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  1. #1
    Little Dreamer ros's Avatar
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    Default ~ How To Practice for Maximum Speed ~

    ~ How To Practice for Maximum Speed ~
    Part 2: Speed Builder Strategy 2
    by Tom Hess

    Please be sure to read Part 1 before attempting to follow the advice offered here in Part 2. I am offering a completely different approach to building great speed compared to what I described in part 1, but this new system does not work well unless you have mastered the ability to play cleanly and accurately at slow tempos (this is critical).

    Unlike the first system described in part 1, which takes several weeks to complete, this new approach can be done in a single practice session. This new approach is not intended as a substitute for my other method, it is rather a supplemental practice tool intended for more advanced players.

    “My Ladder System”

    Let’s say you can play a particular technique at 100 bpm (beats per minute) on a metronome cleanly and consistently. Let’s also assume that your goal is to play the same technique at 200 bpm.

    Warm up for: 15 minutes in the winter months
    10 minutes in the spring and autumn months
    5 minutes in the summer months

    Play at 60 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 90 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 75 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 105 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 90 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 120 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 105 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 135 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 120 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 150 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 135 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 165 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 150 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 180 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 165 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 195 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 180 bpm for 2-3 minutes
    Play at 210 bpm for 2-3 minutes

    As you can imagine, the beginning of this routine will be easy if you can already play this without problems at 100 bpm. But it will be totally impossible to play well during the latter part of the routine. Play it anyway! Yes I know it will sound horrible, it will be a huge mess of sloppy musical chaos. Don’t worry about that when doing this routine, because you are not going to practice this way every day.

    The ladder system is designed to do two main things:

    1. (most important!) It will train your brain that greater speed is possible (even if sloppy for now) for you. To go far beyond what you think you can do well today is important as a psychological tool. You see, speed (like many aspects of music) has more to do with self – imposed psychological limitations than physical ones.

    2. It gets your hands to move faster than they ever do in normal practicing (even though the motions are sloppy and not something you will put into a recording of your next solo),

    Most speed barriers come as a result of synchronization problems between the two hands – lack of speed is usually not caused directly from how fast you are able to move your hands. BUT because the main cause is synchronization issue between the hands, your practicing becomes limited to synchronization practice and not on sheer speed (even if you are totally aware of it). Your increased synchronization skills will improve your overall technique, but you will have not really trained your hands to move much faster than before…..This system does. I’m sorry to have to keep repeating the point, but it is so important ‡ This system is a supplemental one and not a substitute for normal practicing.

    A word of caution: Because this practice system is extremely demanding on your fingers, hands, wrists and arms, you must be very careful to avoid pain. If you feel any pain when doing this technique, you must stop at once and rest before attempting this again. Never play in pain, or excessive stress on your muscles or joints. Doing so can cause you serious long-term physical problems. Also, make sure you are thoroughly warmed up before practicing anything strenuous (especially when attempting any ladder systems!).

  2. #2
    Baluchitherium Mikey Metalhead's Avatar
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    dont we have enough shredders??

    cant someone teach our youth how to play MUSIC on the guitar.... not just fast notes.
    I SURVIVED TEXAS LINKERS WEEKEND I, II, III, IV and VI and VII.barely made it to VIII time to slow down
    I musta had a broken middle finger for V
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  3. #3
    Good Enough
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    Good vibrato is WAY more important than speed. TRUST ME! Heck, eatin' your breakfast is way more important...

  4. #4
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 08:05 AM
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    Default

    More important techniques to learn than speed.
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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 08:08 AM
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    While speed for speeds sake is bad, everybody would love to be able to play faster then what they are limited to.

    If not then you are in denial.

  6. #6
    Banned! againstthewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey Metalhead
    dont we have enough shredders??

    cant someone teach our youth how to play MUSIC on the guitar.... not just fast notes.

    Very, very well said. Let anyone check out a few Angus Young riffs, or solos, they may not be the fastest, but that stuff is pure straight out RnB, and is there anything that rocks harder? Ok, maybe a few VH riffs rock harder, but you get the idea. Gotta' have a bit of soul to it, or it just ain't right!!

  7. #7
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 08:05 AM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ziggysmalls
    While speed for speeds sake is bad, everybody would love to be able to play faster then what they are limited to.

    If not then you are in denial.
    Hmmm...no I don't think I need to play any faster actually.
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  8. #8
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    artistry is nothing without technique.

    technique is nothing without artistry.

    how one puts those together ... well thats a skill all of it's own.

    it never hurts to have skills however.

  9. #9
    Sinner's Swing! Zahzoo's Avatar
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    11.04.17 @ 06:01 AM
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    Learn how to invoke emotion and energy with a few notes and you'll go way way further than 200 notes at warp ten. Angus is a good example... BB King is an even better one. Music should invoke emotion... unless you're a meth tweaker 200 BPM ain't music...
    Woke up this mornin, got Blue Moon in your eyes...
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  10. #10
    Eruption mk5's Avatar
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    I think I disagree with almost everyone. Sure, everyone has great advice, but I say play what you want to play. Play what will keep you inspired to keep practicing. If it's Yngwie, great. BB King, great too.

    I'm teaching myself the "Play with Me" solo by Nuno and have played more guitar this week than I have in about 3 months. That doesn't mean I plan on doing scalar pentatonic runs in any song I write. But it sure is nice to know I could play that fast if I wanted to.

    Do whatever is fun.
    How open-minded do I have to be before my brains start spilling out?

  11. #11
    Sinner's Swing!
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    Default

    I agree with mk5.

    Anything that keeps your fingers nimble, freshens things up, challenges you, gets you out of a rut, or inspires new ideas should be practiced.

    If becoming "faster" is a by-product of that, then great.

    I'd like to play faster, but what I'd REALLY like to do is be able to play as fast as I can right now, but with less effort/concentration. I'd like to get my mind off of the act of striking the notes, and more on where the future of the solo/riff/whatever is HEADED.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk
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    Faster isn't always better.

    If you want to play fast, that's cool, speed is a means to an end but not the end. It was harder fro me to slow down than to play fast, playing fast made me seem like I was a better guitar player than I really was to people who didn't play guitar. I was playing shit but playing it fast.

    My advice to any guitarist just starting out is to study the basics first, then advance as your ability grows. All along the way, focus on developing your ear for melody. That way if you're playing fast or slow you're actually playing something.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  13. #13
    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
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    09.05.15 @ 12:20 PM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Majestic
    I agree with mk5.

    Anything that keeps your fingers nimble, freshens things up, challenges you, gets you out of a rut, or inspires new ideas should be practiced.

    If becoming "faster" is a by-product of that, then great.
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  14. #14
    Niners Fan! SactoFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mk5
    I think I disagree with almost everyone. Sure, everyone has great advice, but I say play what you want to play. Play what will keep you inspired to keep practicing. If it's Yngwie, great. BB King, great too.

    I'm teaching myself the "Play with Me" solo by Nuno and have played more guitar this week than I have in about 3 months. That doesn't mean I plan on doing scalar pentatonic runs in any song I write. But it sure is nice to know I could play that fast if I wanted to.

    Do whatever is fun.
    Right on, bro...I do what I can to remain inspired...speed or not.
    Can't stop...addicted to the shindig...

 

 

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