So I've been wanting to get better at picking. I've started working on some licks that I've gotten from solos and also ones i've wrote. I practice them as best I can, working on them at a speed until i can do them perfectly, and then increasing the speed. I've noticed something though: Whenever I get to a certain point, I always have to work up to it every day. For example, I wrote this 16th note triplet lick. The tempo I wrote it for is 76 bpm. I got it up to speed, but I decided that I wanted to take it further so that I might gain more from it. Every time I practice it though, I have to start at like 70 bpm and work my way up. I'm never able to pick up where I left off the time before. This might not seem like a big deal, but as far as I can tell I'll never be able to get it much faster because Ih ave to keep starting at the same speed and working up.

Do you think I'm doing something wrong, or is this just normal? I've been playing for a while, but I never really pushed myself, so this is all new to me.
Do you try to play it as soon as you pick up the guitar?

I have to warm up with easy stuff before I can play faster/more complicated riffs.
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Yeah I do warm up stuff first. even after I do those though, it takes some playing to be at 100%.
I've been there before. And I'm still there, except my dry starting speed has gone up.

I know this is going to sound frustrating, but just keep doing it. After a while you'll notice your top speed is higher, and when that happens your starting speed should go up to.

But that was just for me. A lot of the things I picked up I never realized because it was so gradual. And then when I thought about it, it was like "Hey, I can sweep! I thought I sucked at that!"

Just keep faith, really.
Okay, I'm cool with it if that's what I need to do. It was just frustrating because I thought I was doing something wrong.

Thanks for the replies so far. If anyone has anything else to say, please do
Yeah, I try and play for at least an hour or two before band practices or something like that. I don't know what it is, but even doing warm ups and playing it still takes me a while to start playing as well as I can.

And as far as the having to re work the riffs, well, just because you have to slow it back down doesn't mean anything. The fact is if your learning the lick cleanly and accurately, eventually you will be able to play it faster, it just takes time.
Im the same way spamwise i just got gp5 a few weeks ago. Its awsome im learning comfortably numb solos right now which ive always wanted to learn. ( I know this isnt real fast but its more the expressive vibratos and bends and timing that make it so damn good) I learn a bunch of phrazes and i can totally rock them out one day then the next day i want to move onto the next area but i find i have to work on yesterdays first. I dont forget how its played but i cant play at the day befores pace for a little bit even if i warmed up with old matirial.
While I'm at it, another tip - learn the notes, memorize them first. Because then you can spend time looking at your hand instead of looking at the paper or screen. And just looking makes it a whole lot more comfortable. Trying to work up speed while flicking your eyes back and forth is just too cumbersome to work well.
Do you use your pinkie ?
More fingers to hit more notes and longer stretches.
You have it, you might as will use it.

Reset the bpm to 100 before you go to bed.
So the next day...you'll have forgotten it was set to 100.

Actaully playing slower is harder in a way...as someone said
you have to be in more control of the notes to make it sound purdy
or perfect.

Do you use the other fingers to help you with the bends ?
Since you're holding the bends longer at a slower speed.
Your hand gets tire faster or you'll drop the pitch of the bends
faster...and the riff won't come out as you wish it to be.

How's the action set on your guitar ?
What guage strings are you using ?

Have you check the innotation of your strings ?
If it's off, the pitch will be slightly off on different part of the neck.
Even if you hit the correct fingering, it'll makes it difficult
to make it sound good consistantly.

None of my guitars ,even the more expensive ones were never
correct when I first purchased them new out of the box or store set.
Last edited by Ordinary at Apr 24, 2008,