#1
hi, if i did alternate picking at 80bpm for a week and then put it up 5bpm every week after that, would i get faster without tension. Or is there another way to get fast without tension cos when i do owt fast my tricep tenses
Better Dead Than Red
#2
It takes longer than that. At 80 bpm u can probably see improvement faster than say when you're at 140 bpm.

I've been doing the exercises for a long time, and im only at 130 bpm the most. Other ppl probably practice way more than me though.
#3
I think 5bpm is pretty realistic if you've actually got used to alt picking and are just trying to get it faster. Just keep at it with the metronome, and don't rise it suddenly by 5bpm, raise it 1bpm a night or something. if you're practicing that particularly excercise for about 30 - 40 minutes every night (don't practice it for too long - you'll get bored and won't see much improvement) then i can't see why not.

It's all about improving the strenght and also the muscle memory of your wrist, if your tricep is tensing it means it's picking up slack for your wrist which if you're playing properly won't help anyways because it's all in the wrist - so your tricep is just tensing up because it thinks it can help (ie if you lift a box depending on how heavy it is it'll activate different muscles - if it's very heavy it'll activate your back and leg muscles etc - same sort of principle).

You can do it dude! just put your mind to it.
Marty
#4
^It has nothing to do with strength.

No, you won't get faster without tension. 80bpm is not slow enough for you to be in a state of inner stillness where you're aware of the muscles in your whole arm, you'll be going too fast to 'see' the tension.

If you want to get rid of tension - practcing with a metronome won't allow you to do that. You're concentrating on keeping in time, not on what you're muscles are doing.

You should be doing what is called no-tempo practice. Practicing without a metronome, as slow as you have to go to be aware of every single muscle in your arm (it's normally extremely slow, and sometimes barely moving). This process allows you to see what you normally don't see, and feel what you normally don't feel - it opens your eyes to what you're arm is doing. All the things you don't see because you're playing fast, are there... playing slow gives you time to correct your mistakes.

Then, and only then - should you practice with a metronome. The whole idea being you start slow and work your way up the speed ladder to encourage yuor new tension free playing into a playing situation, in this case playing a speed excercise.
#5
^ You're doing my job for me.

John's right. You really can't just blindly follow some excercise regemin
and expect to get faster.

One thing I find that helps is to try and FEEL each and every note. Feel it leaving
your brain, going down your arm, out your fingers, on to the guitar, through the
amp and back to your ears. When you can begin to that slowly, your playing will
improve at faster speeds.
#6
It's actually a lot to do with strenght. if you have perfect technique then building up strength will help you play faster. Well it has for me anyway. I also notice after doing forearm lifts at the gym i tend to be a bit faster on guitar as my wrists are stronger - but hey do whatever works, i was just sharing my experience with it all.

saying there's no strenght involved in playing guitar is pretty incorrect imo though, obviously you need perfect technique first, but building that perfect technique up to a faster speed is a lot about strenght imho. I know if i've been playing a lot of shred type songs, metallica style stuff, for about an hour or two i feel it, the same kind of feeling i get after lifting weights for an hour. so i just figured it must be muscle fatigue.
Marty
#7
Quote by suicidalmoose
It's actually a lot to do with strenght. if you have perfect technique then building up strength will help you play faster. Well it has for me anyway. I also notice after doing forearm lifts at the gym i tend to be a bit faster on guitar as my wrists are stronger - but hey do whatever works, i was just sharing my experience with it all.

saying there's no strenght involved in playing guitar is pretty incorrect imo though, obviously you need perfect technique first, but building that perfect technique up to a faster speed is a lot about strenght imho. I know if i've been playing a lot of shred type songs, metallica style stuff, for about an hour or two i feel it, the same kind of feeling i get after lifting weights for an hour. so i just figured it must be muscle fatigue.


I didn't say there is no strength involved in playing guitar (Even then it requires minimal force to bend, which is the only instance I can think of where you need any excess force ) - I said building speed has nothing to do with strength. Which it hasn't.

Strong muslces does not mean fast muscles - you're training your muscles to make small, precise and controlled movements. Please tell me how strength is involved? Why must one be strong to be able to play fast?
#8
Speed building is about working on efficiency and accuracy. Part of efficiency is
minimizing the effort and force you need to put into every note.

Based on my own personal development, I'd guess most people use excessive
force and aren't that efficient in playing, so it will seem like you do need a lot of
strength. But, really, it's about playing smarter not harder when it comes to speed.

Strength is more of a factor if you are playing like Al Dimeola -- really fast stuff on
an acoustic with heavy strings and high action.
#9
^That's what I mean. So many people do so many things the wrong way (in particular legato) because they think 'Oh, if I put more physical effort into it - I'll get better at it'.. I've seen it a million times, and so have you.

'How do you do a hammer on?'... 'Oh, you need to be strong and hit the note with as much force as possible'. Gimme a break, lol.

You can't and won't build speed if you think having stronger muscles is going to do the work for you.
#10
oh i get ya.

but i wasn't talking about strength as in lifting a 20kg dumbell strength. i was talking strength as in those small wrist movements strenght. a lot of strenght is required to make those small wrists movements at that speed, and building up that strenght in the wrist is important if you want to speed up your alt picking imo.

but to be absolutely honest i can't really win this argument as i'm no medical graduate and definately not a professional at guitar. i was just trying to bring my observations to the table. I dunno about all of you guys but if i vigorously play for 2 hours, my wrist defiantely feels like it's been worked out, and the next day i can do that same 2 hours a bit faster to get the same feeling. so it just seemed so comparable to muscle training to me.
Marty
#11
Quote by Johnljones7443
^That's what I mean. So many people do so many things the wrong way (in particular legato) because they think 'Oh, if I put more physical effort into it - I'll get better at it'.. I've seen it a million times, and so have you.


hehe, yeah. I think they simply don't want to take a real look at how they play
and do something about changing it. It's much easier (and more comforting) to
think "if I work out with a gripmaster and get my fingers strong I'll be able to
play faster" than it is to watch what you're doing and possibly make fundamental
changes to how you play.
#12
Everybody preaches the "start the metronome at a certain speed and practice at higher and higher speeds" gospel.

I never did that. Some days I am so fast I amaze myself. Other days I'm slow as hell and can't play a thing. Dimebag had some good advice in a Guitar article once and it was "just play."

They asked him what kind of exercises he does and whatever techniques he uses and he just said, "nothing, I play."

So play, and don't worry about being the fastest in the world.

If you want to build speed, play slowly and observe every little movement your hands make. I bet your tricep problem results from some poor technique, like bringing your elbow into your body (which even I catch myself doing ALL the f*cking time!!!)

Play some lick you're trying to nail at a comfortable speed and watch what's going on. See that elbow coming in? Are you substituting a stronger finger for a weaker one?

Most people have a real strong middle finger and pinky, but the ring finger is physiologically retarded. Seriously lay your hand flat on a table and lift each finger individually. The ring finger cannot be lifted. It's retarded.

Thing is, though, if you always use your pinky instead, you're cutting out a finger. Think how much better you'll be with four fingers instead of just three!

Also work on your picking. Practice string-skipping and just give your right hand a workout, too.

The point is this: speed is efficiency. Faster players do not work as hard.

So don't work as hard.
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."