#1
Alright, before I bought the program, I did like an hour of searching on here and other sites to figure out if this program was worth buying or not and I found very few reviews. I've been using the program for only a couple weeks but I can tell you it is worth it for me and I think would be for most people.

The program is fairly basic. The real meat of it is the 25 or so drills. It also has a section where you can profile your speed by doing what are basically just more drills. You define the difficulty within 7 classes (different types of patterns to be played) from "easy" to "impossible" and this creates your profile. Now, the drills in the program are all basic. Anyone with a decent amount of experience could probably write their own drills using another program. Actually in terms of the capabilities of the software, the only advantage the program has over Guitar Pro (which I also recommend) is that instead of having simple linear speed training from one speed to a higher speed, GST takes you from one speed up to a top speed and then back to a more maintainable speed. The concept is to improve muscle memory (low speed), push the limit with top speed (and I guess get you accustomed to playing faster), then improve endurance at the mid level.

The program also includes a solo, Flight of the Bumblebee, for you to learn and a section with tips on playing. The tips section isn't any better than you can find on these forums. Actually it's not even close.


OK, so after using it for just a few weeks, here's what I can say.

-I have gotten faster. I think part of this is just muscle memory in doing the drills but I also think my brain is operating a little faster when I'm playing. In other words, I think I'm getting better at making the connection between my fingers and my mind and I also think I'm improving at sight reading.
-My fingers are getting stronger, especially my pinky. I am 100% sure of this. Again, these drills could be created by anyone, but it's working for me. I know there is a thread on improving speed through muscle memory practice but you also need to develop the small muscles in your fingers. At least that's my opnion.

Criticisms
-Most of the drills are from one position. The ones that involve multiple positions are not difficult in terms of the lateral movement.
-There's not enough for string jumping. There is a "random" section which creates a new phrase everytime it is loaded. There are some string jumps in this section but that's it.


Overall, I think this program is well worth it. When you take into consideration the fact that many of us spend over $1,000 on one guitar, it's probably worth it to spend $50 on something to help play it better. As I've said the drills are anything you haven't ever seen, but if you're like me and like a set program to follow, this is the program for you.

Here's the site:

www.guitarspeed.com
#2
A few more things:

Positive:
-My economy picking has gotten a lot better.
-There is a section where you can create your own drills. This is where you could work on string jumps, etc.

Negative:
-There is nothing for strumming or for bending.

Summary: still worth it but its not the only practice you'll need.
#3
Quote by JHogg11


Overall, I think this program is well worth it. When you take into consideration the fact that many of us spend over $1,000 on one guitar, it's probably worth it to spend $50 on something to help play it better.


Well, I'm happy you like it, but tbh I can't help but think it's a fairly ineffectual device
and a bit of a gimmick. Anyone that already knows how to practice in order to
"speed train" won't need it, and anyone that doesn't practice very well isn't going
to get much practice skill out of this so any real gain is probably marginal.

Besides for about $30 you can get a manual on how to practice which is no
gimmick and it really does work, for all aspects of playing, if you apply it.
#4
Well, like I said the drills aren't anything special themselves. I've been playing for less than 2 years so it might be that it's not as effective for higher skill levels. I think the fact that you're playing along with every note helps more than reading from a book or just using a metronome alone. Also I like the "speed curve" as the program calls it which you can't do with a metronome without stopping play.

I can't really disagree with you that if you have another method it would be just as effective or more effective but this is another resource to add to the bag. Being able to hear it, stop it, slow it down, and speed it up has to be an advantage over just a book.

Were you referring to a specific manual?
#5
The 'speed curve' is actually available in Guitar Pro, you just have to adjust each bar to a new tempo so that might take a while.

For the rest, I'd say it's a nice thing to have, but just as worthwhile as practicing to a metronome, knowing how to practice and have random scales, patterns, arpeggios or licks to train.

A question though, is it in tab or in sheet music?
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#6
Quote by JHogg11

Were you referring to a specific manual?


What I was referring to is the Guitar Principles material (www.guitarprinciples.com)
which is a number of different books, DVD's and other stuff (some of it free).

I have a fundamental philosophical difference with most all "speed"-centric stuff
like "Speed Trainer". First, I have yet to any of it really work very well. In the end
they end up being just a list of exercises without any benefit of explaning how your
inner experience, approach, awareness, and technique should be applied to actually
get anywhere. ("You're on your own with what you bring to the table. Good luck!")
"Speed" sells. At least that's what they say they'll give you when you pay for it, but
does any of it actually deliver?

Second, its the tail wagging the dog. We're talking about making music, not running
a race. There's not really any one "speed" aspect to music you can "train" for.
Sure, "short notes" is an important part of the repetoire, but you'll get there if
you focus on what you're doing to produce the notes you want to produce exactly
how you want them. A metronome should be used as a precision tool, not a stop-
watch. Precise control of your timing leads to confident, relaxed (and, yes faster)
playing. Struggling to beat the fastest time on the metronome leads to struggled
playing.

With some judicious use of "Speed Trainer" you can likely make some progress.
But it's very "beat the clock" nature could lead to more harm than good. IMO,
there's better material out there for your practicing.
#7
Quote by elvenkindje
The 'speed curve' is actually available in Guitar Pro, you just have to adjust each bar to a new tempo so that might take a while.

For the rest, I'd say it's a nice thing to have, but just as worthwhile as practicing to a metronome, knowing how to practice and have random scales, patterns, arpeggios or licks to train.

A question though, is it in tab or in sheet music?


