Poll: Feel Pressured To Play Fast?
Poll Options
View poll results: Feel Pressured To Play Fast?
Yes
18 36%
No
2 4%
I Play What I Want And Don't care...
26 52%
Stop Whining And Go Learn Malmsteen
4 8%
Voters: 50.
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#1
I get it all the time. Everyone seems to judge guitarists on how fast they can play. When someone wants to show how good they are, they'll tend to play the quickest lick/solo/riff they can.

It sounds like a lame excuse, but I don't want to play fast. Sure, it'd be nice to for messing around, but I don't play metal or songs with really quick stuff in it. I listen to songs like that, but they're not my thing for playing.

My problem is, I feel a bit amateur if I don't learn how to play fast. All my guitar influences tend not to play fast (With the exception of Mr Moore and a few others), yet still there's the "Play Fast = You Good" way of thinking.

Does anyone else get this?

Tl;dr: Do you feel pressured to play fast when you don't want to?
#2
I love fast music and I love shredding but I do sometimes feel pressured to do it because it's what people have come to expect of me. If I learn/write a really slow song, people aren't interested; they want to hear me shred it up.
That being said, play whatever you want. If they want to hear something else, they should learn to play it themselves.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
Last edited by Aleksi at Aug 6, 2011,
#3
I love hearing people play fast, and sure I wish I could shred, but I love it when there's a slow solo that you can hum all day, where the guitarist doesn't need to play fast. I think it depends on the song; if it's a fast tempo metal song, then sure, playing fast works, but a lot of the time, slow is best, and I like that. If you're slow you can be a lot more expressive.
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#4
I don´t. Being a good guitarist aint being able to play fast, it is being able to play what you want to.

Anyhow i can´t get bothered with people like that, the most annoying thing is when your playing with another guitarist and that guitarist got the way of thinking "Speed=Awesome guitarist", cause they get cocky as hell.

I play what i want to play, and stuff i cannot play that i want to play i have to practice. Simple as that.
#5
All the goddamned time. But here's the thing: a significant number of guys who can shred 16th notes at 200bpm can't play Mary Had A Little Lamb. And it's pretty much only inexperienced guitarists or ignorant metalheads that care about speed. Forget about them. Play whatever you damn well please.
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#6
Nope: I've found that to make a solo good, find a lick that sounds good and relevant to other melodies in the song, and then use it, and keep it simple occasionally adding in fast stuff.
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#9
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
Protip:

You guys are immediately judging fast guitarists as bad guitarists, which is mind-numbingly stupid.


I didn't mean to, if that was to me.

I think they're amazing, I may not like some of the over the top stuff (IMHO) but their skill level is amazing.

I'm just saying I don't like the people who act as if playing the guiar is playing fast metal and playing slow is something you do when learning.
#10
There's nothing wrong with speed, but it must be used in moderation and in context. Most of the shredders I've seen try to impress with their speed, but they have no substance. A well-articulated riff played slowly sounds better than a shredded lick played poorly any day of the week.
#11
Quote by DeadlySurfer
I didn't mean to, if that was to me.

I think they're amazing, I may not like some of the over the top stuff (IMHO) but their skill level is amazing.

I'm just saying I don't like the people who act as if playing the guiar is playing fast metal and playing slow is something you do when learning.



Not necessarily you. I'll explain a little better.
The point of this thread is obviously that speed doesn't equal skill, and that a good player should make slow things sound good too. Which is fine, if you don't want to play fast, then don't. But a lot of this thread just sound like arrogance, like a fast player should be looked down upon. The thing is though, whether you like fast music or want to play it or not, speed does show skill, and a lot of it.
#12
Quote by jwd724
All the goddamned time. But here's the thing: a significant number of guys who can shred 16th notes at 200bpm can't play Mary Had A Little Lamb. And it's pretty much only inexperienced guitarists or ignorant metalheads that care about speed. Forget about them. Play whatever you damn well please.


This is one of the arrogant posts I'm talking about. Every word of this is bullshit except the last sentence.
#13
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
Not necessarily you. I'll explain a little better.
The point of this thread is obviously that speed doesn't equal skill, and that a good player should make slow things sound good too. Which is fine, if you don't want to play fast, then don't. But a lot of this thread just sound like arrogance, like a fast player should be looked down upon. The thing is though, whether you like fast music or want to play it or not, speed does show skill, and a lot of it.


