#1
Hi,
So I can play 16th notes at 120BPM relaxed and clean. My goal is to reach 180BPM.
I will practice a few different licks at this speed Minor pentatonic, major scale and some scale sequences.
So should I have a mini goal to try and up the tempo up like 5BPM everyday and try to build up to that speed. Does that sound like a good realistic goal? Also I will work on it as much as I need to reach the goal.
Thanks!
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#2
your goal is very similar to mine. around the end of november to start of december, i made it my goal to play 16ths at 200 bpm. One month later (now) i finally can.

before, i couldnt get past 140-150 without having to stop from being too tired. What you should be doing is going slow. Do finger exercises and repeat patterns on the frets like 1-2-3-4, 1-3-4, or 1-2-4 until your hand hurts and take periodic breaks. Do this for weeks to strengthen your hand. It doesnt take a while to develop muscle memory for things like that, the most youll need is a week. The challenge is moving around the fretboard and changing which muscles you need to perform those actions, translating that everywhere throughout the fretboard, and controlling your tension

Start at a tempo that is slightly unreasonable and makes you fatigue, then keep going at it until it seems like nothing. That is when you increase it. Doing this combined with frequent finger exercises and alternate picking exercises will get you to the goal in no time. If you feel as if this is too much, just remember that every day you practice then go to sleep, every new day you will get better, albiet a little

If you want more motivation, heres a before video of me performing half of a shred solo at 75% speed (~151bpm). I was very tense and my fingers were all over the place. My picking was too heavy and stiff:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez_Gd6EiTI4

Now video. 100% speed (202bpm) My fingers are flying way less which results in less tension, and my picking is less heavy and stiff in comparison:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJhzuFGyhTo

Obviously theres a few things i need to iron out, but if im almost to my goal, you can get to yours easily
Last edited by sourcegamer101 at Dec 31, 2015,
#3
Quote by sourcegamer101
your goal is very similar to mine. around the end of november to start of december, i made it my goal to play 16ths at 200 bpm. One month later (now) i finally can.

before, i couldnt get past 140-150 without having to stop from being too tired. What you should be doing is going slow. Do finger exercises and repeat patterns on the frets like 1-2-3-4, 1-3-4, or 1-2-4 until your hand hurts and take periodic breaks. Do this for weeks to strengthen your hand. It doesnt take a while to develop muscle memory for things like that, the most youll need is a week. The challenge is moving around the fretboard and changing which muscles you need to perform those actions, translating that everywhere throughout the fretboard, and controlling your tension

Start at a tempo that is slightly unreasonable and makes you fatigue, then keep going at it until it seems like nothing. That is when you increase it. Doing this combined with frequent finger exercises and alternate picking exercises will get you to the goal in no time. If you feel as if this is too much, just remember that every day you practice then go to sleep,
every new day you will get better, albiet a little

If you want more motivation, heres a before video of me performing half of a shred solo at 75% speed (~151bpm). I was very tense and my fingers were all over the place. My picking was too heavy and stiff:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez_Gd6EiTI4

Now video. 100% speed (202bpm) My fingers are flying way less which results in less
tension, and my picking is less heavy and stiff in comparison:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJhzuFGyhTo

Obviously theres a few things i need to iron out, but if im almost to my goal, you can get to yours easily

Thanks for this. It's given more lots more motivation. I've been doing all the chormatic exercise like 1-2-3-4 etc and other picking exercises and trills. But always scared to push the metronome up. So it should be pretty easy now hopefully. Think I just gotta start pushing myself and I'll reach my target.
Thanks!
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#4
5bpm per day is way too much if your currently playing at maximum speed but one thing that helped me alot was playing 5-10 bpm over my limits so i couldnt play all the notes and have some breakup and then go back to slower speed, it seems easier after that... so like start at 100 bpm play maybe 5 times the lick you want and increase 2 bpm do it again increase 2 bpm until you reach your limit and then play 5-10 repetition at 5 bpm over your speed limit and go back to the maximum speed you can play and do most of the repetition there. i'd usually start this run 20 bpm under my speed limit and run scales and chromatic doing that.
#5
Don't forget that you can measure improvements by other things as well as more than BPM every day. You will have times of plateauing before the next speed breakthrough.

