Maybe a good way of practicing to get faster


lol. ill let it rest


This is exactely what i mean! He makes that golf swing motion very slow but exact the same as when he does it faster. That is what i am trying to do now, and it works already for me.


In other words the moonlight sonata 1st movement is for the masters, just as I said jazz ballad playing is for the greats(unless you are able to pour you soul into it as a statement of a present pressing emotional state). In the vid with Flea and River Phoenix , Flea demonstrates a slap he does really slowly and speeds it up, I don’t think he realizes how difficult it is to do that. Obviously the martial arts masters demonstrating this has become cliche by now.


This is complicated, first of all to watch the movement as an outsider aware of process in and of itself this is a thing of beauty. There is a difference though a musical phrase can be repeated in a cycle if relaxed enough for a very long time. In this unbroken repetition the motion can be appreciated as if slowed down and all of it’s nuances felt if not at first but over time as it is repeated. I can see perhaps that if a phrases is performed in this way that it could demonstrate a great deal, but one thing about a stringed instrument is that it is a moving target, that is to say the actual movements themselves of the hands and body effect the very action in itself and the activity is therefore different as a result of this(a subtle juggling is taking effect constantly). The ball for all practical purposes is struck and moves freely, but the strings do not(this is true for fret/pick sides), this has a major effect due to the stresses involved. Just some thoughts on this analogy.


What i find so far is that the smaller motions you make when playing fast are easy to do at slower speeds but the muscle tension is still different.
But i feel already some benefit of making those same small motions at slower speeds, there is no difference now for the brain in that regard.


good stuff


I like this, but to take this further I want to propose not only committing certain actions in such a way that they “become effortless”, instead let them be effortless to start with. I may or may not someday go into my history if it seems appropriate, suffice to say that my calluses on both hands have had to catch up with my understandings in this regard(sorry to be so cryptic). I can now, and I mean just now start to practice what I preach without having to wait 2-3 weeks in between waiting for them to heal and toughen up, especially on the picking hand, though the fret hand ring finger is “in play” as it were but manageable, and this is all because of this “effortless” movement I am addressing here.
“Tremolo” picking has a correlative, in the fretting hand that I dimly was aware on the guitar, although I was aware of it on the keys. The key if you pardon the pun here was and is “where oh where” does the leverage come from? The guitar for all it’s greatness is awkward as can be(said in polite company) to express on except if you treat it as a singer song writer instrument(that is basically what you get from 98% of the people who stay with it whether they aspire to virtuoso status or not). In order to find this “tremolo fretting” I had to become a contortionist as the “traditional” way to hold it negated the possibility for the expression in this way, until I was able to see that with a strap on(at first ) if I reached my thumb over the neck from underneath(not over the top)so the thumb was still facing the neck(not as if playing a piano), I could get a full 5 finger spread (as on the keyboard and engage at least in trills with four fingers using the Thumb as the base note, in other words I was “Eddying” with the fretting hand. The wrist in this posture is bent exactly like it would in the tremolo picking hand.
The main discovery here was that the sound would only present itself if the finger above the thumb was moving fast enough for the thumb to fret the note below as this so far has been worked out with high to low trills on the high E string with all four fingers and the thumb. If I wanted to do fretted to open string trills the thumb would move under the neck but just so, it barely at first goes to the side of the neck just enough to allow for the sound to come out and mind you an amp turned up, really helps to “amplify” this possibility(the pun matches the reality). As the string change the thumb moves more around the neck still with a wide spread though,once the thumb goes under the neck the understanding is that it is a “silent” component in the music(as the 25th fret - like the 36th chamber of the sholin), and that when the first finger acts as a barre/capo the act of fretting the 1st finger bar happens as a result of the speed of movement of the 2,3 and 4 fingers(guitaristcally speaking), the first finger pressure applied as a Result of releasing the higher finger, not one after the other. You have to understand that making this happen for the 98% of us has been impossible so far but now it can be done sitting down in normal guitar playing stance but the ability would truly seem impossible to most.
So I ask this question to anybody is it possible to slow down a motion that takes place in this way at all? It would seem that the string would have to be as light as feather and the amplification would have to be way past “11”. I don’'t think this is an “angels on a pin” type of inquiry. And btw thanks for the link it inspired this reply.


have no clue what the question is…but Jake E lee played with thumb under the neck sometimes


Another approach I use is to slowly aggregate a part but try and always play it fast as you are building it up.

For example, if you were playing a lick the following way:


I sorry, its hard to describe and I’m not equipped for video. just like tremolo picking there is tremolo fretting(I was just working on it). But in the same way that picking that way can’t be slowed down really would it really be possible to slow down this kind of trill and still call it a trill, because I believe it’s organized from a different way of engaging with an instrument. You don’t have to answer, I’ll leave it at that. I love Jake E Lee’s playing btw.


