#1
So, after a couple of years, of not continued practice, it's been a couple of months since I picked up the guitar, and started to understand how the practice thing works. I've seen the sticky, which I think put me in the right track.

So, last couple of months, I've been practicing slow, and I noticed some improvement. I kinda restarted everything I knew, I changed the way I hold the pick, and that was like starting again.

Last couple of weeks I began practicing really slowly, and I notice more improvement, so I wanted to get an idea of how slowly is for correct practice. I followed the instructions of correct practice video and finger independence from Freepower in youtube.

For example, the different techniques:
Hammer-on & pull-off:
I make all the possible combinations (1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 1-3, 2-4, 1-4, 1-2-3, 1-2-4, etc).
I used to make them, like at 2 notes per beat @ 92bpm~ (without metronome though). Is good to practice like this or it's better slow?.
Now, I make them really slow, without metronome.
I repeat the hammer-on & pull-off a couple of times in-between other excercises.

Picking excersices:
I've been doing Fig. 1, 2 & 3 from: http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/s/steve_vai/10-hour_guitar_workout_tab.htm
So, I first play slooowly like the video of finger independence, I play like 1-2-3-4 in all strings, and then 5-4-3-2 in all strings (like go down, move one fret forward, and then up), in this speed.
Then I play 1 note per beat at 72bpm, till I reach fret nº17 with my index finger, following the pattern, down, one fret forward, up, one fret forward, etc...
Then I play the same, but at 2 notes per beat @ 72bpm.
Then I play one last time really slow, the same I did first.

Bending:
I do not use metronome at all for this, I just try to get the bend in tune.
I start like:
e|--3--4--3--3b4------3--5--3--3b5-----

Then move up each string. Then move 2 frets forward, and do the same pattern, till I reach the higher frets.
I practice bending with 3 fingers, index, middle and ring. Should I use other combinations?.

Spider:
I do one excercise I read at justinguitar (don't know if i'm allowed to put the link), following the same pattern from picking. (no metronome, 1per beat @ 72bpm, 2 per beat @ 72bpm, no metronome).

Then I spend some time learning songs, like starting at 40bpm, doing it a couple of times till I remember all the song, then I slowly begin to up the tempo (like at 3 or 5 bpm at each time, repeat a couple of times, etc).


So far, this is what I do regularly. It takes me a couple of hours to complete this I think (without the song learning part).

Well, this got really long. So I wanted opinions on how well is this. My main doubt is about metronome practicing, and how slowly should I practice, or when I have to speed up. Should I focus on doing things really slow? (that's what I've read in the sticky, it was something like "why focus on getting the next note in time...", like, just practicing without metronome?).
I get that practicing really slow requires a lot of discipline, but I can see lot's of improvements, so, thats what I'm aiming for.
Thanks.
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#3
Quote by Don't Read This
Why aren't you using a metronome?


This. Use a metronome. You will never learn how to keep time without it.
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This is terrible advice. Even worse than the useless dry, sarcastic comment I made.

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#4
I do use a metronome...
I explained how I use it for the different techniques, I'm looking for some guidelines on how it should be correct. Like, first I do it really slow without metronome (this is what I read), the I do use, but how should I practice with a metronome?, should I build up speed starting really slow? should I stay always slow?
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Jackson Kelly KE3

Strymon El Capistan
RMC4 Picture Wah
Sunface BC-108
Fulltone OCD
MXR M-108
ISP Decimator
Bad Monkey
Danelectro Fish & Chips

Peavey ValveKing 112:
-Celestion Vintage 30
#5
Quote by Utci
I do use a metronome...
I explained how I use it for the different techniques, I'm looking for some guidelines on how it should be correct. Like, first I do it really slow without metronome (this is what I read), the I do use, but how should I practice with a metronome?, should I build up speed starting really slow? should I stay always slow?


if you always stay slow you will never get fast. Keep it at a tempo where you can play it PERFECTLY and once its gets really really boring, increase the tempo in 5bpm incriments. If you find its too fast go back to the orginal speed and keep on practicing.

