A reasonable tempo limit?

Was just pondering this the other night - is it safe to say that if you can hit 180bpm or above (let’s use 4x bars of 16th note tremolo as a reference) that you might of ‘hit’ your limit?

Having experimented with wrist, forearm/wrist blend, and elbow I seem to hit a similar tempo with all right hand variations. I just wondered if anyone else had experienced something similar?

On a good day I seem to sit at 180bpm easily, and on good day can get that to around the 190bpm - 195bpm range. Anything above 200 though is only via short bursts and not exactly rock solid.

As a reference I’m a metal rhythm guy, so not being able to comfortably play in the 200bpm+ range is quite disheartening as so much of my favourite material sits in the 200bpm - 240bpm range.

I’m interested to see if anyone else has experienced this as well?

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Have you tried out all the picking motion tests? I’m assuming so, but Troy also put together this survey I found a while back that might be useful:

You see there’s a lot of cluster around that 180-200 BPM 16th note range, so not unreasonable that you might cap out there with alternate picking. Curious what material you’re looking at with that 200+ bpm 16th notes, I’m assuming tech death rhythms/deathcore stuff? It sounds like this is more capping out at tremolo picking comfortably rather than doing alternate picking sequences across strings right?


Yes, I remember seeing this so I guess in relation this I’m doing okay haha.

With respect to material yes, definitely tech stuff. The Faceless, Alluvial, The Zenith Passage etc, etc.

Ironically, I’m actually faster/better with scalar playing than simple rhythm stuff.