#1
I know this topic is done to death, but I would still like some help.

I want to improve my speed. I'm well aware that speed will not make you good, and MT regulars should know that I know a fair bit of theory.

Now, the problem at hand.

I know the concepts of speed, muscle memory, economy of motion. My problem is motivation. I want to increase my speed, but the same exercises get extremely tiring and I end up just soloing or something.

So if you have any tips on how to stay motivated, I would be extremely appreciative.

Thanks for any help.

Evan
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#2
^ my best advice is to do something musical that requires you to learn what you're practicing to get better at it. im working on sweep picking, sure i could just mindlessly try to wank up and down major and minor chords but instead i made a wonderful chordal piece in Bm that uses major, minor and 7th chords over 5 strings. it sounds alot more pleasing and i enjoy playing it alot more than i would just chord shapes over and over. don't do overkill, i think practicing something 5 or 10 times a day at like 5 minutes each time can work more miracles that woodshedding for 2 hours straight. also because of how the brain functions, try to practice before bed. new pathways are formed during sleep and old pathways are reinforced in the brain, muscle memory is really relegated all to the brain (like everything in the body) i notice my best improvements happen when i practice about before bed.... ie if i go to bed at midnight i'll practice off and on from 10 to midnight and then the next night i can really tell a difference.
#3
^ That's exactly what I do.....if I have a lick or scale or technique that is really hard for me to do, I practice it for about 30 minutes before I go to bed. I also practice for about 30 minutes after I wake up. This really seems to help!
#4
Quote by z4twenny
^ my best advice is to do something musical


+ 1

That's it right there.
shred is gaudy music
#5
Thanks a lot for everyone's help. I'll try to find something musical to practise, which might be hard, since my main influence is classic rock, which doesn't have a lot of fast passages.

Thanks to everyone

Evan
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#6
I thought you meant the drug. lol
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#7
Motivation doesn't really have anything to do with being musical or not, it's simply
a choice you make.

I used to be in the same boat, particularly with technique types of exercises. I found
them very boring and dull. And it was pretty easy to foist the blame off on the exercise.
But, now I'd find the same types of things to be very interesting and entertaining. So,
I really think I was just making a choice, and I chose boring as a way to avoid facing
my own lack of being able to understand how to make the exercise work.

I think a lot of it has to do with not being quite sure the steps you need to take to
make progress at anything. You're not sure the time you're investing is going to
pan out, so you lose patience with and draw attention from it. Then it gets boring
and you're no longer motivated to do it.

If follows from that, that if you KNOW the steps you're taking are the most efficient
way to progress and actually WORK, your interest and motivation will remain high. You
can really only gain that type of knowledge by trying and keeping what works and
discarding what doesn't.
#8
Thanks a lot for everyone's help. I'll try to find something musical to practise, which might be hard, since my main influence is classic rock, which doesn't have a lot of fast passages.

Thanks to everyone

Evan


Don't be afraid to take a classic rock solo and to modify it/embellish it in such a way that utilizes different techniques you are working on. Taking an otherwise chordal passage and changing it to sweep picking, and still serving the same musical function as the strummed chords, or embellishing a melody/theme with ascending turns are all good ways to practice technique in a musical context. (and also to help indirectly with other such skills as composition and improvisation)
#9
Quote by The_Sophist
Thanks a lot for everyone's help. I'll try to find something musical to practise, which might be hard, since my main influence is classic rock, which doesn't have a lot of fast passages.

Thanks to everyone

Evan


You could try exploring some new things as well. For instance try to pick out a melody by Bach, or Beethoven, or maybe see if you could pick out a bluegrass melody. There is so much music out there to choose from. Search around, and see if you can find something that interests you. You may find something thats fast, and melodic. Or you may find a great melody, that isn't necessarily fast. learned that melody and play as fast as you want. if you keep your practice musical, you will play musically as well.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 14, 2008,
#10
I love lots of different genres, blues and blues-rock are just the ones that speak to me most. My main goal is to be able to express emotions through my guitar, and (I don't want to argue about this) sweep picking and pinch harmonics just don't help me do that, so I doubt I'll be putting much time into it.

Another problem I have (if two questions in one thread is to much, feel free to close this with my apologies) is incorporating multiple influences into my playing. I can easily run up and down pentatonics and the modes, but getting eastern influences and other things into my impovising and composing I have trouble with.

