#1
Getting faster?

Discuss?

If you can play at a given speed = to x, then any song or lick <=x should be possible to play, being just a matter of committing the lick/song to muscle memory.

If this is true, should we work on a variety of scales/arpeggios that encompass the general style you want to achieve until you can play 16th notes at the highest metronome speed------and THEN start learning songs? Would this not be more effient use of practice time (assuming the above hypothesis is true)?
#2
You could do that, but wouldn´t it be boring?
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#3
Quote by afrika18
Getting faster?

Discuss?

If you can play at a given speed = to x, then any song or lick <=x should be possible to play, being just a matter of committing the lick/song to muscle memory.

If this is true, should we work on a variety of scales/arpeggios that encompass the general style you want to achieve until you can play 16th notes at the highest metronome speed------and THEN start learning songs? Would this not be more effient use of practice time (assuming the above hypothesis is true)?


It's not true. At all.

/thread
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#6
Chances are you'll be able to get your point across musically in LESS that Eleventy-billion notes.
That being said, play only as fast as the song tells you to... less work.
#7
Quote by IMTHAMAN01013
Chances are you'll be able to get your point across musically in LESS that Eleventy-billion notes.
That being said, play only as fast as the song tells you to... less work.


Oh my god, you're a genius! Why didn't anyone think of just playing slower before?!

Oh wait...

No, that is anything but the point.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

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#8
What would you be practicing at that high speed? Would it apply to every song you'll be learning? Would you be doing it with alternate picking? Sweeping? Hammers and pulls? Tapping? This is such an overwhelmingly open-ended idea that it's not worth putting a lot of thought into. Just practice and play some stuff you like (obviously practice slowly with good technique on a regular basis) and you will improve.
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#10
No, what a stupid idea. The only thing it would make you better at is preforming just those exercises. Nor would it do anything for musicality.
#11
Practicing in a musical situation is more important than anything. You could know every possible arpeggio and it's inversions but if you never use them in soloing or composition then they have little meaning. Learning songs is cool and obviously the better your technique is the easier it is to learn songs.

Technique is not knowledge and knowledge is not power unless you know how to use it.
#12
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
What would you be practicing at that high speed? Would it apply to every song you'll be learning? Would you be doing it with alternate picking? Sweeping? Hammers and pulls? Tapping? This is such an overwhelmingly open-ended idea that it's not worth putting a lot of thought into. Just practice and play some stuff you like (obviously practice slowly with good technique on a regular basis) and you will improve.



I'll elaborate, because I think some are misunderstanding what I'm getting at. I'll tell you from the start: I can't play fast--16th notes at 105bpm is stretching it for me. But: anything slower than that that I have tried to learn, I can play. The only songs that I can't play are those that are faster than my limit. Obviously, I'm not saying that I can play every song slower than my highest speed--but I am saying that if I tried to learn any song slower than my highest speed, I could learn it.

I want to be able to play fast, and I have never truly applied myself to the pursuit of speed for any significant length of time. So I have decided that for one year, all I will do (as far as my practice regimen) is work on speed using a variety of scales, patterns and arpeggios that encompass the type of fast playing that I want to achieve. After I achieve my speed goal, I should be able to play any song I attempt to learn that is slower or equal to that speed. This is what I'm driving at and what I have submitted for discussion.
#13
Quote by afrika18
I'll elaborate, because I think some are misunderstanding what I'm getting at. I'll tell you from the start: I can't play fast--16th notes at 105bpm is stretching it for me. But: anything slower than that that I have tried to learn, I can play. The only songs that I can't play are those that are faster than my limit. Obviously, I'm not saying that I can play every song slower than my highest speed--but I am saying that if I tried to learn any song slower than my highest speed, I could learn it.

I want to be able to play fast, and I have never truly applied myself to the pursuit of speed for any significant length of time. So I have decided that for one year, all I will do (as far as my practice regimen) is work on speed using a variety of scales, patterns and arpeggios that encompass the type of fast playing that I want to achieve. After I achieve my speed goal, I should be able to play any song I attempt to learn that is slower or equal to that speed. This is what I'm driving at and what I have submitted for discussion.

I think everyone has understood what you were going for and responded in kind.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.


Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
#14
Quote by afrika18
I'll elaborate, because I think some are misunderstanding what I'm getting at. I'll tell you from the start: I can't play fast--16th notes at 105bpm is stretching it for me. But: anything slower than that that I have tried to learn, I can play. The only songs that I can't play are those that are faster than my limit. Obviously, I'm not saying that I can play every song slower than my highest speed--but I am saying that if I tried to learn any song slower than my highest speed, I could learn it.

I want to be able to play fast, and I have never truly applied myself to the pursuit of speed for any significant length of time. So I have decided that for one year, all I will do (as far as my practice regimen) is work on speed using a variety of scales, patterns and arpeggios that encompass the type of fast playing that I want to achieve. After I achieve my speed goal, I should be able to play any song I attempt to learn that is slower or equal to that speed. This is what I'm driving at and what I have submitted for discussion.


Again, I say: it doesn't work that way. I found that out the hard way and I'm telling you now so you don't have to hit the metronome for a couple of years then try and play something and fail.

Also, there is a large section in the main technique sticky on why speed goals in general are a good idea.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

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#15
Quote by afrika18
Getting faster?

Discuss?

If you can play at a given speed = to x, then any song or lick <=x should be possible to play, being just a matter of committing the lick/song to muscle memory.

If this is true, should we work on a variety of scales/arpeggios that encompass the general style you want to achieve until you can play 16th notes at the highest metronome speed------and THEN start learning songs? Would this not be more effient use of practice time (assuming the above hypothesis is true)?

But "better" does not solely equate to "faster".

Also it's a retarded idea, practicing is not the same as playing - you need to be doing both things to progress effectively.
Actually called Mark!

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#17
Getting better on the guitar means being:
MORE ACCURATE. This includes sound and technique.

Speed is just a happy side effect from accuracy.

/thread
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#18
Quote by funeralllllllll
what does playing a lick faster have to do with being a good guitarist?

nothing


Playing a given lick faster isn't what I'm getting at. For example, I can play some slow guitar solos fine...I'm content playing them at the speed at which they were recorded. But most guitar solos that I REALLY like are of the 'shred' variety--and I can't play that fast yet (maybe I'll never be able to play that fast). So its not about playing any given lick faster than it is supposed to be played; what I"m talking about is being able to play the faster stuff that is right now, out of my skill level. I've slowed some of these down in Guitar Pro and I can play them just fine at 20-50% speed...so its not the fingering or the note pattern or the bends...vibrato...or whatever...that is holding me back: it is the speed. Also, I understand that speed comes with accuracy--a few years ago, I didn't understand this, but I now fully endorse this view. But you still have to try and play a little faster each time to get faster, right?

I watched Paul Gilbert on youtube the other day playing Technical Difficulties and I was floored by his technique and his sound...it was freaking godlike. I also saw this guy who is entering guitar idol named cinemator or something like that and he too had supernatural technique.
#19
There is no such thing as "speed" when it comes to your skillset.

It's dependent on your skills, it's not a skill in itself. So if you can't play something at the recorded tempo the reason is any or all of the following...you're not accurate enough, not controlled enough, you're motions aren't economical enough, you're not good enough at keeping in sync, you're not relaxed enough or you don't know it well enough
Actually called Mark!

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#20
Quote by MaddMann274
Accuracy is way more important than "speed"! :P


Agreed -- and musicality is more important than either.

For centuries soloists on various instruments have wanted to show off their chops by playing something fast. That's all fine and well but it is really only of interest to other musicians -- it is an ego boost, not necessarily musically interesting.

What is far more impressive, to me, is what the be bop guys did in the 40's. The invented a new sounds by improvising at breakneck speeds to highly complex chord changes -- not simple wanking over a few pentatonic riffs. But all of them, Bird, Monk, Miles, Diz, Christian, could play beautiful ballads and compose with the same sophistication as they could improvise. They also knew a lot of songs and had a well formed musical vocabulary long before they got into their be bop thing on 52nd street -- these were top flight performers who were working in clubs every night and playing with jazz orchestras through a decade of swing music before they attempted to up the tempo and cut loose.

Learning to wiggle one's fingers quickly can be interesting -- but it is more often than not completely banal -- it plays to the cheap seats of people who are easily impressed with finger gymnastics.