I agree with your last point.

I respect fast players, they've had the patience to learn to play fast. I don't want to, as the only reason I would be is to show off. I'm not saying all fast players play fast to show off, I'm just saying I wouldn't play any shredding songs because it's not my thing.

The point of this thread really, is to say that it's okay to play "slow". Like shredding, it won't be for everyone but it's how it is. It just seems like you get a lot more guys saying to play fast to show you're good, rather than people going up to fast players saying slow down.
#14
To me, it's always been about the SONG, not the techniques used to make it. I think a lot of people get caught up in the "I'm going to be a shredder" mentality and lose their focus on what's important - which is to make interesting, mesmerizing riffs and melodies.

My personal view on shredding is that there's too much of it in a lot of bands/artists these days. Sure, I'd like to be able to play like that, but I wouldn't do it all the time. I'm more impressed with artists that can hold themselved back a little and then blow your mind with a brief shreddy section, rather than the guys that go out there and play 1,000,000 notes per minute for an entire album. To me, rhythm and groove are just as important, and often underrated.

To answer the orginal poster's question - no, I don't ever feel pressured to play fast. I play as fast as I need to play for a particular song/riff. Because in the end, non-guitarists don't have a clue what's difficult or not difficult to play - they judge your playing by whether they like what they hear or not. I like to specialize in dark, brutal, punishing riffs myself. If my listeners are a little scared, then I'm doing it right.
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#15
The thing is, people, playing guitar and writing a song are two different skills. If I want to show you how good I am at playing, I'll play fast. I'll show you slow and pretty if I want to show off how good I am at writing.
#16
Quote by DeadlySurfer
The point of this thread really, is to say that it's okay to play "slow". Like shredding, it won't be for everyone but it's how it is. It just seems like you get a lot more guys saying to play fast to show you're good, rather than people going up to fast players saying slow down.

That may have been the original intent, but the sheer amount of arrogance in here about playing slowly is appalling.

A lot of people on here have created this false dichotomy in which you can either be fast or have feeling. That's bullshit. Being able to play fast is as much an expressive tool as vibrato is. There are players who focus purely on speed, yes, but there are just as many at both ends of the spectrum. There are those who only want to play fast because they think that fast equals good, but there are also those who want to play slowly because they're under the impression that slow equals good. Both groups are idiots because they don't realize that they're ignoring the expressive qualities of speed and tempo.

Do I ever feel pressured to play fast? Of course I do, but it's not external pressure; it's internal. It's how I feel and how I communicate it. **** y'all. I play what I want.
#17
I agree.

Too many people don't understand how much more there is to a person's sound and style than how many notes they can play per second.

Don't get me wrong; I can sweep pick cleaner than a fresh batch of laundry. But there's a time a place for speed. Speed can be an important element, especially if you play metal genres and things like that but it isn't anymore important than your other techniques and your overall sound.

I'm personally much more impressed by someone who can play basic notes and have a very developed professional sound like Steve Vai over someone who can sweep as fast as Malmsteen. Though, having your total style sounding great in terms of all techniques is the best. But I guess I just see more in advanced slower playing than advanced fast playing. I feel like fast playing kind of hides a load of your style.

Sometimes I hear kids sweeping in Guitar Center or something and it sounds okay, but the second they start playing notes that ring out more I can hear that they have that common, whiny, undeveloped, amateur sound.. and that isn't impressive at all.
Last edited by TechnicolorType at Aug 6, 2011,
#20
Quote by mrbabo91
i would take awesome vibrato over speed anyday.