Any suggestions on this?
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#11
Quote by The_Sophist
I love lots of different genres, blues and blues-rock are just the ones that speak to me most. My main goal is to be able to express emotions through my guitar, and (I don't want to argue about this) sweep picking and pinch harmonics just don't help me do that, so I doubt I'll be putting much time into it.

Another problem I have (if two questions in one thread is to much, feel free to close this with my apologies) is incorporating multiple influences into my playing. I can easily run up and down pentatonics and the modes, but getting eastern influences and other things into my impovising and composing I have trouble with.

Any suggestions on this?


Right, well techniques are techniques, they will allow you to do certain things. There are times when working on a specific technique will help to give you skills that you need to express yourself.

The key in my opinion, is to never stray far away from the true goal, which is to make music. I found that the best way to do that is to make a point to work on the technique in a musical context, whether it's an actual piece or something you make up for the purpose of practicing that technique.

for instance, let's say you're working on alternate picking. Rather than just picking straight up and down the scale or doing groups and patterns ( which are fine too to a certain extent), try finding a melody or coming up with a melody that utilizes the technique and then work up to speed. That melody could incorporate patterns or groupings of notes but it should be melodic and should have some sense of phrasing.

By the way, this is my own personal advice, based on my own experience, and is in no way intended to say that anyone else's advice is incorrect. If anyone that has posted before me takes this as some sort of rebuttal to their advice, it's not, so please don't argue with me, just accept it for what it is and if you disagree with it, just ignore it.

regarding multiple influences:

Seek out, listen to, pay attention to, learn, play, and enjoy your many influences. Give it time and let those influences work their way into your own style.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 14, 2008,
#12
Well, not to make an argument, in my opinion the question "Why is it hard for
me to be motivated?", is "Why have I chosen to make something boring?" restated.
There may be a musical component to that answer, but it's by far from certain there need
be any connection. I can think of lots of other reasons than "I'm unmotivated because
my practice isn't musical enough". That might be a good answer, or not, depending on
who's asking.
#13
Certainly.
If you dig playing non-musically, then non-musical exercises are the way to go.

I do think though, that for alot of people, playing something that is musical, and sounds good to them, is a motivater. Plus its just plain fun.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 15, 2008,
#14
Some really great advice in this thread.

Regarding the motivation thing, my thoughts are - try setting yourself some concrete goals, make a commitment, and work towards them. As you start seeing the incremental improvements, you will get pumped up, and this will feed the motivation.

Regarding the musical context vs unmusical technical exercises thing, first of all, 90% of all my time at the guitar falls in the musical category, but when I have a goal in mind, I'll try to choose the most effective method of reaching it, whether that be something musical or a technical exercise. If a lick or something is very difficult and involves multiple techniques, sometimes I'll come up with a support exercise so I can focus specifically on the technique that's giving me the most trouble for a little while.
#15
Quote by GuitarMunky
Certainly.
If you dig playing non-musically, then non-musical exercises are the way to go.
.


That has nothing to do with it either. If you're going to agree, agree; if you're
going to disagree, disagree. But, don't seem to agree then twist it into a ridiculous
reduction of what was never said. That's just deceptive disagreement.


Possible answers to "Why I choose to be bored/unmotivated?":

o "No matter what I do, I never to seem get any better"
o "I can't seem to apply what I read about"
o "A lot of things I try to play seem impossibly hard"
o "I spent a lot of time on X before, and still failed"
o "It takes SO much effort now, I'll never get to the level of playing with just feeling"
o "I can't seem to focus my attention on doing it right"
o "I SHOULD be able to play this by now. It's SO easy!"

The list goes on...

You may "dig playing musically", but have lots of other VERY valid reasons for being
unmotivated.
#16
yea thats the hard part right??
ok why dont you try learning something you really like..
you know like artists and all?
try to play what you like first...
#17
Quote by edg


You may "dig playing musically", but have lots of other VERY valid reasons for being
unmotivated.


True, there are lots of reasons that a person could be unmotivated. Spending too much time on things that are non-musical is one of those valid reasons, and quite a common one among guitarists.

I based my advice on the fact that the TS specifically stated in his post that he was finding exercises to be non-motivating. I stand by my advice as stated.




Quote by se012101
If a lick or something is very difficult and involves multiple techniques, sometimes I'll come up with a support exercise so I can focus specifically on the technique that's giving me the most trouble for a little while.


Yeah, that's a good approach. There certainly are times when taking things out of a musical context in order to fine-tune a technique or idea is beneficial.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 15, 2008,