#1
Is the key to speed simply finger independance, hand synchronization, and more economical movement (fingers closer to fretboard when not fretting, picking movements smaller, ect). If I work at those three things will I be able to play fast? I don't mean Yngwie I just want to be able to play Kirk Hammet and Randy Rhoad solo's.
Quote by darkstar2466
Bigfoot.... The Abominable Snowman.... Chinese Democracy.... all stories, nothing more.


#2
Strength in your fingers comes from your arm muscles. So if you work on bulking up your fretting arm you'll probably get an increase in finger speed. All those things you said are good too
#3
yes it will and soon enough my young padwan u will be playing like ur master yngwie aka myself
#4
Quote by mydogpoops
Is the key to speed simply finger independance, hand synchronization, and more economical movement (fingers closer to fretboard when not fretting, picking movements smaller, ect).


That's half of it. The other half is removing as much tension as possible from your playing. Have a read of the sticky called "Read this f**king sticky". There is some very helpful info in there.
#5
Quote by soapalot
Strength in your fingers comes from your arm muscles. So if you work on bulking up your fretting arm you'll probably get an increase in finger speed. All those things you said are good too

Or not... As George Lynch once said, building up you arm muscles can inhibit playing ability. Back when he was bodybuilding, his hand would clench up during extended solos.
It's not strength in the fingers that matters (except for bending), it's speed, precision, and economy of motion in the tendons that improves speed in those fingers.
TS: The three things you described, combined with lots of good practice, will net you greater speed.
EDIT: And, as mentioned above, the reduction of tension. I forget about that a lot
Last edited by Nightfyre at Aug 30, 2008,
#6
Quote by mydogpoops
Is the key to speed simply finger independance, hand synchronization, and more economical movement (fingers closer to fretboard when not fretting, picking movements smaller, ect). If I work at those three things will I be able to play fast? I don't mean Yngwie I just want to be able to play Kirk Hammet and Randy Rhoad solo's.


Yeah, that's why playing fast is hard. It's perfecting every movement you make, not learning one "thing" really well.

The thread at the top of the forum is for you, but you already have a good idea of how to progress.
#7
Quote by soapalot
Strength in your fingers comes from your arm muscles. So if you work on bulking up your fretting arm you'll probably get an increase in finger speed. All those things you said are good too

No it doesnt. Increasing fretting arm strength isnt going to help you at all unless you cant lift your own arm and hold the guitar neck where you want it. I dont know where you can up with this idea? Did Zakk Wylde tell you this?

Freepower what happend to your lesson on proper practice technique. I was going to link it but its not in your sig.
Last edited by /-\liceNChains at Sep 4, 2008,
#8
Quote by mydogpoops
Is the key to speed simply finger independance, hand synchronization, and more economical movement (fingers closer to fretboard when not fretting, picking movements smaller, ect). If I work at those three things will I be able to play fast? I don't mean Yngwie I just want to be able to play Kirk Hammet and Randy Rhoad solo's.


My suggestion:

Don't strive to play fast, strive to play music. If you learn a kirk hammet solo, and work it up to speed, you will have achieved the necessary speed to play it.

So rather than working on the things that you think will allow you to be fast enough to play a Kirk Hammet solo, just work on the Kirk Hammet solo. What you will find is that you will be working on all the things you mentioned (finger independance, hand synchronization, more economical movement, fingers closer to fretboard when not fretting, picking movements smaller)

keep in mind alot of things, such as hand synchronization just works itself out. You shouldn't have to think about that any more than you think about how your mouth muscles move to allow you to talk. You just..... talk. and of-course you didn't learn to talk by practicing mouth movements..... you listened to other people and mimicked them. Your mouth just does what it needs to do........for the most part your hands will do the same when playing the guitar.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Sep 4, 2008,
#9
Quote by buccoc
yes it will and soon enough my young padwan u will be playing like ur master yngwie aka myself

funny how the people who say stuff like this never have any recordings of themselves in their profile.....

but as freepower said, basically the best thing you can do is economize everything you do. it sounds like you really have a good idea as to what you need to do. remember speed is a byproduct of accuracy, so if you have to play slow at first then play slowly (i'm working on different aspects of my playing and even after 13 years i still have to start slowly)

AliceinChains and Guitarmunky are dead on, playing fast should be no more difficult than playing slowly (and actually i've found once you get to a certain point playing slowly and in time is FAR more difficult) it should be entirely second nature.
#10
well, Im no guitarmunky freepower or z4tweeny, but what I do to build up speed is to learn 1 lick every day and try to play it as fast as possible (but always accurately) with the help of a metronome. I can say ive noticed some progress.

btw, yesterday I spent like 2 hours playing the Fight Fire With Fire solo at 65% speed and while someone might think its still too slow I can say that 1 month ago I couldnt get past 55% speed!!!

practice practice practice ...
#11
Quote by GuitarMunky

keep in mind alot of things, such as hand synchronization just works itself out. You shouldn't have to think about that any more than you think about how your mouth muscles move to allow you to talk. You just..... talk. and of-course you didn't learn to talk by practicing mouth movements..... you listened to other people and mimicked them. Your mouth just does what it needs to do........for the most part your hands will do the same when playing the guitar.


