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#1
I am currently working on building speed on both the electric and acoustic. I recently purchased the Guitar Speed Trainer (from online). It so far seems to be very helpful.

Has anyone else tried this? If so, did it do well for you or no?

Can anyone offer any advice on exercises, drills, ect. on helping me build my speed?

Thanks!
MidnightThunder
AKA: Shawna
#2
Guitar Speed Trainer???? never heard of them do you have a link?
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#4
I can't send a free version due to copyright laws of course. I paid $29.99 for it and was able to instantly download it. It is really kewl.

The link is www.guitarspeed.com

They have a money back quarentee too, so I am impressed so far.

If you decide to get it, enjoy! Let me know how it goes for you k?
MidnightThunder
AKA: Shawna
#5
As a 'Guitar Techniques' instructor once said "Speed is just a by-product of accuracy!" If I could write out tabs on THIS, I could show you some great excercises
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#7
^Yup.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


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#8
Hours of perfect practice = perfect speed.
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
Quote by Freepower
For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
#10
I'm afraid you missed the point entirely. The great irony of speed lies in this:

The slower your practice, the faster your progress and the greater your potential speed.

Any lick, scale, chord or arpeggio practiced with absolute accuracy (i.e., "perfect") will teach your subconscious, in the shortest possible time, exactly what you want to hear, namely beautifully-crafted fast playing.

On the other hand, practicing with anything less than absolute accuracy teaches your subconscious that you want to hear something entirely different, namely sloppy, uncertain playing.

Try this: Resolve to practice only at a tempo at which you can play with total, drop-dead accuracy for 21 days. This will take tremendous discipline. But at the end of those 21 days I promise you'll play at a speed and with an accuracy that will amaze you.

I hope you'll post the results of your experiment. -gpb0216
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
Quote by Freepower
For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
#11
That sounds tempting, that 21 days idea...


Hmmm... do you mean practise chromatics and such this way?

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#12
What you practice in this way for 21 days is entirely your call. But whatever you practice like this will gleam and shimmer like a precious gem at the end of that 21 days. Try it and see. If you do you'll probably never go back to how you're practicing now. I sure didn't.
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
Quote by Freepower
For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
#13
Originally posted by gpb0216
What you practice in this way for 21 days is entirely your call. But whatever you practice like this will gleam and shimmer like a precious gem at the end of that 21 days. Try it and see. If you do you'll probably never go back to how you're practicing now. I sure didn't.


That sounds like something you pulled out of your ass.
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#14
That sounds like something you pulled out of your ass.

e10sc,

Many people claim to have open minds, but your thoughtful response to an idea with which you apparently weren't familiar really sets you apart.

Actually, I first encountered this approach to practicing at the U.S. Armed Forces School of Music in 1976 (please see my profile). In the ensuing 29 years I've practiced this way exclusively and will never go back to trying to force speed. My playing is orders of magnitude smoother and faster than it was when I was a 23-year-old rock star wannabe.

I urge you to give it a try. As I mentioned earlier, this approach requires enormous discipline, but the results are well worth it. If you do get through the 21 days, please post your impressions of the process.

Thanks again for your encouraging message.

All the best,
gpb0216
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
Quote by Freepower
For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
#15
Sorry about sounding like an ass, I really didn't mean it. It's just everyone has their ways of doing things, and they always think it's the perfect way to become the next Jimi Hendrix, so don't take offense. I still consider myself a beginner(damn theory) but once you've been playing for a decent amount of time, mastering most songs shouldn't take 21 days. When I first started playing I took everything slow, every chord was emphasized and perfect, every riff was slow and pronounced. So your technique is definately useful, but if you've been playing for 30 years, you really should be able to pick up and song and play it without taking the 21 days.
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#16
^ that's not what he said though. It wasn't "picking up a song", it was being able to play faster. As in, you can play a faster triplet if you play it slowly with perfect accuracy for 21 days.
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#17
Originally posted by gpb0216
That sounds like something you pulled out of your ass.

e10sc,

Many people claim to have open minds, but your thoughtful response to an idea with which you apparently weren't familiar really sets you apart.

Actually, I first encountered this approach to practicing at the U.S. Armed Forces School of Music in 1976 (please see my profile). In the ensuing 29 years I've practiced this way exclusively and will never go back to trying to force speed. My playing is orders of magnitude smoother and faster than it was when I was a 23-year-old rock star wannabe.