Make recordings of yourself daily to judge your tone. While you having those flatlines in the speed increase listen to see if other things like your overall sound are improving.
Visit my music school site for advice on gear, music theory and lessons.
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#6
Quote by Rhys Lett ESSM
Don't forget that you can measure improvements by other things as well as more than BPM every day. You will have times of plateauing before the next speed breakthrough.

Make recordings of yourself daily to judge your tone. While you having those flatlines in the speed increase listen to see if other things like your overall sound are improving.


I can say ive plateaued a few times in my progress. Mostly due to slight discouragement and fatiguing quickly. recordings will help you analyze what you need to improve about your technique and playing as well as thinking back to why you wanted to achieve your goal in the first place. Simply picturing the progress in your mind will give you the inspiration to keep going, and that feeling of inspiration helped me get fight the pain and get to my goal quickly.

hell, even seeing myself on video playing gives me more motivation
#7
5bpm every day? Gods no. More like 5bpm every few weeks. 16ths at 180 is pretty damn quick, so do make sure that you're focusing on playing clean. There's no point in speed if you're just rushing out the slop.

I'd also caution you not to make pure speed a goal in itself. To what end are you trying to develop this speed?

Speed is only worthwhile if you can use it when you actually need to. Being able to run a chromatic warm up or a few licks at 180bpm doesn't mean you can play real music at that tempo. If you really want to up your chops, start learning music that requires it.
#8
Just a quick update I started 1.5 days ago at 100BPM playing licks and chromatic exercise I've raised it to 106 and playing faster feels easier and 'lighter' so guess it's working! Still a long road ahead thought!
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#9
Any kind of structured practice will yield fast results when you first start. Remember that in order to play well fast, you have to continue practicing slowly, as well.

A general rule is that your technique is always worse when you play faster. That is, if you can't play something smoothly at a slow tempo, then you can't play it a fast tempo either.

I'd suggest a rhythm ladder. If you want to practice 16ths, do your exercises as quarter notes first. Then 8ths, then triplets, then 16ths. One after the other. It's important to understand that you are learning a rhythm, not a tempo. Knowing/feeling where you are in each beat and measure will do more for your speed than just trying to make your hand move fast.
Last edited by cdgraves at Jan 1, 2016,
#10
Just a quick update so since my last post I can now play 16th notes at 145 BPM clean. Hope it gives you some motivation!
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#11
Not doubting your ability to play something makes a big difference. Approaching an exercise thinking this is hard already sets tension in your body. Relaxation is critical.

+1 to cdgraves comments. Try and work on music that engages the technique, but also has slower passages ... listen to the expression of these notes. Lot more fun too.

Don't forget to use both clean and distorted sounds. Distortion covers a multitude of sins.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jan 26, 2016,
#12
Quote by jerrykramskoy
Not doubting your ability to play something makes a big difference. Approaching an exercise thinking this is hard already sets tension in your body. Relaxation is critical.

+1 to cdgraves comments. Try and work on music that engages the technique, but also has slower passages ... listen to the expression of these notes. Lot more fun too.

Don't forget to use both clean and distorted sounds. Distortion covers a multitude of sins.

Yes I agree. Steve Vai said that he used to picture himself playing the lick he couldn't play perfectly.
Also I normally practice unplugged so I don't annoy people around. It has both pros and cons. When I play with distortion it sounds faster and easier, but my muting could be abit better.
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#13
Personally I don't like the whole "increase 1 bpm every day" or whatever.

I mainly practice at 50 bpm all the time everyday. Of course I vary it to see how my technique is coming along but 90% of the time it's at 50 bpm. This has helped my playing enormously. I have improved more in 1 year than the past 10 years of not practicing slow.

There are 2 main keys that will improve your playing

1) use a metronome

2) practice slow

Your brain will take care of the rest over time. After years and years of dedication and practice you will just be able to flawlessly play without effort.