#1
I know most people just lower their strings really low, but I prefer high action a lot more. I've been looking into sweep picking but the high action makes sweep picking fast seem impossible.
#2
Yeah you pretty much need low action, unless you naturally tend to fret really hard.
#3
Quote by Granata
Yeah you pretty much need low action, unless you naturally tend to fret really hard.

Yeah I figured as much, guess i'll spare myself the frustration and learn sweep picking on low action.
#4
YM apparently has really super high action, the scallops as well...he's pretty fast


Physics says the lower the faster though
#5
Depends on degree, I suppose. A lot of bluegrass pickers use strings (medium gauge acoustic) and actions that would make most electric players wince...But they play very fast indeed.

Depends what you get used to.
#6
Quote by Bikewer
Depends on degree, I suppose. A lot of bluegrass pickers use strings (medium gauge acoustic) and actions that would make most electric players wince...But they play very fast indeed.

Depends what you get used to.


To be fair though bluegrass guitarists never play quite as fast as the electric "shred" guys like Yngwie and Paul Gilbert, nor do though do anything that is as intricate.
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#7
I try to keep my action around 3/64" on the high E and 4/64" on the low E.

If I get too far away from that I can really notice it. It affects the smoothness of ascending and descending runs.

For pentatonic type stuff it doesn't matter as much to me.
#8
Yes, it is definitely possible. It's hard, but it's definitely possible. Look at gypsy jazz players like Angelo Debarre, Joscho Stephan, and Stochelo Rosenberg. Those guitars they play have high action and fantastically thick strings but they manage to play faster and more intricate things than most players you will ever hear.
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#9
Quote by Tempoe
YM apparently has really super high action, the scallops as well...he's pretty fast.


Yeah I don't know what having a scalloped fretboard actually does for you, I'm guessing it helps though.
#10
I have scalloped frets from 12 up, makes not too much difference really, great grip for bends, thats about it if you use jumbo frets anyways. I keep my action around 2mm though
#11
Well after about 10 months of playing i'm up to about 150 bpm with high action but I'm not budging from there.
#12
Quote by hurricane0202
Well after about 10 months of playing i'm up to about 150 bpm with high action but I'm not budging from there.

There could be any number of reasons why you're unable to get any faster. Action is probably not one of them really.

Also, quoting BPM on its own is meaningless, even within the totally meaningless metric of "how fast I can play". If we have to talk about speed, then it has to be a BPM and rhythmic value combo.
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Mar 15, 2015,
#13
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
There could be any number of reasons why you're unable to get any faster. Action is probably not one of them really.

Also, quoting BPM on its own is meaningless, even within the totally meaningless metric of "how fast I can play". If we have to talk about speed, then it has to be a BPM and rhythmic value combo.


Well for one I dont really know any really effective speed exercises, I usually just play fast songs and try to speed myself up everyday.
#14
Quote by hurricane0202
Well for one I dont really know any really effective speed exercises, I usually just play fast songs and try to speed myself up everyday.

That's fine, and the way I would recommend you practice... but doesn't tell anyone anything about the way you're playing and the things that might be getting in the way of you playing faster.

It's things like bodily tension, the size of your movements, your posture in both hands and arms, there are many things that might be stopping you from getting any faster. The best way to get actual effective advice is going to be posting a video of you playing something that is at the edge of what you can do so we can take a look at it and find out what's actually wrong with what you're doing.
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#15
Quote by theogonia777
To be fair though bluegrass guitarists never play quite as fast as the electric "shred" guys like Yngwie and Paul Gilbert, nor do though do anything that is as intricate.


you need to listen to more bluegrass as some of that is very fast and intricate.

super low action isn't needed to play fast at all. precision and proper fingering is. now obviously if your action is slide playing high then yeah that could be a problem.
#16
Quote by monwobobbo
you need to listen to more bluegrass as some of that is very fast and intricate.


I'm a professional bluegrass musician, mate.
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#17
Quote by theogonia777
I'm a professional bluegrass musician, mate.


ok. i've heard some fairly complex sounding stuff. also there is fingerpicking as well as frethand stuff going on. it's harder in the long run if you ask me. much respect for that kind of player from me.