I don't know, for a lot of people, hand synch can do with a bit of focused practice. Helped me.

Imo, every part of a seemingly automatic system (talking, driving, playing a musical instrument) is built up of tiny sections of learnt fundamentals.

Talking is just really really hard and people go through a stage where their brain is hardwired to learn to speak.
#12
It is amusing to pick up a guitar and be able to translate a sound in your head onto a sound on guitar without thinking about even the physical motion, like putting a drink to your mouth, having a guitar feels so natural I just pick it up to feel normal sometimes
Originally posted by TapMaster
If you break a JEM you know your going to go to hell when you die

Only member of the 'This is too immature for me' club.
#13
Quote by Freepower
I don't know, for a lot of people, hand synch can do with a bit of focused practice. Helped me.

Imo, every part of a seemingly automatic system (talking, driving, playing a musical instrument) is built up of tiny sections of learnt fundamentals.


Talking is just really really hard and people go through a stage where their brain is hardwired to learn to speak.



All of those automatic things, such as talking, or walking, are developed not by focusing on your mouth or leg movements but rather by what your trying to say, or where your walking to.

had your practice session been focused on playing a piece of music, your hand synchronization would have improved just the same, and you would have been developing your ear at the same time, making you practice session more productive.

My perspective is this:

focus on the music, let your hands do what they need to do. If you struggle with a particular issue, deal with it then.

thats not to say you shouldn't strive for good technique. Holding the pick correctly, using fingertips.... ect are fundamental things that need to be practiced at 1st. Alot of things though, work themselves out through the experience of playing.

There are literally thousands of things we could be working on as exercises. I think alot of people get led on a wild goose chase, trying to master every little technical aspect of playing the guitar. Unfortunately, they often get caught up in the chase and end up leaving the music behind.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Sep 5, 2008,
#14
Quote by GuitarMunky
All of those automatic things, such as talking, or walking, are developed not by focusing on your mouth or leg movements but rather by what your trying to say, or where your walking to.

had your practice session been focused on playing a piece of music, your hand synchronization would have improved just the same, and you would have been developing your ear at the same time, making you practice session more productive.

My perspective is this:

focus on the music, let your hands do what they need to do. If you struggle with a particular issue, deal with it then.
.

I'm with Freepower on this one. Olympic runners don't just train by running. They do weights and also tailor their training to achieve proper technique. Yeah you can learn to run by running but if you want to run faster you will employ other training practices to improve technique as well.

Same with the learning to talk example used earlier. Many professional speakers and actors will actually work on specific technical exercises to improve their diction and speaking ability. They practice certain words and nonsensical sentences to improve the technical efficiency and co ordination in the muscles of their mouth and tongue. They will also practice breathing techniques to ensure proper use of diaphram to project their voice. They will often practice singing exercises to use pitch effectively and will learn to control their body language to reinforce what they are saying. Sometimes they will practice great speeches and other times focus particularly on technical exercises. It is a mixture of both.

I've met many mumblers who could to with 15min per day practice in speech technique.

I agree with the part GuitarMunkey said "if you struggle with a particular issue deal with it then." You should always be looking for weaknesses in your playing. Then finding exercises that focus on those particular areas in order to improve your ability. This will improve your general guitar playing.

However, just practicing scales and finger independence won't progress you as a musician unless that is what is holding you back as a musician.

To the TS yeah those three things "Economy of movement" "finger independence" and "co-ordination between your hands". You could list a bunch of other things that would be different ways of saying the same thing - control, accuracy, etc. But you basically got it. Practice slow. and even when practicing slow your fingers should still move as quickly as when you play fast. There will just be a longer time between movements.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Sep 5, 2008,
#15
Quote by 20Tigers
I'm with Freepower on this one. Olympic runners don't just train by running. They do weights and also tailor their training to achieve proper technique. Yeah you can learn to run by running but if you want to run faster you will employ other training practices to improve technique as well.

Same with the learning to talk example used earlier. Many professional speakers and actors will actually work on specific technical exercises to improve their diction and speaking ability. They practice certain words and nonsensical sentences to improve the technical efficiency and co ordination in the muscles of their mouth and tongue. They will also practice breathing techniques to ensure proper use of diaphram to project their voice. They will often practice singing exercises to use pitch effectively and will learn to control their body language to reinforce what they are saying. Sometimes they will practice great speeches and other times focus particularly on technical exercises. It is a mixture of both.

