything. Picking single notes in scales is one tiny aspect of the guitar, you need to broaden your outlook. You need to be learning chords, working on your right hand rhythm technique, start working on your listening skills and above all start playing some simple songs.

Speed doesn't develop on a day to day basis, it develops over months and years - the metronome is not a speedometer and it's not some sort of measure of how good you are, it's just there to keep time for you. Likewise your speed at playing scales is irrelevant, what matters is whether you can actually use that speed - being able to play a single scale pattern at xxbpm when you can't actually play a song is pointless. Remember, you picked up the guitar because you wanted to play the thing, not do exercises.

Don't get me wrong, exercises are important and help your development but they're only a part of the picture, it's vital you develop a balanced approach to learning as early as possible, dividing your time between practicing AND playing.

You should only really worry about speed when you're already a competent, all-round player and are really looking to push yourself. Guitar follows the law of diminishing returns in that the better you get then the harder it is to improve further. Early on it's fairly rewarding but later on you can be putting in 10 times the effort for what seems very little gain.

At the moment your simply getting used to the guitar so you will feel like your charging ahead, but all that's happening is your hands are gradually becoming accustomed to what you're asking them to do so it's getting easier. Whilst that's happening there's absolutely no point in paying attention to the numbers on the metronome and it's downright counterproductive to start "chasing" it. You can't practice speed, however you can practice the things that govern it like accuracy, control, dexterity, finger independence, timing, synchronisation, stamina and fretboard knowledge....THOSE are the things you need to actually be concerned about. The problem is people are obsessed with measuring things in some empirical way, and because you can attach a number to speed that's what people fixate on. In reality if you worry about the things that really matter, the things that you actually have control over and can influence, then speed will take care of itself.


What is it I should be practicing every day then? It seems like if I'm not able to push myself for speed right now practicing will get really dull and boring since it's just doing the same stuff over and over without being able to challenge myself to do it faster while maintaining cleanliness. All the music I actually like either has complicated guitar work or would be terrible for solo playing (aka too boring to listen to without a full band and vocals).
#14
But why are you so concerned with speed in the first place? It's not important, faster =/= better. Playing scale patterns over and over is just about as dull as it gets, both for the guitarist and whoever's listening. Speed isn't the only way to challenge yourself, guitar does not start or end with your fingers. You need to learn how it works musically, and you need to expose yourself to as wide a variety of music as possible if you have any aspirations to be "good".

You don't learn to play the guitar just so you can play certain songs....you learn to play the guitar so you'll know how to play the guitar. You'll learn the songs you want to at the appropriate point in time along the way but you can't make it your primary goal because the guitar doesn't work that way.

I'd suggest learning some chords, start with the basic E A and D major chords, learn to strum them and learn to change between them , then look for some simple chordy songs to learn. If there's a new chord in there then learn that too - you obviously want to learn to play the guitar so for the love of god start playing. It's not a video game, you can't grind low level for 3 months then skip a few levels to get to the good stuff...you need to do the donkey work at the bottom of the ladder first. It's progression, everything you learn builds on something you already know, if you try and start in the middle it all ends up falling apart somewhere down the line.
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#15
It depends on whether you play the guitar to learn new techniques and musical styles or as some sort of speed / endurance training tool. For me I enjoy the music and learning all kinds of new techniques and styles. I am not interested in speed for the sake of it. If you check out youtube there are alot of people who can play fast but how many of them sound any good
#16
I want to get this out of the way before I continue: I'm not saying that you're wrong, that I'm right, or anything else of that matter, I've heard tons of things from everywhere and at this point even my guitar teacher has got me going a completely different route than you, so I'm trying to actually determine what I should be doing here. Also, there's no influence to this besides me, since I've had my own goals and thoughts since the beginning.

