#1
As I've said before, I ALWAYS use a metronome. However I don't always keep it at one speed during a practice session. I usually play something at really slow pace (80-90bpm) until I feel comfortable and then I move it up slowly into my desired range (roughly 150-160.)

For the last couple of days I've been practicing exclusively at the slow speed. I don't even bother to bump it up at all. Yesterday when I sat down to practice I noticed that I was much more relaxed and in control. Is this how I should have been practicing the whole time?

Would it be a good idea spending an entire week or so at the same tempo (I practice about an hour or so a day) before I try to bump it up?
#2
i think that would be a good idea. Technique (i assume you're going for that development) takes a long time to develop, in my opinion. If rushed, you'll just become sloppy and tense.

Patience, dedication, and mentality - practice slowly, relaxed, and then get faster.
#3
Quote by yearzero
As I've said before, I ALWAYS use a metronome. However I don't always keep it at one speed during a practice session. I usually play something at really slow pace (80-90bpm) until I feel comfortable and then I move it up slowly into my desired range (roughly 150-160.)

For the last couple of days I've been practicing exclusively at the slow speed. I don't even bother to bump it up at all. Yesterday when I sat down to practice I noticed that I was much more relaxed and in control. Is this how I should have been practicing the whole time?

Would it be a good idea spending an entire week or so at the same tempo (I practice about an hour or so a day) before I try to bump it up?

That's a far more efficient way to do it - the thing is that speed isn't about trying to play "faster", it sopmething that comes naturally as a result of good technique.

If you've been practicing a piece at a certain speed and can play it comfortably, conisistently and cleanly then chances are you can play it 10% faster without even trying. That;s because you've developed a level of control and accuracy that's good enough to enable you to paly at that speed. Even if you practice something at the same speed you, providing you're practicing correctly you're still improving your control, accuracy and muscle memory each time.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#4
I agree. I've always gotten better results by staying at a certain tempo for roughly a week before moving up. For the 1st few days, it's careful attention to detail and listening to your body for tension etc. Then after 2-3 days it begin to sink in and feel natural. Toward the end of the week, it starts to get boring and feels overly slow. After a few days of that, I feel I'm ready to move ahead.

To figure out where to go next, I'll turn the metronome away from me and play a variety of tempos. I know myself so I can just pick out the tempo that seems like the appropriate increase.... Basically, It feels exactly like the previous tempo, but that "overly slow" feeling is gone.

It varies but I typically can get a 10-20% increase this way. And sometimes it might be longer than a week. But the key I think is to keep yourself disciplined to be able to practice through a few boringly slow sessions... Because for me, that is exactly what makes the next tempo increase come easily and naturally.
#5
Quote by yearzero

For the last couple of days I've been practicing exclusively at the slow speed. I don't even bother to bump it up at all. Yesterday when I sat down to practice I noticed that I was much more relaxed and in control. Is this how I should have been practicing the whole time?

Would it be a good idea spending an entire week or so at the same tempo (I practice about an hour or so a day) before I try to bump it up?

Yes, maybe even more than a week, especially if you start to practice something new.
After a week or two (or 3), stop using metronome for a day and just let it go (improvise to a backing track for example, using whatever you were learning).
Using a drummer helps a lot too, if you have one handy Placing what you have learned in context will really boost your playing on many levels, not only technical one.
Last edited by mdeeRocks at Sep 9, 2010,
#6
Yeah this is the sort of practice that works for me too.

For exercises i'll give it a week or so (maybe 6 hours of exercises per day, as i'm unemployed and am going to uni soon) at maybe 40 bpm. Then i'll play through it for a bit in 1/4's, then i'll do it at the same tempo 1/8's, then 16th's, then triplets. I'll move it up to maybe 60 for the second week when playing it is second nature. If i can still do my 4/8/16th stuff at that tempo i'll play that until i'm completely comfortable, if not then i'll bump it down until i am completely comfortable. After a few months i notice that i'm gradually being more fluid and relaxed at the higher tempos.