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New year's resolution: reasonable picking-speed target?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by ninjaaron, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. ninjaaron

    ninjaaron Member

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    I can already do 100 clean. I'm pretty sure I said that in OP. Furthermore, WTF are you talking about? What's wrong with setting goals?
     
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  2. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Member

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    There's nothing wrong with setting goals. But it needs to be done step by step.
    Imagine you went for 140 as your goal - but didn't manage. Big dissapointment.
    If you however go for 105, you will most likely manage.
    One is a story of success, the other isn't.

    And nobody's telling you to stop once you've reached 105.

    A planned increment of 40% in speed is just too huge to be a source of inspiration.
     
  3. ninjaaron

    ninjaaron Member

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    If I practice my picking every day for a year and only get to 105 BPM, I am going to shoot myself in the damn mouth. Luckily, that absolutely is not going to be my maximum picking speed at the end of 2018. I may be uncoordinated, but I'm not hopeless.
     
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  4. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Member

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    Do it whatever way you wish, but from a methodical POV it doesn't make sense this way. You need to go for smaller increments. That's learning strategy 101.
     
  5. ninjaaron

    ninjaaron Member

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    Of course I'm not going to set my metronome to 140 and just aim to match that for a year. I know how the metronome practicing game works.

    Is it your belief that nobody should ever set long term goals? Success is realized one step at a time, so never plan ahead?

    In fact, if I don't have long-term goals for my playing, why bother practicing at all?
     
  6. muzishun

    muzishun Member

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    Be patient! Shoot for short focused sessions.. take breaks often. And play fun stuff.

    Also, gains like these often come in waves. You may seem stuck then you will have breakthroughs, and make serious progress.... only to plateau again. Just be consistent.

    The breakthroughs are a beautiful thing!

    But I must say don't get too caught up in basing your enjoyment of playing on the technical. You can still make beautiful music.
     
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  7. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Member

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    Of course, I do plan ahead. But not by exact numbers. Doesn't make sense.

    To improve?
     
  8. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    Wow, didn't this thread get thrown off course by a load of assumptions and miscommunication.
     
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  9. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Member

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    I actually don't think so. I for one defenitely stand by what I said. Planning for a 40% speed increase over just a year (especially when you're not a beginner) might not be unrealistic, but it might as well put you off at one point in time.
    Make that "I want to increase my speed in 2018 and start with the next step" and you're much more on safe ground.
     
  10. Ejay

    Ejay Supporting Member

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    I have been practicing pick technique for a life time the traditional way and it never really payed off.

    Funny thing is, that the last two years it has taken a very steep curve.
    What happend?
    I stopped being a pro player (Career switch), so the ambition to play fast and be competitive was gone.
    Since my picking technique wasnt all that good, I decided to take another route...focus on playing fast stuff legato, simply a practical solution..dont focus on what you cant do..that choice made me work on my timing/groove while playing with left hand only.
    Looking back...that left hand not being 100% groovy....how could I ever have expected it to sync with a right hand?

    Also I focused on just making it sound right..seems an open door...but guitar players seem by nature focused on the achievement...not on the musical result. Check YouTube for 99% crapy playing on homemade video’s. This choice made me want to play just certain stuff fast...because the music needs it..resulting in really knowing the vocabulary that you want to play fast in your head/intuition.
    How could I ever have expected to pick fast...If I really didnt know what I wanted to play fast and didnt have the vocabulary to begin with? If you cant think/imagine the notes fast...how could you ever play them?

    Last but not least, I practice making it feel right in my body. So relaxed, groovy, something has to feel like dancing...no tension anywhere. That dancing feeling really connects the dots between right/left hand...and whats going on in your brain.