Anyway, I'm wanting to work on speed for a few reasons. The first, and biggest, is because that in everything I've become really excellent at in (nearly) fourteen years I've been around so far (golf, football, tennis, competitive swimming, karate, competitive card games, etc), I've gotten to a level where I'm rarely challenged because I always made sure I was at a level well above what I thought I'd generally need to be at to be right at the very top of the group. This carries over to my current guitar thinking in that by being able to play decently fast, I'm able to play at a standard speed (for what my current goals are, not my full length goals) without feeling any rush or challenge to it. Of course, that's not fast at all compared to what I hope to eventually play at. Real quickly right here, I'd like to stick in a note on that. I think you guys may have been misjudging what my actual goals are. I'm only looking to be able to pick constant single notes at about 6 nps right now, being able to play maybe 8-9 nps bursts with hammerons/pullofs; for an example of this listen to the intro to Come Clarity (In Flames). That's my goal speed, which, if I remember correctly, I eventually thought was about 6 nps. So, 360 BPM quarter notes, or 180 bpm eighth notes, etc, would be my goal to easily play, so maybe 7 nps for my actual goal. I don't know the exact speed on them (they may already be in that range!), but a little bit of a longer goal is to be able to play stuff around the speed of Snow ((Hey Oh)) (RHCP), the intro solo to Eminence Front and the solo to Welcome Home (Coheed and Cambria). I don't know what my chord goals are; I don't know of many chord based songs. But to be honest I'd probably be happy with being able to play a little faster than Hey Joe speed at this point, I think. If Hotel California is chordy, that'd be a goal I'm happy with right now. But I don't really know if it is or not. Maybe someone could show me some faster (but still good) chord based songs?

I of course realize that it's necessary to fully grasp all of the knowledge and techniques that are needed, and to maintain clarity. BUT, it's much easier to practice long and hard when I DO have a goal that I want to reach that I know will allow me to play songs I DO love to listen to and fit in song practice as part of my practice routine. I know that you just said about not learning to be able to play songs, but instead to learn to be able to play guitar, but that kind of ties in in the motivational matter, since I'd be more motivated to actually work on my technique, which ties into being able to play songs I love, which ties into motivation to continue working on my technique since I'd then be able to play stuff that I enjoy hearing myself play as well as continuing to improve my technique and the speed that I can play at, which in turn lets me play MORE stuff that I love, and so on. Btw, this is all with the ever more mentioned "start really low and go up 1-2 bpm at a time and only when you're completely comfortable at the current speed" philosophy/technique/whatever you call it.

I don't really think that I'd be able to improve as quickly or with as much motivation if I don't try to metronome my way up, since metronoming not only gives me information on where I'm at, but also gives me motivation in the way that I can say "Wow, I was only able to do this properly at x earlier, but now I'm playing it at y! I'm making really good progress here."

So yea, the speed to me is more of a tool of being able to motivate myself to continue my ability to play with proper technique at higher speeds so that I DO get motivated and practice more and more, which in turn speeds up my general association with the guitar and the learning, practicing, and executing of techniques and theory.

Thoughts?

Sorry if this was kind of hard to read and/or was more of a large statement than a question, I'm just trying to get across my thinkings to you so you can either maybe explain it to me a little bit more in address to my thoughts or you can at least see what I was meaning and maybe agree with me since you might've thought that my goals were a lot higher?
Last edited by Eag1e at Jul 23, 2009,
#17
This isn't a competitive sport, it's a musical instrument. I understand that you're used to "measuring" things, sport is full of stats...but learning the guitar does NOT work like that.

Ticking off your metronome speeds tells you absolutely nothing about how well you're doing. Speed is nothing on the guitar without application, it's a worthless goal....it's one teeny aspect of your playing that you don't even have direct control over. You really need to shake off the sports mentality here, it's not a race and there's no prizes for coming first. Likewise there's no stats, no levels and no quantitative way of effectively "measuring" your progress. You don't judge a chef by how many ingredients they use, or a painter by how many colours they use....not everything in life is about numbers.

