WholeLottaIzzy
UGs Only Rhythm Guitarist
Join date: Apr 2011
800 IQ
#1
I understand playing fast is all about efficiency. I play classic rock mainly so there's quite a few fast solos I want to learn. However, I've always struggled to get past 120bpm.

I'm currently learning Good Times, Bad Times by Led Zeppelin. I've got the whole song down except for the solo. There's a fast pentatonic run in the middle of the solo. It's all sixteenth note triplets at 96bpm. I've currently got it at around 68 - 70bpm but am struggling to get it faster. It's all perfectly tight. I always play with a metronome so timing isn't an issue.

I need tips on how to get faster. I've found that keeping my fingers close to the fretboard helps a lot. I use alternate picking... Anything else?
astholkohtz
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2012
10 IQ
#2
Quote by WholeLottaIzzy
I need tips on how to get faster. I've found that keeping my fingers close to the fretboard helps a lot. I use alternate picking... Anything else?


minimizing motion is always a good idea, you should try to be more efficient with your right hand too.
having said that, there's no special trick to speed up the metronome. it took me 1 year to get alternate picking triplets on major scales from 160 to 210 bpms.
Anon17
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2009
30 IQ
#3
Apart from economy of motion, make sure you're relaxed - You need to be relaxed to play efficiently, tension is your enemy.

If you feel tense (check your arms, shoulders, wrist, fingers etc...) slow down, figure out the cause, practice it painfully (metaphorically not literally) slowly and eliminate the problem. The most common areas for tension in your picking hand are holding the pick too tight (it should literally just be kind of "there" between your index finger and thumb, no pressure really is needed to hold it) and your arm/shoulder.
Syndromed
French guy
Join date: Jul 2011
40 IQ
#4
If you are sure that you are correctly relaxed, and that you are doing economical motions ... it's just a matter of practice.

It seems there is a wall at 120 bpm for a lot of people (me as well), try do slow down and to be sure and sure that you are relaxed (whole body) and that your motions are economical.
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Sickz
Jazz Musician
Join date: Mar 2010
110 IQ
#5
This is exactly what i did to become faster.

Practice whatever i was practicing relaxed, accurate and cleanly. Technique wise i worked on getting my left hand fingers just to hover precisely above the frets. (Getting the ring finger and pinky finger to stay close 100% of the time is hard, but working on it is great).

Also making sure that my right hand did not move that much. I pick from the wrist, and whenever i had hit a string i focused on getting my hand to freeze exactly after it went through the string, if that makes sense.

Like working on getting your picking hand to do such small motions that it almost seems like your resting your pick on the string after every stroke (obviously you are not resting on the string, but getting as close as possible to it without actually doing it is great).

Although i never really focused on speed per say, i just wanted good technique. Economy of motion together with the other stuff i've said is the key to play effortlessly.
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tylerjenns
UG Member
Join date: Jan 2007
40 IQ
#6
Quote by astholkohtz
minimizing motion is always a good idea, you should try to be more efficient with your right hand too.
having said that, there's no special trick to speed up the metronome. it took me 1 year to get alternate picking triplets on major scales from 160 to 210 bpms.


You can alternate pick 21 notes per second? Lol who are you? Rusty Cooley or Shawn Lane?
Shor
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2010
60 IQ
#7
Quote by tylerjenns
You can alternate pick 21 notes per second? Lol who are you? Rusty Cooley or Shawn Lane?

"Triplets" at a certain bpm isn't enough to deduct how fast he is playing. In this case I am guessing he's talking about 8th note triplets, where you assumed he was playing 16th note triplets.
For all we know though, he could be talking about quarter note triplets as well
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tylerjenns
UG Member
Join date: Jan 2007
40 IQ
#8
Ahh! True, true! Sorry for sounding like an ass! Youre right. But why wouldnt you just stay at 100bpm and do 16th note triplets? Instead of 200 bpm 8ths?
Shor
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2010
60 IQ
#9
Quote by tylerjenns
Ahh! True, true! Sorry for sounding like an ass! Youre right. But why wouldnt you just stay at 100bpm and do 16th note triplets? Instead of 200 bpm 8ths?