This is exactly the crap I'm talking about. Playing guitar and learning skills is not a game of "Would you rather?". I have developed a lot of speed playing and can cleanly sweep and tap and perform legato runs at about 13.5 notes per second and can cleanly alternate pick at around 12 notes per second. Based on that little dichotomy of speed or feeling, I ought to have terrible Kirk Hammett vibrato. That's not true, though. I've devoted time into developing all of my skills instead of subscribing to some stupid game of "Would you rather?". To quote Malmsteen, to think otherwise would be illogical.
#21
For me, 90% of the guitarists that can play fast can't play for shit. You spend 5 years learning how to play fast, you'll play WORSE than someone who spends 5 years learning how to play music, compose, phrasing and whatnot. There's no comparison because the awesomeness of five or six well placed intervals and a bend and a random shred. Of course, if you can combine both, you will rock. But people forget about that, they just wanna play fast.

Well, not enough.
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#22
Quote by Tiago Sa
For me, 90% of the guitarists that can play fast can't play for shit. You spend 5 years learning how to play fast, you'll play WORSE than someone who spends 5 years learning how to play music, compose, phrasing and whatnot. There's no comparison because the awesomeness of five or six well placed intervals and a bend and a random shred. Of course, if you can combine both, you will rock. But people forget about that, they just wanna play fast.

Well, not enough.

Again, this is where that false dichotomy comes from. People get it into their heads that you can expressive or you can be fast. What they don't realize is that by only playing fast or only playing slowly or only focusing on one particular skill (sweeping, tapping vibrato, bends, whatever) they're limiting themselves expressively. However, in order to save face, they just declare that those who use techniques other than what they use are inferior somehow. By focusing so much on one "superior" technique, a musician develops tunnel vision.
#23
Quote by Tiago Sa
For me, 90% of the guitarists that can play fast can't play for shit. You spend 5 years learning how to play fast, you'll play WORSE than someone who spends 5 years learning how to play music, compose, phrasing and whatnot. There's no comparison because the awesomeness of five or six well placed intervals and a bend and a random shred. Of course, if you can combine both, you will rock. But people forget about that, they just wanna play fast.

Well, not enough.


As I said, playing and writing are two different skills. If you're playing fast (with cleanness and technique) you're probably a good player. Would anybody here argue that Malmsteen is a bad player? Most of us would say his music is boring and we don't like it, but until we can play as fast as him with as many techniques then none of us can say we are better than him at playing. At wring music, sure. At playing our instrument, no.
#24
lol my mom always tells me to slow it down (even though i dont even play very fast)

even my own mother knows playing slower and more clean sounding sounds better!
#25
Quote by OptionParalysis
lol my mom always tells me to slow it down (even though i dont even play very fast)

even my own mother knows playing slower and more clean sounding sounds better!


I hate you.
#26
Quote by Tiago Sa
For me, 90% of the guitarists that can play fast can't play for shit. You spend 5 years learning how to play fast, you'll play WORSE than someone who spends 5 years learning how to play music, compose, phrasing and whatnot. There's no comparison because the awesomeness of five or six well placed intervals and a bend and a random shred. Of course, if you can combine both, you will rock. But people forget about that, they just wanna play fast.

Well, not enough.
Exactly. I agree completely.

edit: oops read something wrong

Quote by Macabre_Turtle
As I said, playing and writing are two different skills. If you're playing fast (with cleanness and technique) you're probably a good player. Would anybody here argue that Malmsteen is a bad player? Most of us would say his music is boring and we don't like it, but until we can play as fast as him with as many techniques then none of us can say we are better than him at playing. At wring music, sure. At playing our instrument, no.
The only thing I think Malmsteen is good at is playing notes fast. That doesn't make me believe he's a good guitarist. It makes me believe he's good at playing notes fast. There is a difference.

However, this is because I've never heard him slow it down and play anything that'll allow me to hear the rest of his style.. if there even is one.
So he could be a great player, but I've never actually heard that.
Last edited by TechnicolorType at Aug 6, 2011,
#27
Do you people not realize that speed is not a technique? Playing fast requires you to learn the 'other' techniques and do them well. If somebody can play a lot of techniques but only get to 180bpm, but another player does the same techniques just as well at 240bpm, how does that make him a worse player?
#28
Quote by TechnicolorType
Exactly. I agree completely.

edit: oops read something wrong

The only thing I think Malmsteen is good at is playing notes fast. That doesn't make me believe he's a good guitarist. It makes me believe he's good at playing notes fast. There is a difference.

