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Thread: When to move up tempo?

  1. #1
    all around psycho
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    When to move up tempo?

    Im working on a section of fade to black at about 90 bpm and i gotta get it to 144 bpm. Now I can play it at 90bpm pretty much every time But it still feels kinda hard. Do you move up tempo, as soon as u can cleanly play something every time, or do u move up when it feels easy at the speed you're at or what?

  2. #2
    all around psycho
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    Also this is my first tough solo, is it normal to only move up like 5-10 bpm every two days?

  3. #3
    Registered User ashc's Avatar
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    I'm really slow, but I'm on lunch too, so heres my 2c....

    There is no definitive answer to how quickly you can speed up. I would agree that yes when you can play it cleanly everytime then you should move up 5 or 10 bpm. Still the speed improvement does not come at a constant rate (I wish it did) otherwise we'd all be shredding at 300bpm in about 2 months.

    Still, If the speed your aiming it is within your current abilities for, say, exercises or other passages that resemble the section then I would say every few days (assuming you are working on it every day) is reasonable to work up a notch. But, if the speed you are aiming it is higher than where you are at you might be developing the chops at the same time - in which case the speed probably isn't going to come so quick and the curve of improvement will be asymptotic to your level.

    It also depends on the structure of thing because you can play over your sustainable limit for a short burst, but if it was picked 16th notes at 144 bpm for 16 bars straight with no break I'd be learning this solo for a few years .....

  4. #4
    Junkie for soulful guitar metalprep6969's Avatar
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    A tip for playing it more quickly and it feeling a bit more relaxed, try playing it like 30 bpms above where you are right now. It's not going to sound good and it won't be right, but get your fingers used to going that speed. Dont' do that for too long though, cuz you don't want to train your muscles to play it incorrectly. Then back down to about 5 abover where you can do it well, it should seem pretty obtainable then.

    \m/
    ...Like a child who's run away...

    ...And won't be coming back...

  5. #5
    all around psycho
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    thanks both r great responses. That trying it like 30 bpm above where i can now idea, makes a lot of sense, also since this is faster than anything ive p.layed before ur probly right that it will take me longer. Thanks

  6. #6
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    Also, if you are still finding it difficult at the speed you are using right now, don't be afraid to back off the speed to a point where it is absurdly easy for you. That will allow you to really concentrate on the motions you are making, which should help you to play it faster over the long run. I think the best solution is probably to play it at various speeds, but as my classical guitar teacher used to tell me, "slow practice is essential."

  7. #7
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    From what I've heard there are three general schools of thought as to playing faster:

    1) Play a passage perfectly several times in a row, then up the speed a couple of notches until it's perfect again, lather, rinse, repeat if necessary. The advantage is that no matter what you do you'll be in time and clean if it's done right, but for a lot of people (myself included) it wastes an awful lot of time...so, if you don't handle rapid speed changes well this is a very good choice for you.

    2) Play a passage once, then do one of two things: either add string skips and odd stretches or whatever-you-damn-well-please to make it harder, then play until it's good sounding, then up the tempo on the passage played normally until it is no longer clean, then repeat the process - or, just skip the difficulty adding part and jump the metronome up several notches, and play several times, then back it down a few notches until it's clean, then repeat it cleanly several times (so you play it at 90, then kill yourself at around 130, and back off until it's clean, which for me ends up being somewhere around 110 or 115 - theory behind this is that it's still difficult, but it's less than you're used to and it seems easier, so you nail it better). This is good if you don't have a problem with accuracy but want to make sure you don't screw up at higher speeds - which won't really happen but you may like this one just to make sure.

    3) John Petrucci uses something similar to this, and calls it "Spanish Laps" (check out his Wild Stringdom books/articles) - play a short passage at greatly varying tempos - for example:

    D ---12--10--9----------------12--10--9------------- repeat
    G --------------12--10--9----------------12--10--9-- 4-8 times

    and jump anywhere between 70 and 160 (or whatever your established max for that segment is) and the varying tempos work both fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscles, so endurance and max speed are built up together, which I really like.

    Of course, you could stick with playing things slow, constantly, and wait for speed to come naturally (you don't need to practice running if you walk enough, so they say) but I usually just do that when a passage is completely unfamiliar. I usually use C about 1/2 of the time, B about 3/8 of the time, and the remaining 1/8 is A. Typically this gives me the best results, but this may change depending on your natural agility, familiarity with the instrument and passage, concentration, proximity to Ft. Lauderdale, and many other things, so find what works for you. I also warm up on my acoustic for about 45 minutes to an hour before practicing on my electric for a few hours (I leave my room no more than twice on average weekends) so that probably affects both my physical ability and my expectations, so you may want to try that - or using weights if the above option won't work out, all you're really trying to do is work with resistance and remove it later to make it seem easier afterwards.

    Rock On,
    The Jeffinator

  8. #8
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    id say as soon as you can just pick up the guitar and play the passage at the current tempo with ease(fairly relaxed, without much effort), at any given time, increase the tempo

    they say the speed comes from absolute control

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