Agreed!
Subdivide and conquer! It'll give you a better sense of rhythm when you need to fit in more notes between the clicks and still keep the rhythm steady.
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tylerjenns
UG Member
Join date: Jan 2007
40 IQ
#10
Exactly! The drummer is probably not going to be playing 16th notes when playing at 100. Probably quarter or eighth notes Depending on genre. Gotta be able to sub divide!
astholkohtz
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2012
10 IQ
#11
lol that was fun to read.
200 bpm, three notes per beat of course, which makes it 10 notes per second. pretty average...
you guys really looooove to give advice don't you? 100 bpm or 200bpm is kinda the same, technique-wise. maybe it's a different feel, and i do both for elasticity's sake, but there's not much difference.
i wrote down the numbers because i wanted to get the idea of how slow the process can be...
Last edited by astholkohtz at Sep 19, 2012,
Anon17
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2009
30 IQ
#13
To clear up, when triplets are said with no note value I think you can assume it's 8th triplets, as 8th triplets are three notes per beat (16th triplets are sextuplets so six notes per beat) so 8th triplets fit the "triplet" word better as a default than 16th triplets for me. The same way people say sextuplets and they mean by default 16th sextuplets, not 8th sextuplets etc...
tylerjenns
UG Member
Join date: Jan 2007
40 IQ
#14
Quote by astholkohtz
lol that was fun to read.
200 bpm, three notes per beat of course, which makes it 10 notes per second. pretty average...
you guys really looooove to give advice don't you? 100 bpm or 200bpm is kinda the same, technique-wise. maybe it's a different feel, and i do both for elasticity's sake, but there's not much difference.
i wrote down the numbers because i wanted to get the idea of how slow the process can be...


Cool dude! Renember to sub divide its taken me nine months to be able to play some alternate picking licks Rusty Gave me pretty fast. I dont play with a metronome tho'. Here comes the flame war lol
Last edited by tylerjenns at Sep 19, 2012,
jed_zepp
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2012
10 IQ
#15
Its all in the pick my friend. The more you can minimize the distance your pick comes off the string the easier it will be. The best advice for developing speed is practice, practice, and more practice. It takes time to develop the chops to consistently shred like a madman
WholeLottaIzzy
UGs Only Rhythm Guitarist
Join date: Apr 2011
800 IQ
#16
Quote by Jyrgen
Oh yeah that lick in Good Times Bad Times... so tired of it.

Yeah it's a bitch. But I've seen improvement today. Went straight in at 70bpm and it was pretty clean. Didn't warm up that well so it wasn't too clean to start with but hey, it's a freakin' Jimmy Page solo haha.But yeah, it's a pig to learn. But I'll get it.
AtomicBirdy
UG Senior Member
Join date: Apr 2011
40 IQ
#17
Shredding comes from just knowing it perfectly through lots of practice and refined technique. Just play the lick again and again and again with a metronome. It will take 21-30 days to get it set in your brain, some advanced techniques take even longer.

Also, play it even if you cant once in a while. You will sound like shit but somehow it helps in getting your brain to jump the gap between slow and fast (provided you have solid technique foundation).

The way I find I get better is to play it at just a fast enough speed so I make a mistake or two or three, then find out *why* the mistake is happening (is my pinky not hitting the note right? is my muting off? am I moving too fast w/ the pick...etc), then just fix that. Usually it's one small thing holding you back and after fixing it you jump like 20-30 bpm -- at least in my experience.
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astholkohtz
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2012
10 IQ
#18
Quote by AtomicBirdy

The way I find I get better is to play it at just a fast enough speed so I make a mistake or two or three, then find out *why* the mistake is happening (is my pinky not hitting the note right? is my muting off? am I moving too fast w/ the pick...etc), then just fix that. Usually it's one small thing holding you back and after fixing it you jump like 20-30 bpm -- at least in my experience.


so much THIS!
all the people in this forum repeat relentlessly the "play slow" thing (which you did), that's mere basis. it is so obvious that im not even sure it can be considered advice. the part i quoted is a much more insightful piece of advice, in my opinion. auto criticism is crucial to improve, you can't exclusively play slow and hope sometime you'll get the metronome up.
WholeLottaIzzy
UGs Only Rhythm Guitarist
Join date: Apr 2011
800 IQ
#20
I've always thought trying to play it a little faster than you currently can would be good, but, when it comes to my playing, I'm a perfectionist. I want to be as good as I can possibly get so I've been trying to increase it by 1bpm then trying to play it cleanly. It's pushing it forward. Currently on 70bpm. So if I raise it 1bpm per day and get it perfect that day, next day add 1bpm, then I should be able to play it at full speed perfectly and easily within a month?
Anon17
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2009
30 IQ
#21
^ You'd think it works that way but it doesn't - If you're stuck somewhere technique wise then all the practicing in the world won't let you gain that 1bpm at a certain speed unless you fix the issue with your technique. I learnt this the hard way.

