Speed building fingerstyle exercises?
Been a long time since I've posted any topics here.
I've been working on playing fingerstyle for about a year and a half now, and I'm really getting into it. Over the past couple months I've been doing actual right-hand exercises to try to get my speed/accuracy up. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of information on this on the internet, so I was hoping that some of you could give me some suggestions. At the moment, my practice routine consists of doing 10 exercises from Mauro Giuliani's 120 Right Hand Exercises for Guitar at 60BPM followed by a pseudo-chromatic exercise at 80BPM where I use different combinations of fingers on the same strings to play sixteenth notes. I start by playing all four fingers (three fingers and a thumb, to be specific) on one string, moving to the next string every four notes, then doing the same with three fingers, two fingers, then I just use one of my fingers at a time. I vary the patterns so all of my fingers get about the same workout. I'm taking a little break from increases right now, but starting Monday I'll be increasing those BPM rates by 1 per day again. Is there anything else I should be doing?
Thanks Derek, but that's not really what I'm looking for. Maybe I should have been a little clearer in my post. I'm looking more for critique on my methods for speed building, specifically for playing notes on the same string.
Probably this is a question for teachers...
If you use a method with exercises I guess your practice will be good.
I also follow a method for speeding up, really they are some advices in a book (the well know Blues you can use). It is not for fingerpicking but perhaps it could help you to compare both. It basically recommends to do several scales minor and major pentatonic, over all the neck, using several strings (just two strings, all the six, alternating, etc.), more or less all the exercises already proposed in the book.
The advice on the bpm is to start with a value where you are comfortable and don't miss notes (you want to practice the correct technique, no the mistakes), playing 2 notes per each metronome 'tic'. The bpm is increased when you are very comfortable and able to go the next step (in my metronome usually is +6 bmp). When you are able to play enough quickly, he recommends to reduce the bmp and play 4 notes per each 'tic'.
Every classical guitar method or exercise book (e.g., "Pumping Nylon") I've seen leans heavily on the Giuliani right-hand exercises, now in the public domain. I just don't think they've been improved upon. Diligent practice with the Giuliani exercises will inevitably improve not only speed but also accuracy, clarity, and finger independence. Play slow to play fast: don't turn up the metronome until you're utterly solid at the prior setting - don't rush it. To make things more interesting perhaps consider playing around with dynamics, accents, and timbre while doing the exercises.
Just realized that you seem to be looking for single-string exercises. The classic approach to these are Segovia's Diatonic Major and Minor Scales, easily available from Amazon.com for under $5. Follow his instructions for right-hand technique carefully: repeat each exercise both rest-stroke and free-stroke, as follows: i-m, m-i, m-a, a-m, i-a, a-i, i-m-a-m. Again, don't rush the speed increases. I recall that the maestro recommends spending three hours a day doing these exercises, but I suspect that few of us have that luxury.
Thanks Skunk, the single string exercises are exactly what I'm looking for.
I suppose I could spend 3 hours a day on the exercises, but then I'd never have any time to learn songs. :(
Given that I play with a less formal fingerstyle technique than classical, would the Segovia exercises be as useful? I tend to keep my right hand at about a 45 degree angle to the strings so that I get a mellower sound on my steel strings.
What is the recomended exercise for a 75 year old woman? My mom is 75 years old , she is healthy and willing to exercise, what kind of exercise and how long should she be doing it?