#1
I have taken advice to practise on the clean channel and use a metronome these past few months but i've noticed that I haven't managed to successfully increase in speed in a week.

i started playing the same lick at 40bpm (all semi quaver triplets, which equates at 4nps - very slow.

i then turned up the metronome 1 until i found it slightly challenging. it was roughly 70bpm that this happened, so i played for ten minutes at this speed and then turned it up 1, continuing until the next time i struggled a bit. then i got to 90, and struggled a bit, kept practicing and managed to get to 105 bpm. in the last week i haven't moved from there at all - any suggestions?

if you want to hear crappy recordings, i have one up in skills called 'alternate picking clean'(iirc) which is this specific lick at 100 with no overdrive - but the crap mic distorts it a bit

theres also a recording at 180 called 'alternate picking' with drive at max just to see how fast i can show off to my friends

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#2
Quote by metallicafan616
In the last week i haven't moved from there at all - any suggestions?


If you honestly can't go any faster then there must be something wrong with your technique whether it's tension in your playing or excess movement. Is it at all possible for you to post a video of yourself? Audio doesn't tell us that much really.
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#3
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
If you honestly can't go any faster then there must be something wrong with your technique whether it's tension in your playing or excess movement. Is it at all possible for you to post a video of yourself? Audio doesn't tell us that much really.


didnt think it did, im afraid i cant post a video of me playing :? it feels like theres no tension and i barely move my wrist, i'm pretty sure its a problem with the fretting hands however,when i have problems its due to missing notes/sounding muted notes - i can still tremolo pick just as fast on both channels. any extra help?

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#4
Get some picking speed through bursts and then apply that speed to alternate picking exercises.

Bursts are when you play 8th 8th 8th 8th 8th 8th 8th-note-triplet. Keep doing that until you can play straight triplets.
#6
BGC, what do you mean? play 2 notes per click and then 3 suddenly? wouldn't it be better to do something more organized and easier to track progress like what i am currently doing?

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#7
Quote by metallicafan616
didnt think it did, im afraid i cant post a video of me playing :? it feels like theres no tension and i barely move my wrist, i'm pretty sure its a problem with the fretting hands however,when i have problems its due to missing notes/sounding muted notes - i can still tremolo pick just as fast on both channels. any extra help?


The picking hand is not the only one that moves or gets tense; you must apply the same analysis and conditions to your fretting hand as well. Actually having just re-read your post and watched the video of what certainly appears to be you on your profile it seems more and more likely that your fretting hand is the problem if you're trying to push yourself a bit faster; it's all over the place.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Sep 14, 2008,
#8
I actually disagree with what BGC says. In this case, that exersise would be counter-productive (I personally don't see any situation where that exercise would be helpful as it promotes sloppiness). Your playing needs to become cleaner before it can become faster. Practicing with perfect technique and gradually increasing the speed WILL MAKE YOU FASTER. It is a slow process, and once you get your technique down there are certain shortcuts (John Petrucci explains a few of them on his Rock Discipline DVD). However, until you perfect your technique and get your playing cleaner, stay away from exercises like the one BGC recomended.
#9
Quote by metallicafan616
BGC, what do you mean? play 2 notes per click and then 3 suddenly? wouldn't it be better to do something more organized and easier to track progress like what i am currently doing?
Play the bursts to increase your speed, or that's what John Petrucci says, at least.
#10
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Play the bursts to increase your speed, or that's what John Petrucci says, at least.




That would be AFTER you have reached your goal tempo. On the DVD, the goal tempo is sixteenth notes at 200 BPM. Once you can play cleanly at 200 BPM, feel free to try a few shortcuts (though I would suggest playing the way JP does on the DVD, not the way BGC says).
#12
As much as I like watching two people argue over the internet, this is all pointless.

This guy's picking hand is more than fast enough, the problem is the fret hand. He needs to go back and make his fret hand movements much more economical so that he can actually move his fingers to match his picking speed.
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#13
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Bursts help you achieve your desired speed. The fact that it's a triplet does not matter; the exercise has nothing to do with timing or rhythm.


