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Thread: technique, speed etc.

  1. #16
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    right on spot gmc75
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bizarro
    Great points gmc75! Welcome to ibreathe!
    thanks. there's only one thing i forgot to say: IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO PICK UP AN INSTRUMENT: life is not a formula! race. it's a marathon: i wish i could have learned that before

  3. #18
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    Hi all

    Just wanted to clarify that the 120 bmp were chosen randomly, I could as well have written 160, 180 or 200 bpm.


    Wolfgang made a good point and it's basically what I meant with my post.

    There is what you could call a "genetical limit" for some physical abilities.

    Again, I'll use the 100 meters running example:
    If you don't have a certain ratio of so-called "fast muscle fibers" (see fast twitch fibers), you wont be able to do it in ~ 10 seconds. Period. Your muscles are not able to contract fast enough to enable you to reach that time. You can train and work out for the rest of your life and as hard as you can, it won't help.
    It's a genetical thing - you either have it or not.

    Although you can't compare a 100 m athlete to a guitarist, keep in mind that playing 16th notes at a tempo of for ex. 180 bpm or faster means your picking hand is doing at least 12 up- and downstrokes per second...!!!

    So back to the guitar - if you're an advanced player and doing everything correctly, reach a certain bpm number and are not able to improve on it even after a certain period of time and practice schedule you possibly reached your personal limit. Accept that fact and don't wast your time and energy.

    If it wouldn't be so, every guitar player would be able to play like Gilbert, Petrucci etc. or Thorsten from this board (who's scary fast, I'd say in the same league as G or P) after a couple of years if he only is doing it right.

  4. #19
    Registered User Metal Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdf
    Again, I'll use the 100 meters running example:
    If you don't have a certain ratio of so-called "fast muscle fibers" (see fast twitch fibers), you wont be able to do it in ~ 10 seconds. Period. Your muscles are not able to contract fast enough to enable you to reach that time. You can train and work out for the rest of your life and as hard as you can, it won't help.
    It's a genetical thing - you either have it or not.
    Fast twitch fibers can be developed... making you faster. If you keep running and do the proper exercises correctly and get the proper nutrition not to mention rest you WILL get faster. It's all in the training. Inupt = output. You get what you put in. That doubles for the guitar... and yes the nutrition part will help develop those muscles in the fingers... hahah... never thought of it that way...

    I was never one to believe that ANYTHING is set in stone the moment you are born. Things can be changed.

  5. #20
    I am not so sure, has anyone here been stuck at a certain speed and not been able to move on no matter how much they have practiced? I get faster every day and the most I practice a day is 2 hours. I think it is possible for anyone to pick like Gilbert or so but perhaps it will take some people a lot longer.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritzla
    I am not so sure, has anyone here been stuck at a certain speed and not been able to move on no matter how much they have practiced? I get faster every day and the most I practice a day is 2 hours. I think it is possible for anyone to pick like Gilbert or so but perhaps it will take some people a lot longer.
    Yeah, I've been stuck at a certain speed. I can't play the JP chromatics exercise faster than 210 bmp. No way. My top speed for 16th notes varies between 190 - 210 bpm, for sixtuplets 120 - 140 bpm. I can't get faster than that and I don't think it's possible for anyone to pick like Gilbert.

  7. #22
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    Hey there,
    I saw this topic and thought that I should add my 2 bob worth seeing as this very issue is relevant to my playing, maybe more than most.
    I have posted previously on the fact that I have not improved my playing speed 1bpm in over 10 months of good solid practice. Check my previous post for more information, but I would have to say that as a test case I would be a perfect candidate.
    Im fit, healthy, have good dedication and variation to my playing/practice, patience, ambition yet I have improved zero after all my practice and hard work. My reasons for improving were pretty basic in that I wanted to have more variety in what I could play, solos, rythm parts everything.
    And especially at the speed I can play, there are only so many licks one can use!!!
    I think that this is the reason why I get frustrated when I either hear or read people say 'the secret to speed is to relax' 'the way to increase speed is to start slowly, cleanly with a metronome' 'the best way to play quickly is to pick from the wrist' and so many countless other things.
    I have taken all these things, applied them in great detail for great periods of time yet I have not seen any results.
    Im sure someone will fire back with a comment as to why I havent improved but until I actually see and hear results in myself Ill continue to be very one sided with my point of view