Remember: NEVER SACRIFICE TECHNIQUE FOR SPEED.

It took people like paul gilbert years and years of practicing slowly with a metronome before they were able to shred cleanly.
#6
Hey Utci,

mrbabo91 is on the dollar! You need to learn how to play at faster tempos, but also have the speed be totally perfect.

Here's how to do that:

1. Start by finding your maximum speed that you can play the exercise. Increase the speed of the metronome to the point where you can just barely play the exercise. Any faster, and it would be a sloppy mess.

2. WATCH your hands at this maximum speed. Figure out what you're doing wrong. Are your fingers tensing up? Are you pulling your fingers too far away from the fretboard? Are your two hands not working together in a synchronized way? Is your picking flying all over the place? Take notes of what you're doing wrong!

3. Slow the metronome down to the point where EVERYTHING disappears. At this point, you want to be doing everything totally PERFECT. Make sure that you are playing COMPLETELY relaxed (this doesn't mean play weak, it means stay relaxed.) Then make sure that your hands are playing in synch.

4. Gradually increase the metronome, and whenever you see any mistakes start appearing, focus on eliminating those mistakes one at a time.

5. Think, think, THINK about how you can make your movements more efficient, more effective, faster, easier, smoother, cleaner... I've given some examples above, but there are many more things to keep in mind.

That should get you started. Go through this process until you reach the maximum speed that you started with, and then find your NEW maximum speed!
#7
That looks OK to me except for one thing.

It looks to me like you're not integrating any kind of musical context into your practicing. What you've got is going to make you very good at those exercises, I think, but there doesn't look like there is any mixing of the techniques you're practicing. All of that technical practice is all well and good, but by not integrating those techniques, you're doing yourself a disservice.

One more thing: keep in mind that speed is not the ultimate goal in and of itself. Remember that the technical aspects (speed, precision, and cleanliness) are means to an end. You do intend to play music, right? Make sure you practice a musical passage every now and then and put those techniques to use. It's easy to forsake learning or writing music and focus purely on the technical aspect of playing, but that ends up doing you just as much harm as good.
#9
Quote by Geldin
That looks OK to me except for one thing.

It looks to me like you're not integrating any kind of musical context into your practicing. What you've got is going to make you very good at those exercises, I think, but there doesn't look like there is any mixing of the techniques you're practicing. All of that technical practice is all well and good, but by not integrating those techniques, you're doing yourself a disservice.

One more thing: keep in mind that speed is not the ultimate goal in and of itself. Remember that the technical aspects (speed, precision, and cleanliness) are means to an end. You do intend to play music, right? Make sure you practice a musical passage every now and then and put those techniques to use. It's easy to forsake learning or writing music and focus purely on the technical aspect of playing, but that ends up doing you just as much harm as good.


I would say practice music more than just every now and then; musical practice should, in my opinion, make up the bulk of what you do. If you have to create and exercise for a certain technique then make it a musical one, that way you end up with an exercise that you can use when playing as well. God only knows how many people practiced those stupid chromatics and then discovered that 99% of guitar playing (in lead terms) is less than 4 notes per string...
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#10
Personally, I would say practice as slow as you need to. Some things you'll be able to look at and play really well, with really good technique, at quite high speed.

Some things require you to slow right down to ridiculously slow to get them right.

If you've haven't been practising much and are changing lots of things about your technique then you need to go slow enough to correct everything at once. That's usually VERY slow, possibly even so slow that you can't do it with a metronome, and you don't worry about timing.

That said, that's an extreme for working on control and for correcting errors that have been practised into your playing. You can definitely incorporate doing things and pushing the tempo gradually as well to build speed and stamina.

It also goes without saying you should be PLAYING lots of guitar as well as just practising it, and you can still do that at normal tempos.