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vaimalmsteenism
03-28-2003, 05:07 AM
I am feeling like I am in a rut of some sort. I turned 15 on March 12 and I've been playing for a little over a year and a half. Right now, all my playing seems to be legato. Picking clean and really fast is just too hard. I have a metronome and many exercises but can't make them work for me. I need some kind of plan so I will follow it everyday...like a weight watchers for guitar or something...i have to play two hours of picking starting with this exercise at 16th notes 80 bpm for example and then go on from there. Please Please PLease help me...

metaljustice83
03-28-2003, 05:57 AM
well I'm not eric, but I'd say don't view that strength as a weekness, I pick alot of stuff and my legato is definatly lacking, everyone is going to be strong in some parts of thier playing and not as strong in other parts of thier playing, with that being said....its awesome you want to advance your playing to include those other things, and it will make you a more well rounded player, here is a link to help you out......http://www.ibreathemusic.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1073 heres a small amount of advice, but very helpful. Ibreathemusic has a lot of articles that are definatly awesome. I don't know if that is exactly what your looking for, but I hope it helped. http://www.ibreathemusic.com/play/article/1

http://www.ibreathemusic.com/play/article/90

http://www.ibreathemusic.com/play/article/43

that should be enough, if not use that search feature :) :)

Just grab a journal, select some excercises that give you trouble, and devote a certain amount of your practice time to each one something like

warm up
selected excercises
songs your learning/ originals your working on
selected excercieses
goof around
selected excercises
end

remember pain =bad stop when pain occurs

I only stop when its sharp pain, because for me usually dull is just muscles building, but thats your choice, I take no responsebility for what you choose

EricV
03-28-2003, 12:45 PM
Well, metaljustice replied with some great advice. Lemme add just a few more things...

1. First of all, a practise plan is a great idea. One thing to ALWAYS remember is that a daily routine of like an hour is way more efficient than practising once a week for 7 hours... meaning that the important thing is that you do something on a daily base, instead of practising once a week.
So do something every day, if possible. Also, let your gut-feeling help you decide a bit... if you REALLY donīt feel like playing at all one day, then DONīT ! Donīt force yourself.
So a practise routine is important.

2. Sometimes, itīs more efficient to do two or three shorter practising sessions throughout the day, as opposed to doing one big one. Thatīs the thing Steve Morse once told me.
And... considering that some people have to do other stuff throughout the day ( school, work, shopping, social contacts, "surprise visits" etc. ), this might be more realistic.
Morse said that usually, you donīt have to warm up anymore for the second ( and third... ) session...

3. Break up your routine, keep it interesting. Sure, if you i.e. wanna focus on picking, you might wanna emphasize that in your schedule. But it can be very de-motivating to go through the exact same routine every single day... so change your schedule around a bit.

4. Take breaks. Those are VERY important. Everyone has a certain attention span, and once that it is exhausted, you will most likely get worse instead of getting better. Letīs say youre playing the PG-lick for... an hour. At first, youīll most likely be able to increase speed, accuracy and efficiency.
But usually, after a long period of time, your attention span is exhausted, and so is your body. And then you might realize that you get worse... noises start creeping in, speed decreases etc.
It is EXTREMELY important to take a break then.
One really cool method was recommended to me by a friend. Pick a certain lick and then:
Play it for 1 minute
Take a 1 min. break
Play it for 2 min.
Take a 1 min. break
Play it for 3 min.
Take a 3 min. break
That way, you keep your attention and your physical potential up, and I considered this method quite helpful...

( to be continued in the next post... )

EricV
03-28-2003, 01:08 PM
( Part 2. Sorry about this, but I decided to continue in another post... my computerīs not very stable yet, and I didnīt wanna lose the stuff I had typed so far by a crash.
Also, I am sorry if I am repeating stuff I have written in other threads and articles... )

5. Set yourself small, realistic goals. I know, that sometimes ainīt a good feel ( to say "I wanna increase the speed of this lick by 10 bpm", instead of "OK, I will learn the whole Impelliteri-record today" )
The smaller the goals, the easier you can reach them ( D īuh ! ), which is important for your motivation. If you feel frustrated because you canīt reach a goal you set, you might have problems concentrating, or you might not wanna pick up the guitar anymore for a while

6. End the practising session(s) with a success. I used to practise late at night, and went to sleep shortly after it. I always tried to accomplish something before I was done... to reach a goal. If you stop practising with the feel that you "failed", you might not be motivated to pick up the guitar the next day.

7.
Example Practising Schedule ( this is a schedule a student of mine uses )

Time: 2:00 hrs

a. Warmup 10 min ( stretches, chords, staccato picking )
b. Picking Exercises ( single string, adjacent strings, incl. breaks ) 30 min
c. Legato ( incl. breaks ) 20 min
d. 10 min break
e. Scales & Patterns 15 min
f. Rhythm / Timing / Chords 15 min
g. Picking ( again ) 10 min
h. Jamming over chord progression, applying what he worked on: 10 min.

This is just one example.... Iīll post some other points to consider later.
Eric

EricV
03-28-2003, 03:30 PM
... donīt get discouraged or frustrated. It takes a lot of time and patience to develop a good technique and musical vocabulary.
And many of us develop / progress in "steps", as opposed to developing constantly, in a linear fashion.
That means, we often hit ruts and plateaus, will be stuck for a while, before we suddenly make a leap, a big step forward.
So, if there is a period of time where nothign seems to improve, try some new things ( like the exercise schedule ) but also remember that this is a common thing, and that maybe next week, youīll suddenly be able to improve way beyond the point youīre at now.. as I said, it takes time and patience, so donīt get angry or frustrated
Hope this helps
Eric

Oceano
03-28-2003, 03:46 PM
You might find it beneficial to work through a book that is designed in a way that suits your practice needs.

Talk about ruts, this morning I picked up my electric, to do some playing before going to work, and it just wasn't happening. No inspiration, etc. Put the electric down, and played some fingerstyle accoustic for a while instead.

metaljustice83
03-28-2003, 04:32 PM
awesome advice, you should combine your three posts eric, and use em for an article, and just tweak a bit toyour standards......again awesome advice

EricV
03-28-2003, 04:56 PM
Thanks a lot.
I was actually planning on turning this stuff ( and some more advice ) into an article, but I decided to post this stuff at the forum for now... that way, I was able to give some advice sooner... I still have to write the article, and it would be another week or two until that would have been online, so...

Anyway, I might tie all this practising-stuff together for a new article in the near future.
Thanks for the feedback
Warm regards
Eric

Hanzo Hattori
03-31-2003, 02:04 AM
wow, i thank you too, EricV! I should really try some of that stuff. Oh, and the word is "practicing" :D

szulc
03-31-2003, 02:31 AM
Oh, and the word is "practicing" That depends, if you are European (or speak and read/write the Queens English) this is correct!

Hanzo Hattori
04-01-2003, 05:06 AM
sorry, my mistake :p