I urge you to give it a try. As I mentioned earlier, this approach requires enormous discipline, but the results are well worth it. If you do get through the 21 days, please post your impressions of the process.

Thanks again for your encouraging message.

All the best,
gpb0216


Do you take every song for 21 days, or is that just a variable in the whole technique of learning?

Couldn't you take a song and play it slow for 2 days and then be able to play it normally?

I'm not questioning your theory because it obviously worked for you, I'm just interested in why so long...
#18
Originally posted by UtBDan
^ that's not what he said though. It wasn't "picking up a song", it was being able to play faster. As in, you can play a faster triplet if you play it slowly with perfect accuracy for 21 days.


Oh okay, well then my same statement could still be made. You still need to push yourself. Think about it this way, what if you're aspiring to be a cross country runner and want to get in shape. If you take the slow method and just walk every day for 21 days, you'll have that route memorized and you'll walk with ease, but you won't be able to run it. For guitar why don't you start slow, and gradually push yourself every day, getting better everyday. And do this without compromising technique. I don't have anything against GPB, I've seen his posts and he seems very knowledgable and I'm sure he's very good at guitar, but I just really disagree with this 21 day practice routine.
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#19
Originally posted by DorkusMalorkus
Do you take every song for 21 days, or is that just a variable in the whole technique of learning?

Couldn't you take a song and play it slow for 2 days and then be able to play it normally?

I'm not questioning your theory because it obviously worked for you, I'm just interested in why so long...


well, he may only be using that amount as an example of a long bout of concentration and dedicated effort, which in and of itself will produce amazing results (i've shown this very concept to students by expressing to them that I want them to take one scale segment or lick and play it 20 beats slower then they know they can play it, non-stop, for one hour.... and then see how fast they can go after that one hour.... sure enough, they usually beat their top speed by about 10-20 bpms) ....

he's showing you the extreme benefits on a larger scale as it applies in the long run... which I also make clear to me wee pupils. lets face it, we all know you could practice something all day nice and slow and accurate and be playing it super fast and fluidly by the end of the day. but the next day, you gotta start all over again. each day retaining a little bit of the previous days progress.

he's pointing out the continuing process of that effect over a 21 day period.

his example though (and I think this also might be why he used the 21 day paradigm) coincides with sound psychological principles..

Humans as you know are creatures of habit, and it's generally accepted that a time table of 21 days is the requirment for a firm establishment of a new habit...

it's the reason why most diet/eating changes and exercise regimens only last about a week or 2 (besides caloric deficiencies kicking in your bodies feast or famen responses which cause you to binge....) they're just not given enough time to fully entrench themselves in your brain as habits, where as the old habits are fully entrenched and more easily adhered to.

think of it like this.... take an overgrown field (your brain), if there's a beaten path through that mess (a particular habit) it's easiest to just follow that path every day on your trek to wherever. in order to create a new path (new habit) you have to trudge through overgrown weeds, twicks and sticks, loosing your footing etc... and it's gonna take a little while, day after day of treading that new path (building that habit by repititious actions) for that path to be beaten down (habit to be formed) but by the time you do, the old path (old bad habit) has since started to get overgrown and not really be that easy of a path anymore...

therefore the new path has replaced the old

new habit > old habit

it just so happens that mentally speaking, that process (for a new habit to take root and begin guiding your actions naturally, like the old habits did) takes 21 days.


the only thing I'd add to his bit is to include speed bursts. while practicing slowly does improve speed and accuracy greatly, adding speed bursts in every so often will do so more effectively.

think of practicing for a race... a 100 yard dash lets say. well, you're not gonna go out on day one and walk 5 yards, go back, walk 5 yards again, go back, walk those 5 yards again etc... then the next day, at the same speed, walk 8 yards, etc..etc..

however, while there are similarities to the comparison, the guitar is very different. thats why we must do things slowly slowly slowly to work on our accuracy and train the muscles to work in the exact path of motion, in order to build comfort, stability and most of all familiarity... (really, that's all speed really is) ...and really, even runners do the "slow" type of practice that we do.... by lifting weights. they're building their muscles to endure greater stress for longer periods of time..

but moving very fast feels very differently than playing slowly...
we must add in speed bursts and try and play top speed for short periods of time to train our muscles, our hands, and our brain, to be comfortable playing fast.

so say you were to do the 21 day thing (which would also prove to be much more beneficial in more ways than just speed development, believe me.) and say you practiced 2 hours a day doing that one exercise.... I might

play that at one tempo for an hour straight
5 minute break
5 minutes of continuous speed bursts ( that means play it fast, stop, play it fast again, stop, etc... not just in a continuous loop)
20 minutes slow
5 minutes speed bursts
20 minutes slow
and then top if off playing ridiculously fast for a minute or so.