You get better at playing the guitar by playing the guitar, not just by practicing - that only gets you so far. For example, if you wanted to learn Hotel California then the only thing way you're going to do it is by trying to learn it - the speed at which you can play your scale pattern is irrelevant because you won't be doing that at any part of the song. You could be able to play then at 220 bpm perfectly clean but it won't make learning a song any easier. Exercises are a means to an end, not the end itself -if you're making exercises your goal then you'll never be very goods at this guitar lark, you HAVE to look at the big picture, and the earlier you do so the better it'll be for you.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jul 23, 2009,
#18
Quote by steven seagull
This isn't a competitive sport, it's a musical instrument. I understand that you're used to "measuring" things, sport is full of stats...but learning the guitar does NOT work like that.

Ticking off your metronome speeds tells you absolutely nothing about how well you're doing. Speed is nothing on the guitar without application, it's a worthless goal....it's one teeny aspect of your playing that you don't even have direct control over. You really need to shake off the sports mentality here, it's not a race and there's no prizes for coming first. Likewise there's no stats, no levels and no quantitative way of effectively "measuring" your progress. You don't judge a chef by how many ingredients they use, or a painter by how many colours they use....not everything in life is about numbers.


So how is it that I'm supposed to know I'm making any progress, or gain motivation to try to further make progress for that matter?

How am I even supposed to know what I CAN play?
#19
Quote by ramm_ty
Nicely said man, I completely agree.

Seems like people have some strange motives behind playing guitar.


"my dick is bigger than yours!"
"... and on either side of the river was the tree of life, with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of this tree were for the healing of nations.
#20
Quote by Eag1e
So how is it that I'm supposed to know I'm making any progress, or gain motivation to try to further make progress for that matter?

How am I even supposed to know what I CAN play?

Chasing a metronome isn't going to tell you anything either.

You just play, and learn, and whenever you learn something you didn't know before then that's progress....it's that simple.

Guitar is not weight training, you don't have to keep ramping things up to get better. It's about the sum-total of your knowledge, there is no such thing as something that's "below your level" or "too easy" - EVERYTHING new you learn improves you as a player no matter how simple it looks or how easy you percieve it to be.

Honestly, you've got some serious misconceptions about playing a musical instrument - better to get them out of the way now than later though.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jul 23, 2009,
#21
Quote by Eag1e
So how is it that I'm supposed to know I'm making any progress, or gain motivation to try to further make progress for that matter?

How am I even supposed to know what I CAN play?


well, sir, speed is not the only means by which progress is measured unless of course this is your ONLY goal.

my ability to construct a beautiful solo that will set the mood and then toy with one's emotion through rising and falling action, conflict, tension, what-have-you conveyed through what i'm playing is far more important than simply hitting as many notes as possible before the track ends.

how will i convey said emotions? mechanically, it may be through speed, whammy bar manipulation, harmonics, sweeping, simply bending a note at the right time... whatever.

the point is that speed is only a tiny part of the equation and if speed is your ONLY goal then you're not making much progress at all in the big picture.

You just play, and learn, and whenever you learn something you didn't know before then that's progress....it's that simple.

Guitar is not weight training, you don't have to keep ramping things up to get better. It's about the sum-total of your knowledge, there is no such thing as something that's "below your level" or "too easy" - EVERYTHING new you learn improves you as a player no matter how simple it looks or how easy you percieve it to be.

Honestly, you've got some serious misconceptions about playing a musical instrument - better to get them out of the way now than later though.


i like the way you think...
"... and on either side of the river was the tree of life, with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of this tree were for the healing of nations.
Last edited by konfyouzd at Jul 23, 2009,
#22
I do it by playing as fast as I want to get to. Lets say I want to be able to do an alt picking run with triplets at a 150bpm (Don't know how fast that is, just giving an example).
I'll play it, and, of course, fail miserably. Then I'll look at what is wrong and why I can't play it. Is my fretting hand not fast enough? If it isn't, what fingers aren't fast enough? Is my picking hand too slow? etc. etc.
I then work on excersices for those techniques, not for the speed. once I get those techniques down, I should be able to get my alt picking run. If not, rinse, repeat, etc.
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#23
Quote by steven seagull
Chasing a metronome isn't going to tell you anything either.