The much more interesting and engaging path of interpreting and creating interesting music is far more sublime and more difficult. Which is certainly why it is much more rare.
#21
Getting better at guitar means becoming more capable of playing the things you want to play to your satisfaction.

Quote by steven seagull
There is no such thing as "speed" when it comes to your skillset.

It's dependent on your skills, it's not a skill in itself. So if you can't play something at the recorded tempo the reason is any or all of the following...you're not accurate enough, not controlled enough, you're motions aren't economical enough, you're not good enough at keeping in sync, you're not relaxed enough or you don't know it well enough

The bolded bit makes no sense. Speed is how rapidly one can cleanly play a series of notes using a given technique.

Your explanation is reasonable, though.
#22
To me it's about getting closer to the sounds in my head, while at the same time thinking less about what the hand are doing
#23
Quote by Geldin
Getting better at guitar means becoming more capable of playing the things you want to play to your satisfaction.


The bolded bit makes no sense. Speed is how rapidly one can cleanly play a series of notes using a given technique.

Your explanation is reasonable, though.

Trust me, if you think about it you'll see it makes perfect sense.
It's not a skill, you can't practice in a way that influences it directly.

It's like a car, if you want to make your car faster you can't go out and fit "more speed"...what you actually have to do is improve the things on the car that govern how fast it can go, make the engine more efficient, make it more aerodynamic. "Faster" is a meaningless term in itself, knowing that something is faster won't get you any closer to becoming faster yourself, all that really matters is why it's faster.
Actually called Mark!

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#24
For the record, do you think you could actually fit the word "faster" into that last sentence a couple more times?

What you're saying makes sense, but what I was getting at was that there is such a thing as speed in one's skillset. Speed isn't a speed in and of itself, but speed is a measure of how rapidly one can employ a skill in a given context. Maybe I'm understanding what you wrote differently than what you intended.
#25
Quote by Geldin
For the record, do you think you could actually fit the word "faster" into that last sentence a couple more times?

What you're saying makes sense, but what I was getting at was that there is such a thing as speed in one's skillset. Speed isn't a speed in and of itself, but speed is a measure of how rapidly one can employ a skill in a given context. Maybe I'm understanding what you wrote differently than what you intended.


No, he's right saying that speed isn't a skill. Speed is a result, it's not a thing in and of itself; it's the practical upshot of efficient technique.

Another way to look at it would be like cooking. You can cook and use good ingredients and what you're making will come out as a good meal but once the meal is done you can't make it taste different to how it does. The only thing you can do from there is change the ingredients and hope it works better next time.

Speed is the meal, technique is the ingredients you use; you can't improve the taste directly, you can only change the things that go into it.

/tortured analogy
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#26
Quote by Geldin
Getting better at guitar means becoming more capable of playing the things you want to play to your satisfaction..



Sooo true, wise words.
#27
Thank you for the discussion. I mentioned that for a year I was going to just work on speed...I've been doing this for a little over a month now--working on technique alone on weekdays, and learning new songs only on weekends. I have found that my technique has improved considerably by following a regimen that mostly concentrates on accuracy....but that still pushes the envelope a bit by briefly attempting higher speeds (aka: guitar speed trainer). Over the course of my on/off again relationship with the guitar, this method has yielded the most dramatic results technique-wise. I am determined to approach Paul Gilbert-like speeds so I will keep updating this thread periodically with my progress. I agree mostly with S. Seagull, but I also think that you must push the envelope a bit too. Anyway, I've struggled with technique my whole guitar playing life, so if I can end up shredding by the end of this, I'm convinced anybody can. I'll update this again next month with progress. cheers
#28
For me being better at guitar means being able to be creative while improvising
Cause it doesnt really matter if you can play freaking Malmsteen to perfection if you can't improvise with an 8 beat rhytm and make something good
#29
IMO, getting better at guitar is learning what you want to play, and play it well. After all, you practice guitar for playing stuff you like.

If you want to play a billion notes per minute, go for it. If you want to learn theory and play complicated styles of music such as jazz and fusion, go ahead.

It is really diffrent from person to person. But that´s just my 2 cents.
#30
Some people pick up guitar and only play the same songs over and over, and then some people just never stop learning new stuff.

