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oldswanner Profile
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Registered: 12-2007
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Breaking the Speed Barrier


Hi all from Warwick UK, first post here.

I have a problem with a student who I can't get to play 16th notes above 65bpm. The issue is blurring of notes (mainly hammer ons before the pick strikes the string).

The target is to do this with fingers 1 & 2 playing frets 12 & 13 on the B string over an Am backing.

Any ideas? We've worked it up slowly in lessons (from an almost standing start)and I can't see any physical problems with what he is doing ie. his fingers seem loose enough to achieve much higher speeds. But 65bpm has been his max for some while now.

The same student likes to play things faster than he can and dislikes me encouraging him to tap his foot, although when he does his timing is ok and when he doesn't it's not!! In fact, his face drops whenever I turn to matters technical rather than trying a new song he likes. However I think he's with me enough on this to keep bashing away at it.

However, he's also the right sort of student in that he plays lots at home and loves his guitar, and old enough (23 I think) to appreciate my reasons for sticking with the technique stuff.

All suggestions welcome,

Old Swanner.

http://www.psgt.co.uk
12/5/2007, 10:37 pm Link to this post Send Email to oldswanner   Send PM to oldswanner
 
451layla Profile
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Registered: 11-2007
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Re: Breaking the Speed Barrier



Wow - If you're talking about playing scales and/or musical passages consisting of 16th notes at 65bpm, I'd say that's pretty damned fast! Most of my guitar heroes (Clapton, Peter Green, the Kings etc etc) would probably struggle to play much faster than that!

Be interested to hear how you get on though...

12/5/2007, 11:44 pm Link to this post Send Email to 451layla   Send PM to 451layla
 
oldswanner Profile
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Re: Breaking the Speed Barrier


Hehe, think you might be on the wrong timescale. 16ths (semiquavers) at 65bpm is only just over 4 notes per second, so quite snail paced in today's 200+bpm ballpark.
12/6/2007, 12:24 am Link to this post Send Email to oldswanner   Send PM to oldswanner
 
451layla Profile
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Re: Breaking the Speed Barrier


lol, my mistake! I have a metronome on the same desk as my pc, and quickly checked out the speed when posting, but forgot to set it back to 60 - it was on 130bpm, which I was struggling to keep up with on 16th notes!


 
12/6/2007, 1:04 am Link to this post Send Email to 451layla   Send PM to 451layla
 
njsteve Profile
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Re: Breaking the Speed Barrier


Hi,

Actually, 16ths at 65 BPM is not bad. Not the fastest, but certainly an achievement for a guitar student. Especially if they can play it cleanly.

The best tips on speed I have heard are the following:

1. Focus on accuracy. Speed up only in small incrementes when you can play something perfectly.

2. Practice slow to play fast.

3. Use a consistant technique. Find something that works and don't keep changing it.

One other thing that comes to mind is to ask your student if they might be left handed but they play righty. I happen to be in that category so I always ask this question because it really makes the fast alternate picking very challenging for the picking hand. There's not really much to be done about it, but at least you will have some insight as to your students difficulties.

Fast alternate picking is one of them most challengin aspects of guitar playing in my opinion. For some players it can take years to develop.

Good luck with your student,

Steve
12/6/2007, 3:05 pm Link to this post Send Email to njsteve   Send PM to njsteve
 
bonsushi Profile
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Re: Breaking the Speed Barrier


Here is my way of breaking the speed barrier the most efficiently:


1. Start off at a speed that they are comfortable with

2. Increase the speed after each repetition by around 5bpm

3. Repeat step 2 until they begin to have trouble playing it

4. Decrease the speed after each repetition by around 5bpm

5. Repeat step 4 until they get to the median of the highest and the lowest speeds.


What this does is basically brings them to their breaking point and slowly brings them down, and it makes what they could play not so well before, pretty easy. Then it makes the median the new "comfortable level"


Good luck and tell me how it works out.


---
I'm 16 years old and I teach guitar lessons. I've been playing guitar for 5 years, piano/keyboard for 3 years, and just picked up violin. I also play a few miscellaneous instruments which I won't bother listing.
12/28/2007, 7:02 am Link to this post Send Email to bonsushi   Send PM to bonsushi
 


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