Burst don't help you achieve clean playing or coordination, which is what the TS really needs to work on. In fact, they can make your playing become even sloppier. Saying he should work on getting faster before working on playing cleanly is like putting him in a car with no steering wheel and telling him to floor it. Both senarios lead to disaster.
#15
For one thing....1 week will not always be enough time to see huge improvement. It might move you from say 60 to 70 bpm...but it's doubtful that coming close to truly doubling your consistent speed is going to come that fast. It could....but I'm just saying that it's not going to be the norm for most people out there.
Starting slow & buidling up, means truly getting a full, firm grip on the exercise or whatever, at that slow speed before moving too far along. If you are consistent at the 60-70bpm range, then bumping it up bit by bit (maybe 10bpm) is a good thing.....but jumping up a full 40-50bpms or more, is just going to undo what you've been working at by pulling you too far out of your comfort range, IMO.
If you're doing good at 60-70 and are starting to struggle at 90...then 105 is definitely not the answer that you are looking for. I've mentioned this in other threads as well, but jumping out of your "comfort zone" can be good for getting you to that next level. You just have to be smart about it though and monitor yourself honestly & realistically. Like I said...if the instability crops up at the 90bpm mark...going beyond that point is not really a viable solution. Go back to 70 and get to the point where you can do it in your sleep then nudge it up 5bpm at a time, until the wheels start to come off & bring it back down to where you can control it effortlessly again & keep on moving up in that manner. It might take a while...but short of just settling for sloppy, there are no shortcuts to it.

As far as tech goes, from the vid on your profile, I'd be inclined to agree with the poster who mentioned that the left hand tech needs some refining....and again, I like mentioned in another thread about picking that you posted, I'm afraid that the actual size of your guitar, may not be helping you out very much. You are a bit of a small statured person, with small(ish) hands yet and you're playing a rather large, full sized guitar with a somewhat radical body shape, that seems to be really making you have to reach for things for both the picking and left hand techniques.
I'm sure that a 3/4 scale guitar is not something that you're inclined to be into at this stage....But, if it's in the budget at all....I would seriously think about finding a smaller bodied guitar, with a narrower neck, if at all possible. You would still need to work on minimizing your left hand movements, but at least you won't be fighting your guitar at the same time.
It's just my opinion....but all the same...the next time that you are at a guitar store, I would try sitting down with some smaller bodied, more conventional shaped guitars and just see if it makes any difference at all. It's kind of like little kids playing golf with big, oversized, heavy adult clubs...it can work....but it is introducing a lot of compensational moves, that just are not neccessary and actually inhibit efficient movements.


Don
#16
Quote by ChipShank
*a lot*


Everything this man says is made of win. No I'm not just saying that because he agrees with me.
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#17
chipshank, i am thinking of removing that video from my profile, as it is a very bad example of my technique.

back then i didn't use a metronome and the timing was terribly out, the notes weren't fretted properly and i thought i was doing it right, because it was fast.
after making a thread about it i took advice and went back to square 1, and have tried fixing things - such as timing and fretting notes.
tremolo picking i am fine, my picknig hand is more than fast enough for anything i want to play. but my left hand fingers are a bit to slow to keep up with it.
i have a 3/4 acoustic and when i try play that i often accidentally skip frets as it is definitely too small.

would it be a good idea to spend 20mins playing different licks at 90bpm(stop myself getting bored, and if its a coordination problem its probably best to play different licks so i dont only memorize 1 pattern) to make sure my technique is perfect and then do the same at 95,and just take it a hell of a lot slower?


EDIT: i just done the part in italic, ready to go to 100bpm - and christ it sure was hard to keep going for 20 minutes on each
off to do 100bpm..

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
Last edited by metallicafan616 at Sep 15, 2008,
#18
I disagree with the bursts method.

Also, TS, 4nps is not slow enough for practicing something brand new. I would start at 25bpm 16ths and work my way up to 40bpm across about 15 minutes.
#19
Quote by Freepower
I disagree with the bursts method.

Also, TS, 4nps is not slow enough for practicing something brand new. I would start at 25bpm 16ths and work my way up to 40bpm across about 15 minutes.


the metronome i use doesnt go below 40, and its hard to count in time for the licks i was playing in 16ths - so i chose triplets...but jesus that must be slow

btw, is it bad if my pick only just touches the string and is really quiet?

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#20
Quote by metallicafan616
the metronome i use doesnt go below 40, and its hard to count in time for the licks i was playing in 16ths - so i chose triplets...but jesus that must be slow

btw, is it bad if my pick only just touches the string and is really quiet?


Well, you want to use only the tip of the pick for efficiency, but you want to be able to pick hard sometimes too. So just experiment.
And since your metronome doesn't go below 40 (mine doesn't either), do eighth notes at 50, which is equal to 16ths at 25.