#1
After playing now for a few years and having no luck at being able to play anything with any appreciable speed, I've decided to give up trying to get faster and embrace playing slow. So I was wondering if anyone could recommend any slow rock/metal tunes to learn. Nothing over 48bpm, no double time feel and preferably nothing faster than 16ths. 40bpm and lower is even better, but I don't know if there's much out there at that kind of tempo.
#2
You sir, need a metronome.....

put the metronome at 50 bpm.....play the song/riff.......when you can play that........put it up 10.......at 60 play it until you get it.......and then 70,80,90.......all the way up to what the actual tempo of the song is

Also look around for speed picking exercises. Practice these exercises 20-30 mins everyday.

In about 3 months of the metronome technique and speed picking exercises.....you will probably see a significant improvement in your fast playing.

it may take longer...r maybe shorter than that time but that is what i done until i saw major improvement.

TAKE YOUR TIME ASWELL.

the songs may be fast....but learning them is NOT a race.

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#3
I think you'll get a greater reward by using the time you'd spend looking for <48bpm music for exercising instead. Have you taken lessons? It's possible that you have very basic flaws in your playing (that you can't notice by yourself) that are hindering your playing ability. Always use a metronome. Get a tempo that you CAN play ok and then improve 1bpm at a time. If you are having trouble, don't worry if you take a lot of time to master just one more bpm. You'll hit walls, but keep at it.
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#4
I wouldn't bother looking for a song that slow. Use a metronome and practise the songs you want to play at lower speeds.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
#5
I've been playing for 6 years, my speed stopped increasing about 2 years ago, somewhere around 100 - 110 bpm for 16ths. I've tried all those things. I've done chromatic exercises and learned scales. I've tried reducing the problem to it's elements by practicing very small exercises like:

e--------------7--8--10---
b---7--8--10--------------

I've tried marathon practice sessions where 2 hours a day is nothing but finger exercises. No songs, nothing melodic, just pure technique. And that's on top of practicing other things outside of that 2 hours. I've tried the opposite, forsaking technique exercises and focusing only on learning songs. I've always been sure to use a metronome or drum track at all times. And I've also tried not using them to see if that made a difference. I've tried putting in extra time repeating mind numbing finger exercises while watching TV. I've tried making sure I don't practice unless I'm completely focused on what I'm doing. I've had 5 guitar teachers, over these 6 years, none of whom have been able to make any difference. I've tried practicing entirely on acoustic to build finger strength. I've tried only electric so I can play faster and practice at a faster speed than I could on acoustic. I've tried alternating between acoustic and electric.

I've even tried buying better equipment, sinking thousands of dollars into Gibson Les Pauls, Fender Strats, Ibanez RGs, Two Rock, Blackstar, Marshall and Mesa/Boogie amps. It made no difference.

I even tried to find a teacher that specializes in teaching people how to shred, offering them a $1000 bonus at the end of six months if they could get me to the level where I could play Metallica, Guns n Roses, Aerosmith type stuff at full tempo. And that's with me guaranteeing them I would practice 3 hours/day on only the exercises they give me. And that's on top of any other playing I would do. No one would accept the offer.

I'm done with speed. So, anybody know any slow songs?
#6
I don't know what kind of teachers you've had, but I think you might be getting yourself (or have gotten yourself) into a rut.

What is the fastest you can cleanly play sixteenth notes? How fast can you really do it? I suspect that there is a mental block there. Six years with no results? I'm willing to bet money that you have convinced yourself that you cannot play fast and therefore have limited yourself mentally. It is not mumbo jumbo - it's a real problem that a lot of players encounter. A particularly shoddy guitarist, a little guy named Shawn Lane, recommended exercises that force you to get used to thinking about playing more rapidly.

What I would recommend are what are called "burst" exercises. Using a program like Guitar Pro or Tux Guitar that has a playback feature is very helpful in these exercises. Take a simple 3 note per string passage and build tempo until you reach your maximum tempo. Then set it to about 130-150% tempo. Try to play along to that a couple times. Then go to something lower like 120%. Then go back up to 150%. Then back down to 115% or so.

Most speed exercises involve building up technique. That one focuses on breaking down mental blocks.

If you're not feeling tension when you try to get past your top picking speed, then it's most likely that your issue is mental, not physical.

TS, could you try to be a little more specific as to what seems to fall apart as you try to speed up past your maximum? Is there discomfort in either of your hands? Is there tension? Can your fingers not keep up with your picking? Can your picking not keep up with your fingers? Can you manage to tense up and go past your maximum speed or do you just hit a certain point and literally cannot physically go past that point?

I'm willing to be that your problem is mental, not physical. I believe that it is entirely possible, and in your case likely, that at one point you were not able to play past a certain speed and, having failed to improve, convinced yourself that you cannot play that fast regardless of what you do.

Give it a shot.
#7
If you can play over 100 bpm at 16ths, and most songs being in the 120 bpm ballbark, wehy are you looking for songs at less than half that?
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#8
Quote by Geldin
A particularly shoddy guitarist, a little guy named Shawn Lane, recommended exercises that force you to get used to thinking about playing more rapidly.


i have a harder time believing "little" than i do "shoddy".
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#9
Quote by AeolianWolf
i have a harder time believing "little" than i do "shoddy".

