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Just doing things really fast

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(@coolnama)
Honorable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 595
Topic starter  

Lol how do I play stuff really fast ?

I just wonder if there is a secret to playing very fast, like picking very fast, I don't like it because it sounds really messy, even when it is somebody really good like Joe Satriani or Paul Gilbert when they pick really fast you can hear the little clicks of the pick.

lol while I'm at it, when will I be good ? xD

I mean I play with a few bands, we've played live, but I still feel like everything I do is hopelessly simple, I want to be good xD.

and its like awesome that my teacher teaches me songs in 5 minutes, but they are simple songs, ( not my instructor but my teacher in school that shows me the song to play with the group ) I wanna get to doing some hard stuff that I have to work my butt off to do, I wanna have an awesome ear and godly theory knowledge.

I guess I'm just venting my fatigue ( because I've been really sick ). Its like you know there is no big goal like there was before like for example Idk Barre chords that was a big goal before, then idk scales and whatever. But now it's like what do I do ?

Lol sorry guys just venting, lots of homework because of lots of sick days, and lots of tests, and my butt still hurts and it will keep hurting until I get it operated but yeah xD sorry.

But when will I be any good ?

I wanna be that guy that you wish you were ! ( i wish I were that guy)

You gotta set your sights high to get high!

Everyone is a teacher when you are looking to learn.

( wise stuff man! )

Its Kirby....


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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2198
 

Get a metronome. Play something really SLOW until you can do it perfectly. Not close. Not sometimes. Perfectly. Then slowly increase the tempo - perhaps 15-20 bps each time, maintaining exceptionally high standards for each step.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


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(@moonrider)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1309
 

Lol how do I play stuff really fast ?

You start really slow, doing it exactly right. Then gradually increase the speed, always making sure you do it exactly right.

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

+1 on above advice.

and if you don't like clicking of picks, learn to play with a heavy - that will require you learn to control the compliance ("give") with your fingers and wrist, instead of flexing the pick (the 'click' being caused by the rebound of a flexed pick).

-=tension & release=-


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 Ande
(@ande)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 659
 

Years ago when I was a teen, I read an interview with Kurt Hammet- He said that he learned to play fast by playing slow first, as advised here.

But then he gradually moved the metronome WAY up, practicing as much as 50% faster than he would actually play in concert. So to play in public, he was really slowing down.

Best,
Ande


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

As far as learning more difficult things, I've always thought it best to dive in over your head during the slow times when you think you've hit a rut or everything is now "easy". Doing this accomplishes two things. First, it gives you the exposure. You'll not have to ask questions like "what do I have to learn next" or anything like that. You'll know you gotta learn a couple specific skills to play the piece of music you're trying to play. The single toughest thing about learning anything is not knowing what it is that you don't know. (not knowing what to learn)

Second thing it does is makes things you do know seem really simple.

Assumptions made that you'll run this by your instructor and let him help guide, of course.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@steve-0)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1165
 

One of my long term goals is to be able to play the rhythm and lead parts to a bunch of Metallica songs, if you're familar with their songs you'll know that's not an easy task (although, there are alot of bands/artists that play faster).

One thing I've read that seems to make sense is the idea of slowing down and trying to play more efficiently. For example, if I wanted to strum a chord faster than I normally can, you could try slowing the tempo down ALOT and focusing on keeping the pick very close to the strings after each downstroke and upstroke.

Another idea is to control tension. If you play something as fast as you can, normally what occurs for me is that I get alot of tension in one of or both of my hands. So, like in the previous example where I am strumming only one chord, I would probably have alot of tension in my pick hand. So what I've read is to slow down, and try to relax all that tension and speed up.

I think above all it takes alot of time, and working with a teacher that knows how to play incredibly well. Steve Vai and Joe Satriani claim that they used to practice all the time, and Kirk Hammett (guitarist from Metallica) took lessons from Joe Satriani (and I bet he practiced constantly as well). So if you're able to practice every day, for up to about 10 hours a day, you could learn to play fast in no time (depending of course on how fast you want to play, of course).

Unfortunately, not only do I no longer take lessons, but I don't practice nearly enough as I probably should. Oh well 8)

Steve-0


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 Ande
(@ande)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 659
 

+ 1 on starting slow and focusing on technique.

I really like the "gallop" sound that you hear on rhythm guitar in a lot of Iron Maiden. COuldn't play it AT ALL a year or so ago, when I decided I really wanted to. (Usually it's a mix of 8th and 16th notes, played around 200 BPM. With rests, palm muting, and occasional harmonics.)