They branch out in all aspects and learn new techniques, new scales and new ideas and apply it to their playing. It could be played fast or slow but it is still growth, and that is what makes you better.

Learn each technique as if it were aquiring a tool, and assemble a tool belt that will allow you to make great music. sweepings, alternate picking, string skipping, pedal points, there is a seemingly endless amount of techniques you can learn on guitar, and those who pursue them are the ones who get better. If you don't pursue new things then you will just be the same guitarist you were before and you wont grow.
#31
If you play songs that are too advanced for your level of development you will end up frustrated and not enjoy yourself. Find some songs with open chords and learn them. Nirvana has lots of songs that are easy to play and sound good.
#32
Quote by afrika18
I'll elaborate, because I think some are misunderstanding what I'm getting at. I'll tell you from the start: I can't play fast--16th notes at 105bpm is stretching it for me. But: anything slower than that that I have tried to learn, I can play. The only songs that I can't play are those that are faster than my limit. Obviously, I'm not saying that I can play every song slower than my highest speed--but I am saying that if I tried to learn any song slower than my highest speed, I could learn it.

I want to be able to play fast, and I have never truly applied myself to the pursuit of speed for any significant length of time. So I have decided that for one year, all I will do (as far as my practice regimen) is work on speed using a variety of scales, patterns and arpeggios that encompass the type of fast playing that I want to achieve. After I achieve my speed goal, I should be able to play any song I attempt to learn that is slower or equal to that speed. This is what I'm driving at and what I have submitted for discussion.


Most people do not have that kind of dedication. The problem with devoting an entire year to playing nothing but scales and arpeggios to work on speed is that if you even make it through the year, you will likely be burned out. Sure, working on technique is important. That's always a good goal. Do that, but as soon as you get that pattern down, do something interesting with it. For instance, write a song where you can apply what you've been learning. My point is, don't just focus on technique and muscle memory. Use your brain and your creative side as well. The key to becoming a great musician is learning how to mesh these two together: technique and creativity.

Don't fool yourself into thinking that once you master technique you'll move onto the creative side. I've seen many promising musicians go this route, and they're never good enough to stop running through scales and start writing songs. Your technique will always be lacking. You're staring down a long road of painful isolation if you solely focus on technique building exercises. Remember why you picked up the guitar in the first place. By all means, build up your technique, but do it in the pursuit of better expressing yourself with the guitar. Don't do it to be the next Yngwie.

Edit: I read in your other response that you are learning songs too and not just practicing exercises. That's great! Are you writing your own stuff too?
Last edited by chunkychewie at Jun 20, 2011,
#33
Quote by Guitarra_acores
To me it's about getting closer to the sounds in my head, while at the same time thinking less about what the hand are doing


And this is really what it comes down to.
Searching for the perfect gear is endless. Buying a better amp you may notice how shitty your guitar is and vice versa. I've spent thousands of dollars in pursuit of the perfect sound, which I'll never completely capture. -B. Corgan
#34
Quote by denyalmartin
If you play songs that are too advanced for your level of development you will end up frustrated and not enjoy yourself. Find some songs with open chords and learn them. Nirvana has lots of songs that are easy to play and sound good.


Yeah. I found this out when I tried to play Pride and Joy.
Searching for the perfect gear is endless. Buying a better amp you may notice how shitty your guitar is and vice versa. I've spent thousands of dollars in pursuit of the perfect sound, which I'll never completely capture. -B. Corgan
#35
Ideally, being able to be adaptable and versatile.
Being able to play with others instead of just playing by yourself.
#36
If you have a problem with stretch legato licks (seems advanced) – you actually probably have a problem with your left hand posture, or hammer ons and pull offs (basics).

If you have a problem with playing fast (seems advanced) – you actually probably have a problem with finger independence and economy of motion (basics).

If you have a problem with sweep picking (seems advanced) – you actually probably have a problem with muting unwanted strings (basics).

I could go on all day, but it would be more helpful to keep this in mind whenever you have a problem, and examine your basic technique now – and every time you think you have an advanced problem.
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#37
Bring better at the guitar is being able to express yourself better through the instrument. You don't need to be fast to be a good guitarist but if you want to create fast music then yes you need to be fast