  8. #23
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    I play guitar since 18 years. I never spent a great deal of thoughts about my technique because I usually was able to play the things that I wanted to learn without major problems.
    Anyway, when I discovered this site, I decided to try if I can improve my speed with the exercises from Eric and others. Before I started I checked out how fast I already could play 16th notes (chromatic a la JP) and 16th sextuples to have a reference point. I also bought the Petrucci and a Gilbert video. I was able to do 16th's cleanly up to 180 bpm and sixtuples at 110 bpm. After doing various exercises for tree months (metronome, starting slow & increasing the speed) I managed to play 16th's at max. 210 bmp and sextuples at 140 bpm (both on a 'good day'), but I've been not able to improve on this, no matter how much I went on doing the exercises.
    To be honest, I don't even think that I got faster at all since the 180/110 at the beginning were probably only due because I wasn't used to those patterns.

    Therefore, my conclusion is that there's a limit for everybody. The guys who make big improvements either didn't have their technique refined enough or did something wrong and have been able to correct it thanks to the exercises. But even these guys sooner or later will find their limit. Otherwise, it would be a piece of cake for everybody to play 16th's at 300 bpm if he only does practice long enough.

    By the way. On the Petrucci video, if I remember correctly even John doesn't manage to play the chromatics exercise faster than 216 bpm. So what the heck......

  9. #24
    I´d like to quote the great PG. Being asked if there´s a limit to playing fast after guys like him or Yngwie or Shawn Lane, he answered:

    "I think fingers can go faster but I don´t know if ears can take it...!"



    From my own personal experience I´d like to add that, doing alternate picking stuff, I think there´s a limit on how fast you can play without sounding blury. Once you pass a certain speed it´s hard to keep up the syncronisation between the left and right hand and that´s when things start to sound sloppy and it´s just one big blur of notes. There´s some players who, I think, overdo it just for the sake of being the fastest (I´m telling no names, they´re just not cool, ey) but it just doesn´t sound good to me anymore. So I´d rather like to hear a slow, clean player than a fast, sloppy player!
    Last edited by Thorsten; 07-12-2004 at 05:37 PM.

  10. #25
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    I just wanna say a few words about this.

    I don't agree that there are any genetical limits at all. But there are as many different ways to learn play guitar fast as Yngwie, as there are people on earth. And only one fits YOU. it's like math. Where I come from, schoolbooks seemed to think that all kids should use the same method to solve mathematical problems. But I've understand that all kids aren't the same.

    The same with the guitar. I've only been playing for 2,5 years, but I've come to some conclusions. Chromatics doesn't work for eveyone. Some finds it boring and don't concentrate to it as much as someone who really likes chromatics. And it seems to me as something you like are easier to remember and learn from. So let's say you give that kid who didn't like chromatics diminished runs instead, and maybe she/he can't stop playing it cause it makes sense to him in a way that is different for anyone.

    So don't think that everone gonna be John Petrucci just because they do his G major scale up and down. The key, in my opinion, is to find stuff to play that you like. If you like the G major, you gonna bennefit from it, no doubt. How fast you will bennefit depends on how much time you want to spend on it.

    I had really hard to find new exercises, licks etc. that I felt comfortable with a year ago. When I look back I regret I didn't called a teacher who could help me find something that I liked to play. Instead I continued playing the same boring licks for several months before I discovered Yngwie's "PLAY LOUD (the basics, arpeggios, pentatonic)" VHS. It really gave me new dimensions in my guitarplaying, and I really bennefited from it, but that doesn't mean that everyone will. Some will find that Magic Slim is the funniest and most inspiring guitarist in the world, allthough she/he wanna shredd like Cooley. Then don't leave that inspiration, but use it in your way to 32th notes 200 bpm or whatever your goal may be.

    Well, this post became longer than I first thought. =)

    Take care everyone!

