#1
I was playing this song called "Building The Church" by Steve Vai and the solo tapping part is getting sloppy. But it's not just getting sloppy because I'm playing it too fast without getting it right in slower tempo. It's weird, but this is what happened.


I first played the solo tapping part slowly (50 bpm), and increased the tempo by 3 - 5 bpm until I get it down perfectly. I repeated this until I was able to play at 195 bpm, perfectly without noise or mistakes. I was able to do this part perfectly on actual tempo for about a week until about 2 weeks ago, it started getting sloppier and sloppier the more I play.

So I decided to play slowly again, but around 80 bpm, it's already sloppy that I can't get past it anymore. Recently, I figured that the whole song is starting to get more and more sloppier and I can't play the whole song perfectly past 80 bpm. It doesn't make sense because I was able to play the song on 195 bpm perfectly, and now it's getting sloppier.


I had this problem ever since I started playing violin at age of 5. There's a peak maximum to my ability around a week or two after getting the whole song down, until after that, it becomes so sloppy that I have to play slowly, and it will never be perfect past certain tempo, never again.

My violin teach at that time told me that it might be because of the motivation. I quit violin 8 years ago (I once quit violin for the same reason when I was 6 but I started again at 9).


Playing Guitar for about a year now (actually a little bit less than a year), same thing is starting to happen to me on guitar as well. I'm starting to pull my hair off because I am so pissed that I can't play it anymore. My brain and muscle memory says I can do it, but it just won't move like when I was able to play it perfectly, and it never ever can go back to those days where I can play perfectly. It doesn't make sense and I'm getting irritated.

It's probably not because my fingers are getting tired. It happens to each song at particular span of time. Before this song, I was playing the solo for "No More Tears" by Ozzy Osbourne, same thing happened. At one point, I can play it perfectly. Right now, I can never play it perfectly, I can't even get past 100 bpm on it. I recently started practicing "Back in Black" by AC/DC, and that's going fine right now, but I am afraid same thing is going to happen to that song too.


What is wrong with me?
Last edited by I-FLUX at Sep 14, 2013,
#2
I'm guessing one of two things is happening;

1. You consider that you have a song 'down' and you leave it at that. Every song that you consider a piece of your repertoire must be practiced often, especially with pieces like Building The Church. Advanced guitarists aren't great because they once practiced, they're great because they still practice.

2. More likely, you're realising that you never played it properly. I highly doubt you were ever playing Building The Church well with less than a year's worth of guitar playing under your belt. As you get better, your ear improves and will hear mistakes you didn't hear before. Unless you play 10 hours or so a day, it'll be a good long while before you can do Building The Church perfectly, perfectly, to me, meaning as good as the original recording, and I'd bet there were issues you didn't pick out with the other songs too. Be patient, no difficult song comes easy, and when you get to advanced levels, you will improve at a slower rate, so patience really is key.
#3
Quote by CelestialGuitar
I'm guessing one of two things is happening;

1. You consider that you have a song 'down' and you leave it at that. Every song that you consider a piece of your repertoire must be practiced often, especially with pieces like Building The Church. Advanced guitarists aren't great because they once practiced, they're great because they still practice.

2. More likely, you're realising that you never played it properly. I highly doubt you were ever playing Building The Church well with less than a year's worth of guitar playing under your belt. As you get better, your ear improves and will hear mistakes you didn't hear before. Unless you play 10 hours or so a day, it'll be a good long while before you can do Building The Church perfectly, perfectly, to me, meaning as good as the original recording, and I'd bet there were issues you didn't pick out with the other songs too. Be patient, no difficult song comes easy, and when you get to advanced levels, you will improve at a slower rate, so patience really is key.


Agreed. Building The Church is an unrealistic song to attempt to play perfectly after only a years playing.
#5
Quote by CelestialGuitar
I'm guessing one of two things is happening;

1. You consider that you have a song 'down' and you leave it at that. Every song that you consider a piece of your repertoire must be practiced often, especially with pieces like Building The Church. Advanced guitarists aren't great because they once practiced, they're great because they still practice.

2. More likely, you're realising that you never played it properly. I highly doubt you were ever playing Building The Church well with less than a year's worth of guitar playing under your belt. As you get better, your ear improves and will hear mistakes you didn't hear before. Unless you play 10 hours or so a day, it'll be a good long while before you can do Building The Church perfectly, perfectly, to me, meaning as good as the original recording, and I'd bet there were issues you didn't pick out with the other songs too. Be patient, no difficult song comes easy, and when you get to advanced levels, you will improve at a slower rate, so patience really is key.


I optimistically hope 2. is true. I still practice the song everyday, I always practice everyday as much as time allows me (I'm a College Student, and Laboratory is pretty tough especially Chemists).

I was suspecting some sort of psychological problems, so if 2. is right, then I'm kinda relieved. Thanks a lot.


Quote by innovine
Puberty?

That happened long time ago. I'm 22 this year.
Last edited by I-FLUX at Sep 14, 2013,
#6
Quote by I-FLUX
I was suspecting some sort of psychological problems, so if 2. is right, then I'm kinda relieved. Thanks a lot.


