#1
Hi everyone, I'm 17 and I've taken it upon myself to learn some really crazy solos, a big idol recently has been Jason Richardson. Now his solos in Born of Osiris and pretty much everything else are fast, complex and clear to the point of lunacy. Listen to XIV/Behold by Born of Osiris or live at the Ernie ball festival if you want to find out what I mean. Now I've taken it upon myself to learn the end solo to Follow the Signs by Born of Osiris, as anyone can tell from listening it is NOT an easy task. At first I had a problem alternate picking the fast sequences and just alternate picking in general (more of an economy picking guy) but I have been getting surprisingly better in the past few days. I realized that much of the problem was not physical as much as it was mental. If I grouped the shredded notes in groups of 12 and then played one extra note into the next group (this extra note is so that the transitions between the groups are also practiced) I realized I could play it much better. I have gotten to about 3/4 speed.

The good thing however may also sort of be the problem. I am sort of obsessed with this, Jason is so young and his playing is like a machine, but so fluid and melodic at the same time. He has truly inspired me to get off my lazy (actually already obsessed) ass and I will not stop until I can play things like Follow the Signs and next is XIV/Behold, with high clarity. It's my dream, I love the feeling in my fingers of playing like this.

I sometimes (pretty much entirely the last week so far) practice some 4-7 hours. A day. I am finishing senior year with an online program due to the fact that I was touring with a band for a few months. I'm no longer playing with them however, and my hope was that if my determination and practicing time was better than anyone else I could, like Jason, become a monster.

Now I have seen some great progress but at the same time, sometimes after playing this much, after I take a long break and come back at the end of the day, I can't do half of what I could do in the mornings. With crazy fast stuff like this I am wondering if maybe it's a mental overload and my brain simply can't process this much constant practicing. I have been reading that shorter practice times throughtout the day is much better, and while this seems to make sense, I'm also afraid that somehow being this neurotic about learning it could still make me learn faster. As if somehow through my absurd play times it could have the effect of "oh even though this thing is insane, since I'm used to practicing it 6 hours at a time, playing it once or twice for you now will be easy and I won't mess up. Hours of muscle memory can't hurt, right?"

So guys what do you think? Should I continue playing for hours and hours and will it pay off? Or should I calm down and I will see better results?

Also for anyone that can help me, I have one question regarding my picking hand. With super über fast alternate picking (not tremolo, the kind that's ascending or descending patterns all over many strings) I see a lot of guys (including Jason it seems) holding their pick further back on the thumb than I do, more towards or on the bend/joint. I like and feel more comfortable holding it more towards the tip. Is this something that could hold me back? Is there a reason for this? I would hate to have all this practice go in and then have to change my right hand technique...

Thanks for reading my novel. I know I'm still young but I've been playing for 10 years and when I think "10 years" I think "man dude you're pretty shitty for 10 years, get better. That 9 year old Japanese girl on YouTube can play things 100 times better than you". I want to make sure nothing is wasted and I can reach my full potential. As you hopefully can tell I am of reasonable intelligence and as such I have come to the conclusion that economy of everything is important. Effective practicing, effective technique, and effective mental approaches are what lead to the goals that I want. Hopefully I can spark some interesting thoughts on the effects, good or bad, of long marathons of practicing.

Edit: I also want to note that the practice I'm doing is not mindless, I'm constantly working on correcting bad habits and grouping notes together into chunks for easier understanding, trying out new ways to hold the pick, trying new ways to think about things. I don't get tired or bored until the last hour or so, every time I closer to speed I get excited.
Last edited by Knight Elijah at Nov 30, 2015,
#2
Most people don't practise long enough
and aren't neccessarily "there" when they do,
you can overdo it,
I can name a number of great players that
developed tendon/neurological damage to their hands
including Leo Kotkke, Billy McLaughlan (who had to learn to play left handed), and Liona Boyd,
you just have to listen to your body and know when to back off
good luck
keep that drive going
sunaj
#3
I'd be more concerned with a 17 year old kid spending 4-7 hours a day on guitar practice. Maybe it's old fashioned, but I'd expect a young guy to be out acquiring "life experience"...aka chasing girls, playing sports, goofing off with his buddies.

If it makes you happy and you aren't burned out...then who cares what I think?

Oh yeah, related to your comment about the 9 year old Japanese girl. I'm working on barre chords, and they aren't coming easily. One of the people I follow on youtube is a little girl from Thailand (I think she's 8 or 9 now). The last video I saw her quite easily using barre chords. Little hussy! She must've just learned them and already seems to be doing them well! Must be nice to have talent. On the other hand, she hasn't built up as many bad habits as I have.
Last edited by TobusRex at Nov 30, 2015,
#5
If you practice the same thing for 6 hours at a time, it quickly becomes a chore rather than something exciting. If you're not enjoying what you're doing, it can quickly become boring and you don't get the same sense of achievement when you finally get it down.