You just play, and learn, and whenever you learn something you didn't know before then that's progress....it's that simple.

Guitar is not weight training, you don't have to keep ramping things up to get better. It's about the sum-total of your knowledge, there is no such thing as something that's "below your level" or "too easy" - EVERYTHING new you learn improves you as a player no matter how simple it looks or how easy you percieve it to be.

Honestly, you've got some serious misconceptions about playing a musical instrument - better to get them out of the way now than later though.


That's what I'm trying to accomplish right now =P

So you're basically saying that I should practice without a metronome and just go however fast I naturally play comfortably at, and continue to learn new stuff every week (aka keep going with lessons), and that basically means I progress every week?

Quote by konfyouzd
well, sir, speed is not the only means by which progress is measured unless of course this is your ONLY goal.

my ability to construct a beautiful solo that will set the mood and then toy with one's emotion through rising and falling action, conflict, tension, what-have-you conveyed through what i'm playing is far more important than simply hitting as many notes as possible before the track ends.

how will i convey said emotions? mechanically, it may be through speed, whammy bar manipulation, harmonics, sweeping, simply bending a note at the right time... whatever.

the point is that speed is only a tiny part of the equation and if speed is your ONLY goal then you're not making much progress at all in the big picture.


i like the way you think...


I think that maybe you need to read my long post, I thought I made it clear enough that speeding myself up wasn't for the sake of the speed itself
#24
The metronome is not a way to measure your ability, it's just there to keep time - honestly, at 3 weeks or so speed is the least of your concerns. If you learn something new then you're going to have to play it slowly first, that goes for anything whether it's a technique, a chord or a song - a metronome keeps a steady beat.

By all means, if it's a song your learning then use the metronome to set the tempo, after all playing at the original tempo is encompassed in the main goal of "learning to play the song". That's very different from grinding scale patterns just so you can say you're able to play something at xxxbpm - your original post is asking what speed goal to have for playing scale patterns each day! It simply doesn't happen like that, it takes years, not days - besides your ability to play an exercise says absolutely nothing about how accomplished a guitarist you are. Just make sure you set realistic short-term goals, everything should be gradual progression, building directly on what you already know. Don't try to make massive jumps, you'll just end up frustrating yourself.

You don't know how to play any chords or songs yet, do you? So if you learned even just to play an A chord then would that not be progress, seeing as you'd know more than you did before you learned it?

The more you learn and play the better you get, the things to be concerned with are control, accuracy, economy of movements and synchronisation. Also make sure you're using your ears, a lot of guitarists seem to forget to actually listen to what they're doing. Also be aware of dynamics, there's practically an infinite number of ways to pick a note so make a point of listening to hear how the way you physically interact with the guitar infulences the sound.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jul 23, 2009,
#25
Quote by Eag1e
That's what I'm trying to accomplish right now =P

So you're basically saying that I should practice without a metronome and just go however fast I naturally play comfortably at, and continue to learn new stuff every week (aka keep going with lessons), and that basically means I progress every week?


I think that maybe you need to read my long post, I thought I made it clear enough that speeding myself up wasn't for the sake of the speed itself


post was too long. if it doesn't get to the point quickly i don't read it.

thank you for summarizing, though.

either way it sounds like you want the metronome to be the means by which you measure your progress with equates to you measuring progress by speed increases and i was just pointing out that there's a much larger picture.
"... and on either side of the river was the tree of life, with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of this tree were for the healing of nations.
Last edited by konfyouzd at Jul 23, 2009,
#26
Quote by steven seagull
The metronome is not a way to measure your ability, it's just there to keep time - honestly, at 3 weeks or so speed is the least of your concerns. If you learn something new then you're going to have to play it slowly first, that goes for anything whether it's a technique, a chord or a song - a metronome keeps a steady beat.

