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#81
Thought I better not let this thread die, so are there any other good books that you can recommend to help me improve technique?


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Last edited by sixteen times at May 22, 2005,
#82
Also, is there a rule on excessive posting? I thought that is what this board was here for?


Tis then technically spam .... which is more than likley against a rule (go have a read through or something) And the board definatly doesnt exist to be spammed lol
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DoGaLog, i think youv jst owned everyone on this thread and well done.
#83
Corwinoid said:
Say your arch to clear a string with your ring finger lifts it about a half inch over the action of the string you're clearing... doesn't seem like a lot. But think about this, if you can focus on reducing the amount of motion you make normally, and bring that down to about a quarter of an inch, you've MORE than halved the amount of effort that motion takes.


About the most usefull tip I came across yet.
I knew that allready but never focussed on it enough so thanks for pointing out the importance of it. I found it helpfull to focus on it when I'm losing discipline and start noodling around (I shouldn't do that but sometimes I do that anyway). I used to have bad days while playing. Just like the strings were twice as thick. Now I realise it was due to the fact that when I'm concentrated I keep my fingers lower wich gives me more stamina and higher speed. A lot of work to do for me to refine the things I thought I played right. Not a bad thing because I was looking for new ways to improve my overal playing.
#84
Originally posted by DoGaLoG
Tis then technically spam .... which is more than likley against a rule (go have a read through or something) And the board definatly doesnt exist to be spammed lol



These posts are far from spam, but thank you for your input. I'm asking questions and getting answers, that's what I'm suppose to be doing. I don't spam. But then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Cor....the finger arching is definitley something I need to work on as well. Just to back your theory, the program I have focus on the point you made about reducing the amount of motions you have to make to increase speed as well.
MidnightThunder
AKA: Shawna
Last edited by MidnightThunder at May 26, 2005,
#85
Finger arching is a problem for me too, and isn't something that can be cured over-night, or so it would seem.


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#86
finger whatta?
whats finger arching?

btw... my last exam in school is tomorrow, and after that i´ll begin with my guitar schedule that lasts forever!!! (well almost)
Im really psyched about it, but a lil bit worried that im not going to be dedicated enough...
wthat the hell am i saying??!!?? ofcourse ill dedicate 500%!!!!
"...it's better to know it and choose not to use it, rather than feel the need to use it and not be able to..." Kirk Hammett
Last edited by Ugliest Weenie at May 26, 2005,
#87
I'm a fan of pushing yourself in new directions, playing maybe triplets all the way up a scale, then doing a strange arpeggio at the end. Here's an example of mine:



Here I reverse the direction of the triplets on every string and throw an odd deviation from the pattern in at the end. Conclusion? Difficult pattern + break from the pattern means you're forcing your brain to not only control the motor movement of your hands, but to think at that speed as well. You're learning to establish a pattern and, more importantly, break from it in a flawless stream of notes.
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

#88
Originally posted by sixteen times
Finger arching is a problem for me too, and isn't something that can be cured over-night, or so it would seem.



Scale practice, chromatic runs, and petrucci's horrible right hand warm up excersizes off rock discipline, work wonders for focusing on left hand movements.

Like we've been saying, just slow everything down and focus on what you're doing.
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#89
Originally posted by Corwinoid
and petrucci's horrible right hand warm up excersizes off rock discipline


Care to explain?


Originally posted by Corwinoid
Like we've been saying, just slow everything down and focus on what you're doing.


You got it!



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#90
^ He's just got these annoying right hand warm up excersizes with alternate picking and string skipping... I feel violated every time I play them for not economy picking
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Click here to worship me.

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#91
Thanks.

*heads off to bedroom, plugs in guitar, turns metronome on 60bpm, plays*

*tick....tick...tick...tick..*


Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
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#92
Originally posted by Corwinoid
Tempo is the beats per minute, Q = 60 is 1 beat, or one pulse (depending on meter) per second.

Now, if you're playing 16th notes at that tempo, you're playing 4nps.

If you're playing 8th note triplets at 120 you're playing 6nps, etc.

16nps is 16th notes at 240bpm, to give you an idea how fast that is. That's your metronome set to 240, and 4 notes every time it clicks.


so is there a formula how to count the nps? so that i can select any tempo and an type of note and know how many nps im playing at myself..
"...it's better to know it and choose not to use it, rather than feel the need to use it and not be able to..." Kirk Hammett
#93
Tempo/60 * Notes/beat

ie. 16th notes would be 4 notes per beat, at 120 = 120/60 (2) * 4 = 8nps
Quote by les_kris
Corwinoid is God
I'm not even God-like... I've officially usurped the Almighty's throne.
Click here to worship me.