What i find useful when learning something is to get the basic riff down (even if it's played very slowly), then stop playing it altogether for a while. When i might be day dreaming or doing nothing in particular like walking somewhere or sitting on a bus, i visualize the muscle memory / sound and play it in my head.

Next time i pickup the guitar a few days later and can usually play that piece much faster without additional effort.

I hear this works for alot of other people too. It's great because you can be busy with other things, and learn to play things better without actually picking up a guitar.
#6
Quote by Knight Elijah
Hi everyone, I'm 17 and I've taken it upon myself to learn some really crazy solos, a big idol recently has been Jason Richardson. Now his solos in Born of Osiris and pretty much everything else are fast, complex and clear to the point of lunacy. Listen to XIV/Behold by Born of Osiris or live at the Ernie ball festival if you want to find out what I mean. Now I've taken it upon myself to learn the end solo to Follow the Signs by Born of Osiris, as anyone can tell from listening it is NOT an easy task. At first I had a problem alternate picking the fast sequences and just alternate picking in general (more of an economy picking guy) but I have been getting surprisingly better in the past few days. I realized that much of the problem was not physical as much as it was mental. If I grouped the shredded notes in groups of 12 and then played one extra note into the next group (this extra note is so that the transitions between the groups are also practiced) I realized I could play it much better. I have gotten to about 3/4 speed.

The good thing however may also sort of be the problem. I am sort of obsessed with this, Jason is so young and his playing is like a machine, but so fluid and melodic at the same time. He has truly inspired me to get off my lazy (actually already obsessed) ass and I will not stop until I can play things like Follow the Signs and next is XIV/Behold, with high clarity. It's my dream, I love the feeling in my fingers of playing like this.

I sometimes (pretty much entirely the last week so far) practice some 4-7 hours. A day. I am finishing senior year with an online program due to the fact that I was touring with a band for a few months. I'm no longer playing with them however, and my hope was that if my determination and practicing time was better than anyone else I could, like Jason, become a monster.

Now I have seen some great progress but at the same time, sometimes after playing this much, after I take a long break and come back at the end of the day, I can't do half of what I could do in the mornings. With crazy fast stuff like this I am wondering if maybe it's a mental overload and my brain simply can't process this much constant practicing. I have been reading that shorter practice times throughtout the day is much better, and while this seems to make sense, I'm also afraid that somehow being this neurotic about learning it could still make me learn faster. As if somehow through my absurd play times it could have the effect of "oh even though this thing is insane, since I'm used to practicing it 6 hours at a time, playing it once or twice for you now will be easy and I won't mess up. Hours of muscle memory can't hurt, right?"

So guys what do you think? Should I continue playing for hours and hours and will it pay off? Or should I calm down and I will see better results?

Also for anyone that can help me, I have one question regarding my picking hand. With super über fast alternate picking (not tremolo, the kind that's ascending or descending patterns all over many strings) I see a lot of guys (including Jason it seems) holding their pick further back on the thumb than I do, more towards or on the bend/joint. I like and feel more comfortable holding it more towards the tip. Is this something that could hold me back? Is there a reason for this? I would hate to have all this practice go in and then have to change my right hand technique...

Thanks for reading my novel. I know I'm still young but I've been playing for 10 years and when I think "10 years" I think "man dude you're pretty shitty for 10 years, get better. That 9 year old Japanese girl on YouTube can play things 100 times better than you". I want to make sure nothing is wasted and I can reach my full potential. As you hopefully can tell I am of reasonable intelligence and as such I have come to the conclusion that economy of everything is important. Effective practicing, effective technique, and effective mental approaches are what lead to the goals that I want. Hopefully I can spark some interesting thoughts on the effects, good or bad, of long marathons of practicing.


Too tough to say. Sounds odd. I'd have to watch you practice.
#7
I'll add this to the original post; I also want to note that the practice I'm doing is not mindless, I'm constantly working on correcting bad habits and grouping notes together into chunks for easier understanding, trying out new ways to hold the pick, trying new ways to think about things. I don't get tired or bored until the last hour or so, every time I closer to speed I get excited.