By all means, if it's a song your learning then use the metronome to set the tempo, after all playing at the original tempo is encompassed in the main goal of "learning to play the song". That's very different from grinding scale patterns just so you can say you're able to play something at xxxbpm - your original post is asking what speed goal to have for playing scale patterns each day! It simply doesn't happen like that, it takes years, not days - besides your ability to play an exercise says absolutely nothing about how accomplished a guitarist you are. Just make sure you set realistic short-term goals, everything should be gradual progression, building directly on what you already know. Don't try to make massive jumps, you'll just end up frustrating yourself.

You don't know how to play any chords or songs yet, do you? So if you learned even just to play an A chord then would that not be progress, seeing as you'd know more than you did before you learned it?

The more you learn and play the better you get, the things to be concerned with are control, accuracy, economy of movements and synchronisation. Also make sure you're using your ears, a lot of guitarists seem to forget to actually listen to what they're doing. Also be aware of dynamics, there's practically an infinite number of ways to pick a note so make a point of listening to hear how the way you physically interact with the guitar infulences the sound.


I do know chords, and I do know songs. But they're all either chordy songs or things I don't care about too much like Dust in the Wind or Stairway to Heaven. From day one my teacher said the only chords I should ever really use outside of hardcore jazz were E, G, A, C, D, Em, Gm, Am, Cm, Dm, E7, G7, A7, C7, D7, F, Fm, B7, and the Hendrix Chord (which he noted as an official name that's too long for me to remember), so I learned them all and I work with them every day. I've also learned power and inverted power chords, as well as how to apply them to 12 bar blues and regular songs. As I mentioned before, I've learned songs that are made of chords as well. I've learned where all the notes are on the fretboard, learned about how tones and octaves work, learned about proper bending technique, learned about proper hammer-ons and pull-offs, and learned about tapping. Based on that, where is it you suggest I go from here to learn more stuff?
#27
I've been playing about 4 months now. I play with a metronome sometimes. Most times, I just work on playing songs and trying to get them to sound right in relation to the actual song.

I do exercises and stuff, but I don't focus on them to much. I'm working on learning scales, but I'm trying not to just memorize patterns. I pick root notes and work through the scales (ie major is wwhwwwh). I do them for warmups and I'll do them randomly as I'm playing so that I get more comfortable with them. I've found that speed is a product of overall progress. It doesn't really matter if you set "speed goals" or not. If you practice, you will get faster. I can feel myself getting faster. I can feel my fingers starting to go where I want them with seemingly no effort. Things that I couldn't play before now feel a lot easier and some things are completely trivial.
#28
Quote by Eag1e
I do know chords, and I do know songs. But they're all either chordy songs or things I don't care about too much like Dust in the Wind or Stairway to Heaven. From day one my teacher said the only chords I should ever really use outside of hardcore jazz were E, G, A, C, D, Em, Gm, Am, Cm, Dm, E7, G7, A7, C7, D7, F, Fm, B7, and the Hendrix Chord (which he noted as an official name that's too long for me to remember), so I learned them all and I work with them every day. I've also learned power and inverted power chords, as well as how to apply them to 12 bar blues and regular songs. As I mentioned before, I've learned songs that are made of chords as well. I've learned where all the notes are on the fretboard, learned about how tones and octaves work, learned about proper bending technique, learned about proper hammer-ons and pull-offs, and learned about tapping. Based on that, where is it you suggest I go from here to learn more stuff?

Sadly your teacher sounds somewhat retarded

Seriously, you've been playing 3 weeks...you haven't learned all that stuff, you've just been introduced to it. More to the point, just because you've "learned" it doesn't mean it suddenly stops becoming valid. On the contrary, the more basic and fundamental something is on the guitar the more you'll rely on it all the way through your playing. It's stuff you need to work on all the time regardless of how good you think you've become.