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#94
I hope this is not considered spam, but I just want to point something out that truly amazes me. Muscle memory seems to be a really implicit kind of memory because it seems to be able to play things correct after practise without being consiouse of it. The thing that amazes me is the fact that the muscle memory can adjust to different situations in a few seconds. When I play the electric for a while and learn some new things on it and than switch to the acoustic it's often easy to apply what you learn on strings close together on those strings of the acoustic without much thinking. Not much information in this post, but it just interests me that muscle memory seems to have a mind of it's own sometimes . Maybe it recognizes the broader neck. Same thing applies for playing sitting and standing up. Well I'm glad it does.
#95
Originally posted by ILoveHarmonics
Muscle memory seems to be a really implicit kind of memory because it seems to be able to play things correct after practise without being consiouse of it. The thing that amazes me is the fact that the muscle memory can adjust to different situations in a few seconds.

...it just interests me that muscle memory seems to have a mind of it's own sometimes . Maybe it recognizes the broader neck. Same thing applies for playing sitting and standing up. Well I'm glad it does.


The phenomenon called "muscle memory" in this post is, in fact, the supremely amazing work of the subconscious mind. This most miraculous of all miracles remembers everthing you've ever experienced through any of your senses. Nothing escapes its attention. It causes you to recreate what you practice correctly with absolute accuracy. It also causes you to recreate what you practice incorrectly with absolute accuracy. This explains why we must excercise great care and patience when teaching ourselves to play with speed on the guitar (or any other aspect of playing, for that matter).

Train your subconscious carefully and well and watch in awe what it will do through your "muscle memory".
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
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Last edited by gpb0216 at Jun 2, 2005,
#96
I'm a psychology student so that's a bit why I like to think about it more deeply. I was wondering how slow it is nescecary to practice btw. If I can play something kinda fast soon without any mistakes (a 3 string arpeggio with pull-off in this case ) that should be alright to practise I think. It's just about not falling in the trap and thinking "when I play this fast I play that one note wrong so let's play it a 100 times more this way untill it doesn't go wrong anymore." That would really screw up the muscle memory although it seems like common sense at first.
#97
Originally posted by ILoveHarmonics
I'm a psychology student so that's a bit why I like to think about it more deeply. I was wondering how slow it is nescecary to practice btw.


This thread, "Speed Building", has discussed this very issue quite deeply and thoroughly since May 14. If you fast-forwarded to the end to enter your post, I suggest you go back to the top and read each post very carefully. There are some genuine nuggets waiting for you in this thread.

If I can play something kinda fast soon without any mistakes (a 3 string arpeggio with pull-off in this case) that should be alright to practise I think. It's just about not falling in the trap and thinking "when I play this fast I play that one note wrong so let's play it a 100 times more this way untill it doesn't go wrong anymore." That would really screw up the muscle memory although it seems like common sense at first.


This, in my opinion, is the #1 mistake players of any instrument make. Mastery requires an almost superhuman level of patience, and patience is the very last thing we want to invest in our practice time. I am a firm believer in practicing only as fast as I can play perfectly and no faster, period. Perfect practice produces 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.
#98
Just a quick update on how I'm doing with the speed builder program.....


So far, I am learning alot from that and here. Also, I am in complete agreement with gpb on the practicing only at the speed you can play perfectly. My exercises in the program focus on that but the take you a few bpm (beats per minute) over what you can do with a speed graph built for you and your playing ability. You raise it as you improve. The part that takes you over what you can do is very short and then start back down the scale to the beats you can play perfectly. Believe it or not, even slower. It is really helping me in many areas of playing other than speed.