As for girls, well let's just say my generation is far from admirable :/

And the Japanese girl I'm talking about is no ordinary prodigy she is like a prodigy of prodigies. Her name is like Lisa X and Paul Gilbert is now teaching her I think because he saw her insane vids on youtube
#8
Just be careful of RSI! I've been there, and it is horrendous working through it, once you have it. Take a lot of breaks (especially if you're playing flat out). Don't play longer than 30 mins without a break. Do stretch before, during, and after.

As you say, the mind is the biggest problem, or biggest winner. Mega-speed is all about paying attention to your body, and the fine detail of motion, and being very relaxed mentally and physically.
#9
Quote by jerrykramskoy
Just be careful of RSI! I've been there, and it is horrendous working through it, once you have it. Take a lot of breaks (especially if you're playing flat out). Don't play longer than 30 mins without a break. Do stretch before, during, and after.

As you say, the mind is the biggest problem, or biggest winner. Mega-speed is all about paying attention to your body, and the fine detail of motion, and being very relaxed mentally and physically.


You know, you're right, I usually go for a long time without a break, I decided I'm gonna test out trying shorter practices through the day. I have been lacking in the stretching department, so I will be more careful. I guess the only thing worse than not learning what you want is injuring yourself and then not being able to do anything
#10
4-7 hours is a long time and you do need to take breaks. just as important is what you do with the practice time. learning to actually play the guitar as opposed to learning a solo may in the end be more productive. if you know what scales are used etc then learning solos will become easier as you can learn to anticipate where it's going. i'll dick around with various excercises, scales what ever for most of my playing time and then do songs for a change of pace. being warmed up and ready to go helps a lot.
#11
The brutal truth that few on this forum ever want to admit, is that those amazing players we all worship practiced that much or more for many, many years.

That's a an amazing commitment to the instrument and it will make you a great player if you keep it up. Be sure to take breaks and to vary your practice with things like learning by ear.

I would disagree with some of what is being said here, mindless practice is 100% more effective than no practice. You're much better off noodling while watching a movie than just sitting there not playing anything.
#12
If you're putting that much time into guitar you should really be organizing your practice.

Always start with warm ups, especially if you're practicing challenging material for several hours a day. There is a very real risk of getting a repetitive stress injury. If you want to play fast metal stuff, you need to dedicate some of your post-warm up time to working on techniques slowly and carefully.

If you find yourself playing one thing over and over without nailing it, you need to take a step back and work out the technique nice and slow. The more you practice something without getting it, the more you're just going to learn mistakes instead. When you get to a point where nothing clicks, you're no longer getting anything out of the practice and it's time to take a break.

And you should be taking breaks at least every hour. Give your muscles a rest.
#13
Quote by reverb66
I would disagree with some of what is being said here, mindless practice is 100% more effective than no practice. You're much better off noodling while watching a movie than just sitting there not playing anything.


To be clear, I'd point out that idle noodling won't make you any worse, but it's not a substitute for focused practice in any way.
#14
In my opinion, that's too much time. You will gradually associate pain with guitar, because practicing that long is bound to bring pain. My question is where do you get that much time?
#15
Quote by evan_m
In my opinion, that's too much time. You will gradually associate pain with guitar, because practicing that long is bound to bring pain. My question is where do you get that much time?


4-7 hours won't injure you, if you are doing it right. If you are a noob, then ya, you'll probably destroy your hands, but as you build up callouses etcetera, you can take that amount of playing time without much difficulty. I wouldn't play for 7 hours straight, but that's four 1h45 min sessions in a day, or two 3h30mins. Finding the time to do that is one thing, but it won't necessarily injure you. If you're awake for 12 hrs, You have 5 hours of down time. You could split that however you want over 4 sessions, and that's not that heavy a load, in and of itself. But it's definitely prioritizing guitar. You can't do that every day, and work a full time job, that's for sure.
#17
I don't mind practising 7 hours a day provided my muscles, tendons and nerves can be replaced every few hours. But that is impossible ! It is hobby suicide !

Watch out for focal dystonia !!!!!!
Amateur guitarist straight from the oven !




#18
The hand positions and stretches and shapes one makes while playing guitar are actually quite varied with both hands. For me on acoustic, anyway. On electric, the pick hand might be more of a problem, idk.

But I'd be a lot more worried about some repetitive strain injury, or something like that, from typing on a computer keyboard 7 hrs day, than playing guitar.

If you practice an F barre for 7 hours straight, or something like that, then you're hands are screwed though.
#19
Quote by João1993
7 hours is not enough
are you serious about music?
mininum 13 hours

pfft 13 hours? 25 hours a day or nothing. might as well pack up your stuff and quit. enjoyment? NOPE 25 hours of practice!


TAKE BREAKS OP AND STOP BEING TO TENSE!

crtl A