And a harder time believing that I was being sarcastic?
#10
Quote by Geldin
And a harder time believing that I was being sarcastic?


not really. i just wanted to make a fat joke.

EDIT: i read the wikipedia article about him and saw that his weight had something to do with steroid usage due to a medical condition. i feel bad now.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
Last edited by AeolianWolf at Aug 3, 2011,
#12
Quote by Tiago Sa
[...] improve 1bpm at a time.

That seems a little excessive; 5-10 bpm improvements are more realistic.

Geldin's 'burst' idea is probably your best bet. I haven't seen a specific layout like that before, but I was always told: if you have trouble playing at your new speed--10 bpm over your former maximum for example--increase the speed 10 bpm more and try your best to run through it. Then try it back at the speed you were originally trying. It works; it seems somewhat silly, but it makes a difference. Give it a shot.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#13
Have you tried fixing your picking style?
I had a major fail with it, so I really couldn't pick faster than 100bpm sixteenths.
#14
a test to see if you will ever be able to play fast is to try tremolo picking a single note--the speed at which you can tremolo pick the note comfortably for about 30 seconds is the maximum speed you will be able to attain. Me? I've never been able to tremolo pick faster than about 16ths at 90bpm, and after playing since I was 13 yrs old (I'm now 45), I still cannot pick notes faster than that (I can play legato quite fast, though). To be sure, I haven't practiced consistently for more than 3 months or so at a time and there have been 5 to 10 year stretches where I don't even play the guitar, but one thing I have noticed is that people can either tremolo pick right away at high speed, or they cannot...they can just do a 'fast walk' kind of motion with their wrist at about the 16ths at 90-105 bpm. My opinion so far on this topic is that you either have the gene for picking fast, or you don't. I've been practicing alternate picking now for almost 4 months consistently, with economy of motion, blah, blah blah...and I've actually gotten SLOWER, if you can believe that. Granted, my technique is much better now (picking), but I'm now about 5bpm slower than I was when I started out. But the truth is, with guitar pro, I can play along with any fast song I want by simply playing it at 50% speed, and frankly, I'm enjoying myself, so...
#15
Quote by afrika18
a test to see if you will ever be able to play fast is to try tremolo picking a single note--the speed at which you can tremolo pick the note comfortably for about 30 seconds is the maximum speed you will be able to attain. Me? I've never been able to tremolo pick faster than about 16ths at 90bpm, and after playing since I was 13 yrs old (I'm now 45), I still cannot pick notes faster than that (I can play legato quite fast, though). To be sure, I haven't practiced consistently for more than 3 months or so at a time and there have been 5 to 10 year stretches where I don't even play the guitar, but one thing I have noticed is that people can either tremolo pick right away at high speed, or they cannot...they can just do a 'fast walk' kind of motion with their wrist at about the 16ths at 90-105 bpm. My opinion so far on this topic is that you either have the gene for picking fast, or you don't. I've been practicing alternate picking now for almost 4 months consistently, with economy of motion, blah, blah blah...and I've actually gotten SLOWER, if you can believe that. Granted, my technique is much better now (picking), but I'm now about 5bpm slower than I was when I started out. But the truth is, with guitar pro, I can play along with any fast song I want by simply playing it at 50% speed, and frankly, I'm enjoying myself, so...


What the actual Fuck?
#16
afrika18: That makes sense. But I'm not big on playing fast songs slow. That said, I have found a genre that is nice and slow and sounds cool. Doom Metal. Check out Reverend Bizarre, awesome stuff. I think their fastest song is like 55bpm, but I don't think there's even a 16th in there.
#17
Quote by soviet_ska
That seems a little excessive; 5-10 bpm improvements are more realistic.

I find that it's easy to get frustrated if you have a sudden 10bpm change. Unless you are not playing at your limit, in which case it's easier to adjust.

Quote by soviet_ska
Geldin's 'burst' idea is probably your best bet. I haven't seen a specific layout like that before, but I was always told: if you have trouble playing at your new speed--10 bpm over your former maximum for example--increase the speed 10 bpm more and try your best to run through it. Then try it back at the speed you were originally trying. It works; it seems somewhat silly, but it makes a difference. Give it a shot.

Indeed. It's weird, but it works. But again, not so much when you are at your limit.
• '10 Epiphone Les Paul
• '96 Epiphone Rebel EM-1
• '10 Jackson JS32T Rhoads
• Vox Valvetronix VT20+
• Fame GTA40
• Zoom GX7.1u
• Boss MT-2 Metal Zone
• Jim Dunlop Ultex Jazz III 2mm
#18
Quote by Tiago Sa
It's weird, but it works. But again, not so much when you are at your limit.

Like I said, the idea behind most technical exercises is to build your technique by starting slow and increasing gradually. Sometimes, though, you form a mental block and cannot progress past a certain point. The burst idea is something that I don't normally do when practicing, since it isn't so much constructive as much as it is positive destruction. The idea is to find what you think is your limit and go way beyond it, then work backwards until you find your actual physical limit. I've used to to go from 10 notes per second when sweeping to about 14 or 15 notes per second. That's a huge gain in speed, but it wasn't because I built my technique, but because I put effort into deconstructing a mental block.