  11. #26
    In Love With Fusion Priest Becker's Avatar
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    I'm gonna have to say that i disagree with everytihng you say. First off practice makes perfect I agree with it maybe taking more time for one to develope speed than someone else but limits are possible. I don't belive in limits simply because if we believe we can do something we can. I knew a person who was diagnosed with stomach cancer and was terminal.Said to be dead in 3 months. He came back 6 months later after only changing his diet and asked the doctor if he could change it back. Thier are no such things as limits unless you realy want to belive thier is.

    Second your right that you dont have to have speed to be ditingished(look at good ol slow hands). But it sure helps alot. If you listin to any famous artist and listin to another one you will notice alot of differences especialy if you have a good pair of ears . Satch dosent sound like Via. Via dosent sound like Malm. Malm dosent sound like Becker(in most cases). And Becker dosent sound like Satch i mean i could give you many more examples but you dont realy need them. As i said above thier is no limit to what you can do so your theory of the scales having to be simper and limited i have to throw out the window. The only reason why the fast players only yous soo many scales is because thats thier sound and thier very well at some scales and unfamiliar to others. The reason why some of thier songs sound alike are because they acctualy use the whole neck unlike other players who stay in a certin 5 note postion for a solo and in any other song they could simply change the 5 notes in the same scale and sound totaly original.

    Basicaly what im saying is yeah speed isnt everything but you cant denie it i mean its a very hard skill to get (as you seem to know) and it is very distguishable if you listin to music and give it a chance instead of hearing the first run or two and saying "I hate this this is fast."
    Instrumental.

  12. #27
    In Love With Fusion Priest Becker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdf



    If it wouldn't be so, every guitar player would be able to play like Gilbert, Petrucci etc. or Thorsten from this board (who's scary fast, I'd say in the same league as G or P) after a couple of years if he only is doing it right.
    Ok that i disagree with totaly as they mentioned before certin people put in a certin amount of time and some people need more time to progress. Also alot of people are (as you would say) at a genetical advantage(once again if thats a word). So some people are at a heavy edge at the start. Thier is no doubt in anyones mind I dont belive that some are at a higher level at the begging but if a person at a disadvantage practiced more and with more determination he could indeed become alot better (could depending on the other persons habbits as well)
    Instrumental.

  13. #28
    Registered User Santuzzo's Avatar
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    The question is : who has the advantage, those who can play as fast as they want, or those who have to accept their limits with regard to fast playing.

    Miles never ever had the chops Dizzy or Clifford had, but he created something new in Jazz through his way of playing. By this I'm certainly NOT saying that Dizzy or Clifford didn't but Miles for sure is one of THE major pioneers in jazz and music in general.

    But with this I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with playing fast stuff.
    To finally make a statement more directly related to the initial discussion : I'm not sure if these 'limits' with regard to ones' technical speed exist (to be honest, I hope they don't!), but I really agree with what many others said before, i.e. for some it takes just a lot more work and time. (For I'm one of those )

    Peace
    Lars

  14. #29
    Registered User Matze's Avatar
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    My couple of cents on this issue:

    1. What is the use of playing fast if you don't have a clue what you're playing? Learning your instument, learning to hear, and learning to say something in the language of music are far, far more important.

    2. Playing speed as measured for example in 16th notes at given bpm varies widely on what you are playing. It's relatively easy to play the Petrucci chromatic thing at 200 bpm. Now go and try to play the simple pentatonic scale at this speed. Then try to play some fast Steve Morse stuff (Pride O' the farm) at 200. Good Luck.

    3. What is the use if you can play some exercise (i.e. the Petrucci thing) at a very high speed if you cannot integrate it in you music or some solo you play. Then it's just moving your fingers around. Maybe you can impress some kid from down the street with it!

    4. Something that is often overlooked is how to integrate rhythmic groupings in your playing. It is pretty difficult, at least for me, to go smoothly from 16th to sextuplets, quintuplets etc. and be 100% in control.

    5. Generally I personally wasted way too much time on the technical aspects of moving fingers around on the guitar instead of understanding and making music.

  15. #30
    <´¯)(¯`»ANDREA«´¯)(¯`>
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    There's a genetical limit, given by the speed a signal from your brain can flow thru your neural system... you can improve to that point, but after that, there's no exercise that can improve your speed more... maybe with pills, or getting rewired, lol.
    <´¯)(¯`¤._)(¯`»ANDREA«´¯)(_.¤´¯)(¯`>
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