Have you learned barre chords yet, they're pretty important. As far as "what else" to learn goes learn more songs that make use of the things you've been shown.
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#29
Quote by steven seagull
Sadly your teacher sounds somewhat retarded

Seriously, you've been playing 3 weeks...you haven't learned all that stuff, you've just been introduced to it. More to the point, just because you've "learned" it doesn't mean it suddenly stops becoming valid. On the contrary, the more basic and fundamental something is on the guitar the more you'll rely on it all the way through your playing. It's stuff you need to work on all the time regardless of how good you think you've become.

Have you learned barre chords yet, they're pretty important. As far as "what else" to learn goes learn more songs that make use of the things you've been shown.


I learned how to do them, I'm not good at barring more than four strings yet, though.

Btw, he did say that that's all I needed to officially recognize for most of the time, but I'd probably end up playing more chords than those that I'll just think of as part of a song rather than a chord.
#30
Quote by Eag1e
I learned how to do them, I'm not good at barring more than four strings yet, though.

Btw, he did say that that's all I needed to officially recognize for most of the time, but I'd probably end up playing more chords than those that I'll just think of as part of a song rather than a chord.

Ok then, thats slightly less retarded - however it's still vital to be able to recognise chords in all their guises so I'm not 100% convinced. Chords that are "part of a song" are still chords, if you can't identify them it makes learning that much more difficult and also makes it hard to learn anything more from the song other than simply playing that song. If you understand how the music is constructed then you can utilise what you've learned from the song in other ways. If you can't even do a full 6 string barre chord yet then that should definitely be a priority before you worry about how fast you can play - for the time being it really is enough to simply concern yourself with whether or not you can play something.

If you want to stretch yourself go right ahead, attempt a simple solo like Highway to Hell by AC/DC if you've not learned any yet. That's a nice, melodic, even paced solo that manages to cover a whole raft of essential lead techniques in a very short time. The thing is, suppose that was the only solo you'd ever learned, then you spent 3 months speeding up your scale practice up to 180bpm. If you then tried to learn a typical solo at that tempo you'd barely find it any easier than if you'd attempted it 3 months eariler - because the fact of the matter is that you don't play straight scale runs in solos. They jump around all over the place, usually following the chords. Gradual progress is the key - in that 3 months of grinding scales you could have learned dozens of solos. Obviously that's an extreme hypothetical case, but it's important to practice the right way in order to maximise what you get out of your time.

Here's where your mindset is flawed - I remember you posted a video asking how you were doing, but the problem was you didn't actually play anything in the video, you just ran scale patterns. Exercises are just a means to an end, they're not your ultimate goal.

If you want someone to critique your practice methods then yes, post a video of your practice. However, if you want to know how your progressing as a guitarist then you've got to post a vid of you playing something.
Actually called Mark!

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#31
Quote by steven seagull
Ok then, thats slightly less retarded - however it's still vital to be able to recognise chords in all their guises so I'm not 100% convinced. Chords that are "part of a song" are still chords, if you can't identify them it makes learning that much more difficult and also makes it hard to learn anything more from the song other than simply playing that song. If you understand how the music is constructed then you can utilise what you've learned from the song in other ways. If you can't even do a full 6 string barre chord yet then that should definitely be a priority before you worry about how fast you can play - for the time being it really is enough to simply concern yourself with whether or not you can play something.

If you want to stretch yourself go right ahead, attempt a simple solo like Highway to Hell by AC/DC if you've not learned any yet. That's a nice, melodic, even paced solo that manages to cover a whole raft of essential lead techniques in a very short time. The thing is, suppose that was the only solo you'd ever learned, then you spent 3 months speeding up your scale practice up to 180bpm. If you then tried to learn a typical solo at that tempo you'd barely find it any easier than if you'd attempted it 3 months eariler - because the fact of the matter is that you don't play straight scale runs in solos. They jump around all over the place, usually following the chords. Gradual progress is the key - in that 3 months of grinding scales you could have learned dozens of solos. Obviously that's an extreme hypothetical case, but it's important to practice the right way in order to maximise what you get out of your time.