ANd I mean I REALLY couldn't play it. No place close.

To be able to keep the rhythm, I had to slow down the metronome...to around 60 BPM. (I was doing this when I lived in Korea for two months last year, and had no social life at all)

But, I could play it. Just very slow. So I played it very slow for about 5 minutes a day, with different patterns, for a few weeks. Playing right, never breaking rhythm, never speeding up and getting sloppy. Boring, but like a say, no life.

After a couple of weeks, I put it a 70. And could still play it neatly.

It's now been a year, and I still play with metal rhythm games at least 3-4 times a week- on a good day, can burn right along with the recordings.

But if I skip a week, I can't. And I have to start over around 100 to get it right. (Doesn't take as long to get back up this time, though.)

Best,
Ande


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(@steve-0)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1165
 

I could never get past whether or to practice music (as in, difficult passages of music), or exercises from a method book or something similar. I like the idea of practicing the actual music I want to learn, it seems to be alot more fun to practice. I don't mind exercises if they're related to my perticular technical problem, for example if I had problem crossing strings then I could practice playing 3 string arpeggios across the neck. But I always read about these players who practice these chromatic exercises for hours and it really seems boring to me. I'm sure the exercises do have their place but I think they can be overdone.

Steve-0


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

Technical exercises for guitarists are like weight lifting for athletes... you can be pretty good without them, but almost all of the elite folks do them. The advantage to technical exercises over just playing music is that technical exercises concentrate the activity - if you have trouble skipping strings, or playing specific finger sequences, that's all you do in the exercise. Or a specific scale or arpeggio until you can practically do it in your sleep.

At one point in my playing I did a lot of technical drills. At least a couple hours a day, sometimes 4 or 5. And they were fairly mind numbing.

I see both sides of the technical argument: I definitely improved my chops through the woodshedding phase. But they didn't do that much for me musically. On the other hand, targeted exercises for melody development (which are equally boring) improved my lines... and sometimes left me with ideas I couldn't execute.

So I see them as a necessary evil if you want to be as good as you can. The good news is that once you get to the ability level you want, it takes less time to maintain - now I do between 5 and 15 minutes of technical stuff a day. That leaves me at probably a 95% level compared to the overkill I used to do.

As far as developing speed, Moonrider and Ande have the answers - first, you practice very slow and focus on technique: keep every movement as small as possible, and eliminate all the tension you can. Second, you force the tempo and try to play MUCH faster than your immediate goal - just do that once, then drop back to goal tempo... it'll seem slow in comparison. Both types of practice are needed - without the slow, perfect practice you'll end up fast and sloppy; without the forced speed, you'll have a nearly endless road to get the tempo up. The slow stuff should be 75-95% of your practice time... then you'll find the few fast bursts really ramp up your base speed.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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 Ande
(@ande)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 659
 

PS- Really good advice here, especially from NoteBoat. I would add- Do not, repeat DO NOT, let speed training, or any other single thing, take over all your practice time.

I'm coming out of a phase when I overfocused on one thing, and got to the the point where I could play really fast rhythms with fifth chords, and practically nothing else.

Work speed if you want speed. But while you're at it, don't forget melody lines, other riffs, theory, improv...the whole guitar, in other words...

PPS- if I could follow my own advice, I would ROCK.


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(@steve-0)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Noteboat, just out of curiousity, What are targeted exercises for melody development? I've practiced scales and created melodies but I'm not sure if that's quite the same thing.

Steve-0


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

There are a lot of possible ones... soloing with just a few notes to explore different rhythms; soloing with fixed rhythms, etc.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@anonymous)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8306
 

familiarity and comfort with the fretboard is key. pushing yourself to play fast is helpful, but i didn't get there by slaving to a metronome. i just tried to play fast when i wanted to play something fast, and played slow when i wanted to play slow.
it's not a matter of speed after a while, it's a matter of just playing a series of notes within the beats you want to hear them in.
it's a whole lot of repetition, messing around, learning... in my opinion, it's a much better bet to just focus on your current playing, and not worry too much about future goals. let your personal playing style guide your future, as opposed to trying to achieve goals that ignore the present.


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(@coolnama)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 595
Topic starter  

Wow what you said actually makes sense, you know just let it flow naturally :D, thanks.

I wanna be that guy that you wish you were ! ( i wish I were that guy)

You gotta set your sights high to get high!

Everyone is a teacher when you are looking to learn.

( wise stuff man! )

Its Kirby....


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