    So my 2 cents:
    Work on vocabulary
    Make it groovy and feel relaxed
    Make it sound right
    Practice legato to improve your picking
     
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  11. ZeyerGTR

    ZeyerGTR Supporting Member

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    Another question to ask is "play what at a target bpm?" Just pick a single string? Play a specific, repetitive exercise? Play a specific solo? And then, alternate picking what specific cases? Single string runs? String skipping? Which strings? Inside/outside skipping? 1) you have to practice the right things, specific to what you're doing and where you're at, in order to improve. If all you do is 1234 exercises you may never get comfortable string skipping. 2) if you don't branch out from doing exercises, your picking won't really develop and you'll be continually frustrated you can't play as fast as you think you should be able to. Exercises are useful, but you have to recognize when to move to the next stage: application. Practice actual music. It's not about the exercise, it's what the exercise is trying to teach you, and you only know if you learned if if you can apply it naturally in a musical setting. Practicing pieces of music also works on all those specific cases (string skipping, etc). 3) The more you work on your rhythm and timing, the more everything will sound better. You need to record yourself and listen back honestly - is is really clean and even? Is it really in the groove? Does it have good tone?

    I'm not expert in picking technique by any stretch, but I've found the most success by working through a piece of music and isolating bars that give me trouble. Focus on those, figure out why they trip me up and hammer them. Then go back and work on the entire piece.
     
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  12. jcj

    jcj Member

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    Made me literally laugh out loud! Thank you! :D

    First off, Id start by checking out your left hand speed; need both of 'em to synch. See how quickly/cleanly you can play without worrying about the picking hand.

    I usually practice alternate picking by going through the seven positions of the major scale; both in order, and jumping around (1,3,2,4,6,5,7).

    I'll also go through them all skipping strings.

    I can pick at the levels you're shooting for, but honestly, I frequently use some combo of alternate, and hammer on/pull off; it usually sounds better to my ear.

    Only other advice is to stay loose (tough to be quick when you're tense), and be conscious of your pick movement...oh, and play something musical more often than you run scales...really works better in the end. :D
     
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  13. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

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    I suggest working on a song you like, with fast picking, that you have a reasonable expectation of playing live at some point, and learn that.

    Playing speed exercises never really helped my musicality. Learning a fast song did.
     
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  14. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    Howard Roberts said: sixteenths at 116.
     
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  15. negative.feedback

    negative.feedback Member

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    Might be a stupid thing to say but are you sure you know what 16th notes are? At 100 BPM 16th notes are really easy.
     
  16. Blahfingers

    Blahfingers Member

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    I was probably at about this level 2-3 years ago and really worked on it. 140bpm in one year is definitely doable. I just made it part of my warmup routine and it gradually improved (I did the standard chromatic warmup thing plus scales of all the modes in 3nps positions). At the same time I was practicing heaps of other stuff, but spending 15-30mins at the start just practicing alternating picking helped. I agree with others you also need to work on your legato to keep your left hand in synch and you have to work on making your picking consistent, not just fast. Also try to work out your right hand position- choose somewhere comfortable and decide how/whether you want to anchor. I had to completely change my right hand style when I started working on speed. This was after 15 years of playing (with poor technique!)
    I also agree with checking out the Troy Grady stuff (I started with the Antigravity seminar, but I would recommend the Pickslanting Primer now to start with).
     
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  17. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Member

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    Depends on what you play.
     
  18. Beto

    Beto Supporting Member

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    Frank Gambale's Chop Builder is a classic. It can bring your skills to a higher level for sure.

    Also, many exercises inside this book/video are musical and can be incorporated into your arsenal.
     
  19. Beto

    Beto Supporting Member

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    Absolutely. If it's something like Petrucci's Glasgow Kiss, p.ex., it may be tricky even at 100bpm (the song is 138bpm).


    While I agree that playing speed exercises may not have helped my musicality, I must say that it has helped me as it provides a mean that allows me to express my musicality.

    About learning fast songs, I couldn't agree more. This is the one I like the most when it comes to right hand consistency and keep trying to get it right:

     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  20. negative.feedback

    negative.feedback Member

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    No, it doesn't. It's so easy a drummer could do it.
     

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