No problem! When I was about a year and a half into my playing, I used to play Blitzkrieg by Yngwie Malmsteen, and suddenly, I thought my arpeggios had gotten awful, so I spent ages slowing them down so that I could do them perfectly, thinking I'd gotten worse. After about 3 months of hardcore metronome practice, I found an old video of me playing Blitzkrieg, and, christ, it was sloppy, I just didn't realise it. I practice hours on end with a metronome every day nowadays, and after five years of doing that, I'm actually starting to hear mistakes and little imperfections in solos recorded in studio, as my ear for mistakes has gotten a lot better. It's one thing to hit frets in time, it's another to perfectly articulate each note and have full control over your instrument at all time.

A lot of players, when they play fast, move their fingers really really quickly, and while it can get results, the top players like Jani Liimatainen, Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Michael Romeo and the like all have absolute control over their instruments, if you see those videos where people play Flight Of The Bumblebees at WTFbpm, they look almost bored at times, and their fingers are barely moving, no tension, no stress, hardly any movement, that's what every player eventually aims for, that level of control, regardless of the genre, and that will come with correct practice and experience.
#7
Quote by CelestialGuitar
if you see those videos where people play Flight Of The Bumblebees at WTFbpm, they look almost bored at times, and their fingers are barely moving, no tension, no stress, hardly any movement, that's what every player eventually aims for, that level of control, regardless of the genre, and that will come with correct practice and experience.


I'm going to have to disagree.

Personally, I like when I have to fight the guitar a little bit (and I certainly can't be the only player who feels that way). If I was at the point where I "looked almost bored" and could just mindlessly burn through licks, I'd probably lose interest in playing the guitar because I wouldn't feel any sort of feelings or connection to what I was playing.
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#8
Quote by Sleaze Disease
I'm going to have to disagree.

Personally, I like when I have to fight the guitar a little bit (and I certainly can't be the only player who feels that way). If I was at the point where I "looked almost bored" and could just mindlessly burn through licks, I'd probably lose interest in playing the guitar because I wouldn't feel any sort of feelings or connection to what I was playing.


Well I think he meant that people can play dead-pan and their fingers don't look like they are doing anything crazy, but in fact they are - it's just that their fingers have no unnecessary movements that it looks smooth and less challenging.
#9
One of the best conductors I've ever worked with said to me; "An amateur practices until they get it right. A professional practices until they can't get it wrong." Whether you're playing some unbelievably technical music that requires full relaxation, or a slow blues piece that requires spot on phrasing and bends, you need to be at a level where you can play it in your sleep, when you can play a piece while looking bored you have more room to add facial expressions and movements to make it more theatrical if you so wish. You want to have absolute control over your fingers and your instrument, so that even if you do want to make playing guitar harder with stronger strings, low output pickups or what have you, you can still give a good, consistent performance every time you play a piece of music.
#10
Quote by CelestialGuitar

A lot of players, when they play fast, move their fingers really really quickly, and while it can get results, the top players like Jani Liimatainen, Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Michael Romeo and the like all have absolute control over their instruments


They will tell you otherwise because the principal you mention is very true. The better you get, the more awareness of your lack of control and weaknesses you gain.


Quote by CelestialGuitar
if you see those videos where people play Flight Of The Bumblebees at WTFbpm, they look almost bored at times, and their fingers are barely moving, no tension, no stress, hardly any movement, that's what every player eventually aims for


No!
#11
Quote by CelestialGuitar
when you can play a piece while looking bored you have more room to add facial expressions and movements to make it more theatrical if you so wish.


That's stupid.

Who would want to watch a guy up there playing the blues and just be faking a bunch of 'painful' facial expressions? That conductor may have a point, but it's a purely theoretical one. Not everybody plays in a clinical, technique-heavy way that classical musicians do (I'm assuming since he's a conductor, he mostly does classical work). When you watch Stevie Ray Vaughan, for example, he obviously has incredible control over his guitar, but I guarantee you he isn't bored and just "adding in theatrical facial expressions"; that mother****er is really playing the guitar.
Quote by SteveHouse
This thread is officially about sucking Sleaze off for a sig.


Quote by tayroar
Hey Sleaze I'll give you a blowjob if you sig me. Maybe even some nudey photos?


Quote by crazy8rgood


Sleaze, that made me lulz in my pants.


Quote by 36mikeyb36
hahaha Sleaze i'd give you my mom for that one.
#12
Quote by Sleaze Disease
I'm going to have to disagree.

Personally, I like when I have to fight the guitar a little bit (and I certainly can't be the only player who feels that way). If I was at the point where I "looked almost bored" and could just mindlessly burn through licks, I'd probably lose interest in playing the guitar because I wouldn't feel any sort of feelings or connection to what I was playing.


In my experience, people that look bored when playing are either -

A) Bored
or
B) Concentrating so hard they forget to make a facial expression.

It's not that they're not putting in any mental effort, it's just that it's all going towards the guitar.

If it sounds like crap they're probably doing A though.