That’s exactly what I’m talking about I never noticed this. Thanks.


google “jake e lee thumb technique” for lots of info etc. Evidently he started doing that when he and Warren Demartini used to have friendly contests to see who could do the flashiest stuff. Warren had longer fingers so Jake started doing the thumb thing

there is a vid of him doing it in a live Badlands show but I couldnt find it when I looked a while ago. He did a cool lick as opposed to the thing he did with ozzy (which is sort of boring to me lol)


He’s wasn’t to bad here, although it appears Ozzy got jealous perhaps. Anyway he is definitely one of my original inspirations.


IIRC there was a magazine article years ago showing how he used his thumb trick on the last chord in the intro to “Silver Horses” from Badlands second album…but that was going on 30 years ago so maybe im trippin lol


It’s a good way to work on trills and especially warm up.


All methods are valid to me. But that being said, recently I made rhe observation that I often do the ‘Going slow and working with the metronome’ when I’m not fully warmed up and I don’t think that is wise, as I stumble a bit on the the mid-tempos as I’m not warmed up, not because I can’t generally play it, which leads to a sense of frustration. What I try to do now is:
-Warm up gently with some chords and songs

  • Then take what I’m working on (2WPS or crosspicking) and spend a few mins repeating chunks at medium and fast tempos WITHOUT a metronome. This helps work on the mechanics at speed, remove unwanted tension and experience what it feels like at fast tempos. Tge top speed is sloppy as hell!
  • then the metronome comes out and start slow. I get to the medium fast tempos pretty easy as I’m warmed up and synched up by then. With the metronome I get to the speed where it is getting quite sloppy and back the tempo down and rev it back up and beyond in a seni random fashion, irrespective of how clean it is. After a while you acheive more cleanliness at what was originally sloppy. I don’t seem to be able to improve beyond that in a single session, so time to stop (preventing burnout!).


I thought I would add something here because my ability to focus on small details of my play and the motions involve has yielded what I feel is useful information in this regard. it is on the fretting side of things but so much of fretting and picking motions are essentially the same, I don’t think much issue can be taken with that.

As I have said before the forearm rotation picking has an analogue on the fretting side seen most easily in trills and of course vibrato. I was looking at trills and getting going pretty good and eventually being able to trill(this is a quick motion so the trill is as fast(or close) to tremolo picking speed, but it could only happen if I put the instrument in non standard playing postures and turned the amp up so as to enunciate the movements. Finally I was able to attain the trill in a position were picking could also be done, but the interesting thing is that I found (unfortunately this took years to fully work out although in very recent weeks very quickly), if I placed my hand above the string or rather on the string and was patient my hand started to bounce on the string without actually hitting the string hard enough to make a traditional “sound”(in this case on the lowest string) but the note was audible with the good amplification I had, the sound coming from the 4 finger fretted(although all fingers were bouncing together at once), this bouncing if I paid attention would get really fast though sometimes I would lose it and have to jump back up on the string as it were.
There is a point to this as I became better at this I started to bounce on the single fingers and tried to do it in time to the bounce rhythm 4th…3rd…2nd…1st, but what I found was the switching was very difficult to keep intact, the fingers are barely above the frets and got in each others way and I saw the the movements they could make are very minute and there was(as of yet) no way to work on them fast so I started to just dwell on those movements of the fingers one after the other very slowly that is to say not trying to dictate how fast they would or could move.
I was just paying attention to that they were moving, how they chose to move in general in the field of play on or very, very near the string at hand.

This goes to show that there are some good learning potential in watching very carefully how the finger(under certain situations) move since the rotations are very very slight that we are talking about and that fast speeds involve this very slight subtle changes in postures taken in response to the needs of the play. It may be that certain movements are always fast and no reduction is possible but that within that fast are minute changes in rotation that one might call slow, or are only detectable(at least for a while), differently.

Perhaps slow motion is the wrong term even for the golf swing, it may be that the movements that are minute can be isolated and strung together to appear “slow motion” but that they never really do speed up probably like the moonwalk(were’s my white glove).


As far as I can tell, you are the world’s leading expert in all things plectrum, and there is basically no number two. Your discoveries are beautiful because they are “obvious in retrospect,” but obviously so difficult to have discerned in the first place. When I think of you, the following quote comes to mind: “genius is like the marksman who hits a target which others cannot see.” Thank you for exposing the target to normal people, it is life-changing.


That’s very kind of you and we’re appreciative. For the time being we’ll keep pretending like we still have a long way to go before we’re the default stop on everyone’s guitar learning radar, because for the most part it’s true! We’ve got some good instructional stuff coming up which will hopefully move us closer in that direction.