Hope everyone else is doing well too.
MidnightThunder
AKA: Shawna
#99
Thank you so much for the update, MidnightThunder. Has anybody else out there been working with M.T.'s program, the 21-day process or something like them? If so, please let us know how your playing speed is changing.
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.
#100
I read the previous posts in here and this thread is really interesting. But I think the amount of slowness you need depends on how hard the thing you practise really is. If you can play it perfectly at 40 bpm but also on 60 bpm without making any mistakes it's still ok I think and 60 bpm will allowe more repetitions in the given practise time. But you need to be 100% sure you actually DO play it perfectly of course. Another question is: When do you know you can speed up the playing? Sometimes 21 days might be to long but sometimes 21 days might be not enough. I already lost faith in the increasing 10 bpm thing because 10 bpm can be a hell of an increase when you reach the 16th or 32th notes in a music part. Going from 120 bpm to 130 bpm with quarter notes seems ok, but going from 30 bpm to 40 with 16th notes seems like a bad thing to me. Oh and BTW I am doing the 21 days thing although I forgot to count the days. I can't tell if I increased on speed yet of course, but everyday I feel more confident in playing it wich is enough motivation for me to keep playing it slow for the moment.
Last edited by ILoveHarmonics at Jun 3, 2005,
#101
I'll start from today too, my goal is to practice at 60 bpm until the end of this month. I have guitar lessons where I have to play faster, but eh, I'll just count those as long "speed bursts" ^^
I hope they won't screw the whole system over ... unlikely I think.
#102
Starting from today, I will practise all my "shred licks" at 40bpm for half an hour each, daily. I'll carry this on until the end of the month.


Best of luck to everybody else taking part in this.

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Last edited by sixteen times at Jun 3, 2005,
#103
I've really enjoyed this thread.

I find it fascinating how many folks focus on a particular "comfortable" metronome mark or nps rate and pledge to use some process to increase that mark or rate until they reach some pre-determined point of "speed".

Well, that's a lot better than "pushing the speed envelope" for 100 repetitions but ignoring the little 8th note arpeggio you trip over every single time. "I'll fix it one of these times", we all say, and push on with repetition #101.

But I think many of you are still missing a critical point: Speed is a shy and beautiful woman and you need to woo her.

Make no mistake...
Speed is beautiful.
Speed is expressive.
Speed is important.
And, from reading some of the posts in this thread, I gather that Speed is the "gold standard" by which some of you measure yourselves as guitarists.

But please, take the time to read Kenny Werner's book, Effortless Mastery - Liberating the Master Musician Within. And then, please stop pushing.

You'll enjoy your practicing so much more! You'll learn to savor the sensations of playing slowly, smoothly and flawlessly.

And when you're not expecting her at all, shy, beautiful speed will creep up behind you, cover your eyes and kiss you on your ear.

That's all this 52-year old geezer has to say about speed. Please let us all know how your quest goes.
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.
Last edited by gpb0216 at Jun 3, 2005,
#104
^
nicely written I enjoyed that
I think I am not expecting too much of a speed gain, I am not a shredder anyways.
I am going for the flawless aspect, I find my playing way too sloppy and I hope this will help me to get "cleaner". But if it gives me more speed ... I wouldn't mind
#105
I've never posted in this thread, but I have enjoyed reading it since it started.

I will start the 21 day program today, playing 16th note triplets at 70bpm for 60 minutes each day. My goal is to be able to pick 16th note triplets at 120bpm, whether that will happen in the next 21 days or not, I'm going to use the 21 day method until I reach my goal.


Thanks to everyone who's posted in this thread, it's given me a new way to practice (a much less stressful one).


See you in 21 days
#106
Nicely written, gpb0216. I am indeed enjoying the "sensations" f playing slowly, and also enjoying the nice suprise of speed at the end of it all.

Good luck SnowballofDoom, let us know how it all goes.


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#108
posted by Dorkusmalorkus

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.


WOW, I will try it and let you know how I get on.
There are many guitarists, but few Guitar players.
#109
Originally posted by 12string
posted by Dorkusmalorkus

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.


With all due respect to Dorkusmalorkus, I posted this on 05/14.

WOW, I will try it and let you know how I get on.


Please do.
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.
#110
gpb....your welcome. I wanted to add that I am learning far more than speed with the program. I am learning the fretboard overall better and able to hit the notes all up and down it more accurately. I am also able to play with more confidence. I am building tremendously needed strength and stamina in both playing hands, so even if speed isn't your goal (which a wise guitarists recently taught me) it is helpful in many other areas.

I wanted to let you know that I am very pleasantly surprised with how other areas of my playing are falling right into place for me so quickly doing this as well.

You explaination of speed was of course breathtaking...very well written and great advice!

Harmonics...I am keeping track of the days. I am not sure how long it will take me to reach my goals but the 21 day ( my program is 30) is a basic general estimation I believe. It depends on how fast you want to play and what you want out of it.I will be using it for much more than speed, so it may take me a week or so longer. I practice at least 20 mins to 2 hours a day on just this program and then play with my other aspects of playing.