this last minute or two is actually very important... paying no attention to anything but effortless speed.... that means no muscle tension, no thought, no nothing, just motion.

don't even worry about accuracy. just move your fingers in line with the lick or exercise (as by now they know full well where they're supposed to go) and move your picking hand as required (it also will know it's path by now. the only difference being that the accuracy & syncronization isn't quite there betwixt the two lol)

but that doesn't matter for this purpose. what you're teaching your hands in this 1-2 minute segment is how it feels to move effortlessly and without impedence of thought.

the improvements are drastic if given enough time... hence the 21 days thing. he's very sound in his recommendation.

also, more importantly, the BENEFIT of said practice will bleed over and change all other aspects of your playing. you'll look at and approach practicing very different from then on. all entirely to your benefit. these are but a few of the things I meant before when I said (which would also prove to be much more beneficial in more ways than just speed development, believe me.)

he doesn't mean "always do the 21 day thing" and he certainly doesn't mean that everything you ever learn whether it be a two note lick or an entire solo has to be approached one at a time for 21 days a piece.

he's saying give this a shot and watch how it transforms your playing, your technical ability and most importantly your perspective and approach to the guitar and your understanding of how your body learns and how you progress when slow... dedicated... concentrated effort is put into achieving that result.


Cas-
#20
Originally posted by gpb0216
I'm afraid you missed the point entirely. The great irony of speed lies in this:

The slower your practice, the faster your progress and the greater your potential speed.

Any lick, scale, chord or arpeggio practiced with absolute accuracy (i.e., "perfect") will teach your subconscious, in the shortest possible time, exactly what you want to hear, namely beautifully-crafted fast playing.

On the other hand, practicing with anything less than absolute accuracy teaches your subconscious that you want to hear something entirely different, namely sloppy, uncertain playing.

Try this: Resolve to practice only at a tempo at which you can play with total, drop-dead accuracy for 21 days. This will take tremendous discipline. But at the end of those 21 days I promise you'll play at a speed and with an accuracy that will amaze you.

I hope you'll post the results of your experiment. -gpb0216



I know.


That's what I did for a year


He's right, listen to him

When playing slow, you're just programming your fingers for when you're playing fast.

Oh yeah, and about the speed burst thing... I disagree, for when you might make a mistake, you could **** up your muscle memory quite a bit.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

Click.
#21
Originally posted by gpb0216
That sounds like something you pulled out of your ass.

e10sc,

Many people claim to have open minds, but your thoughtful response to an idea with which you apparently weren't familiar really sets you apart.

Actually, I first encountered this approach to practicing at the U.S. Armed Forces School of Music in 1976 (please see my profile). In the ensuing 29 years I've practiced this way exclusively and will never go back to trying to force speed. My playing is orders of magnitude smoother and faster than it was when I was a 23-year-old rock star wannabe.

I urge you to give it a try. As I mentioned earlier, this approach requires enormous discipline, but the results are well worth it. If you do get through the 21 days, please post your impressions of the process.

Thanks again for your encouraging message.

All the best,
gpb0216


im in! ill PM you at the end of the 21 days.
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#23
If you're interested in getting a more detailed explanation of this "slower practice = faster playing" thought process, I can highly recommend the book Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within by Kenny Werner. Kenny plays jazz piano, but what he says applies to any instrument. It's been out a while, so it's probably in your local library. If not, Amazon has it.
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
Quote by Freepower
For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
#24
^Another book in that vain would be "The principles of correct practice for guitar" by Jamey Andreas, which deals which issues like muscle memory and tension VERY thoroughly.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

Click.
#25
So for the next 21 days I should play super slow... is that it?


If so, I'm in.