Quote by Legion6789
afrika18: That makes sense. But I'm not big on playing fast songs slow. That said, I have found a genre that is nice and slow and sounds cool. Doom Metal. Check out Reverend Bizarre, awesome stuff. I think their fastest song is like 55bpm, but I don't think there's even a 16th in there.

If you want to learn to play fast, you have to start slowly (just don't get stuck there). Definitely play some doom metal, since it's got a good sound without being terribly challenging in terms of speed. check out the band Katatonia. It's a neat combination of some radio rock and doom metal that ends up sounding really aesthetically pleasing.

However, definitely go try the burst exercise. That ought to help.
#19
Quote by afrika18
a test to see if you will ever be able to play fast is to try tremolo picking a single note--the speed at which you can tremolo pick the note comfortably for about 30 seconds is the maximum speed you will be able to attain. Me? I've never been able to tremolo pick faster than about 16ths at 90bpm, and after playing since I was 13 yrs old (I'm now 45), I still cannot pick notes faster than that (I can play legato quite fast, though). To be sure, I haven't practiced consistently for more than 3 months or so at a time and there have been 5 to 10 year stretches where I don't even play the guitar, but one thing I have noticed is that people can either tremolo pick right away at high speed, or they cannot...they can just do a 'fast walk' kind of motion with their wrist at about the 16ths at 90-105 bpm. My opinion so far on this topic is that you either have the gene for picking fast, or you don't.


It took me about 2 months to even start alternate picking, and I couldn't even tremolo pick 16ths at 90bpm for 30 seconds until after a year of playing. Now after a 22 months of playing I can tremolo 16ths at 192 BPM (Admittedly my legato is nowhere near that). Does this mean my genes have recently mutated?
Last edited by 37 Narwhals at Aug 3, 2011,
#20
Quote by 37 Narwhals
It took me about 2 months to even start alternate picking, and I couldn't even tremolo pick 16ths at 90bpm for 30 seconds until after a year of playing. Now after a 22 months of playing I can tremolo 16ths at 200 BPM (Admittedly my legato is nowhere near that). Does this mean my genes have recently mutated?

It depends a lot on your technique. Does your movement come from your wrist or your elbow? For me over 200 bpm is a breeze with the motion coming from my elbow but when playing with my wrist I get nowhere near.
E:-6
B:-0
G:-5
D:-6
A:-0
E:-3
#21
Elbow picking is bad. Don't even consider it. All the speed you'll even need can come right from the wrist with far more control than elbow picking offers.
#22
Quote by Flibo
It depends a lot on your technique. Does your movement come from your wrist or your elbow? For me over 200 bpm is a breeze with the motion coming from my elbow but when playing with my wrist I get nowhere near.

My post was mainly meant to criticise this "africa18's" "test" but to answer your question, I use my wrist.
Last edited by 37 Narwhals at Aug 3, 2011,
#23
Quote by afrika18
a test to see if you will ever be able to play fast is to try tremolo picking a single note--the speed at which you can tremolo pick the note comfortably for about 30 seconds is the maximum speed you will be able to attain. Me? I've never been able to tremolo pick faster than about 16ths at 90bpm, and after playing since I was 13 yrs old (I'm now 45), I still cannot pick notes faster than that (I can play legato quite fast, though). To be sure, I haven't practiced consistently for more than 3 months or so at a time and there have been 5 to 10 year stretches where I don't even play the guitar, but one thing I have noticed is that people can either tremolo pick right away at high speed, or they cannot...they can just do a 'fast walk' kind of motion with their wrist at about the 16ths at 90-105 bpm. My opinion so far on this topic is that you either have the gene for picking fast, or you don't. I've been practicing alternate picking now for almost 4 months consistently, with economy of motion, blah, blah blah...and I've actually gotten SLOWER, if you can believe that. Granted, my technique is much better now (picking), but I'm now about 5bpm slower than I was when I started out. But the truth is, with guitar pro, I can play along with any fast song I want by simply playing it at 50% speed, and frankly, I'm enjoying myself, so...

dude, don't belive that bollocks that MAB spews out of his arse
Actually called Mark!

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#25
Quote by afrika18
Mab??


michael angelo batio.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#26
why dont you write your own song thats slower than 48bpm. Then you are limitless to what u can practice at that tempo.
#27
^Good tip. It allows you to fully use every technique that you have at your disposal, yet you have total control over the difficulty of what you write!
Yeah
#28
record a video of yourself playing a scale or something back and forth at the top speed you can (Cleanly), something is definitely wrong with your technique


soviet_ska, i would say that 1bmp incriments would suit him better, because to him those 110 bpm seem like 200+ to faster players, jumping by 5 beats at once is suicide at high speeds, and for him 110bpm are high speed

but really, post a video, unless something is terribly medically wrong with your wrist, there is no way you cant get yourself to play fast properly
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#29
What does Michael Angelo Batio say about alternate picking? That only some people can do it?