I've met many mumblers who could to with 15min per day practice in speech technique.

I agree with the part GuitarMunkey said "if you struggle with a particular issue deal with it then." You should always be looking for weaknesses in your playing. Then finding exercises that focus on those particular areas in order to improve your ability. This will improve your general guitar playing.

However, just practicing scales and finger independence won't progress you as a musician unless that is what is holding you back as a musician.

To the TS yeah those three things "Economy of movement" "finger independence" and "co-ordination between your hands". You could list a bunch of other things that would be different ways of saying the same thing - control, accuracy, etc. But you basically got it. Practice slow. and even when practicing slow your fingers should still move as quickly as when you play fast. There will just be a longer time between movements.



do you really think that if you work on a piece of music that requires all of the mentioned techniques, and you are successful /can play it well, that you will not have acquired said techniques ??


btw I don't think you really comprehended my post, because I did not say that you will never need to work on exercises, only that ALOT of things mentioned by the TS will in fact develop naturally as you work on playing music.

example:

alt picking is a technique. most people can't do it naturally, so they have to work on it via exercises and / or a piece of music that requires it.

Left hand / right hand coordination is NOT a technique. You will be developing it from twinkle twinkle little star to your most advanced piece. you WILL develop it simply by playing music. You couldn't successfully play a single song on guitar without it.
My analogy to talking was to point out how ridiculous it would be for you to focus on every single movement of your mouth just to talk. Instead you focus on what you want to say, and just......... say it.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Sep 5, 2008,
#16
Working with exercises can help you more with some things, and working with
music can help you more with other things. Exercises can show you new potentials
in creating music and music can show you new applications of concepts learned
from exercises.

Decide what you need/want to learn and use the better, or both, tools.
#17
Quote by GuitarMunky
do you really think that if you work on a piece of music that requires all of the mentioned techniques, and you are successful and can play it well, that you will not have acquired said techniques ??

Not necessarily.

I think that if you are learning a piece of music and come across a section that is technically beyond your ability then slowing it down and breaking that piece into playable chunks will help you acquire that technique as applicable to that song. If that particular piece of music is the only situation in which you can actually use that technique then you haven't really acquired the skill.

Taking the problem area and coming up with other licks that isolate that same technique will improve that specific technique even further.

Once you are able to freely incorporate said technique into your general playing (i.e. in a number of different situations) then you can say you have truly "acquired" the technique.

Further, there is no reason why licks you create to improve your technical ability can't be musical in nature. Sometimes they may even evolve into songs themselves. An example would be the intro for Sweet Child of Mine. But the original purpose of the lick is to practice and improve a specific technical ability and though advisable, it isn't essential the lick be "musical".

Quote by GuitarMunky
btw I dont think you "should always look for weakness in your playing". I would suggest that you focus on making music, and work out the issues as they pertain to achieving that goal.


I'm not suggesting someone should play with the sole aim of trying to find something they are not good at and get better at it. I'm pretty sure we are on the same page here. Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I could have been but what I meant was
"Identify the weaknesses in your playing that are holding you back from achieving your goals." A fingerstyle blues player would most likely be wasting his time learning to sweep pick at 240bpm's for example.
Si
#18
Quote by 20Tigers
Not necessarily.


How could you not? If you can play the piece utilizing all the necessary techniques, then you have acquired those techniques. Thats common sense.
Quote by 20Tigers

I think that if you are learning a piece of music and come across a section that is technically beyond your ability then slowing it down and breaking that piece into playable chunks will help you acquire that technique as applicable to that song.


Ofcourse.... thats working on a piece of music as I suggested. What you learn will be applicable to many other songs as well, and if you come across a song where you have to adapt a bit..... well same process.




Quote by 20Tigers

If that particular piece of music is the only situation in which you can actually use that technique then you haven't really acquired the skill.


How many songs do you know where the technique can ONLY be used in that 1 song?

Working on a technique as an exercise doesn't guarantee universal adaptability, any more than if you learned it while playing music.


Quote by 20Tigers

Taking the problem area and coming up with other licks that isolate that same technique will improve that specific technique even further.


you could just......... work on the problem area. Take your own advice........ work on it really slow, and then work it up to speed. If thats not possible, you are likely working on something far beyond your skill level and should be working on something more realistic.
Quote by 20Tigers

Once you are able to freely incorporate said technique into your general playing (i.e. in a number of different situations) then you can say you have truly "acquired" the technique.

Again, the fact that you worked on the technique as an exercise in no way makes it any more universally applicable. You certainly can "truly acquire" a technique by working on music, and can apply it just as "freely".


Quote by 20Tigers

Further, there is no reason why licks you create to improve your technical ability can't be musical in nature.


ofcourse not. I never suggested they couldn't.