Here's where your mindset is flawed - I remember you posted a video asking how you were doing, but the problem was you didn't actually play anything in the video, you just ran scale patterns. Exercises are just a means to an end, they're not your ultimate goal.

If you want someone to critique your practice methods then yes, post a video of your practice. However, if you want to know how your progressing as a guitarist then you've got to post a vid of you playing something.


So are you basically saying that, aside from as a tool to build solos from, scales are pretty useless?

Are you also saying that I really should be learning chordy songs and solos with most of my practice time, with the rest of it being exercises that are more-so built to increase by stamina, finger strength, hand synchronization, and general acquaintance with a guitar? [Solely practice, not actual learning, since I'm going to be doing some theory stuff soon, like this and this (if those are considered theory)] I'm just trying to get an idea of what I should really be doing when I'm practicing, so obviously feel free to say yes/no and/or add stuff on

[Since things can be conveyed wrong in text, none of this was meant to be sarcastic or pushy, just questions.]

[Btw, that video was more to see what, if anything, I was doing wrong with my fretting/strumming, not to show actual playing or my practice routine or anything.]
Last edited by Eag1e at Jul 23, 2009,
#32
Why are people so concerned with speed? I don't get it. People think playing fast makes you good when it doesn't. People forget that the guitar is just a tool for producing music on.

And as for not knowing how to push yourself apart from speed - look up Lead Guitar lesson by Tommy Emmanuel on youtube. It's not blistering pace but i bet you can't play it. I can play 16th's at about 140 cleanly, but i can't play it. And there's certain bits of certain songs i can't play, even though they're slower. Musicality on the guitar means putting your hands into strange positions. Once you get the hang of lots of different positions and slides and runs and stuff your speed will come.
#33
Quote by Ikonoklast
Why are people so concerned with speed? I don't get it. People think playing fast makes you good when it doesn't. People forget that the guitar is just a tool for producing music on.

And as for not knowing how to push yourself apart from speed - look up Lead Guitar lesson by Tommy Emmanuel on youtube. It's not blistering pace but i bet you can't play it. I can play 16th's at about 140 cleanly, but i can't play it. And there's certain bits of certain songs i can't play, even though they're slower. Musicality on the guitar means putting your hands into strange positions. Once you get the hang of lots of different positions and slides and runs and stuff your speed will come.


Are these two the only ones, or are there more?

(Just trying to get everything I need bookmarked/written down so I don't have too look to hard later or end up forgetting)
#34
Quote by Eag1e
Are these two the only ones, or are there more?

(Just trying to get everything I need bookmarked/written down so I don't have too look to hard later or end up forgetting)


Well yeah for that particular bit. The point is though he's got a musicality which isn't really as such to do with speed as it is with fluency on his instrument. It's difficult without being fast.
#35
Quote by Eag1e
So are you basically saying that, aside from as a tool to build solos from, scales are pretty useless?

That's exact what scales are for, helping you create and understand music - I'd say that made them pretty darn useful. They aren't a technique, and they certainly aren't some magic way of shortcutting yourself to shredland.

Quote by Eag1e

Are you also saying that I really should be learning chordy songs and solos with most of my practice time, with the rest of it being exercises that are more-so built to increase by stamina, finger strength, hand synchronization, and general acquaintance with a guitar? [Solely practice, not actual learning, since I'm going to be doing some theory stuff soon, like this and this (if those are considered theory)] I'm just trying to get an idea of what I should really be doing when I'm practicing, so obviously feel free to say yes/no and/or add stuff on

Yes, you should be learning chordy songs simply because if you ever want to be even halfway competent at playing lead then you HAVE to already be a competent rhythm player. Soloing is all about creating a melody that fits with the chord your playing over, it's practically impossible to learn a solo properly if you don;t first know the rhythm part. Chordy songs are the best place to start because you need to get that right hand loosened up and develop some sense of rhythm in it - whilst still playing accurately and controlled. Once all that starts to come together then you can look at things that are a little more complex with some single note riffs, and you'll be better prepared for it.