The way I'd do it is practice at the fastest speed you can play completely relaxed, with good technique and most importantly complete control over what you're doing. After a while you'll be able to move it up a few bpm and retain that relaxation, technique and control. You don't want to practice at a speed a bit higher than your fastest if you're making mistakes as that'll send your brain mixed signals about what to take in.
WholeLottaIzzy
UGs Only Rhythm Guitarist
Join date: Apr 2011
800 IQ
#22
You missed the point I think. I'm not gunna increase the speed until I can play it smoothly and cleanly at the current speed. I've been playing around five years so I'm quite aware of how to improve my playing and how to properly practise something. Except speed. I've never really felt the need to push myself as far as speed and was concerned. I've always been a rhythm player. Never concentrated on lead too much.

Thanks for all the advice guys
Anon17
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2009
30 IQ
#23
I didn't miss the point. Trying to increase X amount every day just won't work as eventually you'll run into a barrier that takes more than a day to get rid of.

Quote by WholeLottaIzzy
So if I raise it 1bpm per day and get it perfect that day, next day add 1bpm, then I should be able to play it at full speed perfectly and easily within a month?


This is what I'm replying to - There isn't any reason why this wouldn't work for a short amount of time but in the long run you shouldn't think like this - Don't give yourself a time frame you want to get something to a speed in because no matter how reasonable it is, unless you're lucky and practicing properly and don't run into any problems (unlikely) you'll run into a barrier like I've said and you won't be able to get to your desired speed in the desired timeframe.

Quote by WholeLottaIzzy
I've been playing around five years so I'm quite aware of how to improve my playing and how to properly practise something. Except speed.


You don't practice speed though, speed is the product of practicing good technique. If you practice something properly then you'll be "automatically" practicing speed, in a poorly worded way. I'm not questioning your abilities to do anything, you're coming off as if I'm trying to insult you. I'm not.
WholeLottaIzzy
UGs Only Rhythm Guitarist
Join date: Apr 2011
800 IQ
#24
I know you weren't trying to insult me. I'm sorry if I came across rude. I appreciate your advice.

I guess the general idea was to keep gradually increasing the speed by 1bpm. So far, it's around 70bpm and I've able to increase the speed quite a bit. I understand what you mean about hitting that barrier. I didn't account for that. But I will always make sure I can play something perfectly before I try increase the speed. So eventually, it might not be possible to do 1bpm every day.

Thanks for your advice. Again, I'm sorry if I seemed rude
Anon17
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2009
30 IQ
#25
Haha it's okay man, don't fret about it (crap pun intended)

Yeah it seems like you've got the right idea anyway, I always like to put more advice than someone asked for anyway because I've had times that I've asked for advice and gotten some, but because of my poor technique/way of thinking/whatever due to something more basic the advice didn't help. I'd just hate that to happen to other people, hell the reason I post is to try to stop people making the same mistakes I did.
WholeLottaIzzy
UGs Only Rhythm Guitarist
Join date: Apr 2011
800 IQ
#26
I'm very strict in my playing. I've always wanted to be the best I can be and always looking for new ways to learn things, so extra advice is more than welcome. But over my time I've been playing, I've realised you can ask questions of how to do things and all that, but when it comes down to it, it's always just as simple as practise. No matter what it is. Sight reading, transcribing, improvising - whatever. Just learning it cleanly and basically to start with. Keeping things simple.

I've always spent my time playing rhythm guitar. I just like being the whole sound and part of the groove of the song instead of lead. But I'm trying to go for a three year degree starting next October so I'm really getting my head down and practising and learning a lot. I don't want to struggle in the course. And one area I'm trying to improve on mainly, as far as practical goes, is my lead. The rest is just theory, which is a pain in the ass haha.

So when it comes down to this solo, it's just keep increasing the speed after I can play it cleanly at the current speed, then if and when I hit a wall, keep playing at that speed. Like I said, learning something cleanly before moving on. Answered my own question really. My main thing I'm trying to find out is how people keep their playing economic and efficient. My playing has always been pretty tight, but technique wise, I'm pretty sloppy.
91RG350
At least Microsoft cared
Join date: May 2011
50 IQ
#27
ffs Izzy change your avatar...I never read a word you say!!! lol
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Jyrgen
Used Register
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#29
Coming back to this again ,I'm sitting here with a guitar in my hands and damn it's a badass lick. Page is like creating the blueprint for Kirk Hammett right here (except for the wah)
J-Dawg158
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Join date: Nov 2008
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#30
Man you gotta love a thread where there are bouncing boobs every other post ha ha!
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WholeLottaIzzy
UGs Only Rhythm Guitarist
Join date: Apr 2011
800 IQ
#31
Quote by Jyrgen
Coming back to this again ,I'm sitting here with a guitar in my hands and damn it's a badass lick. Page is like creating the blueprint for Kirk Hammett right here (except for the wah)

Yeah I know what you mean. It's an awesome lick that is very Jimmy Page but you can just take it and shove it in any key you like. Still working on it...