Anyway. Exercises can be very beneficial. Im not arguing against them. As I said before my main point is that MANY things (such as left hand/right hand coordination) can be developed simply by playing music on your musical instrument.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Sep 5, 2008,
#20
Quote by TheShred201
GuitarMunky, you do like to debate don't you


Ironically I hate it. Its just sometimes I have to defend a position that I believe in.

admittedly, there have been some worthwhile ones. Too many of them though are based on semantics and misunderstandings.
shred is gaudy music
#22
EDIT - Delete long post and replace with-

I think there is benefit in both and a good practice routine will include both.
I just saw your edit in the last post.
I'm happy.
Besides it's time to get back to my guitar.
peace
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Sep 6, 2008,
#23
Like it's all been said.....
Starting slow, efficient/economical movments, staying loose/avoiding tension, improving coordination/synchronization & just good old consistent practice...all great keys tobuilding up your speed.

One other things that I would add in...that goes a bit against the grain of the ultra-disciplined school of thought....
Start slow & work your way up w/a metronome/drum machine obviously....but every once in a while, push yourself a good bit beyond your comfort/control zone and you might be surprised at how your body can adapt and how it can bump you to the next level.
You don't want to do that constantly, as it will promote sloppier playing...but done in moderation, it can help to bust you out of certain ruts and/or sticking points in your tech. By playing well within your limits all the time (with controlled repetition), it can be easy to get stagnant and "stuck", for lack of a better term at a certain level. Sometimes you need to push yourself to get the most out of that disciplined practice & amping it up just a bit here & there can be a useful rut busting key, if done wisely of course.

And of course like GM said, keep it musical...since that is the overall point really.
Speed for the sake of speed, is just athletics. LOL



Don
#24
^ I do that on occassion. If I have part of a lead I can't get to full speed even after the methodical approach, sometimes I'll blast through it in 4 or 8 notes chunks at about 10 or 15 bpm faster than I've been playing it, before going back to the "good" practice. Usually that's enough to give it the jolt I need.
#26
hey my first post on here and im wondering if anyone has some USEFULL advise or links on how to correctly hold the pick to help me with my speed...i just seem to be getting stuck at a certain speed and im sure its the way im holding my pick thats causing my problems. any help will be much appreciated!
#27
What makes you believe that it's the way you hold the pick? Many players hold it completely differently, and ultimately there is no proper way to hold it. I'm not sure if freepower covered this in his lessons (second link in my signature), but they are probably worth a read to help with any other possible problems of yours. There's a youtube vid where paul gilbert talks a bit about how he holds his--i'll see if I can find it later today.
#28
Quote by TheShred201
What makes you believe that it's the way you hold the pick? Many players hold it completely differently, and ultimately there is no proper way to hold it. I'm not sure if freepower covered this in his lessons (second link in my signature), but they are probably worth a read to help with any other possible problems of yours. There's a youtube vid where paul gilbert talks a bit about how he holds his--i'll see if I can find it later today.


Shred.....Is this the lesson/vid that you were thinking of?
Gilbert Picking Lesson
That's the one that came to mind when you mentioned it.



Don
#29
Quote by TheShred201
What makes you believe that it's the way you hold the pick? Many players hold it completely differently, and ultimately there is no proper way to hold it. I'm not sure if freepower covered this in his lessons (second link in my signature), but they are probably worth a read to help with any other possible problems of yours. There's a youtube vid where paul gilbert talks a bit about how he holds his--i'll see if I can find it later today.


i think its the way i hold the pick because i seem to be catching the strings quite hard therefore its difficult for me to build up sustained and accurate speed, ive seen a paul gilbert clip on youtube where he talks about holding the pick at an angle (more on the side of the index finger) and not parrallel to the string...im finding this uncomfortable so before i go ahead and practice this way i wanted other people's opinion on the matter. cheers for the link
#30
Quote by kwikfingers-uk
i think its the way i hold the pick because i seem to be catching the strings quite hard therefore its difficult for me to build up sustained and accurate speed, ive seen a paul gilbert clip on youtube where he talks about holding the pick at an angle (more on the side of the index finger) and not parrallel to the string...im finding this uncomfortable so before i go ahead and practice this way i wanted other people's opinion on the matter. cheers for the link


You'll get used to it, and it will likely help you. Also, you may want to focus on relaxing your picking hand. When people get caught on the strings its often due to too much tension.
shred is gaudy music
#32
Quote by GuitarMunky
You'll get used to it, and it will likely help you. Also, you may want to focus on relaxing your picking hand. When people get caught on the strings its often due to too much tension.


something ive heard alot before but always forget when it comes to practice! thanks man.
#34
Quote by divinorum69
I bet no one can play Mr Crowley's first solo as accurately as Randy did


I'll take that bet.

P.S., I'm responding to this post because I am, obviously, a massive fallout fan.