I think we can all agree that Guitar Pro is awesome. I actually thought about changing each bar after I made my last post. And Speed Trainer is in Tab format.


Edg, I completely agree with you about about not trying to beat the metronome. Just to defend the program, it does say to not move on to higher speeds before mastering your current high speed.

The thing that I have benefited from the most is development of the muscles in my fingers, especially the pinky. I'll say it again, I realize that this can be done in other ways but it has been damn effective for me.

I listened to some of your music so I respect your playing abilities and I don't want to come off as sarcastic, but just out of curiosity, how would you go about training for speed if that's what you decided you wanted to do?
#8
Quote by JHogg11
how would you go about training for speed if that's what you decided you wanted to do?


The main thing to realize is that playing well, and with speed, is about control.
Precise control of what you want to say with a note, how you want to say it and
exactly when. Even precisely hitting a beat at slower tempos is harder than most
people realize (if you had someone slap you every time you slightly lagged or
anticipated a beat of a simple scale played at 16th notes 80 BPM you'd realize it).

Without effortless, flowing control over every note at slower speeds, how can you
hope to do better at faster speeds? You can't. Higher speeds = higher
intensity. When the intensity goes up, both mental and physical confusion tend to
set in and either collapse or "hope for the best" occurs.

So one the goals of practice is to be able to maintain effortless control over the full
range of intensities you want to be able to play at. I don't want to get into details
here, but for most people this is going to involve a lot more than what you'd do
over and over in Speed Trainer. You really have to train your mind as much, if
not more, than your fingers which only a really good approach to practicing will do.

I don't want to rag on the program. I'm sure you can get some benefit out of it. It's
just that I think its mostly looking in the wrong place for the answer to this question.
#9
Well at least there's enough information for people to make their own decisions about the program. Use with care or don't use at all.
#10
Quote by JHogg11
Well at least there's enough information for people to make their own decisions about the program. Use with care or don't use at all.


JHogg11, overall opinion after all this time using the Guitar Speed Trainer ?

Thanks.
#11
guys, settle down. Basically, Its a chromatic exercise used for the fundamental developement of finger strength, nothing more, nothing less.

go about learning your songs, but keep in mind that learning chord patterns aswell as raging guitar solos can still leave your hand-eye coordination offset.. That said, continue with your music and your influences, but 20 minutes a night with GST can make a world of a difference, not on the music that you will be able to create, but on how well it well sound once created
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#12
Quote by Ace-o-spades
guys, settle down. Basically, Its a chromatic exercise used for the fundamental developement of finger strength, nothing more, nothing less.

go about learning your songs, but keep in mind that learning chord patterns aswell as raging guitar solos can still leave your hand-eye coordination offset.. That said, continue with your music and your influences, but 20 minutes a night with GST can make a world of a difference, not on the music that you will be able to create, but on how well it well sound once created


This is a good post. A lot of people talk about accuracy and timing but a big part of speed, at least in my opinion, is developing the strength and coordination. If you don't have the muscular development to back up what your mind wants to do then you're out of luck.

I don't use the program very much anymore, not because it doesn't work but because my goals have changed. I believe it's effective but shouldn't be used as the only tool for improving solos.
#13
1 year old thread is 1 year old

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#14
Quote by JHogg11
This is a good post. A lot of people talk about accuracy and timing but a big part of speed, at least in my opinion, is developing the strength and coordination. If you don't have the muscular development to back up what your mind wants to do then you're out of luck.

I don't use the program very much anymore, not because it doesn't work but because my goals have changed. I believe it's effective but shouldn't be used as the only tool for improving solos.


Finger strength is actually severely overrated in terms of playing guitar. It doesn't take much force to fret a note unless you have mile-high action.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.


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#15
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
Finger strength is actually severely overrated in terms of playing guitar. It doesn't take much force to fret a note unless you have mile-high action.


you need strength for hammer ons and pull offs, aka legato, as well as for bending and virbrato. i really dont think its overrated.
#16
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
you need strength for hammer ons and pull offs, aka legato, as well as for bending and virbrato. i really dont think its overrated.


Again, it doesn't take much strength to do hammer-ons and pull-offs. The reason a lot of people have trouble with doing them quickly is because they're wasting a lot of energy by slamming their fingers on the strings. Bending and vibrato should come from the forearm and wrist, not fingers.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.


Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
#17
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
Finger strength is actually severely overrated in terms of playing guitar. It doesn't take much force to fret a note unless you have mile-high action.


I don't own an electric guitar. It's a lot more important on acoustic. Also, it takes development to gain control of the picking hand or at least that's my opinion.
#18
I have been trying out this program as well. I have played guitar for many years, and can play many things, but my speed is far from great. I find this program is an excellent way to focus on improving technique and speed through many different scenarios.

I especially like the fact I can create my own drills and scales and choose my own patterns to play them. So if there is a little piece of a solo that I have trouble with I can plug it in and focus on it.

Guitar Pro may do this just fine, but I have not looked into how to use it for this purpose without a lot of time wasting.

I would recommend the program as a tool in your arsenal, but I certainly wouldn't recommend using ONLY this to learn how to play better.
#19
Quote by elvenkindje
The 'speed curve' is actually available in Guitar Pro, you just have to adjust each bar to a new tempo so that might take a while.

Did you know that if you click the loop button, there is a setting called speed trainer and you can highlight part of the music and it will speed up slowly.
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#20
I have tried to install the software but i dont get any sound.
I have sound from youtube etc...
I have installed directX 9c.
I am running winXP.

Any help?