#1
After about more than a year of playing, I've decided that I probably have hit that dreaded speed block. I've been static speed for a couple of months now, and I have no idea how to break past the speed barrier. The most I can do is cheat my way through with rapid tremolo-ing, but that tends to sound mundane after a couple of seconds, at most. I've tried speed picking, but I can't grasp the way I'm supposed to move my right hand. All in all, quite depressing.

At my current speed, I can play a solo slightly faster than the Enter Sandman solo, and probably slightly slower than, shall we say, Of Wolf and Man. I'm using two Metallica songs as an example because it's the first thing I thought of, so yeah.

If possible, please help me out. Perhaps some tips/hints/whatever on how I can increase my playing speed. I practiced alternating picking a couple of weeks ago, but the only result was that I can tremolo pick pretty fast.


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#2
just practice mate... just try to increase really slowly.. cos your body's not designed to move that fast, so it would naturally be hard...

You'll get past it sooner or later tho, just keep at it =]
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#3
Lol, 'body's not designed to move that fast'

Nice one, man. Thanks for the, ah, advice.
Last edited by linkinwayne at Sep 14, 2007,
#4
Use a metronome. Play as SLOW as you need to not make a single mistake for 5 full minutes. Then raise the metronome speed by 4 bpm and start again. Do not practice more than 3 cycles per day of this method. After 5 or 6 sessions, try playing at double the speed your last session was, and start the whole process again from your new max clean speed. Stay relaxed and minimize movement. Speed is not about playing more notes, it's about minimizing space and time between them...
#5
Quote by shredchris
Use a metronome. Play as SLOW as you need to not make a single mistake for 5 full minutes. Then raise the metronome speed by 4 bpm and start again. Do not practice more than 3 cycles per day of this method. After 5 or 6 sessions, try playing at double the speed your last session was, and start the whole process again from your new max clean speed. Stay relaxed and minimize movement. Speed is not about playing more notes, it's about minimizing space and time between them...



Um, just a question to clarify.

How exactly should I play with the metronome to achieve the best results? Ie. how many notes in between each click etc. And should I play familiar material or new licks or just repetitive stuff like two notes.
#6
It all depends on what the specific lick requires. A lick I found out to be especially helpful is : 9 -10 - 12 on the D string go to 9 on the G string and back down 12 -10 on the D string. Cycle the thing. Make sure you alternate pick STRICTLY. That means going to the G string will require an UP stroke and back to the D string a DOWN stroke. So that 's 6 notes all in all ( or twice 3 notes ) and you should start playing the lick at 60bpm, one note per click for 5 minutes first before even trying to do it any faster. Then slowly work the speed up as I indicated. When you're fine with 1 note per click, then do 2, and eventually 3, to finally tackle 6 notes per click ( 16th note triplets ) after a few week's work.

Hope that helps
#8
On a side note, this is going to be really boring, but after a while it's teaching your system how to learn new stuff, and working like that will provide the best results over time... And it gets less painful after a few months... You get new licks under the fingers way faster when your system has adjusted to this way of learning things.
#10
i sit in my chair and for hours i just practice sweeping and doing some triplets up and down the fretboard....i do it couple times a week for a few hours. It really helps just to practice a lot.

EDIT-and u dont even really need to pay attention. i like watching tv while im doing it.
#12
Quote by linkinwayne
After about more than a year of playing, I've decided that I probably have hit that dreaded speed block. .


After only playing a year, you probably haven't even begun to scratch the surface
of all the subtlties and problems with playing at speed on a wide variety of things.
Look to the quality of your notes, making every note count, and your technique
at slower speeds. The speed will arrive.

Learn to use a metronome. Its not really even an option if you want to get
good.
#13
i sit in my chair and for hours i just practice sweeping and doing some triplets up and down the fretboard....i do it couple times a week for a few hours. It really helps just to practice a lot.
EDIT-and u dont even really need to pay attention. i like watching tv while im doing it.


Sorry but wrong approach. You need to pay FULL attention if you really want to be accurate in the end. What you're doing is not practice. It might get you some results, but it will not make you the best you can be in the shortest amount of time. I know... I've been there. I've done both and practicing with a focused mind is way more productive. Although boring as hell.... lol

As far as sweeping is concerned, try practicing 2 and 3 string triads before moving on to harder stuff. Look for shapes that have 1 note on the B string and 2 on the high E string to begin with. And you might wan to take a look at Petrucci's instructional vide called Rock Discipline... A lot of this stuff is explained in great detail on that video.
#14
Pay close attention to the technique you use when playing slowly and make sure to do it the same way when playing fast. That is very important because in order to play fast, you have to have the motions perfect. In otherwords, you can't sprint before you know how to crawl.

Good information in this thread, guys, especially the guy who gave the advice with the metronome
#15
Quote by shredchris
After 5 or 6 sessions, try playing at double the speed your last session was


o_O

So you're saying that if I can cleanly play at 160 BPM after 5 or 6 times practicing, I should bump it up to 320 BPM?

Other than that, good advice.
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#16
Here's a different way of looking at the problem; stop trying to play faster. That's right: stop right now!

If you concentrate all your efforts on making your existing speed as clean as it can possibly be then the next step in speed will come naturally and always remember:

Speed is a byproduct of accurracy!
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#17
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr


Speed is a byproduct of accurracy!


prolly the most important thing ever about playing "fast"
#19
^ die quickly... that is all

and back on the topic.

practice practice practice, slowly and cleanly. once your "muscle memory" gets used to it, it'll be second nature.

heres my other piece of zen advice

"do not try to play fast, that will never work. simply realize, there is no guitar."
#20
Quote by z4twenny

"do not try to play fast, that will never work. simply realize, there is no guitar."


I SPENT A GRAND ON FUCKING NOTHING!?!?
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#21
So you're saying that if I can cleanly play at 160 BPM after 5 or 6 times practicing, I should bump it up to 320 BPM?


Absolutely... doesn't it make sense ? lol

I was giving advice to a beginner who will deal with beginner tempo... If you can play at 160 already, no need to take that advice as you're not a beginner. ( although you can try it, but I take no responsibility in what will happen ) But playing faster than your real ability once in a while gives you brains the info that higher speeds are indeed possible. It also helps you free yourself of a few tensions when going back to slower, more controlled tempos...
#22
The slower you practice, the faster you progress.

Anyone who doesn't agree?
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#23
Kind of, but it's also what you're doing during the time. Slow speed allows time to
expand so that you can watch what you're doing during that time and making sure
you're doing the right sort of things.

When you start speeding things up, which you'll have to do at some point, you'll
be more physically and mentally aware of what's happening in order to adjust
to the increased intensity.