However, this is because I've never heard him slow it down and play anything that'll allow me to hear the rest of his style.. if there even is one.
So he could be a great player, but I've never actually heard that.



Again playing skill vs. writing skill. If you can't play what he plays, then he is a better guitar player. Perhaps you are a better writer because his music is boring, but you're not a better player unless you can do what he does.
#29
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
Do you people not realize that speed is not a technique? Playing fast requires you to learn the 'other' techniques and do them well. If somebody can play a lot of techniques but only get to 180bpm, but another player does the same techniques just as well at 240bpm, how does that make him a worse player?
Do you realize that there isn't much room for vibrato, bends, slides, whammy usage, hos/pos, pinch harmonics, etc. etc. etc. when the note lasts about .05 seconds..?
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
Again playing skill vs. writing skill. If you can't play what he plays, then he is a better guitar player. Perhaps you are a better writer because his music is boring, but you're not a better player unless you can do what he does.
Which would mean you judge a player's skill completely by their speed and nothing else which is what part of this topic is about.

I don't do that, therefore even if I couldn't play as fast as he does I wouldn't consider myself a worse guitar player in a general sense.

However, he's been doing it for a long time and is a professional so no matter what I still would consider him a better player but that isn't my point.

Furthermore, I never mentioned writing. Not sure why that's being brought into this.
Last edited by TechnicolorType at Aug 6, 2011,
#30
I never really feel pressured to play fast but then again, I don't play to impress people, I play play to impress myself. If people like what i play, thats great.

There is so much more to an instrument than being able to play fast on it.
#31
Quote by TechnicolorType
No.. Tiago Sa was clearly saying that if you spend 5 years doing nothing but practicing speed then the rest of your style isn't going to be so great. He also clearly said at the bottom that it's even better if you can combine both speed and expression and the issue was that some people forget about that and just want to play fast.

100% of players who focus on one skill or idea for five years will have poor playing. If you spend five years focusing only on one thing to the exclusion to everything else, that's called tunnel vision. Everyone in here seems to think that you can focus on speed or on feeling and that focusing purely on one for five years (or some other arbitrary limit of time) will make you better than if you focused purely on the other. That's just not true. If you limit yourself and focus purely one element of style, then you are handicapping your playing regardless of which particular element you choose.

This is not about style. This about technique. Like Macabre_Turtle's been saying, there is a difference between raw technique and songwriting.
#32
Quote by mrbabo91
There is so much more to an instrument than being able to play fast on it.
This. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Quote by Geldin
100% of players who focus on one skill or idea for five years will have poor playing. If you spend five years focusing only on one thing to the exclusion to everything else, that's called tunnel vision. Everyone in here seems to think that you can focus on speed or on feeling and that focusing purely on one for five years (or some other arbitrary limit of time) will make you better than if you focused purely on the other. That's just not true. If you limit yourself and focus purely one element of style, then you are handicapping your playing regardless of which particular element you choose.

This is not about style. This about technique. Like Macabre_Turtle's been saying, there is a difference between raw technique and songwriting.
I edited what I said because I read your post wrong. I agree with what you're saying, but a lot of people do only choose to learn speed or on feeling rather than both which is only harming themselves as a player. And a lot of people seem to think that's all there is to guitar for some reason.

And again. When was songwriting brought into this?..
Last edited by TechnicolorType at Aug 6, 2011,
#33
Quote by OptionParalysis
lol my mom always tells me to slow it down (even though i dont even play very fast)

even my own mother knows playing slower and more clean sounding sounds better!




You almost saved yourself by saying 'clean sounding', in a half-arsed attempt to mask your stupidity.

Listen up; David Gilmour is a fantastic guitarist. John Petrucci is a fantastic guitarist. 'Time' is a fantastic song. 'Presence of Enemies' is a fantastic song. 'Time' with a Petrucci solo, is not a fantastic song. 'Presence of Enemies' with a Gilmour solo, is not a fantastic song.

The point is, that the very speed of the song, and playing, is a means of expression. 99% of the time, these guitarists play their solo/riff/whatever to fit the song . If you slow-hogs had your way, then no song would be legally allowed over 65bpm; and that is retarded.