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#26
Yeah same here when I get my guitar re-stringed. I need to build up some speed after my exams so that should keep me busy.
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#28
Originally posted by gpb0216
If you're interested in getting a more detailed explanation of this "slower practice = faster playing" thought process, I can highly recommend the book Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within by Kenny Werner. Kenny plays jazz piano, but what he says applies to any instrument. It's been out a while, so it's probably in your local library. If not, Amazon has it.


excellent book, it's basically my bible for practicing and outlook on music in general. and that's where I got most of if not all of my practice philosophies from.

including the playing fast without worry of accuracy bit. although he doesn't call them speed bursts it's part of his Practice Diamond. I make it a point to read that book once a month and I do the medititations daily. really does make a huge difference.


and resiliance, whether you agree or not, it's a very sound method of increasing your speed. short speed bursts will not screw up your muscle memory. if you play slowly and accurately for an hour and then do 5 minutes of effortless "faster than you can accurately play" bursts, that in no way is going to screw up all the work that you had done, it only compounds your progress by teaching your hands to feel comfortable playing fast.

it's a technique/method held valuble by many top players including Kenny Werner, John Petrucci, Terry Syrek, Michael Angelo, Jimmy Bruno, Troy Stetina and Michael Romeo to name but a few. and there's nothing even remotely bad you can say about any of their speed and accuracy or picking techniques (well, maybe kenny's since he doesn't play guitar but his technique is flawless on the piano)

I'm just sorry that you're not willing to give it a go due to your preconcieved muscle memory hangup.

just remember, the slow is for the muscle memory, the bursts are for developing the feeling of effortlessness while playing fast.

Cas-
#29
Originally posted by casualty01
I'm just sorry that you're not willing to give it a go due to your preconcieved muscle memory hangup.

just remember, the slow is for the muscle memory, the bursts are for developing the feeling of effortlessness while playing fast.

Cas-



Hold your horses mate, I speak from experience, it has ****ed up MY muscle memory before, so please do not be so presumptuous as to assume I'm talking out of my ass, thank you.


I was just sharing my experience.

Sorry about that.


Oh, and about the "effortlessly" playing fast, that's where "The Correct Principles Of Guitar Practice" by Jamey Andreas comes in, I suggest you take a gander.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

Click.
Last edited by Resiliance at May 15, 2005,
#30
I'm aprehensive (sp?) to do these short speed bursts now, after what Resi said... hmm...



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#31
Originally posted by Resiliance
Hold your horses mate, I speak from experience, it has ****ed up MY muscle memory before, so please do not be so presumptuous as to assume I'm talking out of my ass, thank you.


I was just sharing my experience.

Sorry about that.


whoa, wipe your tears hombre'... I wasn't being presumptious, nor did I address you in any sort of nasty manner. nor did I suggest you didn't know anything of the subject. alls I said was that it is a very sound concept that will produce results and that I was sorry that you wouldn't try it. if you will re-read your last post, you made no mention of having tried it before, alls you said was "for when you MIGHT make a mistake you MIGHT fuck up your muscle memory" .... two very distinct words that imply assumption on your part rather than knowledge.

had you said you've tried it before, I might have suggested that if it did screw up your muscle memory you either

1. didn't practice slow enough for a long enough period of time on the material/exercise you decided to play fast

2. didn't remain completely relaxed and clear of any thought as you did the speed bursts

3. didn't spend a long enough time applying this concept (although, if done correclty, you'll notice the difference in one session) to the material at hand.

4. weren't doing it right...


all them very important, but due to your last post, I would direct your attention to #4 especially...

the idea isn't to play the passage perfectly (you just did that for an hour at a retardly slow speed), mistakes are to be expected (and accepted for the time being). the point is to move your fingers and picking hand faster then you CAN play accurately. as long as there is no tension, strain or intervention from the ego then your teaching your body, in that 1-2 minutes, a very valuable lesson as that is to play fast effortlessly.

I tought the same thing for the longest time and for the same reason, I tried playing fast combined with slow and it only seemed to impede me and create more tension.

but thats because I was doing it incorrectly. I wasn't paying attention to effortlessness and relaxing, I was only trying to play it fast AND perfect (which seems to be what you tried, according to your posts) when physically I could not do it without tension.... that tension leads to poor playing and inevitably messes with the muscle memory. (also, like #1 I wasn't practicing it slowly for long enough)

once I learned how to apply it properly, I started soaring in my playing ability.

now, had I gone "nope, doesn't work. I tried it, and there's no way I might have been doing it wrong so I'm not gonna listen".. I never would have gotten past a certain point. but instead (when my teacher first brought the concept of the concept of using speed bursts and kenny's book to my attention) I went "really? I tried that already and it didn't work.... hmm, well here's what I did. what's different about what you're saying and what do I need to change?"

so indeed I have been where everyone once has, I've been where you are and have done what you did, found the same problem (that playing fast was screwing shit up for me) and decided to listen, learn, experiment and then change my approach, and am now where I'm at now.

so please don't be so presumptious as to think I also don't know what I'm talking about

Cas-
#32
Originally posted by Resiliance
Oh, and about the "effortlessly" playing fast, that's where "The Correct Principles Of Guitar Practice" by Jamey Andreas comes in, I suggest you take a gander.