As far as theory goes the best place to start is here.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/search.php?s=crusade&w=columns

Just remember that what matters on guitar is understanding things, not just knowing what they are.
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#36
Quote by steven seagull
That's exact what scales are for, helping you create and understand music - I'd say that made them pretty darn useful. They aren't a technique, and they certainly aren't some magic way of shortcutting yourself to shredland.


Yes, you should be learning chordy songs simply because if you ever want to be even halfway competent at playing lead then you HAVE to already be a competent rhythm player. Soloing is all about creating a melody that fits with the chord your playing over, it's practically impossible to learn a solo properly if you don;t first know the rhythm part. Chordy songs are the best place to start because you need to get that right hand loosened up and develop some sense of rhythm in it - whilst still playing accurately and controlled. Once all that starts to come together then you can look at things that are a little more complex with some single note riffs, and you'll be better prepared for it.

As far as theory goes the best place to start is here.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/search.php?s=crusade&w=columns

Just remember that what matters on guitar is understanding things, not just knowing what they are.


So then what's the proper way to build up enough speed on chord changes to actually play through chordy songs without having to pause? Is it acceptable in this case to use the metronome to gradually speed yourself up without playing at an uneven pace? Or is this just another case of "play through them enough to get the muscle memory and you'll naturally speed up"? If that's the case, then do I still USE a metronome to keep my changes at even pace, or do I just make sure that I'm doing it properly and not worry if it's at an even pace or not?
Last edited by Eag1e at Jul 23, 2009,
#37
Don't only focus on speed.

But I always try to push just a little bit further then I can cleanely play.... It works for me, I can play flight of the bumblee clean on 270bpm now...
But it's just speed. Only a part of a bigger whole
#38
Quote by Eag1e
So then what's the proper way to build up enough speed on chord changes to actually play through chordy songs without having to pause? Is it acceptable in this case to use the metronome to gradually speed yourself up without playing at an uneven pace? Or is this just another case of "play through them enough to get the muscle memory and you'll naturally speed up"? If that's the case, then do I still USE a metronome to keep my changes at even pace, or do I just make sure that I'm doing it properly and not worry if it's at an even pace or not?


Practice. That's all there is to it. Just slow it down a bit and work on the chord changes. And trust me, you will have to slow things down to learn them. No matter what song you are learning, there will always be some things that you won't be able to do perfectly on your first try.

As far as the metronome goes, I would say use it for basically everything. Whenever I practice something new, I always have a metronome on. It can be one of the greatest assets in a musicians arsenal. As Mark said, don't view the metronome as something that will make you a super fast shredder, just look at it as a tool to help you stay in time. Eventually, your hands will get used to how they have to move for different chords and techniques and when that happens, then you can speed the metronome up a bit. Don't prematurely set the metronome at a fast pace and then try to keep up with it. Set it at a pace you can handle, and try to stay in time with it. Now, when I say "a pace you can handle" I just mean a tempo that you can almost play the progression perfectly at. For instance, if you are trying to learn a chord progression, if you slow it down to 60BPM, you might be able to do it without any mistakes or problems (in which case you can speed up the metronome a bit). But if you make a mistake or two, work at it until you get it before you try to do it faster.

And this is just a little side note but, if you still feel that all guitar is about is speed, think of it like this: If your mistakes make something sound bad at a quarter the speed it's supposed to be at, how bad do you think it will sound if you just try to play it at full speed?
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Last edited by Junior#1 at Jul 23, 2009,
#39
Btw guys, should I be playing with my thumb over the neck or on the back of it?
#40
Quote by Eag1e
Btw guys, should I be playing with my thumb over the neck or on the back of it?


Generally on the back. Over the top is good for bending, vibrato, and some chording. Other than that, stick with the back of the neck.
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