TS: Play what the fuck you want. End of.
Last edited by GrStMyGn at Aug 6, 2011,
#34
That's fine if many of you do not like the sound of "fast playing," but properly performing the same technique at a higher speed is obviously more difficult. Your brain has less time to process everything that's going on, so for the few moments you do have to make sense of the techniques you're dishing out, you have to really know what you're doing. The possibility of error is much higher. You don't see olympians competing for who can perform a task at the slowest possible speed. Many people like to argue "music isn't a sport," but when it comes ti physical things like guitar playing, I'd argue that it is (this has nothing to do with composing by the way, just talking about the playing)
#35
Quote by mrbabo91
I never really feel pressured to play fast but then again, I don't play to impress people, I play play to impress myself. If people like what i play, thats great.

There is so much more to an instrument than being able to play fast on it.

And there is so much to playing music than only playing slow.

There is no "pure" reason to play guitar. If I play fast to show off and then switch to a John Mayer song so I can go home with some girl, that doesn't make me less of a guitarist than anyone else. I play for myself, but I don't see someone playing to get girls or to show off as being less of a musician just because of why they play.

There is no dichotomy of speed. There is no tempo at which all of a sudden all semblance of feeling or emotion disappears.
#36
Quote by TechnicolorType
Do you realize that there isn't much room for vibrato, bends, slides, whammy usage, hos/pos, pinch harmonics, etc. etc. etc. when the note lasts about .05 seconds..?
Which would mean you judge a player's skill completely by their speed and nothing else which is what part of this of this topic was.

I don't do that, therefore even if I couldn't play as fast as he does I wouldn't consider myself a worse guitar player in a general sense.

However, he's been doing it for a long time and is a professional so no matter what I still would consider him a better player but that isn't my point.

Furthermore, I never mentioned writing. Not sure why that's being brought into this.


1. Yes, there absolutely is room. You've never heard anything fast with slides or whammy and so forth? I doubt that.

2. No. I am not implying that it's about speed and nothing else. I'm saying that if somebody can do everything I can do on a guitar but faster, they are a better player. This is fact. Absolute inarguable fact.

3. Writing is brought into this because most of the people in this thread, including you, don't understand the difference between a good player and a good writer, and it's an important difference.
#37
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
3. Writing is brought into this because most of the people in this thread, including you, don't understand the difference between a good player and a good writer, and it's an important difference.





I think what people don't understand is that they aren't segregated skills. You don't lose the ability to write above a certain bpm. At the end of the day, some (most!) people grind their technique (not speed, speed is a by-product of accuracy) to facilitate the compositional ideas in their head.
Last edited by GrStMyGn at Aug 6, 2011,
#38
People are seriously questioning what writing has to do with this? You're arguing that you like solos to be expressive or emotional or catchy or basically any word besides 'fast' (even though fast solos can do all of those things). Having those elements has nothing to do with your ability to play your guitar. That is your ability to write music
#39
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
1. Yes, there absolutely is room. You've never heard anything fast with slides or whammy and so forth? I doubt that.

2. No. I am not implying that it's about speed and nothing else. I'm saying that if somebody can do everything I can do on a guitar but faster, they are a better player. This is fact. Absolute inarguable fact.

3. Writing is brought into this because most of the people in this thread, including you, don't understand the difference between a good player and a good writer, and it's an important difference.
1-2. Usually when I think of shredding I think of a ton of random notes and super fast sweep-picking. And there really isn't much room for all that in some 500000 bpm constant sweep. Now if you break the constant sweeping up then yes, there is room. But when each note is lasting such a short amount of time then there won't be. That's what I meant. If someone plays fast but has a bunch of different techniques spread around it and still in a quick manner then sure, that's great.

3. I've said nothing of the sort. I'm just talking about people's basic playing style, not their writing.

If you want to put what I've said in a box then I'm sort of thinking it in terms like super fast sweep-picking and slower vibrato.

However, sweep-picking isn't the definition of speed so I shouldn't do that. It's its own technique itself. Just so many people obsess over it, I guess it came naturally.
Last edited by TechnicolorType at Aug 6, 2011,
#40
I hate when people treat music like a competition.

Honestly if you are happy with the way you play, then don't care what others think.
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