As far as how do you know when to raise your speed...I raise mine 10 bpm and continue doing so until I can't play the highest speed perfectly. My program builds a speed profile for you so it basically does all that for you. It measures in 7 areas (different types of playing). I have found some very difficult where I am still at a very slow speed and some that I can do the max speed. I am trying to take my weak areas and strengthen them. I hope this helps.
MidnightThunder
AKA: Shawna
Last edited by MidnightThunder at Jun 3, 2005,
#111
I have a simple question. You say to put it on a speed that you will NEVER mess up and can play flawlessly. Well after becoming extremely acquainted with the thing you're playing, say your slowest speed is 150 BPM. Would you use that as the slow speed or would you keep practicing retardedly slow?
#112
Originally posted by VomitalXX
I have a simple question. You say to put it on a speed that you will NEVER mess up and can play flawlessly. Well after becoming extremely acquainted with the thing you're playing, say your slowest speed is 150 BPM. Would you use that as the slow speed or would you keep practicing retardedly slow?


This is an excellent question. Here's my answer:

The speed at which you can nail the passage every single time, perfectly and smoothly, without stress and without strain, is your practice speed.

If that speed is 150 bpm, and if you discipline yourself to practice there diligently, you'll soon find yourself playing even faster, without strain, without stress, almost without thinking about it.

The key concepts are:
Perfectly
Smoothly
Stressless
Strain-less
Target-less
Diligently

Perfect Practice = Perfect Speed
Perfect Speed = Perfect Practice
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.
#113
thanks gpb. i learnt something today. it makes sense.
"Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it." - Richard Feynman
#114
i will try playing the hungarian scale in D at ..... 80 bpm or 100 bpm.
"Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it." - Richard Feynman
#115
This thread is excellent, for one it has helped me, and I'm sure many others, so I'd like to thank all people who contributed to it.


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#116
I know I will probably get burned for this and many people won't know what I'm talking about, but this same rule is applied in skating. You practise basic tricks such as kickflips and ollies until you are so good at them, that you can just pop one whenever you want and they look perfect and effortless. Then the harder tricks just come in a steady flow and you look perfect, you perform effortlessly, and you can keep elevating yourself to new levels. It is the same thing with this guitar lesson, get the fundamentals right and your laughing.
Keen On Disco
#117
You won't get burned for that imo.

I thinkt it actually applies to a lot more things in life you can learn, especially the motorical ones. I remember how I had to "draw" characters when I was about 6 years old and had to do it really slowly for a boring long period. Guess what... I can write pretty fast now . Ok a bit of a stupid example but that's why it makes sense to me what gpb told.

Now another thing I wanted to put in. It's just theoretical but behaviorists say we only learn when we get rewarded or punished. When practising it makes sense to see playing someting right as a reward and something wrong as a punishment. For me that's a reason to think about what i'm doing and put some emotion in playing something right or wrong. I'm not saying you should punish yourself when you make a mistake, but I think being really aware of it and feeling a bit bad about it together with feeling a bit good about every well played note speeds up the process of mastery of wathever you're practising. Playing slowly should help with this aswell because I feel really bad when I make a mistake when I play slow so the negative reinforcement is strong. One could say that playing fast gives more of a positive reïnforcement when you play the whole part fast, but you will be happy because you played 90% right on that speed without feeling bad about each individual wrong note and even if you are you're brains might interpret that you played another note wrong wich should only increase insecurity about the notes you played right.

This is just my view on it together with some of the facts stated by gpb. I hope some people disagree or add some more thoughts.
#118
To summarise:

-Keep as relaxed and "loose" as possible

-Play at a speed that you can play the song PERFECTLY

-Keep your fingers as close to the fretboard as possible

-Concentrate on what your playing. Make sure you hit each note perfect, no fluff notes, keep it all clean, don't look away- look at your hands, make sure they are playing the right thing, and at the right time.

-Play things slow... real slow... as slow as your metronome can go (usually 40bpm). This takes determination- be strong, you can do it .

-Do this for a reasonable amount of time. Don't just do a quick 10 minute session here and there, set aside a time, go play for an hour straight, or even better two, or even better still three, four five.

Just my two cents...

Good luck and remeber- if it ain't clean, it's worthless.


Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Laney VC15
Boss DS-1
Jim Dunlop Crybaby
#120
This thread owns..I am so gonna start doing this stuff....

One Question though: will this stuff help with swep picking and economy picking..I figure u have to do them at a certain sped otherwise they don't work..

Anywho thanx for the great advice..I'll tell u how I get on!
'If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the Universe' - Carl Sagan.