Some tips from my daily playing that i came across this week

i stumbled upon two great exercises for building speed.

the first is to help speed up economy picking.
utilize it to wind up before crossing strings doing the 3nps economy picked scale runs. got to thank joe stump for helping me find this one. found it trying to play one of his exercises from his metal chop shop book.

you know the drill ala petrucci’s burst method. play it slow with the metronome then after some time play it double speed. you will be pleasantly suprised how fast youll be shredding with this one.

the second is to buy the pro version of this app metronome beats. there might be a free app i dont know i just like this metronome.

you need the paid for version to unlock the up to 900 bpm tempo.

you will set to increase tempo every 8 seconds or whatever you choose dial it back a few bpm below your max notes per second.

this method works well because say you are doing sextuplets at 100 and trying to work up to 120.



so as you see you get a smoother increase in speed so you really pinpoint where it is the tension is creeping in or where your weakness lies.

so you know where to work at when dealing with speed issues.

so instead of working at 100bpm playing 6 notes per beat start at 600 bpm and play one note with the click and let it accelerate. you wont even notice the increase and i bet you will increase your speed by at least .6 nps from your current max if not more.

you can utilize this metronome method with anything your trying to speed up. let it click nonstop and accelerate over time while youre working on your material. but remember if its something new that confuses your hands start much slower at around 200 or 300 bpm for a day or two.

Furthermore I have this suspicion that to really get faster that Konnakol might help. Especially with odd note groupings, 5s 7s 9s. Not sure yet, but my spidey senses are tingling that this might be a key factor in really cementing higher nps numbers.

So as you see there are no shortcuts you better get crackin and attack your weaknesses head on. :slight_smile:

bonus video! pay attention to the very first exercise she shows you. but also watch it until the end.

First exercise is total bread and butter 3-note-per-string stuff. I’d mix it up with the minor shape 5-7-8, and it’s fun to shift up the octaves as you go from string pairs E-A, D-G, B-E.

In terms of metronome work, it may be interesting for you to take the complete opposite approach too. I’m a fan of jazz pianist and educator Hal Galper’s idea of counting everything faster than a ballad in half time (counting the 1 & 3 in 4/4). I think this 1) makes feeling the pulse at higher tempos significantly easier and 2) makes you to think/play in bigger rhythmic chunks of quadruplets, sextuplets, and so on which smooths out your playing.

Regarding the hand exercises, I like Richey’s exercise but a few caveats from personal experience. First, build up reps. Firing off a ton of these if you’re not use to them will fatigue your hand to the point of pain pretty quickly. Secondly, I wouldn’t do it with the idea of a ton of squeeze/force, for me I perform it so it it feels loose and quick like my playing, different needs for different folks though I’d imagine. Last, I think the more important part of the exercise is the hand opening as it relates to finger lift from the fretboard. Finger lift seems to be the slow motion that needs improvement and we see similar pedagogy in the violin world.

was it your comment i read that if you play it in swing tempo and reverse swing you can fix slow areas? that was a great idea because in some licks, be it a string transition or a hand shift, there will creep in that off rhythm hand movement that slows you down simply because it is different than you are use to, and your body doesnt know the right speed to move at to stay in time.

I’m just testing the waters with the metronome idea to see if i can get my darn thumb movement style picking faster than 10 to 11 nps. so when i hit the higher 600s i do try to adjust from an eighth, sixteenth, and sextuplet style feel just so i break up the monotony of the drill. plus ill do the ole 15, 14, 12, 11, 12, 14 and the 15, 12, 14, 15, 14, 12 and 15, 14, 12 and one string style lick lines you know just different stuff cause banging away one note gets a bit stale heh. i will probably form some etude just to not feel completely worthless. of course after about 25 bpm changes my hand needs a break so i stop and play some sweeps slowly then start again where i left off.

no pain no gain :smile:

i can do the 50 she does. ive been to the gym so i understand that burning sensation. but yes for those that dont understand it. i would suggest hitting the gym for a few months to understand the way the body feels under stress.

Oh yeah, it probably as me who said that with the swing rhythm, I’ve been picking up all these practice tricks from binging videos from all these old jazz and classical teachers. Glad it worked out for you

Oh jeez, the first time I did those exercises the next morning my hands were a mess. In the long term, with good stretching, I’m really a fan of them though.

I found another great app for practice.

There is a setting to actually play your guitar and it will pick up the sound from your mic. It plays a note and you play it back. Now I know we dont all have perfect pitch but you can customize what frets you want it to use. Crazy good app for beginner ear stuff. It lacks though because its only single notes.

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