I have "taken a gander", a couple of students of mine tried them out. remember... I teach the guitar, I'm pretty familiar with 90% of the instructional material out there. (including all the philosphy books, esoteric approaches, meditative books etc..)

basically it's kenny werners book watered down and applied to the guitar.

after reading through that book I'd never actually buy it (which I always do if I like any book or find that it may be of some use). it has some sound advice in it (and some rambling garbage) but the same thing is found in kenny's book, only more in depth and not as annoying to read imo.


Cas-
#33
Originally posted by sixteen times
I'm aprehensive (sp?) to do these short speed bursts now, after what Resi said... hmm...




lol, this is one of those things i do not yet understand of the human psyche..

1. A seasoned guitar teacher and professional musician has posted about the benefits of using small intermitant speed bursts

2. A master musician who plays with the greatest musicians in the world and is held by all in high regard has written and entire book on effortless mastery of your intsrument in which playing faster than you can accurately play for short periods is a part of his advice

3. some of the fastest and most deadly accurate players in the world advocate this very concept every time they're asked about technique practice. including many more than the names I mentioned before

yet... you're apprehensive about it because some random 16 yr old bedroom shredder (no offence resiliance, really. we were all there at one time or another) has quams with the concept that all these experienced musicians who have attained that elusive technical mastery of the instrument are promoting..?


lol... ok.

well, I do understand the apprehensiveness... I do. that's the ego messing with you. we all have it.... it's saying "oh no, what if I try this breifly for 21 days and it doesn't work? well, I don't wanna lose any progress I've already made, so even though it might propell my playing and approach on the instrument far beyond what I realize right now, we should just stick to what we're doing now... "

it's a common thing. the fear of realizing theres a better way (if that better way appears to be, at first, slow) because if you find out there is a better way, the mind then has a way of kicking yourself for not trying that thing sooner and going "man, all that wasted time doing it the old way" ....

so rather than the pain of somehow thinking you've wasted time, we just stick to our old habits and patterns in the hopes that it'll work out best.

and hey, if you do try it and do it correctly and it doesn't work (which I doubt) then it's not wasted time, it's not failure.... you learned something. you learned what didn't work. and that in and of itself, if it's the only thing you learn or get out of it, is a valuable lesson.

anyways... enough with the psychology of it all...

I suggest you take the wise road and at least apply the principle (this sound principle that is known to work and used by outstanding players all over the world) again... correctly... and see if it has anything to offer you.


Cas-
#35
what the hell does that mean?

I educate myself on aspects of that which I have a passion for, therefore I have too much time?

I study and educate myself on the psychology of success and achievement therefore I have too much time?

great mindset you have there buddy.

Cas-
#36
I love you Cas.


If I did an hour of quote unquote retardidly slow scales with only my third playing finger (I'm a bassist here), do you think
a, I would get faster on my fretting hand
and
b, would I get my 3rd finger up to playing speed?
Quote by casualty01
the RIAA can't shut us down, interpol can't shut us down. the U.S. gov't can't shut us down and CERTAINLY not YOU can shut us down.


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#38
Originally posted by sixteen times
Hours of practise=speed.



That is what this program focuses on. Just that. Practice does equal speed if you follow the right steps. The program speaks of how many quitars (even the famous ones) have come to a hump they can't get over and it is because they were not practicing properly. The key is to know what to practice and how to do it to obtain the results you desire. I know it sounds funny but after reading through the entire thing I agree with it. They set you up with your own "speed profile" so you can find where your current speed is and in what area of playing your weakest in. They measure in many different areas. So you can find out exactly what your good at and what your not. Also, you can bring your weak areas up by working systematically. I love it so far.

I believe if you go to the web site it will explain it far better than I'm able to. I have had it less than a week and I can say at this point it is really helping me develop skills that I did not have before, not just in the area of speed, but in others that I wanted to accel in.

You might want to check it out. If any disagree or agree with the theory this person (not sure of his name) uses, please feel free to let me know your comments. I don't mind at all knowing what others think and why. That is how I learn even more.
MidnightThunder
AKA: Shawna
#40
Thanks Cas. As soon as I get my metronome i'll head straight upstairs to my bedroom, and play all the "shred licks" I know super, super slow.

For a long time.


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